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#11915 - 07/27/13 11:30 AM Shielding Gas
HotShot308 Offline
New in town
Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 14
Loc: FL
Where is a good source to get shielding gas for the hobbyist welder/fabricator? It's for MIG and probably would need a 85/15 Argon/CO2.
Are there good online search engines that give local dealers. I haven't been too successful in finding a close source to me, and would rather not drive 50 miles every time I need a refill.


Edited by HotShot308 (07/27/13 11:31 AM)
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#11916 - 07/27/13 01:05 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: HotShot308]
poleframer Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 159
Loc: Cave Junction OR
I go to the hitch and muffler shop in my small town for oxy/acet refills. Saves me a long drive, and he dosnt add much to the cost as the truck stops there anyway. Sometimes farm supply places will exchange tanks as well. Check with the welders you know, see where they get their tanks filled. There usually arent any special deals on welding gases, main difference is if you own the tanks or rent.
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#11918 - 07/27/13 10:21 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: poleframer]
tom Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1733
Loc: kodiak alaska *****
I do the owner exchange with my 2 bottles, I think there 120's but the welding shops are only 3 miles away.
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#11919 - 07/28/13 04:41 AM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: tom]
Maurice Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Franklin, Indiana, USA
Also check at plumbing supply houses becauses they will carry co2, oxy, acetyl, nitrogen for plumbers and refrigeration, they may not be the sizes you want, but they may also have found a market in supplying guys like you. As Poleframer said, Tractor Supply Co in my area exchanges bottles. Might also ask auto repair shops where they get theirs, probably tractor repair shops. Not aware of a search funtion. Lastly, try a search for the big companies that make the gasses, maybe they have a contact us page where you could ask if there is a "dealer" in your locale.
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#11920 - 07/28/13 05:16 AM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: Maurice]
bunkclimber Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1101
Loc: Maryland *****
I bought into the biggest cylinders my LWS has for sale,a 244cuft for mix gas and argon..my mix gas lasts me about a year in the shop unless I get into a large project.The 244 you can purchase for about $200 here,a refill is about $30.About a 25mile drive for a refill,not too bad once a year.The key is closing the cyl valve every time when you're done for the day..leave it open,you'll lose gas over a period of days or weeks.
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#11922 - 07/28/13 12:16 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: bunkclimber]
JimC Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 04/17/11
Posts: 609
Loc: Virginia U.S.A.
I get my gas from national welders. owners exchange. it's far cheeper to own your bottles than rent them.
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Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
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#11923 - 07/28/13 03:56 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: JimC]
mdlawnguy Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 878
Loc: maryland *****
Not sure if everyone remembers that if you own the bottles you have to Pay for the testing. Some i believe are yearly.. if you rent its already it should be included in the price..
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#11924 - 07/28/13 05:33 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: mdlawnguy]
poleframer Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 159
Loc: Cave Junction OR
I never have paid for testing, but I suppose it's part of the exchange. I dont get "my" bottle back, I just trade in an empty for a full one.
I'd suppose perhaps a rental might be the way to go for a novice, instead of buying bottles, I dont think the rental fee is much, so you wouldnt have to spend several hundred to get started.
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#11926 - 07/28/13 08:46 PM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: poleframer]
JimC Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 04/17/11
Posts: 609
Loc: Virginia U.S.A.
I don't get my bottles back either it's an exchange program. I only pay for content. no monthly rental fee. That's all my bottles, oxygen,acetylene, Co2 and argon. I've never used a company that didn't do bottle exchange. Rental would be good if you don't plan on keeping them, but long term it's cheaper to own. I've owned my Oxy/acetylene bottles since 86 when I was stationed in SC.Took them to CT and then to here in VA. always been exchange. never had to worry about hydro testing. it's all part of exchange. I believe it's around $180 each for 90cuft bottles to own. I have no idea what it cost to rent them. but after 27 years I bet owning was cheaper.
_________________________
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
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#11927 - 07/29/13 03:47 AM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: JimC]
bunkclimber Offline
MBN Old hand
Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 1101
Loc: Maryland *****
cylinder(bottle)rental is for the contractor that is from out-of-state or not closeby that needs many cylinders for a job,then moves on or goes back,and doesnt want to truck bottles.My cylinders are 'purchased'(owned)but really are property of the LWS,with thier name on the collar.Like poleframer,I just exchange them,no inspection or hydro test on my part.When I move out of state in a few years,I'm gonna have to pass the cylinders on to someone else here..not worth trucking them across the country for a fill
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#11928 - 07/30/13 06:21 AM Re: Shielding Gas [Re: bunkclimber]
JimC Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 04/17/11
Posts: 609
Loc: Virginia U.S.A.
It's worth checking the next location. I purchased mine in South Carolina. I have exchanged them in Connecticut and currently use National welders (AirGas) here in Virginia. Most large companies will swap out your bottles from a different vender ONCE if you just moved there. Arcet is another company that will exchange bottles. if it's an inert gas they don't even look. Ive taken my co2 and my argon bottles to Both places and exchanged them. only the oxy acetylene bottles have to go to the same vender all the time. They don't fuss over the inert gasses for some reason.
_________________________
Life is what you make of it. So, why not make a working machine to make it easier.
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