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Quick-Change Torch Cart
Gary Houdek can push his propane/oxy torch kit around the shop floor or tow it to the field behind an ATV. Equipped with car wheels, the cart is just as stable either way, and adding the tongue for towing is fast and easy.
“The standard torch cart with its small wheels can be hard to move around a shop with cords and hoses on the floor,” says Houdek. “With its larger wheels and balanced design, my cart is easy to move in the shop. When I add the tongue, it tips the tanks horizontal, and it is stable when towed over rough ground.”
Houdek used mostly 1/4-in. steel for the cart, simply because that’s what he had available. The cart frame is a combination of pipes, steel strap and rectangular tubing of various sizes.
The oxygen tank and propane tank are balanced within the cart’s framework. Wheels and spindles attached to the lower supports were salvaged from a Chrysler Neon. Tabs on the platform help to secure the rear-mounted oxygen tank when it lies down in the towing position. An over-center, spring-loaded chain holds it in place in the vertical position. To change out a bottle, Houdek pulls a pin and flips the over-center latch back, releasing the chain.
When he wants to take the cart to the field or into the farmyard, Houdek connects the tongue assembly. The clevis hitch tongue is a length of 2 by 2-in. square tubing with an upper crossbar made from 1 by 2-in. channel iron. Two pair of clevis-style ears at either end of the crossbar slide over and get pinned to steel straps that run around either side of the oxygen tank. At the same time, two steel rods with stops on them attached by a crossbar to the end of the tongue, slide into 1 by 1 square tubing beside each wheel, further securing the cart to the tongue.
“When it is tipped into towing position, the tongue helps to lock the oxygen tank into position, while the propane tank above it adds weight for greater stability,” explains Houdek.
Houdek added several items to make torch work easier, including a 50-ft. hose reel and a toolbox. Sleeves to hold the torch and rods to hang the striker and safety glasses are attached to each side of the cart.
“The reel can swing to either side for easy hose release,” says Houdek. “It’s my favorite part of the cart; it’s so easy to access.”
A spring-loaded T-bar in a slot on the reel hinge plate holds it in place. However, in the towing position, Houdek releases the reel and uses bungee cords to tie it down.
“The weight of a bouncing reel would be too much for the spring-loaded lock,” says Houdek.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Houdek, 1055 4th Rd., Chapman, Neb. 68827 (ph 308 986-2491; dghoud1@gmail.com).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2