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OK to lie down MIG gas bottle?

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  • OK to lie down MIG gas bottle?

    Right now I have my MIG welder under my work table with the CO2/Ar bottle lying horizontally on top of it.

    I'd like to make a cart that puts the welder on top and the bottle underneath, still horizontal, so it will still fit under the table.

    I'd chain the bottle to the cart, and the cart to the table, which is all steel and weighs over 600 lb.

    Anything wrong with this?

  • #2
    Sure, no problem.
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    • #3
      No problem with gas withdrawal. Minor safety issue should the gas valve ever become sheared off (bottle becomes a projectile), but as proved on Mythbusters, very difficult to accomplish in real life.

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      • #4
        Good, thanks.

        Any reason to chain it to the table?

        I expected I might get some responses about it becoming a projectile if the valve got knocked off somehow, which is hard to imagine.

        [edit] hmm, didn't seem like it took 4 min to type that

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        • #5
          Interesting question for the simple fact that (all?) safety regulations list that cylinders be stored vertically. The fact remains, though, that there is no inherent danger to a horizontal CO2/Ar container. That specific danger is related to gases such as Acetylene which are dissolved in another substance (acetone, in the case of Acetylene). The one point I would stress is to not mount the valve outside of the edge of the cart. That is the point of least strength and the area of greatest danger on a cylinder. If you drop something from the table, make sure it will not damage the valve. That would be my foremost concern with a horizontal, below bench-level cylinder.

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          • #6
            Why NOT secure it solidly to the table? Do you really want it rolling off somewhere? ...even if that sounds horribly unlikely (Murphy's Law)
            [EDIT] Re-reading your posts, I don't see any reason to chain it to both the cart and the table. The cart sounds safe enough to me.

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            • #7
              Yes, the valve would be inset and protected from falling objects by the welder, or if that makes it too hard to turn the handle, I'll cover it with a removable protection plate.

              Thanks for the helpful info to all.

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              • #8
                75/25 sure, BUT NOT CO2! laying a CO2 bottle on it's side will cause the regulator to freeze. Many times in the past I have inverted CO2 bottles to freeze bushings and pins.

                EDIT: A quick Google search also finds many warnings not to lay CO2 bottles on their sides, check the warning at the bottom of this page.

                http://www.ehow.com/how_2248153_use-...k-systems.html
                Last edited by radkins; 06-29-2011, 05:01 PM.

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                • #9
                  I'm pretty sure it's 75/25, but I'll check, thanks

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                  • #10
                    If your dead set on leaving that bottle in the horizontal position on your cart then I would just make heavy gage (11 ga. or so) sheet metal shroud to partially enclose the valve and flow meter top and back side. You could design it to clamp around the bottle neck for easy removal when it comes time to replace the cylinder.

                    JL.................

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by radkins
                      75/25 sure, BUT NOT CO2! laying a CO2 bottle on it's side will cause the regulator to freeze. Many times in the past I have inverted CO2 bottles to freeze bushings and pins.

                      EDIT: A quick Google search also finds many warnings not to lay CO2 bottles on their sides, check the warning at the bottom of this page.

                      www.ehow.com/how_2248153_use-co2-tank-systems.html
                      I don't think freezing would be a problem with the intermittent weld time and low volume of gas being used.

                      JL................

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                      • #12
                        "I don't think freezing would be a problem with the intermittent weld time and low volume of gas being used."
                        With the cylinder on it's side you will very likely(based on the amount of product in the cylinder) draw liquid and can very easily freeze the regulator.

                        Your 75/25 will be just fine on it's side.
                        As stated the gases you want to remain up right are acetylene,propane and CO2(unless you WANT liquid withdrawal).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeLee
                          I don't think freezing would be a problem with the intermittent weld time and low volume of gas being used.

                          JL................


                          Yes it will freeze and so will the hose, lay one on it's side and try it. I have done this many times (without the regulator) when making dry ice to freeze bushings/bearings and even at a low rate when the liquid expands it will freeze. The procedure we used was quite crude but effective, just run a hose from the bottle to a box containing the part to be chilled and pack rags around it then tilt the bottle so the valve is low and crack it open slightly. I know the flow rate when welding is very small in comparison but I have even seen the CO2 regulator freeze with the tank upright if the flow rate is set high (usually in an attempt to compensate for drafts), and it does not have to be very much at all over normal settings. Even at normal draw rates if the tank is horizontal freezing will occur unless the tank is nearly empty.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by radkins
                            Yes it will freeze and so will the hose, lay one on it's side and try it. I have done this many times (without the regulator) when making dry ice to freeze bushings/bearings and even at a low rate when the liquid expands it will freeze. The procedure we used was quite crude but effective, just run a hose from the bottle to a box containing the part to be chilled and pack rags around it then tilt the bottle so the valve is low and crack it open slightly. I know the flow rate when welding is very small in comparison but I have even seen the CO2 regulator freeze with the tank upright if the flow rate is set high (usually in an attempt to compensate for drafts), and it does not have to be very much at all over normal settings. Even at normal draw rates if the tank is horizontal freezing will occur unless the tank is nearly empty.
                            Intresting.......... I've never put a bottle on it's side other than when transporting it. I guess your first hand experience tells it all. I didn't think being a 75 / 25 mix and given the low CFM flow rate that it would freeze. I'll keep this in mind next time I want to chill some parts or a beer.

                            JL....................

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                            • #15
                              gas cylinder rocket accidents

                              If stored horizontally, you need to shield the valve against accidents that will shear it off. Drop something heavy off the bench onto the valve, rocket. Bump into it with a forklift, rocket. Swing the cart into a bench, rocket. etc. It needs to be in a cage that protects against impacts from all 5 sides (all sides except the bottle side).

                              One drawback of a horizontal cylinder is the trajectory of a launched valve, and the cylinder itself, in the event of a fire induced valve launch has more chance of doing damage.
                              Mythbusters may have had some trouble shearing the valve at first, but Murphy is very creative and their successful shearing attempt took very little. They did rocket a cylinder at 40mph entirely through a cinderblock wall and partly through the wall behind it, in spite of friction against the concrete floor from a non-airborne trajectory:
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejEJGNLTo84
                              Verdict: "totally and spectacularly confirmed".
                              And that was just air. A cylinder containing liquid potentially has much more reaction mass.

                              Here is one missile incident in which a discarded cylinder crashed through the roof and ceiling of a house 600-700 feet away (and that might have been an "empty" cylinder):
                              http://www.wickedlocal.com/bridgewat...#axzz1QjEsoakm
                              A non-contemporaneous report of a cylinder which smashed someones face (fatally) before flying a quarter mile:
                              http://www.toolboxtopics.com/Constru...0Cylinders.htm

                              I have heard of an incident where a cylinder punched through a rolled up door and the wall behind, travelled 1/4 mile, then buried itself deep in the ground, though I don't have an actual accident report.

                              Also, the conditions which can cause missile accidents are also similar to the conditions which cause non-missile accidents like explosions.

                              Apparently, a number of accidents occur with oxygen bottles and MRI machines (huge magnets). These accidents have caused up to $250,000 worth of damage but fortunately the cylinder is contained by the magnet.
                              http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...0ojwqw&cad=rja
                              http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/177/1/27

                              The cylinder must be protected against rolling or sliding off the cart. Apparently one of the causes of the MRI accidents is oxygen bottles stored on crash carts.

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