DIY Welding Project: Welder Tool Tray [Guide]

DIY Welding Project: Welder Tool Tray [Guide]

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Learn how to weld a tool tray for the top of your welder and what you need to complete it. Plus, get a few tips along the way.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME COMMITMENT: One day or less 

Here's what you'll need to get started.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS

Miller® Multimatic® 220 AC/DC (or other multiprocess welder)
18 or 20 gauge steel
Tin snips or shears

Bending brake or hand bending tool 
Dead blow or rubber hammer
Drill or hole punch
Tape measure
Marker

Optional Equipment/Tools


Small barrel bolt latch
Miller blue paint
 

WARNING: READ AND FOLLOW ALL LABELS AND THE OWNER'S MANUAL.

STEP BY STEP

A DIY tool tray for your welder is great to hold all your tools and keeps them close while working. Make one of your own with these instructions.

Miller welder with tools set on top of it

STEP ONE:

Measure the top of your machine to decide how big the tray should be. I made my tray 1 1/2" to 2" larger than the machine for extra room to hold my tools. You’ll need to determine the height for the tray sides and if you want a lip on one side to hang additional tools. This design is great for the small frame Millermatic® and Multimatic® welders or any machine with front and rear handles.
two closeup images of cutting metal side by side

STEP TWO:

With a shear or tin snips, cut the steel to the dimensions selected in step one. Then, mark and notch the corners for bending the sides up. The corner notch measurements for my tray are 2 3/4" x 1 1/2" on the right side (where the tool holder lip will be) and 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" on the left side. Be sure to keep the leftover metal to make the brackets in step 6.
Hammering bends out of metal

STEP THREE:

After you cut the notches on your corners, you’ll notice the metal twists slightly. Use a dead blow or rubber hammer to straighten out the metal.
holes punched in a piece of metal

STEP FOUR:

Drill or punch holes for each of the tools you are planning to mount on the tool holder lip. The holes will need to be slightly larger than the circumference of each tool. If you plan to hang any of your tools, cut slots out so that you can slide them into place. 
bending metal with a bending brake

STEP FIVE:

Bend each of the sides starting with a double 90° bend for the tool holder lip. Note that 20 gauge material bends easier with a hand bending tool, but you can also use a bending brake. Once all 4 sides are bent, add a small retainer lip on the edge of the first side to hold  the tools in place. 
cutting metal with a shear

STEP SIX:

Cut the front and rear bottom braces to 6" x 1 3/4". These will bump up to the front and rear handles of the welding machine. Cut 4 1/2" x 4" of material for the center mounting bracket.
image of drilling metal and image of punching holes in metal side by side

STEP SEVEN:

Drill or punch three 1/4" or 5/16" plug weld holes 3/8" from the edge of the front and rear braces. Then, drill or punch three plug weld holes 1/2" along the 4 1/2" side of the center mounting bracket.
bending metal braces with bending brake

STEP EIGHT:

Bend the front and rear braces 90°, 3/4" from the side (including the plug weld holes). Your finished part should have a 1" solid side and 3/4" side with the plug weld holes.
closeup of metal bracket

STEP NINE:

Bend two opposing 90° bends on the center bracket. One bend 1" from the edge containing the plug weld holes and one bend 1 1/2" from the other side.
closeup of welder mig welding metal

STEP TEN:

Plug weld the front and rear braces to the bottom of the tray so that they sit inside the handles. Plug weld the center bracket so it can slide under the welder’s center handle. This bracket will need to be welded approximately 3/4" off-center for the tray to be centered when slid into place.
welder mig welding metal

STEP ELEVEN:

Spot weld the inside corners of the tray.
Miller welder with tray on top and side panel open

STEP TWELVE:

Optional: Plug weld small barrel bolt latch to bottom of tray where it can hold the access door open when locked
blue tool tray on top of Miller welder and with tools and spray paint can

STEP THIRTEEN:

Optional: Paint your tray Miller blue, which you can get from your local distributor. Once dry, slide the tray into place on top of your welder, add tools and you’re ready to get to work!

About Andy Weyenberg

Andy Weyenberg headshot
Andy Weyenberg began welding at his father’s business a few years before joining the Army. After going to school for Electro-Mechanical, he started working for Miller Electric Mfg. LLC as a technical service rep and training instructor. Andy has built and raced stock cars since he was a teenager — and now builds high-performance street vehicles while also managing the Miller motorsports program.
Published: June 5, 2020
Updated: September 1, 2020