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Old 07-27-2008, 12:11 PM
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How big a bottle for MIG?

Maybe somebody can put this question in the correct place, (if this is not right).

I bought a MIG welder for my 39 Poncho, and welded my stuff with flux core. Now I want to do some thin stuff, so I am practicing with a bottle of....of the MIG junk in the bottle! (Or is it IG?) What ever.

The welder came with a stand, little bitty wheels on it, and a winkie-tinkie-witto bottle hole. No bottle. ...and a big load a destructions with arrows and bold print headings like "DANGER!".

So I went to the MIG sore where is all kinda TIG MIG FCAW yatta yatta yatta... And I asked the guy what's a more bigger bottle cost me? And I asked him how long the bottle lasts me for the little bitty spool of wire. He says I should get three spools of wire done with this more bigger bottle which he sells me, then I am out the door with a big smile.

Now my bottle is about, oh, say 18 inches tall and maybe six-eight inches wide. And the sucker is almost empty after about 10% of one little bitty spool of wire is used. I think I can Far* more gas than this bottle holds...I KNOW I can! And I am trying to squeeze out some welding by setting the gas at about 8, instead of 20-30 like the book says.

(Sorry this is long winded.) QUESTION>> I want a bottle that will fit under the work bench, maybe 30 inches tall. Will a bottle like that last more than ten minutes!?? Can I weld more than my Zipo with it? My buddies all says go get a big bottle, five feet tall weighs a ton. I can't lift more than 20 lbs on account of I am a geezer. WAAAH! Do I need a bottle hoist?

If anybody has a MIG trick to make my witto bottle work, please post it asap. Monday I will lug my winkie-tinkie bottle back to the MIG guy and boink him with it or trade in for big macho bottle or something.....maybe.

R

Oh, and PS thanks, "PFFFTHWAAARP!" oops, there I go again...sorry.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:50 PM
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i went to tractor suppy and got their smallest bottle. i have the gas set at like 5 to 7 . i have used 1 bottle so far still on my first spool of wire. but i lost some from a leak at the cyl connection and getting my welder setup.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:10 PM
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For welding on a vehicles thinner metal i.e. paneling, that little bootle set at about 7 should do the trick. Not sure what type, model MIG welder you have so can't really give you any specifics as far as volatage and wire feed rate. What size wire are you using? If that bottle is running out I would definetly check the line for leaks or check the calibration on the the flow gauge. You shouldn't be going through that much gas that quickly. The large bottles we use last a while welding 3/8 steel as long as they are set up correctly. Do you know if the company gave you Argon or compressed NOS? Compressed NOS is the preffered shielding gas for MIG, Argon is more for TIG but will work (just not as pretty as a bead). Just my 2 cents, maybe it will help. Anymore questions feel free to ask.

Kevin
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:14 PM
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Forgot something, make sure that the gas feed is shutting off completely when you finish your weld. Like I said, not sure what type of welder you have but some are set up with a post flow time, to shield the weld as it finishes cooling, that can be adjusted. If left fully up it will drain a bottle faster than normal.

Kevin
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:14 PM
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Actually pure Argon will not work for MIG welding steel and C25 (Argon/ co2 mix at 75/25 ) is by far the most common gas used for MIG welding steel. Straight CO2 can be used but it will not make as good a weld at least from an appearance standpoint and for body work the C25 would be a much better choice. Buy the biggest bottle you can handle because it costs only very little more to fill a big bottle as it does a small one so the bigger the bottle the cheaper the gas.
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Actually pure Argon will not work for MIG welding steel and C25 (Argon/ co2 mix at 75/25 ) is by far the most common gas used for MIG welding steel. Straight CO2 can be used but it will not make as good a weld at least from an appearance standpoint and for body work the C25 would be a much better choice. Buy the biggest bottle you can handle because it costs only very little more to fill a big bottle as it does a small one so the bigger the bottle the cheaper the gas.
Yah! That's it, the Argon/C02 mix stuff! I remember now. Well, I tested fer leaks by watching the needle when you shut off the gas...does not go down unless you pull the trigger. I didn't stay up all night and watch my needle, but I don't think it's leakin out no where.

