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Thread: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

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    $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    In my quest to learn to SMAW and TIG weld it's time for me to figure out my gas supply. About all I know is that I want a smaller tank like an 80CF or 125CF. The welders I'm looking at are all reasonably small inverter units, so portable gas would be nice too. Plus, I'm just starting out learning welding for home shop/hobby use so I don't need a monster gas supply anyways.

    I called a couple of the local Praxair and Airgas suppliers and both said they would swap out customer owned small tanks (like the 80CF and 125CF) tanks and the prices, depending on the particular shop and tank size, were all about $65-$80 for a 100% Argon fill. Also, because I was curious, I asked Praxair about an annual lease on a tank like a 125CF and they said $300 annual but that they sell up to 80CF tanks to own for only $275... which doesn't even make sense to me why ownership would be cheaper than a 1-year lease. Both options which are pointless anyways since you can buy the smaller 80-125 CF cylinders for $150-$200 delivered from IOC or Craigslist all day long.

    Anyways...
    Does $65-$80 seem expensive? It kind of does to me for only 5-8 hours of weld gas... but I have no experience of my own when it comes to welding. So I just thought I'd ask you all.
    Does anyone know of cheaper Argon suppliers in the N.E. Ohio area? Or is this reasonable?
    Should I go for an 80CF or 125CF tank, considering I'm just learning myself and this will be a hobby/home shop rig?

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Gas is typically cheaper per cubic foot, the larger cylinder you get. Given a choice I'd get the 125cf over the 80 cf myself, if nothing else for cost reasons. If you can swing a larger cylinder, even better, though some places won't sell you something that large. At that point you need to look at if the cost of the rental offsets the cheaper gas prices vs buying the cylinder.
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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Update:

    Searching through some older threads a bit more, I found a recommendation for a LWS about 40min from me. They'll fill 125CF for about $60 which is only a little cheaper than the Praxair/airgas but they also SELL the 125CF bottles (bigger than praxair/airgas) for a little over $200 with free 1st fill. That's pretty good when considering the cost of a 125CF cylinder. In fact, this place sells up to 330CF bottles!

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    If you can purchase a 330 bottle from a supplier with current testing and a willingness to refill those cylinders for you I would jump on it if I were you. not too many places I know of that will sell you anything over 125.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    BUY bottles, 125's are much more friendly to move around and can be bought pretty much everywhere. But with 330's you get the best gas price with those. As far as Praxair and Airgas, I'd drive a long way NOT to go there, complete rip offs. Those argon fill prices also seem pretty high, but then again that depends on what suppliers you have available. Yes, most LWS will not sell you anything larger than 125's but you CAN buy them (that's where they get a LOT of their revenue from, bottle rentals). Keep your eyes peeled and you will find legitimate customer owned cylinders for sale now and then on Craigslist. You can also buy them directly from refurbish dealers all brandy new with shiny paint and a fresh hydro test. There is one that I know of that's pretty darn close to you in Ohio. Quest Cylinder is just outside of Dayton.
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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    I lease oxy and argon, think they are like 250 CF, for $65. each per year, also about a 200 CF acet for the same. Haven't filled them in awhile so can't help you with that cost.
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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    You anywhere close to the PA border and Erie?

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    How strong are you?

    The cost for gas with a big bottle is a better deal.

    Around here, at a family owned (they own a few stores in this area) supplier, they quoted me $65 to refill my 248cf argon bottle and $35 to fill an 80cf bottle. For twice the money, you get three times the gas. The 248 is a bear for me to move and wouldn't be a good fit for my miller 211 inverter mig welder. I do have a 248 on my big tig machine, which doesn't get moved. I went ahead and bought an 80cf for the mig. It was $210 before tax with a free fill. I own it, but it may be a used bottle, and it looks new. This company really cleans up their bottles nicely, including the valves. The 80 is very easy to move and is just right for a small welding cart. 125 bottles are a compromise and the one my brother has, seems to be extra heavy..........more than half again the weight of an 80cf.

    Airgas charges $65 to exchange out an 80cf of 75/25 argon/co2, which is double what the independent shop charges. Airgas bottles look like crap and may have stamps on the necks as well. Somehow, my brother ended up with a 248cf that has a name stamp that neither of these shops will swap out. The independent place told me where to have it tested for $40, and then they refilled it for me, and it is good for at least 5 years (might have been 10).

