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Welding gas quantity
Slimy38 - 13/11/23 at 07:53 AM

Just out of interest, how much welding gas does everyone use to build a car? I'm going to be picking up bottle number 4 today, and while I doubt I'll actually use very much, it did seem a bit much that I've used three 10 litre bottles to do 99% of the car. It's Adams gas so it hasn't cost very much over the years.

Thinking about welding wire I think I've used at least a dozen of the 0.7kg reels, it might have made sense to get a bigger roll earlier on but my welder didn't seem to have the capacity for the bigger rolls.


motorcycle_mayhem - 13/11/23 at 09:43 AM

Depends what you're doing, I guess. Straight forward kit build, or plenty of trials and scrap.
Even just modifying, etc., I get through 5Kg reels frequently. 0.7Kg reels are ridiculously small. Used to have a BOC Argoshield 'W' for the gas, but I've now gone to 'Y' (the smaller one), due to a need to take a welder to the circuit... just in case.
Migatronic 5000, SIP Autoplus 100 and my RTech 180 all take 5Kg. The Clarke 255 eats 15Kg as an option, but I stay at 5Kg (refreshing rather than watching the wire corrode).


Slimy38 - 13/11/23 at 10:57 AM

quote:
Originally posted by motorcycle_mayhem
Depends what you're doing, I guess. Straight forward kit build, or plenty of trials and scrap.
Even just modifying, etc., I get through 5Kg reels frequently. 0.7Kg reels are ridiculously small. Used to have a BOC Argoshield 'W' for the gas, but I've now gone to 'Y' (the smaller one), due to a need to take a welder to the circuit... just in case.
Migatronic 5000, SIP Autoplus 100 and my RTech 180 all take 5Kg. The Clarke 255 eats 15Kg as an option, but I stay at 5Kg (refreshing rather than watching the wire corrode).


I will admit there has been a fair few 'trials' and 'retrials' and 'reretrials'... It did just strike me as odd that I've managed to get through 3 tanks.

Wire corrosion is another reason why I've stayed with smaller reels. There's often big gaps between work so sacrificing 0.7kg is a little easier to cope with. My second welder (Clarke 151te) came with a 5kg drum in it but it didn't have the correct mounting reels so wouldn't turn. It was also more rust than welding wire so that is in the cupboard for 'non-welding' tasks.

The tank is 10 litres at 200 bar, which if my maths is correct about 2000 litres? With a gas feed of 10-12 litres per minute, that's just over 3 hours of welding?


jps - 13/11/23 at 01:26 PM

Iíve used Hobbyweld for gas so no ongoing cost. Would think itís definitely been the cheapest way for me given the number of years itís been, but then I havenít welded the full chassis, just small bits and pieces along the way.


Slimy38 - 13/11/23 at 01:58 PM

quote:
Originally posted by jps
Iíve used Hobbyweld for gas so no ongoing cost. Would think itís definitely been the cheapest way for me given the number of years itís been, but then I havenít welded the full chassis, just small bits and pieces along the way.


Adams gas is the same, I have no idea how much I would have spent if I had been paying rental as well!! The only issue I have is that pretty much every time I've gone for a refill the shop I've used has closed and I've had to go elsewhere. Fortunately even when I got my first tank there was at least half a dozen in range so even losing 3 or 4 still leaves me with options.

Although Hobbyweld have just added a new supplier that is ten minutes down the road for me, so I'm tempted to trade my Adams gas bottle in and start on Hobbyweld instead.


falcor75 - 14/11/23 at 06:15 AM

I think I used about 8-10 recharges of my 10 litre bottle of argon, the first fills were about 75Ä back in 2019 and last week when I went to refill it it was about 110Ä. Thankfully the car is done now so this fillup should last me a good while.


Slimy38 - 14/11/23 at 08:21 AM

quote:
Originally posted by falcor75
I think I used about 8-10 recharges of my 10 litre bottle of argon, the first fills were about 75Ä back in 2019 and last week when I went to refill it it was about 110Ä. Thankfully the car is done now so this fillup should last me a good while.


Ah ok, that's reassuring then. Obviously the 'build your car for £250' possibility is long gone, but when I'm exceeding that budget just on consumables it does make me wonder.


falcor75 - 14/11/23 at 08:45 AM

My entire build was somewhere in the realm of 10-12k £ but then I didnt try to build as cheap as possible at all. The things I bought used was engine+engine wiring and ecu, gearbox, differential, rims, front and rear uprights/hubs.
Edit: forgot the steering column.


250 £ today buys you the material for the frame and A-arms, not much else unless you manage to go with rusty cutoffs from someones scrap pile.

[Edited on 1 by falcor75]

[Edited on 1 by falcor75]


coyoteboy - 14/11/23 at 10:34 AM

I went through 1 0.7kg reel patching 2 sills on my tin-top, sounds like you're doing well.

Honestly though, sounds like you took the right route and it has worked out pretty well, I wouldn't go for bigger reels even if I needed them because they end up rusting in my damp garage, I'd rather have 5x good reels than 1x constantly decaying roller faff.

I have an account with BOC for Argon for my TIG, but I haven't used it yet - it looks super cheap for DIY stuff, but as you say, if you're taking years to build it, the rental would go above the gas cost.