Welding gas options...

Discussion in 'Technical & Maintenance' started by Stevenl, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    I've been doing a little flux core welding lately. My welding skills are horrible, but my angle grinding skills are progressing quite nicely! :)
    The flux core is a bit of a pain for a number of reasons so I see giving MIG a try in the future. The problem is the shielding gas. More specifically, how to get it affordably for a hobby welder.
    Last time I checked, Liquid Air would lease a cylinder and would only fill thir own thereby limiting my options.

    So my question is, if any if you are using a shielding gas for welding, do you have any advice?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. murph

    murph Active Member

    I use Blueshield but the boss who pays for it says it ain't cheap.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

    I did have a license to buy but I don't use enough gas to justify the yearly fee. I now get it from friends and a bottle lasts me s long time. The co2/argon mix is all I've ever used....suppose to be more forgiving for dirty steel.
     
  4. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    Thanks guys.
    Princess Auto has a prefilled 20cu ft 75/25 bottle listed on their website for $220. It says they are refillable, but probably can't do that locally thereby making them effectively one time use.
    Two questions... How long would 20 cu ft last (you), and is that price low/fair/high in your opinion.

    Thanks again for the brain picking opportunity.
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

    Not sure of the exact size I have now, bottle maybe 3ft tall. Cost me $75
     
  6. RossKean

    RossKean Member

    Have you checked with local welding gas suppliers such as Air Liquide (3 locations in Newfoundland)? Also Praxair in Mount Pearl. Maybe some others too...
    These guys may provide you with the tank for a monthly fee and a refill, as needed. No idea if they fill locally (probably do) but a phone call is an easy way to find out.

    I would love to learn to weld - I am in awe of guys who can do it well! I have thought about getting some gear but I'm afraid that even if I have some talent at this (unlikely), it would be a skillset that would rarely be used.
     
  7. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    Was that the price of the gas? Did you buy or do you lease the bottle?
     
  8. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    That's the problem, I would rather buy my cylinder outright and get it filled when necessary rather than lease it. That can add up in a hurry, especially when I would be using it infrequently.
     
  9. RossKean

    RossKean Member

    I don't know whether they would fill anything other than their own tanks - potential liability if anything went wrong. Suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask.
    Leasing a tank is a little like a gym membership. Not bad if you use it a lot but a money sucker if it sits idle - which reminds me, time to get back there!!
     
    Stevenl likes this.
  10. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    Yeah that's exactly what I mean. That's why I am asking what people are doing. Want to find out options.
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

    I think the yearly fee is a licence to PURCHASE the gas. So without the licence, they will not refill anything. From what I remember, the yearly fee was $98, but that was easily probably 15 years ago.

    I paid $75 to a friend for the bottle and gas. When empty I give the bottle back to him.
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

    I did a two semester welding course at our local college, which was good. BUT the key to welding is practice......in which most don't weld enough to get the practice needed to become really good. I'm far from professional, but I can weld :)
     
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

    Do you know anybody that works at a garage? Your best/cheapest option is to find someone that can help you. Unless you plan on using a lot, in which you could just apply for a license at Air Liquide or Praxair
     
  14. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    Thanks for the info Wayne.
     
  15. Relic

    Relic Member

    Back in 2007 I leased a bottle of blueshield from Aire liquide. Bottle lease was around 75 bucks or so a year. I think the gas itself cost 200. That lasted me quite a few years. When I finally emptied it, I brought it back and ended my lease... Just wasn't worth it.

    Now, I have a converted fire extinguisher filled with co2 (same as what I use for my draft system) and use straight co2 for Mig welding. Not near as good as blue shield, but better than flux core. I had to get an adjustable flow gauge to get decent results. The original gauge was factory set for Mig gas only... Which gave me grief.

    Hope this helps!

    Relic
     
  16. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    It does indeed... Did you just get a fire extinguisher recharge place to fill it with the CO2?

    Is anybody familiar with the ALbee product line from Air Liquide? Apparently it's a no lease option... I will have to call and get some info from Air Liquide
     
  17. Relic

    Relic Member

    I had Valmin do mine. Fire extinguisher place on random island. I know the owner. He used a spare extinguisher body, put proper valve in. Then they test/certify and filled it.

    Don't ask the price... I Don't know. Just that if he's ever down my way he wants a glass of my finest brew. :)

    It's the same valve for both Mig welder or draft regulator.
     
  18. Relic

    Relic Member

    In addition : just googled the ALbee.

    Never knew that it had a name! But about a year ago I was into OMB in Clarenville (AL dealer) enquiring about purchasing my own oxygen bottle because I was fed up with expensive lease.

    At the time, he said I could purchase one of two different sizes. Small for 150 or large (which was double the size) for 200.

    No clue on actual sizes... My memory is going south. :p

    This was for oxygen. Looks like maybe you can get Mig mix too. Along with 4 different sizes.

    Havent actually purchased one yet. Gonna wait til I actually need it.
     
  19. Backdraft

    Backdraft Member


    There is something about Praxair, a buddy of mine has a tank from them, and they have something geared up for hobbyists, and not too expensive....
     
  20. Stevenl

    Stevenl Member

    Thanks guys. Just trying to find out options that are out there. Rick, I will check out that Praxair option and post my info back in this thread.
     

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