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What do you pay for gas rental?


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I'm really cranky about the monopoly BOC has on gas supply and cylinder rental. I have only small oxy/acet (D size) bottles and an E size Argoshield. BOC charge me $580 a year for the privilege of using their bottles.

I don't know what the set up is in the U.S. or elsewhere, but in Australia we are paying through the nose for bottle rental. The gas is expensive too, but at least that is a user pays thing. I'm wondering how the other Australians on this site get on with gas rentals. And what is the system in other places overseas?

The thing is I rarely use oxy/acet for welding - it's mainly a heat source for me, bending and shaping metal. LPG just isn't good enough for that. 

I did hear that Bunnings in the southern states is trialling oxy/acet bottles with a deposit on the bottles, refundable when you take them in for refill. That sounds like a great idea, as I would love to give BOC the big heave-ho. 

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Oxy Propane running in torches designed for it is a great heat source and much cheaper than acetylene (and safer in many ways too).  Here in the states I once had a demo job cutting up a wrought iron water tank and my local welding gas supplier lent me the Acetylene bottles for that high usage job---I had to put a deposit down so they didn't walk away but he refunded it after the job was done.

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I can't help on the acetaline front, but here in the UK SGS (i think it is) have started to do rental free bottles of certain gases. You basically pay a deposit as you would do for propane and then swap the bottles over for full ones when they are empty, when the time comes that you no longer need it then you can get the deposit back.  I have oxy propane and get my oxygen (and argon for tig) from the local motor parts place who have an SGS dealership. The deposit is high, but it's a one off :)

I have no intention to weld with gas, so the oxy propane was the way to go as it is much cheaper to run. I have several types/size of tip and can get very local or more general heat, and cutting of course. I haven't any experience with acetaline so don't really know how it compares

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When I first started to investigate an O/A setup, the first co I went to charged ~$5 or so ($US) per month per tank. 2 other companies the same distance the other direction let me buy outright, and trade for a full one when empty, so guess where I bought?

 

Steve

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Your spot on ausfire I have two oxy/acet kits and would love to have one handy, For the last 30 years have always had a set in the company work truck, but its just way too expensive from BOC. I even though of going to air/acetylene at least you only have to hire one bottle.

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Fergy, tell me how LPG can be used to heat and bend a 12mm bar!! I have a 100 lb full LPG cylinder sitting in the shed. I attached a small burner to it but you be there all day trying to heat anything substantial. I mainly use it for tempering colour on bright steel or warming steel for burnishing with brass.

I guess you could combine LPG with Oxy but could you use the same gear that you use with acetylene?? I would happily ditch the acetylene if there was an alternative that would supply the same heat.

I need to know more about this oxy/propane.

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Search on  Oxygen-Propane Rosebud  and remember most big scrapyards use  Oxygen-Propane for all their torch cutting too.  You will want to get the special tips designed for using propane and make sure your Hoses/regulator are rated for it (They oxy one will be fine of course...)  It's not good for welding so you will want to keep the other set up unless you decided to go to arc welding and use propane for everything else

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its all I use ausfire

and its a bit like the tumbler hurry up and convert your OLD man ways

you need a LPG regulator should be around $100

and you need to use type 44 ? cutting tips

the LPG heating tips are also different

best bet is to buy a cheap Kit from flea bay

your 100 pound bottle of LPG should see you out even if it is half full

I use a 18 kg LPG bottle on the gas cutting kart and I get around 20 g size bottles to a LPG bottle

I profile cut 100 mm plate with LPG OXY as it gives a better cut than acet

 

we silver solder with oxy/LPG every week

Hydraulic fittings 6000PSI

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Oxy-LPG-Professional-Gas-Cutting-And-Welding-Kit-24-Month-Warranty-OME8038-/111549311647?hash=item19f8db6a9f:g:4Q8AAOSwEeFU9C6h

 

I would get this

to swap a ACET bottle will cost you $160

and your yearly rent is costing you $190

so its the same cost as a ACET bottle but you only pay once

AND if you run out of LPG on the weekend there is probably 20 BBQ bottles in a 500m radius you could liberate

(Link shown for ausfire to see I have nothing to do with them if you don't like it there delete it )

 

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Thanks for the heads up on oxy/propane.

Thomas, yes I would not worry if oxy/propane was not good for welding. I will have to just keep buying Argo for the mig and paying the $190 a year for that bottle. I only use the oxy/acet for heating (and very occasionally brazing) and cutting.

Dale, our nearest welding supply house is down in Cairns but next time I'm there I will call and see what they have.