    P.S. Tig really uses up the gas, especially as you are learning and moving slower and practicing more. With a new machine, you shouldn't have leaks. My dinosaur tig welder may be leaking gas through the solenoid, so I turn the bottle off when I am done for a few minutes, but even at that, the arc time and pre and post flows on tig are much longer than when I run mig. That is more time with the gas flowing.
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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeymac View Post
    Update:

    Searching through some older threads a bit more, I found a recommendation for a LWS about 40min from me. They'll fill 125CF for about $60 which is only a little cheaper than the Praxair/airgas but they also SELL the 125CF bottles (bigger than praxair/airgas) for a little over $200 with free 1st fill. That's pretty good when considering the cost of a 125CF cylinder. In fact, this place sells up to 330CF bottles!
    What LWS is this that you are talking about? And where is it?

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Thanks for the tips, all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Weld_ View Post
    If you can purchase a 330 bottle from a supplier with current testing and a willingness to refill those cylinders for you I would jump on it if I were you. not too many places I know of that will sell you anything over 125.
    I'd love to get a big tank to tap into the savings but with a small/light inverter machine, I don't want to lose the portability.
    So a 125 is about all the bigger I think I'd want to go. I think 80 would be more ideal for my machine size, but a 125 isn't that much more heavy.

    Quote Originally Posted by 131re View Post
    You anywhere close to the PA border and Erie?
    Akron Area, 1 hour outside PA.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcraft View Post
    What LWS is this that you are talking about? And where is it?
    Matheson Gas. There were a few in NE Ohio.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeymac View Post

    I'd love to get a big tank to tap into the savings but with a small/light inverter machine, I don't want to lose the portability.
    So a 125 is about all the bigger I think I'd want to go. I think 80 would be more ideal for my machine size, but a 125 isn't that much more heavy.
    The way things are going in the industry you may not get another chance to get a large tank that you own. My suggestion is get one now. As far as portability goes don't kid yourself about the 80 and 125 sized tanks although they will fit into a standard sedan ( not recommending you do this) they are far from portable. if you are going to go for true portability especially if you are traveling in and out of buildings you might even go smaller than an 80. that's just my two cents.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    I last payed $28 for a 150 cf fill of 100% argon

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    I live just out of Akron there is a guy on Craigslist in aurora has tanks on there all the time that's where I got both of mine. Get the 125cf it's not that much heavier than the 80cf in my opinion still somewhat easy to move around.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    A 135-170 pound 330CF tank is simply to much to safely to handle for myself alone. When I head in, I'll ask what a 250 CF costs is and what they charge to fill it... and if it's not too crazy I'd consider it. But then I'd also till want small tank for mobility too.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeymac View Post
    A 135-170 pound 330CF tank is simply to much to safely to handle for myself alone. When I head in, I'll ask what a 250 CF costs is and what they charge to fill it... and if it's not too crazy I'd consider it. But then I'd also till want small tank for mobility too.
    I think this way you will get the best of both worlds. Plus don't forget it is also very nice to have a backup tank when you run out of gas on a project when the place that sells you gas is closed.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Now, is there some sort of urgency to buying a "big tank"? Is there really a risk that larger tanks will be unavailable anytime soon? Why would that be? I'm only learning to weld for home projects and "fun"... this is not a profession in any sort of sense. running out of gas would merely be an annoyance for me.

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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    I recommend a 150CF over a 125, That is because a 150 is Always a customer owned bottle. Also, I suggest asking for a blank Neck ring and a fairly recent test date on any exchange. I went through all kinds of hassle with my tanks when I moved from CO to NV. Some places won't exchange customer owned tanks over 150 CF its just screwy policies that seem to depend on what state you live in.... Colorado was really flexible. NV is much more strict etc. There are no state or federal laws I'm aware of as to what you can or cannot by. these are monopolies being created by the suppliers...
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    Re: $65-$80 for 80-125 CF Argon fills (N.E. Ohio) ... is that too high?

    Quote Originally Posted by soutthpaw View Post
    I recommend a 150CF over a 125, That is because a 150 is Always a customer owned bottle. Also, I suggest asking for a blank Neck ring and a fairly recent test date on any exchange. I went through all kinds of hassle with my tanks when I moved from CO to NV. Some places won't exchange customer owned tanks over 150 CF its just screwy policies that seem to depend on what state you live in.... Colorado was really flexible. NV is much more strict etc. There are no state or federal laws I'm aware of as to what you can or cannot by. these are monopolies being created by the suppliers...
    you know what's a bigger pain in the *** to deal with is when they treat the 125 tank the same as a 150 and swap them back and forth at will. whatever you get is whatever you get.

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