Author Topic: New welding gas supplier brings competition --  (Read 366 times)

Offline goodfellow

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New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:23:58 PM »
On the old GG I had started a thread about the price of welding gas going through the roof because the huge national conglomerates were buying up local welding supply stores, and subsequently gouging the DIY guy to the max. In my area I saw the price of common welding and shielding gas (C25, Argon, Oxygen, and Acetylene) quadruple in a little over 10 years.

Well, today I was pleasantly surprised. A new supplier was recommended to me, and although 20 miles out of my way, their prices are way better than the local competition. I know non-corporate account, non high volume DIY guys like myself don't always get the best deals, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I exchanged three of my owned cylinders  -- a small portable MC sized Acetylene cylinder, an 80cf Acetylene cylinder, and 120cf Oxygen cylinder for $102.  I estimate that a year ago the price for that exchange would have been anywhere between $140 - $160.

I don't use a lot of O2 and Acetylene anymore -- except for heating and cutting rusted/stuck fasteners, so this will last me a while. BUT I'm glad the competition is back in this market -- when I need Argon and C25, this will be my new supplier.


Offline ken w.

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 03:04:40 PM »
What company are you using now ?

Offline goodfellow

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 03:13:39 PM »
What company are you using now ?

ARC3 -- an outfit out of Richmond VA. Fast, reasonably priced, and no BS ---

Offline mdlbldrmatt135

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 05:55:53 PM »
Our local place got bought by Airgas....  they do bottle some custom mixes in house though!

Offline Elroy

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 02:43:52 PM »
Our local place got bought by Airgas.... 

Same thing happened to Elroy's local preferred welding vendor.

Offline slip knot

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 07:31:12 PM »
Our local place got bought by Airgas.... 

Same thing happened to Elroy's local preferred welding vendor.

Here as well. I've got an empty acetylene and oxygen that I need to haul in. hope they bend me over too bad.

Offline skfarmer

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 12:03:48 PM »
i have my torch tanks filled at the local coop. i "own" them as all records were lost there in a fire many years ago. it is a don't ask don't tell agreement  that i don't think would happen if the farmers didn't have the coop on their side.

my argon tank is a different story. my bil was working at the local welding supply  store and i bought my mig and did the tank lease through him. he no longer works there and they closed the local place. they have a satellite location  at a local welding shop but you can guess how that works. any welding not done in their shop is  business they don't get  so they rip you on tank exchange. when my argon is empty i will be looking for something different.
from the ashes shall rise a phoenix

i was here when the hangout turned into mexican food site!

Offline goodfellow

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 12:18:48 PM »
Our local place got bought by Airgas....  they do bottle some custom mixes in house though!

Yup, Airgas and Metheson are dominating around here as well. There are some very large locals as well -- such as Roberts Oxygen, that has served the DC region for years, and are now also a large east coast distributor. In most all cases, once they go BIG, they forget about the little guy and make it difficult to get customer owned cylinders refilled.

I'm lucky, I have all my paperwork going back to the 1970's, and they can't claim that the ownership is questionable -- although many have tried to pull that worn out tactic in order to sell a leasing agreement. They find ways to jack up the price of gas if you own the cylinders vs. having a yearly lease agreement with them.

Rural communities still have some independents (even around here), but you have to look for them -- and you'll have to drive a ways to get to them.


Offline highland512

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2019, 07:28:00 AM »
Growing up the family always used Indiana Oxygen, mostly because thats all there was. I plan on contacting them soon to find out pricing.

On the east coast Roberts is who we primarily use on our jobs. There big but not airgas big, airgas can be a huge pain in the ass to deal with. When I was working on the gulf driving pile we where burning through 4-6ea of the 12-2 packs of propylene oxygen packs a week and airgass was still giving us bad service 

Offline pep

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2019, 09:19:03 PM »
Hey GF.

Have any experience with Argon & O2 as a mix for the mig ? Mig wire tends run a little fast, leaving a taller, rounded bead, compared to the TIG.

 Thinking the O2 could boost the heat, causing the bead to wet out & lay down, add penetration .

What say you Ray?
Pep

Offline goodfellow

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2019, 09:34:27 PM »
Hey GF.

Have any experience with Argon & O2 as a mix for the mig ? Mig wire tends run a little fast, leaving a taller, rounded bead, compared to the TIG.

 Thinking the O2 could boost the heat, causing the bead to wet out & lay down, add penetration .

What say you Ray?
Pep

No experience with that mix pep - sorry! 

Offline pep

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2019, 08:39:17 AM »
I read post here and there, remarking about the shielding gas prices, owning or renting the cylinders.

Own 2, 80 & 120 .......... just refilled both, under a 100 for them...that BTW is totally reasonable, Airgas bought the LWS, here.

Anyway, I picked up on a unusual bit of info regarding renting these cylinders. It boils down to the following. And have no idea of the time line it follows.

I think it works this way, one rents and comes back every month for a refill. He pays the same price for gas as I.

But rent and then come back a year later for a refill .... big difference in gas price.

 As with any rented item, there will be a regular and ongoing fee.

Soooo even if a cylinder is rented, one may not get a monthly bill, however there is a fee being calculated when the refill happens.

Turns out, as with all things rented, for longer that a few hours it is a bad idea.

ain't no free lunch baby :-\

FWIW
Pep


Online Matt_T

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2019, 12:40:38 PM »
I don't use a lot of O2 and Acetylene anymore -- except for heating and cutting rusted/stuck fasteners, so this will last me a while.

For those uses it's worth considering a switch to propane. Much cheaper fuel, though you do loose some of that to increased O2 consumption. A 14oz disposable propane cylinder contains more BTUs than an MC acetylene. And a 15# fill grill tank is the BTU equivalent of 2 3/4 80CF acetylene.

Propane also heats better, and cuts about the same, once you learn how to run it. Not near as limited on withdrawal rate either so you can run larger tips for even more heat. I ran a #5 GPN cutting tip on a 14oz disposable a while back just to see if I could. That's in small rosebud territory ;D

Offline bonneyman

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Re: New welding gas supplier brings competition --
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2019, 07:50:33 PM »
Wasn't there an acetylene manufacturing plant that blew up some years ago, leaving a single production facility for the whole country? Who owned that?