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View Full Version : Info on oxyacetlyene welder with tanks



Dunc
04-10-2008, 10:55 AM
With a birthday coming looking at getting oxyacetylene welding rig.
The kit (2 tanks, hoses, torch handle & cutting/welding tips along with a carrier) would make a nice setup. It is compact and the welding/cutting capacities are well within what I would need to do.

Since I would own the tanks I imagine that this would be a lot cheaper than having to rent them since the jobs would be neither big nor frequent.

Wondering then how this goes on in real life. When I take my tanks for fill-up do I wait while they are filled? If not, can I demand *my own* tanks be returned (serial numbers?) filled? Since my tanks would be new I don't want to get a pair of exchange tanks that are due to expire. What sort of protocol is involved? Will welding suppliers get all huffy if they are not the seller of the rig and/or tanks?

Input on Canadian experience in particular welcomed
Thanks

snowman
04-10-2008, 11:06 AM
I'm not canadian, but I can tell you how it works OVER HERE.

If I've got a sticker that says that my previous tanks were from that supplier, it doesn't matter if they are expired or not, they'll honor the fact that I am a prior customer.

I would specifically ask the place you are buying your tanks, because I have heard a lot of different stories, so I imagine it varies by supplier.

lazlo
04-10-2008, 11:22 AM
Dunc, just a heads-up -- those 10 CF "burglar bottles" in the porta-tote or HVAC kits only give you 20 minutes or so of burn time.

Unless you're only occasionally doing really light welding, you'd probably be a lot happier with a 40 CF "B" bottle.

gzig5
04-10-2008, 11:39 AM
Usually, they exchange tanks. If you demand your specific tanks, you will have to wait several minutes up to several days, depending on the shop. Go to or call the place you intend to have your tanks filled at and get your answer from the horses mouth.

I just bought an argon tank. They swap it out when I take it back and should I ever get one that goes out of cal date while I have it, they give me good one when it comes back in with no test charge.

I think I have the same deal on the little set like yours I took in. Because I gave them good tanks, I'm good to go with that shop from now on.

I think the hydro test only cost about $15 bucks anyway. Not a big deal every few years.

macona
04-10-2008, 12:31 PM
The small tanks are only sold. No rentals usually up to the 150 size.

Rental/Lease is a loosing situation for the customer. In the long run it will cost you more than buying them outright.

The smallest size for Acet is a MC (Stands for MotorCycle) and the next size is a B (Stands for Bus). You can always trade up to bigger sizes if you need more gas.

lazlo
04-10-2008, 01:22 PM
The small tanks are only sold. No rentals usually up to the 150 size.

I just got a quote from the local Austin Airgas yesterday to lease an 80 CF argon bottle: $58/year, and you have to set up an account with them.

Rental/Lease is a loosing situation for the customer. In the long run it will cost you more than buying them outright.


B (Stands for Bus).

That's cool welding trivia -- I didn't know that!:)

macona
04-10-2008, 02:21 PM
Its from back when vehicles used acet lamps. MCs were used on motorcycles and mounted on the frame. One of the reasons for the angled valve. Bs were used in buses.

Cylinders are going up in price. Just looked and we sell a 80 for $156. I paid that much for a 150 a few years ago.

lazlo
04-10-2008, 02:49 PM
Cylinders are going up in price. Just looked and we sell a 80 for $156. I paid that much for a 150 a few years ago.

Dang! Airgas quoted me $250 to buy an 80 CF argon bottle, and another $25 for the fill!

I'm going to be up in Hillsboro in 2 weeks -- I should buy a cylinder and bring it back with me. Will the airlines check empty gas cylinders? :)

Mcgyver
04-10-2008, 02:56 PM
phone a welding supply place. In ontario, they only sell the B bottles which is the way to go for light home use. when i was a kid on the farm I got big bottles as i was doing a lot of larger projects but eventually got sick the rental bills. iirc they have some deal where they'll buy the B's back from you as well.

rmack898
04-10-2008, 04:29 PM
When accquiring, buying, renting, or how ever you come to posess an acetylene tank, bear in mind the 1/7 acetylene draw down rate. With the small tanks you are limited in the size tip you can put in the torch and be safe. You should not use a tip that will flow more than 1/7 of the cylinder's total capacity.

dave5605
04-10-2008, 08:49 PM
Around here (Raleigh, NC) the welding supply companies won't refill tanks that are not originally from their company. I deal with National Welders and own all my tanks. They have the National Welders collar on them.

