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What size argon/co2 bottle for garage welder?

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Old 09-30-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default What size argon/co2 bottle for garage welder?

I have a little 220v MIG welder that ive been using flux wire for. I did my mini tubs and alot of other fab work with it but im really tired of the spatter. I also am going to buy a Burkhart bumper support and need to weld to it so il need some 70ers wire and an argon mix. Most of my work will be with mild steel but when fabricating off of the bumper support its made of chromoly

What size bottles do you guys have and how long do they last? I dont want to be going and having it filled everytime I use it, I was thinking of trying to find a 60 cfm bottle.

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Old 09-30-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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Ive got a number 3 from tractor supply....lasted me just shy of 2 years. Did a lot of exhaust, some body work, SFC, welding random Sh--
Youll inevitable forget to shut the gas off for the night once or twice. Id just say get the biggest tank you have room for. At least for me getting it refilled sucks cause I have to drive an hour in the direction that is furthest from ANYTHING other than welding gas supply.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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what he said^^^ but dont mig weld chromium molybdenum you should tig weld it
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:53 AM   #4
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I have a 55 Cuft and its ok. Like everyone else said, buy as big as you can. I used to pay a dollar or 2 less per fill and that was a 20cu tank. Your burn rate depends on how much gas you need to run. When I weld steel I usually have it down to 5 cu ft per hour, but for the last week I have been welding stainless steel (Yes with a mig and the argon/co2 standard mix) and I had to bump it up to 20cu ft per hour.

Also I`m not so sure you can mig cromoly I thought that was tig only.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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Ive got a 20cu.ft. and a 40cu.ft. The 40 cu is perfect for light duty/home garage mig stuff. Ive had mine filled 3 times in about 3 years. If your not trying to make money off of it just get the 40. Anything larger and they are pricey. Once you get on the gas you wont ever want to weld without it!!
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
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Cool, I have a few 20s laying around but id like to find a 60 and not have to switch them out.

Ive welded chromoly before with a MIG, as long as you use an argon/co2 mix and a 70 ers wire it works just fine. I know there is a rule that states that chromoly needs to be TIG per NHRA rules but not sure if it only pertains to roll cages. My cage is TIG'd but this is for some front end work such as radiator support. If nothing else ill tack everything then take it to someone that can TIG it because I dont have the money or tiem to learn the skill.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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TIG is really handy and doesn't take that long to learn. If you're in the So Cal area, we're having a get-together in Quartz Hill about 7mi west of Palmdale in the hills with some great pro welders attending. All we do is talk, eat, drink, teach and learn from others. You're welcomed to join us this Saturday. We'll have a couple of Dynastys there and a cpiple of the giys had me comfortably TIGing in about 30 minute. We're on Welding Web at
It's a skill it pays to have.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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Most of the time your "owner" bottle ends up going
into circulation and you get somebody else's. Nobody
fills on site any more, except maybe CO2. So, the #1
concern is whether there will be a bottle of the same
size as the one you bring in. I'd check wherever you
plan to get your gasses, and stick with the most
common size (40 ft3?) to minimize hassle.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:52 PM   #9
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I own 3 welders, but i'm also a 6g certified welder, and do a lot of side work out of my shop at home. On my thermal arc arcmaster tig machine, I use a 330cf bottle of straight argon (owned by me), but it is on a cart and is my go to machine for the kind of fab work I do, it lasts me about a year, I run about 10-15cfh of argon or so, and it usually costs me about $75-80 to fill locally.

My Hobart mig machine I run a 162cf tank of argon/c02, and it cost me $39.74 to fill just last week. But, it does come in handy when I need it, large welds or grooves fill in a lot faster when you're pullin the trigger. A lot easier to fill up holes too, and I use the mig when welding exhaust on a car and not on my workbench too.

I also have a thermal arc fabricator 181i, and have (1) 40cf tank of 100% argon, and (1) 40cf tank of a 75/25 argon/c02 mix. This machine travels though, as it has mig/tig/stick welding abilities. These tanks usually last me 6-8 months, depending on how many calls I get.

Usually, if you have a cart, or place to put it, you're better off just buying the biggest tank available, the fills get cheaper as you go up. I have known guys with the 330cf tanks last 4 years or more, depending on how much you weld. Hope it helped!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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USAWELD.com 55 CF $100.oo. I paid more when I was looking for a cal for my mig. I bought one of these for the tig I want to get.(Invert big 221)
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:15 PM   #11
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We have a 300 size for the tig at my shop at home. But they are high to buy at first. Last a long time though and only 52 dollars to refill here local.
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