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Thread: Beginner TIG and Argon

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    Beginner TIG and Argon

    I recently got my primeweld tig 200 dc machine and am planning to use it for the tig function. I was wondering what a good place to start would be. I do not have a gas cylinder yet, but am thinking about going for a 150 c/f tank. Anyways I was wondering how much it usually costs to fill up something like that (to capacity) and how long it would last/ how often it needs to be refilled.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    I would Google a local welding gas supplier and see what their prices are, I use that size as a DIY type and it lasts about a year. It all depends on your use, remember to always close the valve on the top. I put a quick disconnect in the hose line, I spray Argon into paint, PVC glue containers closing them. This removes any oxygen and stop them from going bad for a long time. No need to change the flow meter setting just a few seconds will work great.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    At 20 scfh it should last 7-1/2 hrs of continuous use.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Also meant to ask (I know I said a 150 c/f tank) what is a good tank size to begin with. Iím not going to do a ton of welding, maybe a just once a week for like 10 minutes of continuous total flow time (over a couple of hours of work), but I also would like to have a decent amount of argon saved away, so I donít have to go constantly refill. Can you recommend a tank size for that or is 150 c/f a good choice?

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    150 ft≥ is good size tank, and should cost around $30-$50 to refill/exchange, but it varies GREATLY depending on your supplier...

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/6...s-Costs-Thread

    lots of starts/stops use up extra gas if the regulator/flowmeter is calibrated for 50psi on the output side. It causes a bit of gas to be stored in the hose between the tank and machine, that ends up being lost during the pre-flow stage.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    A lot of people buy the smaller 80 cu ft tanks because you can own them. But they tend to be around $200-300 to buy. They are much more expensive to fill on a price per cubic foot basis. So the smaller tank is really more expensive. If you are just starting out, I would lease the tank. I would probably start out with the smallest one your supplier leases. That way if you decide this isn't for you then you can turn the tank back in for minimal loss. If you decide you like it and are in for the long haul ask them to change you to the largest tank they have so you will end up paying less for the gas on a per cubit foot basis. Argon gas never goes bad. I used to mess around with the 80 cubic foot tanks because I didn't want to wrestle the giant 330 cubic foot tanks, until I figured out my gas supplier will deliver to my home. Its the best decision I have made in a while!
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    So Iím a bit lost still. How much is a 150 c/f gas tank? Everyone has been telling me to lease a tank, and the tanks are only about 200 dollars. Donít get me wrong, Iím not made of money, nor do I have a lot, but are we talking about the same tanks? All these people with 2000 dollar welders (across multiple forums like this Iíve looked at) have been saying to lease a tank. Am I just not seeing the true cost, are they thousands of dollars? I have absolutely nothing against leasing, just bewildered. Once again brand new to tig, if Iím making a dumb comment please take it easy 😆.

    Edit: Misread the comment above this. After reread lease makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    It's between $50 and $100 per year to lease, based on who the supplier is. The cost to fill a 330 cubic foot tank is only slightly more than the cost to fill an 80 cubic foot tank. Again, depending on your supplier. The point is, shop around and compare all the variables.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    The cost to fill a 330 cubic foot tank is only slightly more than the cost to fill an 80 cubic foot tank. Again, depending on your supplier. The point is, shop around and compare all the variables.
    For me locally, the cost of the 330 refill is 3-4x the cost to refill an 80. They basically charge per-cubic-foot. All the more reason to shop around and compare all the variables.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Interesting. Would financing a tank instead possibly be a better idea? Like monthly payments to own one? Iíve already like half committed with a welder that I bought. Also I have to store this in a very small garage space so maybe 330 isnít a good size for me. Iíd also like to be able to move this around in a vehicle when I go to a friendís workshop.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Prices to own and lease vary drastically with location, so only folks near you will have an idea what's normal. I can walk into several stores and buy any size tank I want, but in some places they only sell certain sizes and lease all the rest. You'll just have to check with the local suppliers to see what's available. I have all big tanks (330) except one 80 for when I want to take it with me, or if I want to TIG in my house basement (have a separate shop building). I wouldn't want to regularly wrestle anything bigger than a 150 in/out of a vehicle.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by GoK4rtFanatic View Post
    Interesting. Would financing a tank instead possibly be a better idea? Like monthly payments to own one? I’ve already like half committed with a welder that I bought. Also I have to store this in a very small garage space so maybe 330 isn’t a good size for me. I’d also like to be able to move this around in a vehicle when I go to a friend’s workshop.
    Only your local suppliers can tell you if you can finance one. The likely answer is no, they would not take the chance that they could potentially lose a tank by having the customer disappear. They'll likely tell you all financing is done via your credit card . A 125-150 cuft is about as large as you can get and still be able to maneuver it without too much hassle. I think the 125 is about 80lbs.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Prices to own and lease vary drastically with location, so only folks near you will have an idea what's normal. I can walk into several stores and buy any size tank I want, but in some places they only sell certain sizes and lease all the rest. You'll just have to check with the local suppliers to see what's available. I have all big tanks (330) except one 80 for when I want to take it with me, or if I want to TIG in my house basement (have a separate shop building). I wouldn't want to regularly wrestle anything bigger than a 150 in/out of a vehicle.
    This is good info above. Around me, the largest cylinder that my LWS will sell is a 125; however you can buy a 261 from Tractor Supply and my LWS will fill it as long as you can show proof of ownership.

