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Old 08-27-2004, 05:35 AM
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What size argon bottle

Relative to MIG welding, how big a gas bottle do I need? Just occasional welding being done here- just have 1 project.

Is a 20 cu ft enough?

Thanks,

Keith

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Old 08-27-2004, 08:02 AM
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I would actually go with a 40. The difference in refills between a 20 and 40 is like $2. Also the bottle is only like $20 more (at my local welding suppy store)

I bought the 20 when I got my MIG due to lack of funds at the time. I go through the bottle in no time and I am not a frequent welder. I'd say you will go through a 20 in two weeks of seriously working on your car. And when I say two weeks,I don't mean straight through working, I mean like two-three evenings of welding after work and one full day of the weekend.

I actually just bought another 20 bottle (again, I should have bought a 40 but I was playing cheep). However, now with having two 20 bottles I can continue welding if the one runs out and have plenty of time to refill the empty one. The one thing I do like about the 20 bottle is that it is small and doesn't stick up higher than my welder when on the cart. This helps me because I store the welder underneath a shelving unit that is less than 0.25" from the top of the MIG.

kev
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:44 PM
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Starquest thanks!

You gave me a way to visualize how long 20 will last..I'll check a 40 out...however being on a budget ya never know..I might cheap out too. I was surprized to learn you can buy a 20 on-line that is filled...They ship it UPS..the price: $92.70.

Thanks for the info....appreciate it.

Keith
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:56 PM
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No problem. The first time I filled my bottle, it lasted for about 6 months of occasional tack welding here and there, fixing my lawn mower, putting one small patch panel on my daily driver, etc. But now that I am using my welder to completely restore a car, I use it up within a couple weeks (as mentioned earlier). Actually after re-reading my earlier post, I think I might have stated something incorrect - My previous refill lasted me two weeks and EACH week I welded for 2-3 evenings and one full day on the weekend. So that amounts to about 5 evenings, ~4 hours each, and two saturdays, ~8 hours each.

My local weld shop did state that the bottle should last for 30 hours of welding, so my results seem right.

So the 20 bottle isn't bad if you aren't a very frequent welder, but don't get upset if you run out of gas when you are in the middle of something big. Of course you could do what I did and just buy another 20 bottle later on when you have cash and just swap them out when the one is empty.

I just bought my second 20 bottle, filled, at my local welding store for $79. Give your local shops a call, sometimes they are a better deal.


kev
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Old 08-27-2004, 02:03 PM
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I'm finally going to start putting patch panels on my 55 chevy truck..I've wanted to weld for 20 years and I'm finally getting to it..2 cab corners, a lower fender patch etc. The MIG gets delivered today. I'll be leaving work in 30 minutes and it should be on my porch when I get home... $79.00 sound kool..I'll have to call the locals saturday and see what they can do.

Have fun Quest...Appreciate your insights..

Keith
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:26 PM
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i bought a i want to say 80 for $90 and that was filled and the refill is $40. but thats some place in NH but i looked around for a while. its worth the wait if you can find a steal
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Old 08-30-2004, 12:31 AM
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Actual gas flow will run about 10 to 15 cu. ft per hour. Less than 2 hours of use out of a 20 cu ft. I bought a 125 but I have a big-assed welder and the 125 completely hides behind it.
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Old 08-30-2004, 04:49 AM
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Well here's what I ended up doin..

Up here in CT the best price I could find for a 20 filled was somewher around $105.00. When I went to pick it up I suprised how small it looked. The guy at the welding place (ABCO) said even if I was a part time hobbiest he'd advice at least a 60CF bottle and thats what I bought.

So now it's time to read the MIG manual and hook up the gas.
I should be makin sparks this holiday weekend.

Thanks for all the input.

Keith
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Old 08-31-2004, 06:29 PM
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If you are like me you will always run out of gas on a Friday night and be screwed on your welding till Monday. LOL


Get the biggest one you can afford
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Old 08-31-2004, 06:36 PM
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I hate when that happens

Around here they have gas on Saturdays..But in general I know the routine..Have done run out of things on weekends many times..Even if you can find what you need Binder, it kills you to waste time shopping instead of get'n down to business.

Take care,

Keith
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:33 PM
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bigger is better

nothing sucks more than running out of something in the middle of a job i always say bigger is better except for woman
i have 2 #3 tanks and i don't run out

little know fact always make sure the valve is all the way open or closed thats hoe there designed they can leak if not one way or the other ...... a big deal when it comes to acetylene.

"been around a time or two , i found out only the best will do ,its better to have it than to need it alot" Z Z TOP "

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Old 09-12-2004, 12:41 PM
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Actually, fully opening an acetylene bottle is a bad idea. For safety reasons, never go more than one full turn. Oxygen & all the non-combustibles you should open all the way to prevent leaks.

Bottle size just depends on how much welding you do. I work offshore, 14 days on, 14 off. When I'm home, I average 8-10 hours a day fabricating. Maybe 20-30% of that is actually MIG welding. For a while I was leasing my bottles, but the past year or so I've started buying. The Argon/CO2 mix was my last bottle to buy.
Here in TX, I can buy 269's for $275 plus $42 fill fee.
Lease is $40/yr & $42 fill fee.

You guys do know that Argon/CO2 mix is better for MIG. Get prices for a 75/25% & you'll be set. Save the pure Argon for TIG. A cheaper option is buying a used oxygen bottle & having the valve changed. That costs about 70% as much.
If you really want to cheap out though, use pure CO2. Costs way less to fill, but it spatters a lot. (about half as bad as flux-core wire)
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:25 PM
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I only do occasional welding with my 110 unit and I got a 90 cu/ft bottle for $100 (refill of stargon is $25) because I was told that would be plenty for me and I wouldn't run out for a long time. It lasted six months. When I went back I upgraded to a 135 cu/ft bottle and that seems to be doing a little better. Nothing will piss you off more than running out of gas on a Friday night/Saturday afternoon (grin).
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Old 09-12-2004, 05:18 PM
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Yeah, it doesn't hurt to keep a small spare in that really dark, dusty corner of your shop...

That's the downside to my setup, have to have a backup bottle. Local shop sends the big bottles off to be filled & pickup/dropoff is on Friday's only.

I usually have 3 or 4 projects going though, so even if I'm out there's always something else I can do.
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