The damned thing may have a handle on top but it still weighs about
50 pounds with cables, etc. Not my idea of something I'd want to hump very far from a tailgate so I'm thinking of lugging it on a modified H-F or similar dolly, but am noodling on how to also carry a small but adequate compressed air supply. Would like to know what others have done to increase portability of their heavy stuff.
I scrounged an old Tektronix scope cart once and now I use it to hold my plasma cutter. Below is a small refrigerated air dryer, still on the same cart. In the drawer below the bottom shelf go goggles, circle templates, and bulk spares for the plasma cutter. When I go offsite if they don't have adequate air, I have an old air compressor on a trailer which I tow. It's got an 18hp Wisconsin 2 cylinder gas engine and an ancient but still working Quincy pump.
The plasma cutter and air dryer just sit on the cart. I roll the cart to the back of my Explorer and lift the plasma cutter into the car, then the air dryer, then the cart is light enough to lift in. At the other end, I reverse the process and then roll the plasma cutter into the jobsite on the cart. If it's impassable (ditches, heavy mud) there are usually framers around and I grab a couple of them and ask them to hump it in. This is where gray hair and a respectful attitude go a long way.
--Well I got the 'gray hair' but I'm not sure I want to hump an 18HP air compressor around! Was thinking of getting one of those little guys that carpenters use for nailguns, etc. Not enough air for a long cut but auxiliary tanks are available and cheap, yes?
I have one of the 'pancake' tank compressors, mine is a Porter Cable, and I love it for out of shop projects. It is rated 2 CFM at 90psi, about half of my regular shop compressor but it runs air tools nicely. Downside is the horrible noise. When it fires off, EVERYONE knows about it.
A two wheel hand dolly has a lot of merit. Add a rack midway up. Put the heaviest item > --Well I got the 'gray hair' but I'm not sure I want to hump an 18HP
Not sure how many CFM you need, but the very common and cheaply rentable
80cf AL SCUBA tanks are a good source of very clean dry air, and a standard SCUBA regulator (1st stage) outputs ~140 PSI which will readily feed a plasma cutter that has an internal regulator for the ~70 PSI it wants.
:-) Yea - handle on a dolly! Wonder if you could rig up a tire inflater that plugs into the 'cigar' socket or these portable batteries with such sockets. Then a filter on that that drips out when off or when pressed.
I have a pair of 900 pound dollies in the shop now. Used them in moving my stuff before the movers got there. Now they hold up a machine and a large stack of SS sheet metal I got from a transformer company.
Mart> The damned thing may have a handle on top but it still weighs about
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I bought a Lincoln Power Arc 5500 when I got tired of dragging lots of cables around from the pickup bed from my WeldanPower. Plus I was limited by the length of the cables, some of my repairs being far from the parking. I made up a cart for the 5500 with a expanded metal tray on top for tools. Made it with a lifting D ring on top. Made my truck a flatbed and overhead rack with an I beam dolly with a Dayton lift on it. Would lift the machine on and off the truck to wheel it to the remote locations. Room on top to put the grinders, rods, clamps, whatever tools I thought I'd need. Several times, we took it in elevators to upper floors to do stuff. Only needed to carry 25' of cables.
Don't know if you want to get that involved, but for us, it was sweet. You could take it on and off the truck ten times easier than it was to run out two 100' leads and roll them back up. The WeldanPower sat in the shop after that, and saw little use.
You'll figure out something to suit your own individual use. It may take two or three prototypes, but you'll get there.
Check with Iggy and get pics of the truck bed crane he made. It sounds like your load would not exceed the capacity of Iggy's lift.
I'm using the Harbor Freight blue "MIG" cart for my Powermax 1000. It works well and was on sale for some $30, at which point it wasn't worth my effort to DIY anything. Since that cart is designed to hold a gas bottle for a MIG, it would also hold a SCUBA tank nicely for a portable plasma cutter.