160 cu ft argon, two 160 cu ft trimix, 80 cu ft oxygen and a 60 cu ft acetelene. I don't do any cutting (use a plasma cutter for that) so the 80 cu ft oxygen is fine for me. If I want to upgrade tank size they will give me about 80% (I think) trade in cost on the tank I own.

I just do a tank exchange. Tanks are tanks to them. Even the ones I bought were their run of the mill lease tanks (used).

Basically you trade off the x$ per month lease for maybe $160-200 for buying a 160 cu ft tank. If you do any heavy cutting you can use up the oxygen in a hurry (relatively speaking).

lazlo
04-10-2008, 09:44 PM
Around here (Austin), Airgas, Praxair and Precision Oxygen all have professional courtesy with each other, and will swap out tanks, as long as it doesn't have a company name stamped on the ring (which usually means it's stolen).

bruto
04-10-2008, 11:38 PM
Around here, the bigger tanks must have a receipt, but the smaller ones don't usually. When I moved to Vermont years ago, I owned big tanks, and was able to get them filled as long as I had a copy of my Connecticut receipt. Then some {sorry, can't say the word} stole them along with my two stage regulators, and I was unable to buy new ones. I suppose that {yeah, you can fill in the word} ended up tossing them anyway, since he had no receipt. I now have the smaller ones, (80, I guess) which suffice, but it still irks. I bought a second oxygen, and scrounged a second acetylene, which I had no problem refilling at my usual place, so now I have some backup.

I always exchanged tanks even though I technically own them, since as gzig5 points out, this means you never have to bother with getting them tested; the gas company gives you an up to date one every time.

kf2qd
04-11-2008, 10:24 AM
I have a set I got into years ago - A B acetylene and 8CF oxy. I use Propane for cutting as it is cheaper and hotter for the same CF of gas (Acetylene is better for welding as all the heat is in the inner flame, propane has equal heat in the inner & outer flame) I have no cutting attachment for my Harris welding torch and a large Harris 93 cutting torch. I like the Cutting only torch as it keeps my hands away from the heat.

In my experience - if you move to a different area of teh country you will have to pay some fee ($15/bottle) and sign a paper saying you have legal title to a set of bottles. I got mine over 20 years ago in western NY, Moved to Kansas and did the paperwork, now I live in Indiana but haven't needed to fill them since.

DWOOD
04-11-2008, 12:21 PM
Its from back when vehicles used acet lamps. MCs were used on motorcycles and mounted on the frame. One of the reasons for the angled valve. Bs were used in buses.

25 years ago my machine shop was an 'exchange station' for a local welding gas supplier. I was always told that MC stood for 'motorcar'. We agree on the B for bus.

Chester
04-11-2008, 09:18 PM
In Ontario, when I bought mine (1981) the only tanks you could own were a "B" (40 cu. ft.) acetylene and an 80 cu. ft. oxygen. The acetylene tank is exchanged for a full one and the supplier looks after the maintenance. The oxygen tank can be re-filled or exchanged depending upon the supplier. The oxy. needs re-certification every 10 years or it will not be considered for a re-fill. Most caring suppliers will give you a "newer" date if it is exchanged, so keep an eye on the test date or you could get stuck with the re-test cost down the road, as I was many years back.

So call a few suppliers to see what the situation is where you live. Keep your receipts in a safe place for future reference as needed.

You can see it here:

http://thumb5.webshots.net/s/thumb4/7/41/49/183974149NrGYpB_th.jpg (http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1183974149059214605NrGYpB)