Fergy, I had a look at that eBay link and the deal looks pretty good. I have just paid my BOC bill for this year so I'll leave it for now, but it's definitely a good prospect. Interesting that you said you can cut and silver solder with that set up. Not that I want to cut 100mm plate and I've never silver soldered but it's worth knowing.

And as for changing my old man ways ... well, I have a son who tells me that. He says I don't do anything on the forge that he can't do with oxy. Yes, but I have more fun.  I've never owned a mobile phone either, but the boss wants me to do instagram pictures of our business so he bought me this flash new Smart phone Apple6 doodad and now I have to figure that out. Grrrr. 

 

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Nothing wrong with old man ways ausfire we need someone to learn from

im yet to find an app that will make a decent rail spike knife

you may be able to get a refund for the remaining months if you take your bottle back early

i can swap you bottle rental bills if you want ;)

Hi Jim

 

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Sounds like time to do a little damascus knife and ask the young'un to duplicate that with oxy.  Yes there is a lot of overlap between many metalworking tools; but some are still better than others for certain things---I remember way back in the rec.crafts.metalworking days when the internet was ASCII; there was a thread on making corkscrews and the machinists/lathe folk were coming up with the most outre methods of making a corkscrew when as a blacksmith I would have finished off my first bottle opened with mine before they even got their's started good.. 

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Ausfire, I use a standard 'Harris type ' cutting torch I changed the cutting tip to the 'split' type for LPG use changed the red hose to an orange one and use an LPG regulator. Cuts like a dream. Really minimal cost! :) for heating I just swap the top half, cutting to braising top and use as is.

Our local BOC affiliate is Afrox. They have never been accused of being reasonably priced! So I avoid them like the plague.

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10 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Sounds like time to do a little damascus knife and ask the young'un to duplicate that with oxy.  

Ha Ha, yes that would fix him. He's only ever seen me make simple stuff which he probably could do with oxy. I have never made a Damascus knife and would not know where to start. Seems I spend all my forge time trying to keep up with the demand for tourist stuff - bottle openers, bulls and rams heads, hooks and handles and the like. I've been doing blacksmithing for a long time and I make a fair job of the things I do, but my range is very limited. I must make time to try some new things.

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I've been using an All States oxy propane torch for close to 30 years and it makes oxy acet look like a weak sister in every process BUT welding steel. All States let the patent lapse a few years ago so the company that manufactures their torches was able to sell it under their name. http://www.harrisproductsgroup.com/en/Products/Equipment/Torches.aspx

It costs approximately 2% as much as oxy acet in consumables for the same amount of work.

I bought a W oxy bottle and just exchange it at the welding supply, costs about $30.00 US. I also bought the W bottle for 75/25 I run in my wire feed, costs about %50.00 to exchange. I haven't seen the bottles I bought since the first exchange but the ones I get are always freshly certified and or conditioned.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just got back from the welding/gas shop.  I didn't need CO2 or Argon so I have no idea how much the cost is.

Oxygen-$25.65 Large bottle

Acetylene- $69.35 145CF bottle

Tank rental 6 dollars a month.

I think when this acetylene bottle is done I will look into the propane.

I did not buy my bottles.  I probably should now that I am using them a lot more.

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On 2/5/2016 at 2:22 AM, ianinsa said:

Ausfire, I use a standard 'Harris type ' cutting torch I changed the cutting tip to the 'split' type for LPG use changed the red hose to an orange one and use an LPG regulator. Cuts like a dream. Really minimal cost! :) for heating I just swap the top half, cutting to braising top and use as is.

Our local BOC affiliate is Afrox. They have never been accused of being reasonably priced! So I avoid them like the plague.

Sounds like a good idea. So if I just took all my oxy/acet gear in to the welding supply shop and said change this so I can connect to LPG that would solve everything. For the cost of an LPG regulator, one new hose and maybe a different tip or two for the standard torch? Thanks Ian - another option to consider.

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Hi Fergy, the mixer you have listed is not big enough for a shp3 (48 x 12) or a shp4 (48 x 15) it is rated at 420 MJ/hr. they need a high flow (574) oxy/lpg oxy/natural gas mixer rated at 840 MJ/hr.

 

cheers yahoo

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The Harris one below looks more the part!  the tips look right the price seems loony though, and you should be able to get standard cheap 6mm orange LPG hose all over the place.

Btw when I say cheap I mean inexpensive yet approved:D and 6mm gives better flow. Btw. With torches Harris and Thermodine work well with this set-up imho. 

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