I have a MIG, I have been running flux core since I got it, and now I need to do a bunch of exhaust work. My MIG supports using gas, it has a clear tube with a weave of some kind going through it to hook up to argon. I have the correct wire for shielding gas.
People have recommended buying a bottle on ebay and getting airgas to fill it.
I have also seen recommendations to buy a tank right from airgas outright, and other recommendations to rent a tank.
I do not know if I need a regulator.
I just have never set this up myself and I just have no idea what I am doing, but obviously I am looking for the best deal price wise. I will probably need enough argon for a couple hours of continuous welding (obviously it wont actually be continuous) so lets say 4 hours continuous welding.
And I am not sure what mixture people prefer for mild steel. I am welding 16 gage mild steel exhaust tubing.
Anyone in MA know a good welding supply store? I would rather not deal with a giant store like airgas that mainly services businesses.
I don't do a lot of welding so I bought a small bottle from our local Tractor Supply store and had it filled at one of the welding supply shops. Renting the bottle works if you do a lot of welding but I'd own it if you can.
If you weld a lot just plan on buying a tank because you will never go back to flux core wire again. The difference is night and day if you ask me (in a good way). I would just hit up the local Air Gas and ask them for the best options. They usually have different tank sizes depending on needs.
I honestly couldn't tell you the right "mixture" for your welding. I usually just played with the PSI on the regulator until it started welding the way I liked it. I sort of taught myself how to weld so some of the specifics I am a bit fuzzy on.
Check out Miller's website, if I recall correctly they have a LOT of good info and charts to help you out.
edit: sorry 75/25 not 80/20 Argon Co2 mix, go to Airgas if they are local to you. Don't want to be driving all over the country hauling around a gas bottle, prices are pretty much the same no matter where you go You do have a way to haul the bottle?
Rent or Customer owned is up to you weigh out the costs. Get the small bottle it will last long enough for you to do what you need to do and then some, unless you run full out on the regulator. HF has a simple regulator you can use to get up and running. I use a medium size customer owned bottle. They swap out the bottle and give me a filled one that is inspected when I run out.
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[This message has been edited by Brucepts (edited 07-15-2013).]
Your profile doesn't indicate what part of Mass. you are in. When I lived in Worcester, my brother in law used Aimtech in Auburn, Ma.
I don't know if it's a company wide policy or a local policy, but Holox or AirGas will not refill a privately owned tank around this area. There are requirements that tanks be periodically inspected and certified. They will, however swap out their tank for yours, but you may be responsible for reimbursing them if your tank fails certification.
100% Argon is good for aluminum and will be ok for steel with a bit more splatter. 75% Argon/ 25% CO2 is good for mild steel with the best bead and splatter. 100% CO2 is the best for deep penetration of mild steel but with a bit more splatter than 75/25. This is what I used building dump truck beds at my first job.
I went to the local welding supply store and bought about a 3 foot high tank of 100% Argon because I occasionally weld aluminum. When empty I take it back and they swap out a full tank for my empty tank and off I go. The size of the tank will be in Cubic Feet and that is how the prices are listed. Which size you get really depends on how much welding you are doing. Mine lasts a good long time (years) since I haven't done allot of welding.
I live 10 minutes from boston but go to WPI so I live in worcester half the year. During the summer I go down to worcester at least once a week. I figured I would buy a tank outright from airgas or other company.
Do you think 200 dollars can buy me a small filled tank?