    For the needs that you're describing, I'd look into an 80 - 125CF owner bottle of pure argon.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    I was told the state law dictate the tank size that you can own or lease it has to do with transporting. Big tanks are delivered, I take mine in to swap it out for refills. I bought a 150 cf (it is a great size mounted on my roll around cart) years ago and get it filled maybe ones a year or 2, I think the last time was about $25. It seems the chain gas dealer are much more expensive. I just looked on Tractor Suppy no argon just argon/co2 mix
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    big tank for mig...smaller tank for tig

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Some gas suppliers will not swap tanks above a certain size, so if you want a big one, it's lease or nothing. I lease a 330 cf bottle, which lasts me a good long time. It only costs about $80 or so to swap out for a full one, the last time I remember. But it does cost a little over $100/year to lease, so...

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    I found a person on CraigsList that was selling 150 size cylinders. I bargained him into selling me an Argon and C25 for $200 each full. I haven't used the c25 yet but have been using the Argon. Haven't had to refill yet but don't think it should be too awful much as there are several suppliers in my area to choose from.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by acourtjester View Post
    I was told the state law dictate the tank size that you can own or lease it has to do with transporting.
    I don't know Florida laws, but in most cases when a welding shop says that it's total BS. I did a google search trying to find any references to Florida law and couldn't find any...might not have hit the right combo. I'd love to see the statute if anybody knows it.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    As far as I know,,, it's Not about State Law at all,,, this is Federal. This is Homeland Security, you are not allowed to, as a private individual, anything over a 150. You have to Lease anything over that size tank...

    Now this went into effect years ago and, despite that, my local "little guy" (Hocon Gas) refilled all my 300's without question. I guess they just assumed, BUT when they recently sold that division to AirGas, everything changed. AirGas knows the rules and I was forced to lease back my own tank! They have no idea that I have 5 these so I just get any of them refilled and now they assume it's the same "leased" one.

    When I asked them about HomeLands reasons, I mean what's this all about? Making Torpedoes? And they said that it was actually about Gas. I guess poison gas...

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    As far as I know,,, it's Not about State Law at all,,, this is Federal. This is Homeland Security, you are not allowed to, as a private individual, anything over a 150. You have to Lease anything over that size tank...

    Now this went into effect years ago and, despite that, my local "little guy" (Hocon Gas) refilled all my 300's without question. I guess they just assumed, BUT when they recently sold that division to AirGas, everything changed. AirGas knows the rules and I was forced to lease back my own tank! They have no idea that I have 5 these so I just get any of them refilled and now they assume it's the same "leased" one.

    When I asked them about HomeLands reasons, I mean what's this all about? Making Torpedoes? And they said that it was actually about Gas. I guess poison gas...
    Absolutely not true. I can walk into any number of large welding chains locally and buy a 330 with no issues at all. I have 330 bottles from three different suppliers and have talked to two others when I was looking for who had the best prices around. If there was a federal law prohibiting this they would know about it.

    Heck, you can walk in and buy a 330 from some Northern Tool stores (or have it sent to your local store) and online places like www.gascylindersource.com. Again, no way companies like that would be openly selling bottles that weren't legal.

    This is nothing more than welding shop BS that has turned into urban legend.

    I can get on the elevator and stop by the DHS office here, but they're more used to me telling them to get out of my parking spot so they may not want to talk welding cylinder laws that don't exist.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    The Compressed Gas Association puts out pretty much all the standards used in the industry and provides a lot of free information, along with links to resources and regulatory information. They make no mention of DHS or any sort of limits on private ownership of bottles.

    https://www.cganet.com

    USA Safety makes and sells safety related welding items and has an entire section on "Gas Cylinder Safety Regulations and Guidelines" which makes no mention of DHS or restrictions on private ownership of bottles. They list OSHA, NFPA and CGA as the sources for those regulations and guidelines.

    https://www.usasafety.com

    This comes up time and again and not once have I seen anyone provide an actual regulation or law preventing private individuals from owning larger bottles (or any other size).

    Further, it makes no sense from any standpoint. A full 125 bottle can become a deadly missile just as easily as a 250 can...heck, the 125 will probably go quite a bit faster, but it should run out of fuel sooner. None of the gases we're talking about are particularly dangerous...actually O2 and acetylene are a bigger risk and the typical O2 bottle I see is a lot bigger than 125.

    So all of that is on one side, and the other side is "the guy at the welding shop said it's not legal to own"....okay.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by BaTu View Post
    BUT when they recently sold that division to AirGas, everything changed
    Imagine that.

    Airgas.

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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Imagine that.

    Airgas.
    Yeah and then Air Liquide took over Airgas in North America.

    I used to have accounts at both. What a time saver. Now I only have to bend over ONCE!


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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    same around here. Airgas never mentioned a law but just that they no longer sell bottles over 125CF.

    Doesn't affect me anyway. 125CF is perfect as it is relatively easy to transport.

    But since the OP mentioned that he might want to take his Argon jug with him to a friend's geeerage, an 80CF would be a better choice for transportation.
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    Re: Beginner TIG and Argon

    I donít do a lot of welding so 80 cubic foot bottles are perfect for me. Sooo easy to handle.







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