Recently I bought the Harbor Freight Chicago Electric welding cabinet and I was pleasantly surprised at how well built it is. In this article (and the embedded video), I cover the specs of the cabinet, show how it is assembled and review some things I like about and a thing or two that I don’t like.
Before I get into assembly, here are the specs on the welding cabinet according to Harbor Freight website and the manual that came with it.
You will only need two tools to assemble the welding cart: A #1 phillips screwdriver and a 10mm wrench.
The assembly instructions in the owner’s manual are clear and concise.
Getting it out of the box is a little tricky. I didn’t want to cut the sides of the box down in case I needed to return it, so I tipped it on it side and dragged it out ever so gracefully.
The box contained all the hardware needed to assemble the welding cart, including the large rear wheels, a gas bottle rack, the hose and lead hooks, the other gas bottle rack, the front swivel locking casters, the chains for holding the gas bottle securely to the cart, and finally the package of screws, bolts and washers. I’m happy to say there was nothing missing.
Assembly starts with the front casters so I use a couple pieces of cardboard to protect the cabinet’s finish when I flip it on its back.
The front casters are attached using 4 #1 Phillips screws each.
Next the bottom panel is attached so I flip the cabinet upside down. Notice that there is a structural plate on the bottom for extra strength. (The plate is highlighted in the picture below.) The bottom panel is attached using 6 #1 Phillips screws.
The rear wheels go on next. They are attached with a 10mm bolt, split washer and fender washer. The split washer goes on the bolt first.
Now you can flip the cabinet back upright to finish the assembly.
The handle attaches with 4 #1 Phillips screws. The bottom of the four side hooks fit in slots in the side of the cabinet and attach with one screw each.
Next the gas bottle racks are attached using 2 screws each.
The chains for holding the gas bottle fit in slots in the gas bottle racks and are adjustable.
Finally the top drawer dividers go in.
The slideshow below gives you a closer look at the drawers and inside the bottom bin.
As for what I like about this welding cabinet:
- It seems very well-built and well-designed
- It is a good size and height
- The handle is coated in plastic, which was a pleasant surprise
- It only requires two tools to assemble
A few things I don’t like about it:
- The top drawer doesn’t open as far as the other two drawers
- The bottom section is a bin instead of a drawer
On the whole, the Harbor Freight Chicago Electric Welding Cabinet seems to be a good value for the money.