This was a fun project and long overdue. My first portable welder was a Miller Blue Star 2E and no, I won’t be posting any pictures of THAT trailer set up. With the TB302G comes a matching new trailer. Hopefully, I won’t outgrow this one, but if I keep listening to you guys, I just might end up with a bigger blue machine.
I hand blend the majority of the visible welds. It’s time consuming, but I like the way it looks. With the exception of the rod holders in the tool box, nothing was bent or sheared. Everything else was hand blended. Steel was cut with a chop saw, jig saw and cutting torch. I used a hand held drill, hand held grinder, and hand held belt sander. I cut the holes on the rear bumper and on the rod holders on my floor mill.
The paint is Dupont “Nason” K2 single stage polyurethane. It’s a bit more durable that typical automotive paint, but doesn’t flow quite as well. A good choice for trailers and the like. Pin striping is the vinyl stick on type.
The tool box is custom made. The shell is 1/8 diamond plate with some 1” square tubing and the top is framed with 1 ˝ angle iron. The hinges came from King Architectural Metals and I added grease fittings to them. The gas cylinders were ordered directly for SPD. They offer free engineering services. You give them the dimensions and weight of the lid and they tell you what type of cylinder you need and where to mount the pivot points. They can design for virtually any lifting/closing force you want.
Stickers and Stars
The “Texas Stars” from King Architectural Metals are grey cast and welded on from the back side. A dab of caulk after sandblasting and priming gives them a molded in look. The “WARNING” and “DANGER” stickers need to be read carefully. I had them custom made at a sign shop and I put them on most things I make. I use this tongue design on all the trailers I make, so they all look the same up front.
The wiring harness is a sealed type. There are two breaks in the main harness that are sealed with heat shrink. The heat shrink I use has a heat activated melt liner that provides a water tight seal. All connections are soldered and covered by that type of heavy duty heat shrink. It typically takes me two full days to wire a trailer, but it will last many, many years.
The battery mounted in the welder is hooked into the trailer wiring harness. It serves as the battery for the break-a-way brakes and also supplies power for the light in the tool box. When I’m towing the welder down the road, the battery gets charged from the truck via the trailer connector. When the trailer is sitting idle at the shop, I plug a battery maintainer into the trailer wiring harness and the welder battery stays charged up. I have enough batteries to mess with, so using one battery on the trailer saves me from some of those headaches.
Water Cannons & Fire Extinguishers
I own four water cannons and right now that’s probably a good thing since I live in Texas. I wanted these to be readily available at all times, so I mounted them right out in the open. I also have a 10 pound dry chemical with room to mount a second one. Even though the welder trailer is ready for some action it will have to sit for a while until we get some rain.
Center of Gravity and Weight
I ran calculations for various mounting positions of the welder, gas bottles, tool box, etc before I settled on a layout. The tongue load is pretty accurate to what I calculated it to be and I tested it at 80MPH on the freeway the other day. Unlike some of my first home made trailers, no fishtailing or swaying. The total weight is a little over 2k fully loaded. The axle is 3500lb and tires are 75D15 load range D rated for 2530lb each.
It holds medium acetylene and 240 cu ft oxygen bottles in a vertical position. I was worried about the center of gravity being to high, but the trailer tows just fine. The rack is welded to the support frame underneath the diamond plate skin. Two ľ” bolts hold the bottles in position. I think it would take a pretty good wreck to knock these bottles out of position which is what I designed it for. Hopefully, I won’t ever find out.
Future Bottle Rack
I left a space behind the tool box for a second bottle rack. This would be a horizontal rack capable of holding two 240 cu ft bottles. Or, I could make something else to bolt down in this space. I predrilled the mounting holes and welded supports underneath.
Cables and Hoses
The cables racks have a total of 200’ of 1/0 welding cable on them. 100’ for the ground and 100’ for the lead. The hose rack has 100’ of Goodyear Oxy/Act twin hose. It doesn’t show up in the pictures, but the welding cables have my name printed on them. I ordered the cable directly from the manufacturer. I believe it was Trystar.