What size Argon cylinder to buy?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    25

    What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Hi,

    Looking at a Miller Econotig... the one that comes with "everything you need to TIG weld except for gas and electrodes".

    These gas cylinders come in 20, 40, 80, etc cf. from what I can see.

    How long would a 20 last? A 40? I don't want a larger (or more expensive) cylinder than I need (have a SMALL workshop) but I don't want to be running back and forth to the gas supplier all the time either.

    Advice gratefully accepted.

    Thaddeus
    An odd fellow, but nice enough. I build "interesting" things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ca, USA
    Posts
    5,241

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    20 is super small. Not worth it unless you plan to carry it around alot by hand. The 40, 80, 125 and 150 sizes are all the same diameter, just taller as you go up in size. To me, the 125 or 150 size are the best bang for the buck of the small size cylinders. The 250 and up are quite large, but I use them too. They last alot longer and are cheapest to fill (price per volume). In the end, get whatever size you like, they all work the same!
    MM350P/Python/Q300
    MM175/Q300
    DialarcHF

    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

    Hypertherm380
    ThermalArc185
    Purox oa
    F350CrewCab4x4
    LoadNGo utilitybed
    Bobcat250
    XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic
    Suitcase12RC/Q300
    Suitcase8RC/Q400
    Passport/Q300

    Smith op

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North of Philly
    Posts
    14,770

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Unless it's a used Miller Econotig, I think you might be better off in the long run looking at a syncrowave 200. You can get them for about $300 more and have a much nicer machine. Thats what I just did.

    As far as the bottle goes. You generally set the reg to about 20C cfh. So a 20 cf bottle will last about 1 hr of welding, an 80 about 4 hrs. I would shoot for a bigger rather than a smaller bottle. I have an 80 CF bottle and can easily go thru it in a week of practicing tig on my new Syncro 200.

  4. #4

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Get the biggest one you can afford if you're not going to be moving it around all the time. I got the biggest one my LWS would sell me and I have been welding on it for a long time. And refills are cheap!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    3,175

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    The bigger bottles are very little extra cost (relatively) to fill. You will save a good deal of money (per cubic foot) with the biggest bottle you can afford and feel like transporting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    25

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    I have no pick-em-up truck. What's the biggest one that will fit in the back of a 500 dollar Volvo 740 with 227000 miles? LOL.
    An odd fellow, but nice enough. I build "interesting" things.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,462

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    My tank is 50" tall and, I think, will 'lay back' in the back seat of that Volvo. Unless your wife tells you otherwise.
    Last edited by Craig in Denver; 04-30-2008 at 11:06 PM.
    9-11-2001......We Will Never Forget

    Retired desk jockey.

    Hobby weldor with a little training.

    Craftsman O/A---Flat, Vert, Ovhd, Horz.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    191

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig in Denver View Post
    My tank is 50" tall and, I think, will 'lay back' in the back seat of that Volvo. Unless your wife tells you otherwise.
    But that could lead to rapid suffication.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    23

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    The bigger bottles are very little extra cost (relatively) to fill. You will save a good deal of money (per cubic foot) with the biggest bottle you can afford and feel like transporting.
    That is how my LWS is, there is about a $5.00 difference between the small bottle and the big one to fill up here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ca, USA
    Posts
    5,241

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    You can transport the bottle laying down, just make sure you close the valve, remove the reg and screw on the protective cap and secure the bottle so it doesn't roll around and so it can't slide forward in a panic stop and crush whatever it runs into.
    MM350P/Python/Q300
    MM175/Q300
    DialarcHF

    HTP MIG200
    PowCon300SM

    Hypertherm380
    ThermalArc185
    Purox oa
    F350CrewCab4x4
    LoadNGo utilitybed
    Bobcat250
    XMT304/Optima/Spoolmatic
    Suitcase12RC/Q300
    Suitcase8RC/Q400
    Passport/Q300

    Smith op

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,112

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    one thing to keep in mind tho, ask your supplier first... i was talking to mine about converting to a gas MIG setup, rather than my flux core... come to find out, it's be about a $30,000 switch. they won't let me take home a full tank in an enclosed cab vehicle. a topper on a truck is fine, but a convertible is not. just ask before you do anything.

    Later,
    Andy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,397

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    wow-argon--
    my lws said its fine to take acetylene home laying down in back seat, just let it stand vertical so the acetone and gas can redistribute themselves.I dont do that, i have a minivan and can stand it up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    3,175

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by aczeller View Post
    one thing to keep in mind tho, ask your supplier first... i was talking to mine about converting to a gas MIG setup, rather than my flux core... come to find out, it's be about a $30,000 switch. they won't let me take home a full tank in an enclosed cab vehicle. a topper on a truck is fine, but a convertible is not. just ask before you do anything.

