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Old 03-12-2019, 11:22 PM
Mike00 Mike00 is offline
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Default Oxy/Fuel bottles - Buying, renting, exchanging, etc.

Hello all,
I'm getting ready to try my hand at oxy-acetylene.
As far as equipment, I found an old airco with a few cutting heads, each with tips plus a few extra, 4/5 welding/brazing tips and a rosebud off ebay.
Also got a set of old rebuilt regulators, and brand new checkvalves, flash arrestors, and grade t 1/4" hoses.

I do not have either bottle.
I don't know if I should buy one and have it filled? rent one? find some empties to exchange?
What are things to look for before purchasing cylinders? besides excessive rust. Are there certain sizes that major facilities won't touch?
I'm also tryin to decide on bottle size. for a given refill, how much of the charge is per fill and how much of the charge is per cu. ft. or pound?

I found a cylinder sizing chart, Are these (left size) generally what people use at home and small shops? As I understand the MC tank is different and takes a different regulator.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2019, 12:24 AM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Welcome to the site.

First do you know there is a maximum withdraw rate (flow) for acetylene bottles that you must not go over and a rosebud can be a problem on small bottles.

As for buying new bottles the refill time can be a week, acetylene is filled slowly so it is likely you would end up exchanging your new bottles for whatever they have on hand and say goodby to your new ones.


Oxygen bottles have to be retested (don't remember every 8 years or so) there should be a stamped year on the bottle when last tested.

If you buy a rental bottle from someone else the LWS will likely take the bottle away from you.


Some states only exchange smaller bottles and you have to rent larger ones.


I have a 35cf acetylene and IIRC a 50cf Oxygen bottle I get a 2 to 1, refill the Oxygen one more time to finish the smaller acetylene.

With and Arc welder I only use the Oxy/acetylene for heating nuts I cant get off, bending and sometimes cutting.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:27 AM
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I bought mine from my LWS, Holox, then Linde, now AirGas. They were in the "bunch" with the rest of them so not "new". When I need a full one I just swap out for another and pick a "clean" looking one. Originally I had an acetylene and oxygen about the same height, not sure of the "size" but both about 4' high. The O2 only lasts about 1/3 of the acet. Last time I swapped for the next size up O2 and they only charged me for the difference. Your mileage may vary as some LWS's are prickish--mine is not.

Alternately, you can buy some used on CL or Marketplace and if they have the same sticker of your LWS you should not have an issue swapping them out BUT as GWIZ noted, they may be lease tanks and I don't know how you (or they) could tell...

BTW, Welcome Aboard!

PS: note that if you lay an acet. cylinder down for transport, you MUST wait at least 12 hours or preferably 24 after you put it upright before you open the valve and/or attach your gauges!
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:39 AM
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MetalWolf MetalWolf is online now
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buy any size above the MC, as far as i know, there is no issue buying one off CL and taking it in to swap or get filled they are not as regulated as O2 bottles
just they are more costly to fill than O2 and other gases and is usually really hard to tell who owns what when it comes to acetylene bottles even among LWS... unless embossed collars which are rarely other than just the Mfg.
I actually own 5MC cylinders and one of each size of the larger ones but only use the 300 one big payout to fill but last me years literally because I depend on Plasma for cutting needs O/A for scraping and the occasional need for heat r to remove a seized nut or bolt...
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:56 AM
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Hi Mike,

I replaced your photo with an attachment of the same.
We do not use embedded images or off-site hosting.

FAQ

Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:50 AM
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Please indicate what you want to do with your torch set, and then we all can
give advice from that point forward.

Last edited by digger doug; 03-13-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:52 AM
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Most of the local welding suppliers no longer fill owner bottles, if not leased from them you are SOL. They now cite liability and various other safety and internal insurance issues as the cause.

Until a few years ago, they had various charges and fees, then had a 1-2 week turn around date, then it slowly evolved into “no lease, no fill”.

There is one shop on the area that still fills, but they are very slow, they sometimes take 2-3 weeks to turn a bottle around.

I’ve leased for years, so I’ve never had an issue.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike00 View Post
I do not have either bottle.
I don't know if I should buy one and have it filled? rent one? find some empties to exchange?
Rules on bottles change from state to state and supplier to supplier.

So asking what works on an online forum is going to give you a hit or miss
answer. Because what one supplier does in New York is likely to be A LOT
different than someone near you.

I 'own' all my bottles but I exchange them for full bottle when I swap them
out my supplier knows I paid for the iron but they just do a cylinder swap.
I pay for the gas and all is good. No yearly lease fees etc. no worries on
getting the hydro'd every 10 years. That is all figured in to the price of the
gas.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:10 AM
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Around here a lot of the little hardware stores are hooked up with Prax Air and exchange bottles . No one looks at ownership .Guess a good thing of Amish area .
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
...No yearly lease fees etc. no worries on
getting the hydro'd every 10 years...
I forgot to mention the hydro. Those are the date marks stamped into the top of the cylinder. One less thing you have to worry about if you swap out for "new". As I mentioned, I'll pick a "nice" tank from the lineup and swap my pretty cap for the one on the tank I am getting if it is "prettier".

One "issue" I've had with swapping tanks is I have a little Argon 40CF I use as a "travel" tank. After picking it up and getting back to the shop, I felt "movement" inside so moving it side to side I discovered a liquid, probably water, sloshing around inside! Turned upside down with the valve cracked, liquid came out and when I brought it back the next day to exchange for good, the LWS guy was incredulous until I showed him and he "felt" the water in it. I also try to get a small tank with a cap which is rare.

Keep in mind that some gases such as CO2 are liquid under pressure. It is NOT good to completely empty a tank. A little residual pressure helps keep moisture and crap out for the "next guy".

Another issue with "ownership" is I bought a 150CF Argon and it is rare that my LWS has any in stock so I now have a 125CF but if I happen to see a 150 in the lineup, I am welcome to swap out for it.
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TA Arcmaster 185 w/tig/stick kit
MillerMatic 252 w/3rd gen 30A
MM140 w/o AS, w/CO2
Hobart (Miller) 625 plasma
Hobart 250ci plasma
Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
Lincoln Patriot autodark (freebie)
45ACP Black Talons for those stubborn jobs...
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