View Full Version : storing gas welding tanks

10-08-2003, 08:54 PM
Hello, everyone. I discovered this forum searching around the 'net looking for information on welding. I've never welded before, but I've decided to start off by buying a gas welding rig (not yet, but soon), mainly because of the low cost of the equiptment and the versatility of a welding/cutting torch. I have a few questions about storing the tanks. I live in a house, but do not have a garage to keep the tanks in. My question is this: Would I be able to store them outside in an unheated, uninsulated shelter like a shed? The winters here are dry, but also very, very cold (-20 ambient on some days). Will outside conditions damage the tanks or valves on the tanks. Thanks for the advice, Matt

10-08-2003, 08:58 PM
You should be ok. Keep the tanks off the ground and out of direct sunlight. Also, remove the regulators before storing. I would keep the regulators in the house.

10-08-2003, 09:30 PM
I have my cylinders out in my shop and it get as cold as yours and sometimes even worse....I have had no problems with my equipment and I have been doing this for 20 years now.


10-08-2003, 10:07 PM
Like Walt says....I've got mine in an unheated barn/shop...and have for years with no apparent ill-effects. I just back the reg screws out when I'm not using 'em....


10-09-2003, 12:29 AM
I'd heard that storing them indoors would mean that you wouldn't be able to collect on your homeowner's policy in the event of a fire/explosion.....anyone know if there's any truth to that?


10-09-2003, 12:38 AM
My advice is to not buy the small kit with the small tanks you can carry in one holder. It looks good for the hobbiest but it turned out inadequate for me and I am a novice. We novices probably use more gas than a pro would and if you are learning, you don't need to be spending all your time readjusting your pressures every 5 minutes. And I also think you will be spending too much time getting tanks refilled. Buy a hand truck and modify it to hold two regular sized tanks. This is a good project.
Oh, don't forget to buy a good extinguisher to have around too. Have fun. Cutting with a torch is one of the most useful things you can learn.


10-09-2003, 11:45 AM
Sunlight rots the hoses in a matter of weeks.. A Set on a service truck..

No problems with the regulators, thou they have rubber in them too.. Possibly the sunlight degraded the PVC-rubber chaing in the hose?

I keep my regulators on full time, in my workshop, unheated. More problems with wearing out the threads plus time lost hooking up then replacing regulators thou.

10-09-2003, 08:55 PM
1) Get the book "Performance Welding" by Richard Finch published by HP Books. About $16.00 + S&H. He is out in Texas now (I think) and you can find him on the web via Google or Dog Pile. The first chapter covers how to buy welding equipment. (Read Cheap & Good) here. Rich is a Certified Aircraft Welder and has written the chapter(s) for the approved Aircraft Welding and Repair Procedures that are the only approved FAA Federal guidlines (read REAL RIDGID RULES here)to repair airframes. Keep in mind that when something breaks on a plane ya' can't just get out and walk home! BTW most of his illustrations in the book are of him welding his projects or a friends airframe!

2) Get a set of "anti-blow back valves" and mount them between your hoses and your welding torch. Sorry I can't recall the correct name but you welding supplier will know. In the olden days they cost $20.00 and are (could be)a real life saver.

2) Take a class at your local High School/College and learn to do it correctly. Save ya' LOTS of time/frustration/heart ache/gas/bad welds/welding rods right from the start.

3) Get the biggest tanks you can lay your hands on. The biggest one aren't all that much bigger (foot print wise) than the medium size set. They last practically forever and you can do lots of cutting with them. Oxy/actelene cutting uses LOTS of oxygen but very little gas. Ya' get good enough and you can even turn off the gas completely and cut just with the oxygen alone! Just DON'T loose your preheat!

4) Get a torch set that you can get spares for easily and locally.

5) Get a good tip cleaner and learn how and when to use it.

6) Get a set of plans (free on the internet)and make yourself a wheeled welding rig as your first project. Sized, of course, to your new tanks.

7) Learn how to heat treat metals with your rig. A real handy skill.

While I do both gas and arc welding I spent five years as a Level II welding inspector at a nuclear power plant accepting and rejecting weldments to ASME specifications Sections V, VIII, & IX and 10 CFR 50 Appendix B. And no, it was NOT Three Mile Island!

10-10-2003, 08:59 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

10-10-2003, 09:14 AM
Ken, would you by chance have a link to the plans? That's a project I need to take care of also.

John B

10-10-2003, 09:38 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

10-10-2003, 10:10 AM

Thanks much! I've got to build a decent cart for my bottles. Have been looking for a plan that I can modify to put my old Forney AC welder on as well.

John B

10-10-2003, 01:39 PM
Thanks for all the good advice. I already have one of Richard Finch's books: "Welder's Handbook", but I will also check out the other one suggested by kgarver. I also bought another book about welding basics called "Welding Essentials - Questions and Answers" by William Galvery and Frank Marlow that has alot of useful information. I have looked into attending welding classes, but the closest college around here that teaches it is in Bismark, 100 miles away. I'm still going to ask around and see if there is someone locally who can show me the basics of using the setup. Thanks, pgmrdan, for the plans on a handcart for the cylinders. I would not want to see what would happen if the valve got broken off of the oxygen cylinder.
- Matt

10-10-2003, 02:07 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

10-10-2003, 02:43 PM
Pgmrdan, that's the book. I was looking on amazon.com for books about welding when I found Finch's book and Welding Essentials for a discount if I bought them together. By itself the book was about $30, but I got them both for $40 plus shipping.

10-10-2003, 05:02 PM
JR 45acp RE: Ken, would you by chance have a link to the plans? That's a project I need to take care of also.

Actually no. But the one website mentioned has a pretty good set of plans for one and real nice cart for a Forney welder too! Check it out.

BTW, Finch also coauthored his first welding book with Tom Monroe called "Welders Handbook". It came out in 1985 and has a bunch of plans it including ones for a cylinder cart. My local library actually has a copy! It is about $16.00 on Amazon. Hope that this helps.


10-13-2003, 07:01 PM
I suggest:
Buying- Get the largest bottles you can handle, Buy two stage regulators (they are a luxury, so single stage is ok if really strappedfor money), Make (or modify a hand truck) a GOOD cart to carry them on - big tires are so nice as you age (andthe set up should be something your gson used when he is old). quick disconnest and anti flash back are worth while investment.

Storing: Construction sites store the jugs out side year round. The regulators and hoses are removed because of theft. Sun is worse than cold IMHO (hoses). I used to slack off on the regulators when I remembered. Never had a problem if memory failed though (and they stayed set unless the tip was changed for months). New stuff says (at least one says- don't bother to back off the regulator). Inside storage can be an insurance problem for home onwers. I understand the tank suppliers have an inexpensive policy (it should be free) for hobbist against expolsions or damage initated by the jugs them selves. But jugs have safety plugs to pop before they explode. Real danger would be if you left jugs on and depended on valves to shut offthegas- which is a bad way to do things because leads do occur and they can empty a jug over a period of months.

10-13-2003, 09:11 PM
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