We’ve assembled a few photos of equipment that will make building the kart much easier. First and most important is a true surface to build on.
Commercially available portable welding tables, whilst OK for light work, can vary in quality and often have quite flexible tops which will make building a straight kart frame awkward. For about the same amount of cash you will be able to obtain some 3/8” steel sheet that can be braced by welding square section tube or angle section on the back face. This will make a durable welding surface suitable for most work.
For high end work you will need to consider precision ground tables. Strong Hand
tables are first class and come with a complete system of clamps and hold downs. However, part of the fun of welding is being able to make your own tools. A welding finger, which works through its own weight to hold parts in place, will be an invaluable tool, as will a magnetic hold down clamp that can apply more pressure. You will well-served by having a range of magnetic clamps and right angles to jig parts securely before welding.
As start-up welder, a simple DC inverter that can be configured for MMA (stick) or TIG is versatile and good way to build the kart. These are readily available through many online vendors like Northern Tools.
For more expensive machines visit the Miller
websites. If you're using MMA the welding rods must be kept dry in order to perform properly. Use a sealed electode storage container.
An auto-darkening helmet will make learning to weld much easier and more fun. Some lower-end stick welders come with hand held welding masks. It requires considerable skill to strike an arc in the right place
using one of these masks and then manipulate the welding rod to produce a good weld whilst holding the mask. Auto-darkening helmets are comparatively cheap now and worth every penny.
Wearing the right gloves makes a significant difference – you will need lighter gloves for TIG work.