I was using like 5-7, what? Cubic feet per minute? duh. I set the little gage at 5-7 and got good welding and not much popping. But, the gas runs out way fast like I said. The book wants me at 20-30 things, big hiss when I weld I expect....I've never gone that fast! My bottle would be empty before I started!

I guess I gotta go trade in my itty bitty bottle for the biggest I can handle. What the hey, I got a hoist to pluck it out of the PU if they can get it in.

Thanks
R
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:43 AM
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If I understand your post correctly, your mig is portable (on wheels) and you are thinking about having a large gas bottle which would be stationary. I think over time you might become a bit dissatisfied with that setup. Full portability (able to move anywhere in your shop) is really essential...at least it is for me.

I would recommend a welding cart which carries a decent size bottle AND your mig. I believe they run about $30-$40 and harbor freight.

Also, get a small spray bottle and fill it with soapy water to check for leaks everywhere on your gas line. Sounds to me like you have a slow leak somewhere. As a precaution, I always shut off my gas at the tank every time I shut off my welder. But then I'm a stingy SOB and just hate paying for gas that doesn't actually get used.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:13 AM
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Did you shut off the tank when you finished welding? It is very hard to eliminate every tiny leak and a leak that is nearly undetectable will empty your bottle over a few days, ALWAYS close the valve and only open it when you are using the welder. When you shut the valve off on the tank watch the needle to see if it drops immediately, if it does you have a leak that needs repair but if it stays steady for 10 minutes or so it is usually OK. Most rigs will leak down in a fairly short time after closing the valve due to the fact there is very little volume contained in the system past the gauge and it is nearly impossible to stop all tiny leaks in places such as the gas solenoid. A leak that would be insignificant during the time a welder is being used would cause the gauge to leak down in just a few minutes after closing the valve and would add up over a couple of days.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:41 AM
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My C-25 tank is about 27" tall and about 6" in diameter and is 40 cubic foot.

I go thru a tank about the same time that it takes to run out a spool of .023 wire - or an hour's worth of welding. No idea what my setting is but must be low for a 40 cf tank to last about an hour (I'm out right now and need to make a 'trip' this week)

Whenever I have more then a couple of minutes pause to do a cool one run, grind a bead or just take a short break, the tank valve is shut off. I learned this expensive lesson - twice - when I left for an hour or so and came back to do more welding. Yes, it is a PITA, but still better then running out on Saturday night, having to wait for the welding supply store to open on Monday, or cranking up the Guzzler10, go 20 miles, wasting a hour or so (there's always a coffee shop stop on the way ) plus the $25 + tax charge.

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Old 07-29-2008, 07:34 AM
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I dont know about your local welding supply store, but mine is Airgas, and they wont sell a cylinder bigger than 125 cubic feet to an individual, so you may be limited as to the size you can buy.

cboy has a point. To go to a bigger cyl and stay portable, you will need a new welder cart since the one in your pic wont hold a very big tank. I cant recommend the 40.00 HF cart though. I have one and its kind of wobbly with a 125 CF cyl on it. Im thinking of welding the cart together to try and stiffen it up.

Mike
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:45 PM
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I bought the 3ft tank when I got my Miller 135, run 75/25 and about 15 on pressure,

It seems to last plenty long, If I'm working it most weekends I might go thru 2 bottles a year depending on what I'm welding on.

I bought a cart similar to this one, at the old Boeing surplus for 40.00 and cut a round hole in the top for the cylinder to fit into - rolls around like a champ and I have room for the 135 and extras!



36'' x 24'' INDUSTRIAL SERVICE CART
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:40 AM
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well, with my 1st mig, the first thing i did was to build a cart for it....it'd take as big of a bottle as you'd want.
now i've got a snap-on mig/tig welder and it takes the same size bottle.
big.

it's cheaper in the long run.
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