Make An Air Compressor Or Welder Cart

Occasionally I have to do quite a bit of welding at the apartment complex where I live. And making several trips to get everything needed to take it along the property is a bit of a pain in the rear. I’ve wanted to make a cart to hold it all for a while now but never got around to doing so. After another batch of welding this past week I decided there’s no time like the present to get it done.

I chose 1/2” plywood when designing the cart. This will help keep the weight down and I think it will still be plenty strong enough to get the job done. To make the cart you will need four casters, one eight foot 2x  4, and one 48” x 48” sheet of 1/2” plywood. You will only use 3/4 of the plywood which will leave a square of material big enough to make either my table saw miter sled or my splined miter jig.

welder air compressor cart (1)

When laying the parts out in SketchUp I thought it would be easiest to cut each pair of angled sides out of a rectangle. Each side is laid out with the appropriate dimensions in the free plan at the end of this article. First draw the diagonal according to the dimensions.

welder air compressor cart (2)

Then cut the diagonal out with either a hand held jigsaw or circular saw. I thought about using my multi-function hold down jig for this but making sure the line is perfectly straight isn’t critical so I didn’t bother getting it out.

welder air compressor cart (3)

And of course having the plan done before I started the build greatly reduced the build time. Even with moving the camera constantly to get a bunch of camera angles I was still able to complete the project in less than 2 hours.

welder air compressor cart (4)

With the diagonals cut the height of the sides can be established by cutting off the sharp points of the resulting pieces.

welder air compressor cart (5)

Once all the pieces are ripped and cut to width the assembly is a walk in the park. It’s all butt joints, glue, and brad nails. Nothing fancy. First the front, back, and dividers are added to the shelves.

welder air compressor cart (6)

Followed by the sides. The sides with the taller front go with the shelf that has the taller front and back.

welder air compressor cart (7)

To give the casters a nice even surface to mount to a 2” wide strip is mounted to the bottom of whichever shelf you choose to use as the bottom. I chose to use the shelf with the taller front and back as the bottom shelf. That way I can put my welder on the other shelf at waste height.

welder air compressor cart (8)

The 2 x 4 is cut in half to form two legs. In the plan I have the top of the legs mitered a little to give the legs a lighter appearance. I ended up not cutting the miter when I built it though. I’m not sure why though but in the end it doesn’t matter. It’s more of a cosmetic thing anyway.

welder air compressor cart (9)

With the legs cut they can now be glued and nailed into the insides of the sides of the bottom shelf (tongue twister?). In the video I only used brad nails here. I ended up reinforcing them with 1-1/4” screws later.

welder air compressor cart (10)

The back two casters are non swivel casters. This will allow me to easily tilt the cart back to use it as a hand truck or two wheel dolly when moving it around outside. The front two are swivel casters for easy mobility in the shop.

welder air compressor cart (11)

Then the top shelf is attached at whatever height you prefer. I ended up putting this a little higher than I thought I would when I made the plan. You can attach it at whatever height you choose. I never measured the height for this shelf. I just put it at waist height.

welder air compressor cart (12)

I chose to use a strip of plywood for the handle. This will give me a non conductive flat surface to hang my welder rod from when I need to set it down. I originally thought about using a wooden dowel for this handle when I was designing it in SketchUp but ultimately went with a more simple handle.

welder air compressor cart (13)

The last thing to add is a cheap garage cord hook to the back. This allows me to keep a dedicated extension cord with the welder so I will always have it when needed.

welder air compressor cart (14)

In the end I’m quite pleased with the result. My total cost was about $40 because I used decent birch plywood and the price of casters is a little crazy. I’m sure you could make it for much less if you used scraps or even made wooden wheels (I seriously thought about doing so). I hope you are able to find this cart useful and hopefully it has given you some ideas for you to use in your shop.



Although this plan is free to you remember that it isn’t free to produce. If you would like to show your thanks please consider using the donate button at the bottom of this page. If you liked this project and found it useful please share it so others can do so as well. Thanks for stopping by folks and have a great day!



  1. Thanks for all the info you provide, Jay. This is great for a pancake compressor I have. You usually have Sketch Up plans. Do you have any for this project? Always enjoy your videos. Thanks again.

  2. Jay,
    Nice set up there!! Do you think if you put the compressor on the bottom shelf, there would be enough stability to add a hose reel for the air hose in place of the upper shelf? I have been thinking of a metal cart of this basic design for a while….

  3. Hi Jay,

    I just finished (almost) the welder/compressor cart. I made a couple of changes tho. Instead of fabricating the bottom deck the way you did, I used a modified HF furniture dolly, which I reconfigured with 1.4’s to be about 17.5 in sq. This was cheaper than buying new wheels ($ 9.00 on sale). In addition since I am dedicating the cart to my pancake compressor I did not make it as tall as yours. Thanks for the information and guidance you always provide. I think my next project will be the Shop-Vac version of the cart, except that I will reuse my Thein 10 gal pail separator that I will reconfigure to use a shop-vac with 2.5 in hose instead of the 1.25 from an old vacuum.

    Thanks again for a great idea.


  4. Thanks for using regular wood for us regular Joe’s, so we don’t have to go searching for obscure wood. Kudos and keep killing it!

  5. What size of casters are you using? I cannot find anything that mounts to the 2 inch strips without overhanging.

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