I recently decided to treat myself to a capable MIG welder, and purchased a Lincoln Power MIG (see compact wire feeder/welders). I decided to build my own shielding gas bottle platform at the rear of the machine that would allow me to accommodate small CO2 gas bottles, and add a handle to aid in moving the unit around the shop.
My clamping system consists of two components:
- a more positive cylinder clamp that would keep the cylinder from rattling around, and
- an adapter to support my CO2 bottle, which is considerably smaller than a compressed gas bottle because its contents are liquefied.
PART 1 – The main clamp consists of an inverted “U” which rotates at the base and presses the cylinder firmly into the factory stabilizers with two small feet. A turnbuckle on each side adjusts the clamping force and will accommodate any size cylinder. One side benefit of the round tube handle is that the welder can now be maneuvered just like a shopping cart, and the power cable coils neatly around it for storage.
When the turnbuckles are unhooked from the eye bolts, the assembly pivots down to ground level so that loading a fresh cylinder is a simple matter. A variation on this design could be to mount the bracket legs on the outside of the welder chassis instead of the inside, using longer tabs to allow the legs to lie flat on the ground, making a large gas cylinder easier to load.
The dimensions shown are “as built” for my welder (from scrap, of course) and may have to be modified to fit yours. The one piece of round tubing makes a comfortable handle, and the square tubing everywhere else simplifies alignment during fabrication. The tabs at the base of the vertical legs were drilled to accommodate the bolts used to mount the OEM cylinder tray. Be sure to check the full range of motion on the handle before drilling & welding these tabs, so that the handle touches the ground before the arms contact the lip of the cylinder support tray. It’s best to mount the cylinder support legs last so they will fit your cylinder perfectly, and maintain a little gap between the cylinder and tubular handle. Don’t do any welding near that cylinder!
|List of Material for Clamp|
|1||1-3/8″ Round Steel Tube, .062″ wall||14″||Horizontal Handle|
|2||1-1/4″ Square Steel Tube, .080″ wall||24″||Vertical Arm|
|2||2″ x 1/8″ Flat Hot-Rolled Steel Bar||2-1/2″||Mounting Tab|
|2||2″ x 1/8″ Flat Hot-Rolled Steel Bar||1-1/2″||Cylinder Foot|
|2||3/4″ Square Steel Tube, 0.080″ wall||3-1/2″||Cylinder Leg|
|2||5/16″ Eye bolt w/ 2 flat washers + 2 nuts ea.||3″||Arm connector|
|2||5/16″ U-bolt w/ 4 flat washers + 4 nuts ea.||2″||Bracket connector|
|2||1/4″ Turnbuckle||4-7″||Clamp Adjuster|
|2||Nuts to fit OEM tray mounting screws||Main Mounts|
PART 2 – I’ll be the first to admit that the adapter to support my choice of CO2 bottle appears “unrefined” (to say the least), but it is simple to make and has served me well for several years now. My only regret is that no welding is required.
|List of Material for Clamp|
|1||2×4 Douglas Fir||13″||Support beam|
|1||Aluminum Sheet 6061-T0, .062 Thick||12″ x 12″||Extension skirt|
|2||#10 x 1″ Self-Tapping Cap Screws|
When both components are in use together, a 20 lb. CO2 cylinder is held securely.