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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 9:38 am 
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Joined: March 24, 2009, 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
Im trying to get a bottle so I can start welding. I have called a few welding shops and the going rate seems to be $250 to buy a 80cf bottle. That was much more expensive than I thought it was going to be. How much do you guys get your stuff for? Any good deals for finding an empty tank on the net?



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Zach


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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 11:42 am 
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Joined: April 8, 2012, 7:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Warrens WI
I cant comment on the 75/25 because I use straight cO2 on my mig, the small tank I use (don't remember the cf) cost about $120 (purchased outright) and the fills are $22 (just exchange the tank at the local suppler).
The straight argon for my tig was $119 for a 5yr lease on the bigger tank, the fill is $60
I get all my gasses straight from Mississippi welding supply. They are in WI/MN.


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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 12:45 pm 
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Joined: April 26, 2008, 6:06 pm
Posts: 3017
Location: Under the weather. (Seattle)
I bought an 80cf unit earlier this year. I would have to look back to know exactly what I paid for it, but I'm pretty sure it was <$200. I want to say ~$180 was the going rate to buy a full 80cf bottle of C25 around here at the time. Keep an eye out on Craigslist too, as there are occasionally people selling a bottle at a fair price...Just make sure the bottles are owned and not rented. According to a few different LWS around me, the way to tell is that the little ring around the top should be totally smooth, but I think that may depend on the size of the bottle too. Some size bottles are only rented, others are only purchased, and some are available both ways. I believe the rule of thumb is that if it has a manufacturer name cast into it, or has any indication of grinding on the ring, it was probably rented.

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Last edited by Driven5 on December 20, 2013, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 3:57 pm 
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Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:13 am
Posts: 431
Location: Phoenix arizona
Harbor freight, 20 cu ft $85


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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 4:12 pm 
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Joined: April 8, 2012, 7:05 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Warrens WI
The tanks from my supplier are all marked with there name, they will not exchange tanks with no name and they require a hydro test at your expense of the tank before they will fill them if there is no name. I know a few people that have bought tanks at auctions or from personal sales that thought they were getting a good deal until they tried to fill them and ether were denied or required to get a hydro test.
I would recommend that you check with a local supplier about filling or exchange before you buy one second hand or from some place like harbor freight.


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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 4:34 pm 
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Joined: April 23, 2006, 8:26 pm
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Location: SoCal
^ Good advice.

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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 5:12 pm 
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Joined: February 20, 2006, 11:18 am
Posts: 3164
Location: Lexington, KY
I forget what I paid -- it's been a few years -- but I do have some advice.

I'd only rent if I realistically expected to turn it all in after a year or two. You might finish your car by then, but you're not going to want to give up your welder, so I recommend you buy your tank.

Both my suppliers swap my tank each time. They don't seem to care where I bought the tank. The first time I had my (O2? Acetylene?) tank filled, they charged me for a test, as it was a bazillion years old (I got grandfather-in-law's rig). It was not expensive - $20 or so?

Find out the cost of each size of tank, and the cost of refills for each. I started with a tiny tank (20 c.f, I think), and discovered how quickly that tank empties. I upgraded* to a larger one (40? 80?) and was surprised to find the refill cost only increased from $25 to $27 or something like that, plus a flat $5 environmental fee. Bottom line - the cost of a refill is almost the same, regardless the tank size. So buy the biggest tank you don't mind lugging around and save a pile of money and the aggravation of running out of gas at 5:30 pm quite so often.

-dave

* Well, they actually wouldn't let me upgrade, but they let me buy a larger tank for a deep discount, and then I swapped the little CO2/Argon tank for a pure Argon tank. So now I can pretend to weld aluminum, too.

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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 5:44 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 5154
Location: West Chicago,IL
I purchased a new 20CF tank years ago when I got my welder(not from the welding supply house). For many years, it was refilled on an exchange basis, I bring in an empty and they give me a full "used" tank. They always have a pile of them ready to go out the door. They also kept the hydro tests current. No charge to me, other than I'm sure it was built into the cost. A few years ago, I asked what it would cost to move up to a 40cf. No extra, just the fee for the fresh tank. So I gave them the 20cf tank and I now have a 40cf tank. My last refill for the 40cf tank was around 45 bucks about a year ago I think. I think that different gas companies have different."plans".

If you have the option, shop around to other welding supply houses to find a plan that you like. New tanks are on ebay for 185 delivered. 175 delivered on Amazon. They all have a hydro date. Check your gas co to see if they will take a tank bought elsewhere.

FYI, here is one published price list for hydro test I found:
Quote:
Our current prices are:

Hydro Testing of steel tanks, $15.00
Hydro / Bead Blast of steel tanks / Paint, $20.00
Hydro Testing of aluminum tanks, $15.00
Bead Blasting of Aluminum tanks is not recommended
Hydro Testing of fiber wraped paintball tanks, $20.00
Hydro Testing of Fireman Airpak tanks, $20.00
Eddy Current Testing of aluminum necked tanks, $15.00

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PostPosted: December 20, 2013, 11:57 pm 
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Joined: March 24, 2009, 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
Well the $250 I mentioned is for a full tank. I called airgas and AOC, both in houston. Both said $250 for 80cf. I have been searching CL and asking around. Ebay has a 55cf new for $72. I'm not sure if 55 is big enough. Also I'm a bit concerned that if I buy a tank online and try to exchange for a full one I may have trouble. I called both places and asked if I would have trouble exchanging the 55 ebay tank. Air gas said they won't do it because they carry 50 and not 55. AOC said maybe, but they need to look at it first.

Does anyone here know a place in Houston that will fill a bottle? If I buy the bottle off ebay I think I would have a better chance of getting gas if I can find a place that will fill it on the spot.


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PostPosted: December 21, 2013, 10:32 pm 
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Joined: March 24, 2009, 6:48 pm
Posts: 21
I went with cyberweld.com. Picked up an 80cf argon/c02 mix filled and shipped to my shop for $237. No tax charged so it saved me a few bucks. Still more than I wanted to pay but I am to impatient to sit back and wait for a deal. I want to start building!


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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 11:12 pm 
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Joined: April 9, 2008, 8:15 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Houston, TX
i know this is way too late, but did you try Northern Tool? I got a 80cf argon/co2 mix quite a few years ago, and I think it was less than $200. They do exchanges...bring in your empty bottle and they'll give you a new filled one. They're handy because they're open late and on weekends, which some welding shops aren't. Nothing worse than running out of gas and having to give up and wait for the tank to be refilled!

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout to a fellow Houston builder. I'm not sure if I can be of any help, but you never know.


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