View Full Version : Bottle size Choices?

03-28-2006, 10:17 AM
My wife's cousin has torches,hoses,and regulators, and said if I come up with the bottles, I could keep it at my house and use as needed. Throw me some Ideas about sizes, vs. cost, vs how long they'll last for the shade tree metal mangler.

03-28-2006, 12:20 PM
I would go with the largest bottles you can reasonably manage. I looked around for a bottle size chart and could not find one and I cannot recall the available sizes so I am afraid I am useless here...

I paid $250 for a ten year lease on my large (330 Cubic Feet) Argon bottle for the TIG. It costs me $70 to have it filled. A/O bottles are cheaper and more readily available, though and the gas is not as expensive. In fact, I seem to recall being quoted $111 for an O/A set up filled and out the door under a 5 year lease - not bad at all if my memory serves me correctly. I will confirm this number with my welding guys and report back....

I would guess you would want 120CF or 140CF minimum (bottle would be about 52" tall or so). For your project, I would imagine you might get some pretty good use out of this, so I wouldn't go with too small of a set-up - you have to be careful how rapidly you pull acetelyne out of the bottle so some of the sizing of the bottle is base on your tip selection. Too small of a bottle with too big of a tip can create Acetelyne starvation issues. Take the torch set-up to the welding store and see what they recommend - those guys are usually pretty helpful.

Suggestion - get flash back arrestors for the hoses if you don't already have them.

Portability would be a consideration but the gas will not go bad even after years of storage, so getting bigger bottles is my suggestion - if you have the space to keep them and the brawn to move them around. Based on the pic in the other thread, I think you have the brawn part under control.


03-28-2006, 12:47 PM
Some pretty interesting info on O/A safety here - take a look, this is pretty nicely done:


Of course you may be more experienced with A/O than I - I am not saying that you are or not but I don't know. You may not be - I do not know. Acetylene is some dangerous shtuff. Better safe than sorry - take a quick look.

To minimize the withdrawal of acetone, the [acetylene] withdrawal should be at a rate not to exceed one-tenth the capacity of the cylinder during intermittent use. On a continuous basis, the withdrawal rate should be no more than one-fifteenth the cylinder's capacity. - John Uccellini from http://www.thefabricator.com/OxyfuelCutting/OxyfuelCutting_Article.cfm?ID=1156.

Still working on bottle sizes...... I ran across a chart a few months ago but I can't find it now....

Oh - excuse my spelling of acetelyne - I think I am murdering the spelling, but it looks OK to me. The correct spelling is "acetylene". I have been schooled...


03-28-2006, 01:16 PM
Here is some info I have dug up to help to determine what bottle sizes would be appropriate. The limiting factor is the rate at which you intend to consume acetylene.

For welding: min bottle size
The 0 size tip uses about 1.7 CFH - 12 CF bottle required
The 2 size tip uses about 3.0 CFH - 21 CF bottle required
The 4 size tip uses about 4.3 CFH - 31 CF bottle required

For cutting:
The 0 size tip uses about 7.5 CFH - 53 CF bottle required
The 2 size tip uses about 10.5 CFH - 74 CF bottle required
The 4 size tip uses about 13 CFH. - 91 CF bottle required

So - if you consider the 1/7 rule, using a #4 cutting tip would require a minimum 91CF acetylene bottle - which is a relatively small bottle.

For size reference - I found that the average, run-of-the-mill Oxy bottle is 252CF.

I will post up any additional findings. Still looking for the size chart thingy....maybe I was imagining things cuz I sure as hell can't find it now...


....and yes - I am still bored at work. Plenty to do, but limited motivation at the moment.


03-28-2006, 01:16 PM
I bought the biggest tanks that you don't have to lease. I think they are 60c.f?? They trade them anyways, so the tanks are always current, but I don't have to pay a lease fee. Ever!

03-28-2006, 01:46 PM
Scott - great info! I've begun buying the largest bottle my budget allows - mainly because getting to the gas place is an inconvience I'd prefer to minimize.

03-28-2006, 02:31 PM

Click on Welding and Industrial Pure Gases for the O2 and Argon. Click on Fuel gases for Acetylene. Good info on sizes and heights. Nice find!




Thank you, thank you very much. I will be here all week - don't forget to tip your server.



04-19-2006, 03:54 PM
What did you end up with, Camaro-dude? Did you get the rig?


04-19-2006, 04:08 PM
I Haven't gotten around to bottles, yet. With my shed getting reclaimed, and buying these trusses, and cleaning up the scrap from the Suburban disassembly, I haven't had time or money to spend. When I get to it, I'll post em up.

04-27-2006, 04:12 PM
Just a suggestion. If you buy your bottles, which I recommend over leasing, start with whatever you can afford. Then when you have to get them refilled trade up to the next size and pay the difference. This way you don't have to put out a real large amount of money all at once. I did this and have worked up to the largest bottles and it hasn't been as much of a strain on the budget.

Another thing to mention. Don't worry about keeping the same bottles you purchased, unless you're real picky and have time to wait on a refill. I just go in and pick up a refilled bottle and am out of there. If you always want to keep your same bottles, you will have to wait to get them refilled and you will also have to pay for testing, when the time comes, for that. By taking the bottles that are already filled, you will never have to pay for a hydro test.

I don't know how it's done in other areas, of the country and I know there are some differences elsewhere, but the welding supply co. where I got my bottles has their own filling operation and this is the way they work, if you don't mind cycling your personal bottles. I can also use different welding supply cos. to exchange bottles, since I own my own.

I'm now working on a spare set, of each, to use as backup, just in case I run low on the weekend, since they're not open during that time and it's quite a little drive over there. Since I'm on their delivery route, I can also have bottles delivered, if I call 2 days in advance. Right now I have O/A, Argon, 75/25 and tri-mix bottles.

Just a thought, to save some money.