Torch tanks question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by JWH123, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    USA
    I'm sure this sounds strange, but please bear with me.

    I'm looking to get into metalworking, so I'm trying to get my hands on a welder and/or cutting torch. So, I posted on my local Freecycle list asking for one.

    One person has gotten in touch with me with a set of tanks he is willing to sell me for probably $100. He estimates the O2 tank to be 4 1/2' high 6-8" diameter, and the acetylene tank about 3' high, 6-8" diameter. He 'thinks' they have a good amount of gas still in them, and he's also going to give me the cart he has for them.

    I guess I'm a little paranoid about stolen tanks, because I vaguely remember my dad having problems with a cylinder that was reported stolen. This was 15-20 years ago, but I think dad got together with a co-worker to bring their tanks in to be filled/swapped. The co-worker took dad's empty tank and gave him back a full one. When the time came for dad to re-fill the next time, he went to the shop and they checked the tank, and told him he had a tank that was reported stolen, and I think they took it from him. Dad was almost done doing the at-home car repairs he was doing for neighbors, and I think after that incident he rented a pair of tanks for a few years, and then eventually got rid of them altogether.

    So my question is, for those of you that get tanks filled or swapped, do they check your tanks to see if they come up on a 'hot list' every time you swap them? I assume there must be a serial number stamped into them?

    I guess I'm worried about buying these tanks for $100 from this guy, then losing them at the welding shop if they tell me these were stolen or rental tanks.

    Perhaps I'm paranoid. Near me there's a welding shop (Messer Gas) and a Tractor Supply which does cylinder exchange also, I'm thinking that TSC would be less stringent on checking for stolen cylinders, their tank exchange program is called Throughbred. I feel bad because I have no reason to distrust the guy, and I don't want to sound dishonest, but I don't want to be left 'holding the bag' if something turns out wrong here. Not to mention out $100!

    I guess another question that I think I know the answer to, is if this sounds like a good price. Methinks yes. I picked up a regulator and torch set at a yard sale for $10 a year ago, I'm just now getting around to looking for tanks. $110 for a torch set with large tanks sounds like a pretty darn good price. I priced the smallest pair of tanks at the gas shop, and for the two smallest tanks it would have been $140, that included a free fill for the first time.

    Now just to convince my wife that this is worth $100, and to keep an eye out for a welder!

    Thanks for your input!

    John
     
  2. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    where i get tanks filled they dont check but they will only fill ther tanks and they dont realy fill yours they trade a full for a empty one there filled in the back
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i paid allmost 700 dollors for my smith set up with hard hats on them no tanks just torch, hose and gauges
     
  4. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    south west Mo
    I have exchanged tanks seveal times the last few years, I have not noticed them ever checking to see if the are hot or not. At least thats here in Mo.

    Some tanks are stamped on the top near the dates as "SOLD" , mine are. A hundred bucks aint too bad of a buy. If you are worried about them being stolen, ask the supplier if there is a way you can get some numbers off of them and see if they are stolen when the supplier runs the numbers. Chances are good that they are ok. But I would be a little cautios if the guy has more than 1 or 2 sets of bottles sitting around. (unless he is a running a real metal working type of shop)


    But if it was me, I would probably buy them.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you considered O2 & propane from a 20lb tank for your torch work? It will use slightly more O2, and can't cut quite as deep, but has some good features as well, depending on what you are doing. Only one spendy tank to rent/buy so it does end up cheaper.

    To your question, get a reciept from the fellow, so you can track the tanks back to him if you are questioned about it. It is not so often that people outright steal the tanks, but they forget there is a 10 or 15 year rental agreement & just sell them along with the torch - whoops!

    As I've always rented them, don't know how they check for stolen ones.

    --->Paul
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    The collar around the top of the tank tells you if it is a rental or an owner tank. Owner tanks are usually about 1/2 the capasity of rental tanks; if there is writeing stamped on the collar it is most likely a rental tank.

    ABSOLUTELY NEVER open an acetolene tank without gagues, its flash point is extrememly low and it can ignight via friction of the gas exiting the tank. You will get a 20 inch flame at 1200 degrees which causes the tank to topple to its side via thrust.

    Propane is a practical fuel for torch work, it burns a bit cooler that acetolene but just as well. It does take a two piece tip, one labled propane or MAPP gas. Regular acetolene tips will not work with propane.

    Cutting thick metals? Such as railroad iron track? Turn the oxygen up to about 80 pounds delivery for these cuts. I have cut rail down to the wide web it has on the bottom with this pressure amount.

    When useing propane, note that there is 3 cones of flame issueing from the torch tip, blue, soft green and then yellow. At the center of the flame is blue 'fingers' equalling the count of orfices, these fingers is the hotest part of the flame, they should touch the metal at the start of the cut. Never allow any tip itsself touch the metal.

    Turn off the tanks main valve when the torch will be idle for 5 or more minutes, this saves wear on your gagues.
     
  7. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input. As of right now, even though $100 is a good price, after talking with my wife I can't really justify spending that with cash being as tight as it is.

    John
     
  8. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Colorado
    I have "bought" used tanks, and traded them for refill, and no checking was done,

    but a "s" sized O2 tank in our area is about $150 to lease or buy, the one location "leases" them to you for a life time as long as you bring in a empty, and then it is about $16 for a refill, and the bottle is traded,

    If you own or have a odd bottle they may fill it or they may not, but it may take them a few days or may be even longer to fill the tank, and if the tank is not in date, then it will have have to be hydro tested, before being filled, lease tanks are keep up to date by the company, not you,

    I have used LP or propain for 30 years, you will need a LP tip for your torch and the depth of cut is depedent on the tip size and the pressure of the O2, we were cutting 1 1/4" a few days ago, my son emptyed three bottles before he was done with his project,

    this place has done me and my son good, for tips,
    http://www.atlweldingsupply.com/

    Happy cutting,
     
  9. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Back in the USA
    I bought tanks several years ago from the manufacturer. At that time I bought five H size O2 tanks and five acetylene tanks. Those were brand new and I had the shipping papers.

    The first time I had the O2 tanks filled, the guy at the desk of the gas company asked if I could prove I owned them. The guy actually seemed disappointed when I showed him the papers from the manufacturer. He made a copy for their files. They've never said anything since.

    I don't trade the tanks. I leave them and them pick them up when filled. I've sold a few of them and I've always given the buyer a notarized bill of sale and a copy of the original paperwork from the manufacturer. The tanks do have serial numbers.

    None of the folks has had problems getting the cylinders filled to my knowledge. Buying tanks without being able to prove where they came from can be risky. The gas suppliers won't sell tanks because they're make a steady income from leasing them. Likewise they'll use any excuse (they might be stolen) to avoid filling yours.