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Old 04-07-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
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So I finally scrapped my POS Campbell Hausfeld stick welder for something a little better. I have a Hobart handler 125 on the way and I plan to go right into welding with gas vs. flux core. I'm about to order up a cylinder but wondering which size to get. I'm not sure how far a cylinder of gas will take me. I plan to weld up my DP, exhaust, intercooler pipes, and probably a small welding table as well. Some small brackets here and there will probably getted fabbed up as well. I'm also wondering if there is a "shelf life" of the gas. Meaning, do I need to use it within a certain time limit.

I did ask the guy at the gas supply shop and he starting asking me about gas pressures, wire speed, and materials. Things I wasnt too sure about. So that led me to ask you guys out there. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:06 PM   #2
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There is no shelf life of the gas, that is the least of your worries. The only thing you need to worry about is your ability to afford a larger tank. I think a standard tank is 160 lb, can't remember it's been a while. Get what you can afford though, you can always get it refilled/replaced quickly. That is quite a bit of welding but i doubt you burn through a standard 4' tall tank in that time.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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Make your life easy and get a cart and a 40 cubic foot cylinder. The cylinder is about 18" tall x 7" diameter. and it'll last quite a while before refilling (exchanging it really). If you plan to weld more than a couple exhausts, get the 80cf but be prepared to find a place to strap it semi-permanently.
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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I've got an 80cf bottle, it's about 3ft tall. Fits fine on my cart and is still portable. Guy that fills it for me says it'll last about 2.5hrs of continuous welding. Which is a lot. I played with mine a lot over the winter, was having a problem with gas delivery ... I was releasing it into the atmosphere. I'm just now needing a refill. I would expect you could do a lot of welding on that bottle. I pay a yearly fee for the bottle (any size) and I think it was about $50-60 to fill it. I never even messed with flux core, gas welds so nice I wouldn't even bother trying. My machine is a Lincoln 180A 220V.
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:54 PM   #5
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leasing tanks is the way to go... a lot of shops these days won't fill up a tank that you personally own for liability reasons. I'd go with the 80 cf bottle myself, my friend has one on his lincoln sp135 and it's lasted through 2 exhausts, a downpipe, my intercooler piping, and a bunch of random little ****. basically 2 years of hobby welding and it has not yet needed a refill.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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Glanced at the title of this thread and thought I saw "Wedding experts." Thinking "Ok, I know this is kind of a gay forum, but c'mon people!"
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:16 PM   #7
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I was just welder-shopping this weekend, looking at a Miller 110v. Anyway, the shop quoted me $175 for a 90-something bottle, with gas, Argon/CO2 mix for MIG. That price came with the gas. It was an outright purchase. The bottle was about hip high, not too heavy, and he said it'd be good for about 4 hours. The next smaller bottle wasn't really much smaller or lighter, had about half the capacity, and was almost the same price to fill. I think refills were gonna be about $50 for the 90-something. Since it'd probably take me 2+ years to use it up, there was no way a rental was going to make sense.

I'm still debating whether to buy a setup, though. I like the actual welding, but welding requires making metal pieces that will fit together, and I'm a lazy bastard, and don't even have a workbench in my garage. :/

-Mike
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:05 PM   #8
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$175 isn't a horrible price, considering it's local. Does that include the regulator, or just the tank?

Looking around the bargain-bin suppliers, I'd expect to pay $30-$50 for a regulator and $50-$100 for a smaller tank. Consider one advantage of using a smaller tank- when you want to move your welder around the garage it'll be easier to haul around. Aluminum tanks in the 10-20 lb range are popular with the beverage industry and not that much more expensive than a traditional steel tank.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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PS if you're smart, get a 40cf of mix and a 40cf of straight argon and you can use the same welder (get a new liner) to do aluminum and stainless.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:36 PM   #10
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Little side note: Filling the exhaust tubing, or IC pipes, or whatever tube or pipe your working with full of argon makes for a smoother surface on the inside of the pipe when you reach full penetration. If there's air on the inside the metal will react and leave a rough surface. Having an inert gas their prevents this.

I use an 80 and it's nice.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
$175 isn't a horrible price, considering it's local. Does that include the regulator, or just the tank?
Regulator came with the welder I was looking at.

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/...c_140_autoset/

-Mike
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:32 AM   #12
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I picked up a Millermatic 180 recently and **** my pants when I went to grab gas.

Cheapest place in town for 75/25 Mix of Argon/CO2 was 56 bux to fill a 145ft cylinder... Thats cheap. Deposit, 280 freakin dollars!!

The rate I weld, that'll get filled MAYBE twice a year.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:01 AM   #13
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The bottle I use is called a #3 and is about 3-4 feet high. I think the bottle costs about $120 or so (I swapped a #2 which is much smaller for it a while back).

I have a cheap *** HF 151T Mig. After price matching to the internet and using some coupons I ended up paying about $175 for it. Buy a HF welding cart ($50), HF solar powered welding helmet ($50), and some HF welding gloves (get the kind that are soft).

I'm not an expert welder but the best thing you can do is spend time prepping the area (get rid of all rust and paint). Play with the speeds/heat on a peice of scrap until you see what gives you a good weld.

Interesting side note:
I was on the way to get my original #2 bottle filled up a few months back and was going to buy a second bottle so I would never run out of gas. I drove by the welding shop by mistake and when I turned around on a small dirt road I ran over a beer bottle and got out to see if I blew a tire. When I jumped out of my truck I scared a cat and he ran off the road and jumped over something before going into the woods. I looked at what he jumped over and it was another gas bottle. I picked it up and got it filled (swapped for a full one). So, it was just like finding a $100 bill laying off the side of the road 3 minutes before needing it. A very strange but true story!
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:54 AM   #14
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Well I don't think I'll be lucky enough to find a gas bottle laying out on the side of the road! :-) So I've decided to pick up a 40cuft bottle and see how that goes. I can always upgrade to the next size if it's not sufficient. The local gas shop quoted me $150 out the door for a 40cuft bottle filled w/ C25. Sounds about right?
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