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Hobbyist / Bottle Size Problem

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  • ryanjones2150
    replied
    I have the same experience here as MMW.

    The only trouble I had was when I first moved here. The bottle I had was an airgas bottle, meaning the ring around the neck said Airgas. Since there was an Airgas here and I didn’t want to use Airgas anymore, my LWS wouldn’t take it. This was long before I forged a solid relationship with them. A flap disc and some spray paint later I had a retail gas cylinder that they were more than happy to swap out.

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  • MMW
    replied
    In Northern NJ here. I should mention that I am a legit business but that really should not matter. As I understand it I would only be able to buy a 120cf size now, anything over that is rent only. Luckily over many years I have accumulated all of my bottles which are considered customer owned. I have all different sizes aquired from garage sales, craigslist etc. I too am able to swap out any size bottle for any size bottle but I usually just swap out size for size. My guy at LWS doesn't care about dates either, this is one reason to have a good relationship with your LWS especially if they have been bought out by a large company, usually the counter guys stay the same. My area had a large number of mom and pop LWS and one by one they were bought up. Many bottle neck rings have different names from places that have not been in business for decades, even ones I get now from my LWS.

    So to answer your question, over the years I have bought or been given many bottles where I have more than enough of all sizes now. I have a good relationship with my LWS guy where any questions I am given some slack. I never tried to put one over on him and always been honest if a bottle is out of date or came from a house sale etc. Just try to find reasonbly priced used ones and accumulate. Look for ones that have a blank neck ring or a company that is no longer in business. It takes time but it will happen. You need to be vigilant in looking and ready to buy at a moments notice. You find old bottles at estate sales, clean outs etc. People have know idea how to get rid of them. Ask around all the time and let everyone know you will buy them. Know what they are worth and don't over pay. Also check dates and know what your state rule is on how long they are good for and what it will cost to re-certify, it is a good bargaining chip when purchasing.

    Even if you can only find 120cf bottles or 145cf in acetylene it is still better than only having one. The smaller ones like 80cf if I could get it cheap enough I would get it filled and flip it with a receipt that I owned it.
    Last edited by MMW; 05-01-2020, 06:21 AM.

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  • MAC702
    replied
    In Las Vegas, I've bought every single one of my tanks, including my 330CF. I hear about the restrictions some of y'all have and it makes no sense, except as maybe some local tradition from someone that thought it would make his welding gas company more money somehow.

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  • Dmaxer
    replied
    Originally posted by stickermigtigger View Post
    Yes, I consider large 300.

    Can’t buy or lease large without an account.

    Here max for me is an S bottle; 120cf
    So stickermigtigger, in order to answer your question it would be helpful to know where you are as asked by MAC702. The answers vary by location and hopefully there will be someone from you area who'll know what is possible.

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  • Bushytails
    replied
    The local welding supply here does tank exchange on any size tank. You might try finding a mom+pop place if there is one that isn't an obnoxious drive away, or see if the place you tried will refill a customer-owned bottle if you buy the bottle elsewhere, like craigslist. Just be sure when buying a used bottle that the person you buy it from actually owns it. Generally, if there's any name (of a welding shop, gas supplier, whatever) embossed on the collar under where the cap screws on, assume they do not actually own it unless they can prove otherwise.

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  • BukitCase
    replied
    Smaller, family owned LWS here in Oregon - kind of an "industrial oriented" town, I "own" all my tanks, but swap empty for full in ANY size I want (if I swap UP, a 1-time extra charge) - I have 6-7 tanks, some since 1978. In that time, if I had leased it would've cost me enough to buy every welder I own. (A little over $6k) ... Steve

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  • stickermigtigger
    replied
    Yes, I consider large 300.

    Can’t buy or lease large without an account.

    Here max for me is an S bottle; 120cf

    Leave a comment:


  • Aeronca41
    replied
    Where I live in upstate NY the largest you can buy is 80 cu ft. Not much oxygen if you are doing any amount of cutting. They will lease you a larger bottle.

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  • Meltedmetal
    replied
    They won't let you have them or they won't sell them to you? Only available by lease? That's the way it is here largest you can own is 125 cu. ft. I think. I lease mine.

    ---Meltedmetal

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  • MAC702
    replied
    It completely depends on where you are, and what you call a large bottle. 330 CF?

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  • stickermigtigger
    started a topic Hobbyist / Bottle Size Problem

    Hobbyist / Bottle Size Problem

    So being a hobbyist and small job welder without a business name or wanting to go through all the account application processes I run into gas bottle size problems with vendors. I.e. Arc3/AirGas/etc. won’t let me have large bottles. (Even though I’ve bought all my machines from Arc3 in the last ten years.)

    I’m guessing many of you have faced this challenge. What solutions have you found?
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