Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

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SteveHGraham
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Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:25 pm

Yesterday I started stick practice. I used my new Titanium 200 from Harbor Freight, with Lincoln 7018AC and Vulcan 6011 rods, both in 3/32". I stuck the rods over and over. I have been getting advice on that.

The welder tops out at 70A on 120, so there is a limit to what I can do, but other people have used 3/32" rods with no problem, so I know where the fault lies.

I managed to flash myself. I think that was my first time. I had to take the helmet off from time to time, and of course, I eventually got so annoyed by the welding problems, I forgot to put it back on. Luckily, I didn't have any symptoms later.

I could not get the 6011 to do anything but stop and start. It was a mess. The 7018 made very nice welds on the few occasions when I managed to get it working. I think it would be a great substitute for MIG from time to time. Less aggravation, and fewer things to go wrong.

Now that I have two MIG's, I want a second bottle, and that has me thinking about bottles, generally. I would like to backup my 125 cu.ft. argon bottle for TIG, but it seems silly to get a second tank that big. I was thinking it would be smart to get a 20 cu.ft. bottle. That way, if the big one pooped out, I could use the little one to finish whatever I was working on, and I could get the big one filled.

I don't know if this is a bright idea or not. Will gas sellers top off tanks? The little one would eventually need it. It's okay to have a 20 cu.ft. bottle to back up your big bottle, but it's not okay when it only has 1 cu.ft. of gas left in it, and you don't want to pay for a full refill every time you think the tank is a little low. I suppose I could leave the little bottle connected after getting the big one filled, and then I could make another trip to have the little one filled or swapped.

When I think of gas, I almost miss Miami. I had a guy who would sell me a 125 full of argon for $120. It looks like I'm going to have to shell out over $200 for an 80 filled with C25.
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LIALLEGHENY
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:53 pm

I don't know how easy it would be to get , but a friend of mine who worked for a welding/gas company brought me a commercially made high pressure hose with the correct fittings on it so I could fill a small bottle from a large bottle. (argon, C25, helium and mixes only) DON'T try to make a hose yourself, and DON'T use it for Oxygen
The suppliers won't just top off bottles, if done correctly they evacuate the bottle first to remove any contaminants then refill them.

Nyle
Last edited by LIALLEGHENY on Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:04 pm

I guess it would be okay to get a small bottle and run it empty. It will serve the same purpose, i.e., keeping me welding while an empty tank is waiting to be filled.
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by Harold_V » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:06 pm

Might be prudent to determine the cost of having a bottle filled (exchanged) before making a decision on size. As the size diminishes, the cost tends to escalate, so it can be considerably more expensive to fill small bottles, to say nothing of the inconvenience of having to do so more frequently.

H
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:26 pm

Harold, That's exactly the reason why I have the transfer hose. I get the "T" cylinders 336 cu.ft. and fill my smaller cylinders for my portable MIG and TIG welders. Much more cost effective.

Nyle

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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:42 pm

Of course, you are both right. Big bottles would save me money, but I am thinking about things like lifting them and moving them to a new house. I can put a 125 in the car. I don't plan to try to lift anything bigger.

My situation with welding gas is like my situation with Scotch. I don't use very much, so I don't have to be highly concerned about price. I can get a year and a half out of a bottle of Lagavulin for $100, while other guys drink two $23 bottles of J&B a week!
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NP317
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by NP317 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Steve:
Thinking of your difficulties welding 6011 rod.
You might try 6013 rod instead. In my experience, 6011 is a hotter rod for increased penetration. That makes it more difficult to control the weld. (for me, anyway) It freezes faster, making a smooth weld more difficult for "beginners."
6013 has been referred to as "farmer's rod" because it is relatively forgiving, and can even be welded with car batteries and jumper cables!
I've done that, because I didn't believe it possible. It made a great demonstration for my Mechanical Engineering students.

I built a welded steel trailer for my railroad motorcars, using 6013 and 6011 rod for first beads. I then covered the cleaned and inspected beads with 70-series powered iron rods, to get that smooth top weld. It is still in perfect condition (paint excluded) after 25+ years of use.

Anyway, give 6013 rod a try.
RussN

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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by liveaboard » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:34 am

I transfer oxygen all the time. I have a high pressure hose, I had to make one fitting.
Before that, I had a solid pipe between 2 tank fittings and would lay both tanks down end to end.
it takes a while for the temperature / pressure to equalize.

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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:03 am

Russ, I picked up some 6013 yesterday at Harbor Freight, while grabbing a badly needed tool cart. I have not tried it yet.

Things keep getting better as I practice, although 6011 is still hopeless. I can actually weld with 7018.

I'll probably start a fight here, but I finally got the correct info on 7018 and storage. It goes like this: 1. If you're welding a barbecue grill or a bush hog skirt, you can use 7018 which has been sitting open for 10 years, because no one is going to die if your weld isn't perfect. 2. If you're welding something important, you can fix old 7018 by putting it in the oven at 500 degrees for 90 minutes. I got that from a rod manufacturer's website, and I trust it.

I also learned that putting 7018 in an old refrigerator with a light bulb inside is a total waste of time. Not that I planned to do it.

Thought this info might help people who are swimming in mythology posted on welding forums.

I am tempted to make a "lifetime" (snort) purchase and get an Esab multi-process welder. I think the Titanium is fantastic for $600, and you can't beat the portability, but it would be neat to go first-class during my remaining non-senile years.

I learned something remarkable about inverter welders like the Titanium. They put down heavier welds on 120V than transformer machines because they suck less current. The little Lincoln transformer machines blow breakers at settings that are no problem for an inverter welder.
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liveaboard
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by liveaboard » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:39 am

made rod storage pvc tubes; just one glued end and the other screw off, plumbing stuff, easy.
why I hadn't done this simple thing 25 years ago, I don't know.
also dried 7018 in an oven; it was unusable wet, made nothing but fizzy holes. After baking it was ok.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:49 am

I have some tubes, with a rubber seal on the lid, that some welding rods came in.
I also have some store bought tubes, with seals on the lids as well.
All good for about 10 lbs, and well worth the money, especially if you are in a humid area.

An old refrigerator with the light-bulb will work, but only if you get rid of the humidity. A Dri-Z-Air or similar, works great for that.
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Re: Small Bottle to Back up Big Bottle?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:56 am

If I had something really important to weld, and I had to use 7018, I would not want to trust an old refrigerator. It's so easy to throw rods in the oven.

Of course, if the thing I was welding was REALLY important, I would probably hire someone else or use MIG.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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