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Welding Supply Info

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I bought myself a little Hobart 125 a while ago to tackle some of the welding on my Datsun project. It works great and has served well so far with the little welding I've done. I bought the MIG upgrade kit the other day and now I'm getting ready to do some sheet metal welding and get a little more serious about welding. So I need some advice from the more experienced people here.


What size gas bottle should I use? I won't be doing a ton of welding and a smaller bottle will work fine. Looking around, no one seems to sell empty bottles for cheap. Even Harbor Freight wants $90 for a 10lb empty bottle. I'm sure I can get some kind of deal at the welding supply store, but I don't want to sound like a total noob and get screwed on pricing. What's a good sized bottle and what's a decent price? I assume 25% Argon 75% CO2 is the right mix as well.

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What you do is you buy the bottle form the welding supply with 75/25 argon to CO2 ratio and it is your bottle forever. You just exchange an empty bottle for a filled one every time which is about fifty bucks give or take depending on the size of the bottle. You "own" your bottle which is exchanged every time for another bottle that you "own" when you need a refill. You never actually keep the same bottle forever. Just the way it is.


In summary, you buy a bottle with gas the first time and now you "own" your bottle until you exchange it for another bottle when yours is used up because now you are just paying for the gas.


For mig welding I would suggest a 40 bottle. This is what I have for my mig, which I do little of, and I have an 80 for my tig. I use straight argon for tig welding. Just that easy.

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I talked to a local welding supply store and they sell the 55 cubic foot bottles for $135 and fill it for $30. They do offer to let you pay $15 month for the bottle if you have an account there.


The other suggestion was to use Craigslist, but very few people in the area are selling smaller bottles. I'll keep an eye out this weekend, or just pay the welding supply store on Monday so I can get to work. Thanks for all of the advice guys. Maybe we should have a sticky on this site for welding tips pages and tutorials for noobs like me and others that are just getting into it.

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when shopping around call a repetable welding shop to save on time and fuel when wanting to purchase your own 30 or 40 lb bottle, it stands about 32" what ever that lbs is. Leasing is a waste of time if you plan on welding years down the road.

I used to use argon and CO2 but switched to argon 75% and stargon 25% because the welds smooth out better and cut grinding time almost out plus using stargon/argon keeps the sheet metal alot more cooler from warping.

Since I went argon/stargon, my welds look more professional.

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Straight co2 will work just fine. The cost is low and actually helps the weld "burn". You may get a little contamination there and there but it wont be bad. A good buddy of mine works at a high end fab shop and all they ever use is co2. And if you're ever in a pinch you can run air tools/ fill your tires with it.

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