    Later,
    Andy
    I missed something. What's a $30,000 switch?

    Your LWS is an idiot. ASSuming it can leak enough gas to displace enough oxygen to hurt you, it would be impossible with a window open. The issue should be properly securing the cylinder.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Cassville, Missouri
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    2,116

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I missed something. What's a $30,000 switch?

    Your LWS is an idiot. ASSuming it can leak enough gas to displace enough oxygen to hurt you, it would be impossible with a window open. The issue should be properly securing the cylinder.
    Every plumber has a B bottle of acetylene in their van and 1/2 of the forklift repair van has an Mc/20 cu ft set or larger in their van but a lot of the LWS won't let you take home any compressed gas bottle in a trunk of a car or a van. I had on dealer that would tell you not to haul in a van, set the bottle on the dock and then turn around walk inside and shut the door behind him. I guess it's OK if they can't see it.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2007
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    SF bay area
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    607

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    i think the $30000 switch hes talking about is buying a new pickup?...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Ha! Actually, that was quite clever! Told you I missed something!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    How many backyard barbeque propane bottles are killing people on their way back from the gas station? Don't they know they should all have service trucks?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Northern Cal., Shasta County
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    6,825

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Both LWS locations I go to set the bottles by the door. What you do with 'em is your business. I guess if you're too old a decrepid to load them you're hurtin. They sure won't.

    Thank your lawyers, for that.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,112

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by drivethruboy54 View Post
    i think the $30000 switch hes talking about is buying a new pickup?...
    yep... new truck. sorry for not answering sooner... was out of town all weekend.

    Later,
    Andy

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grinnell, IA
    Posts
    55

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    LWS restrictions on closed vehicles aside, a wagon with the back seats folded down should allow you to transport a 300 cu. ft. cylinder with the safety cap between the front seats.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    52

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    go for a 150 i have both a 150 and a 250 ( i dont like to run out of gas) of course hooking up the 250 to the econtig is like running around in your town car with a 100 gallon extra fuel tank in the back, why??? i have the Syncro 180 so it has its own cart and accomidates the larger bottles. Also i found checking craigslist for welding stuff to be very econimical, i paid 100 dollars for what would have costed my over 700 in tanks plus product at the LWS. did a trade with the LWS and got my 100 back plus a couple of full bottles!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    139

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    I have 2 120's when 1 goes empty I put the full one in and get a refill asap. I dont like to run out.
    The 120's are easy for me to load in the truck. I might upgrade to 150's but the 2 tanks work good for me and seem to last quite a while. The 80 I had was gone before I knew it.
    My lws will upgrade my tanks any time.
    mm135
    HTP Invertig 201 With water cooler
    9" Southbend Lathe
    Lots of hand tools.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    11

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by papasloan View Post
    I have 2 120's when 1 goes empty I put the full one in and get a refill asap. I dont like to run out.
    The 120's are easy for me to load in the truck. I might upgrade to 150's but the 2 tanks work good for me and seem to last quite a while. The 80 I had was gone before I knew it.
    My lws will upgrade my tanks any time.
    My LWS wont sell anything over 80, everything else is rental.

    They also wont upgrade tanks. I wanted to upgrade a 40 I had to an 80, the told me they wil give me half of what they sell a new 40 for, towards the 80. When you buy an 80 from them, its a used tank anyway. The 40 I had was their tank as well, their name on it. Same used condition as the used tank they sell you when you buy one to own from them. They couldnt explain how they justified their logic to me, its just company procedure.

    In reality its just a way to rip people off. Its not like Im trading in a used item for a new item, all of the cylinders are used!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So.CA
    Posts
    102

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    Thaddeus,

    I use "K" size 248 cu.ft argon and C-25 cylinders because they are the biggest I feel comfortable moving alone and yet have a good price per cu. ft. of gas. Make your own judgment about what size you can handle, but know I have friends who move that size in their SUV's. Even one guy who flips down his back seat so the cylinder can protrude into his sedan's passenger area from the trunk (with tie-down straps around the neck of course to keep it from moving around).
    Scott

    Miller XMT 350 CC/CV w/gas solenoid opt.
    Miller S-22A wirefeeder
    Bernard 400A "Q" gun
    Miller Spoolmatic 30A / WC-24
    C-K 200A torch/gas lens
    Weldcraft WC-18 watercooled torch
    Hypertherm Powermax 30
    Victor O/A

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    El Paso Tx
    Posts
    159

    Re: What size Argon cylinder to buy?

    The thing is that with acetylene a leak could spell a nice fireball ( how many like to smoke in their cars? ) if you light up. I took my bottle back because the seals were bad. Obviously a leak there.

    Argon will put you to sleep before you know it since they don't make that stink so you realize there is a leak.
    Last edited by 3 weelin geezer; 11-08-2011 at 06:33 PM.

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