Historically I've used BOC's Argoshield Light for my MIG welding of
Will I notice, in general use, much difference if I change to CO2?
Bear in mind that firstly my welds are rarely splatter free and
secondly integrity of the welds matters more to me than aesthetics.
Thirdly it's my money that goes into the coffers of BOC
CO2 tends to be a colder weld and has more splatter.
What is the price difference between the two?
It tends to pay to shop around.
My welding gas from air products is about £22, BOC want £29 and
Energas want £12 only problem I have is that Air products is just at
the bottom of the road, BOC delivery at £12 or 8 mile trip, Energas 14
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
Hi, not a real welding expert but I have done a fair bit over the (too
many!) years. I have used both gases with success but do notice the
difference. Argoshield is definitely smoother and less critical on the
parameters. If I'm welding thin sheet then CO2 seems to reduce the heat
spread and thus gives less distortion. On thick sections however, I
feel the weld tends to be a little more brittle with CO2 and it
certainly needs more power. I've currently got the bottle filled with
the Air Products "general" gas and I must say it seems to be very
reasonable all round and cheaper than BOC. That said, I used CO2 with
every success for many years and would still use it on those old car
If you do go to CO2 be careful where you get it, many of the pub
bottles now have Nitrogen added and that does not help at all. I used
to find the Fire extinguisher people helpful although my local company
stopped trading a while ago hence the wad of beer tokens I recently
gave to Air Products. In general I think that a lot of people tend to
stick with whatever they used for their first successful welds - giving
the gas far too much credit for what was really just improving
technique. Of course all this depends on what you are welding, if like
me it's just general stuff then I don't think the difference in weld
quality justifies a large price difference. If however, you are going
into welding pressure vessels then I would look (and pay) for any
advantage I could get.
I think they all do charge for the privilege of doing business with
Less than for delivery, though.
CO2 isn't much good outside in this weather, IIRC.
I use Messers (Air Liquide now, I think) just because they offered me
a slightly better deal than BOC, plus their agents were able to
deliver down the towpath in their Transit. Trouble is, success has
gone to their head & they've got a real wagon now so no better than
I use the equivalent of Argoshield Universal/TC for bare wire, &
Heavy/20% for flux cored wires.
Traditional & Modern canal craft repairs
Vintage diesel engine service
I used to collect from the local collection point at Stanton Ironworks
where they also had a plant to fill bottles and supply Stanton with
Oxy for the re melt furnaces.
On checking the bill one day I saw that I had been charged £7.00
handling and £8.00 delivery on top of the gas.
I rang them to point out I had collected.
Their reply was we have to deliver from derby to Stanton.
I pointed out that they filled at Stanton only to be told only some.
When I asked how they differentiated between Derby filled and
delivered bottles and Stanton filled bottles they couldn't answer.
I then asked what right they had stealing the air from around Stanton
and putting it into bottles.
It wasn't their air to steal in the first place. The bloody birds were
flying around wearing inhalers there was that much of a lack of
All to no avail.
I had no end of ding dongs with that company but never got anywhere.
My only smirk of satisfaction was when I paid the bill each month it
said in large letters
"Do not fold or staple"
I often wonder how long it used to take them to get 144 staples out
and unfold the cheque from inside a postage stamped sized remittance
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
Should not happen at least in the UK.
A Co2 Bottle in the licensed trade is still a Co2 Bottle with the
appropriate thread. A mixed gas bottle has a different connection of
the opposite gender to a Co2 one. It is possible to get the wrong
blend of mixed gas connected wrongly though. In the intended market
this will not cause a dangerous situation merely an inconvenience as
Lager dispenses flat or Guinness too frothy etc.
Trouble is Pub staff being non technical often refer to mixed gas as
Co2 .They just connect up the right fitting to the correct Bottle as
that is the only way they will connect .The actual label they may
never read. hence the problem with the wrong blends sometimes.
You get the odd horror tale though. Usually where a person as acquired
some bits and built a bar at home and buys a keg from some source.
When I was in the industry we had notification of one of these
homemade setups where an accident had occurred.
Usually by exceeding the pressure limit for a beer keg but beer being
dispensed by Acetylene was another.
Mind you I have heard of someone attempting to start an air start
Diesel with Oyxgen as it was the only pressured bottle that was to
hand. Apparently it knocked a bit before it died.
Many years ago I used to get CO2 from the distillers company.Came in a
bottle similar to oxygen but a bit slimmer.In these days it was 25% of
what BOC were charging.You needed a heater between the bottle and the
regulator because it was a liquid draw off bottle.
I ought to know this, but it was quite a while ago that I went to
college to study fab & weld. I seem to recall that CO2 gives better
penetration, but Argon gives a more stable arc -and makes it easier to
get a reasonable looking weld. Hence the usual "argoshield" mixes,
which have argon & CO2 (the best of both -but at a cost ££). Welding
with pure CO2 it is quite difficult to get a weld that looks good, and
you should get a structually sound weld (even if it isn't pretty).
Might be a bit late if you have already changed to CO2 but just saw
this on another group.
Having obtained an old brewery co2 container with the welding set
earlier in the year. I have finally come to the point where I needed
more. Tried the usal route of BOC and AP (only fill our own bottles
sir) and the fire extingiusher companies ( yes sir =A315 for the fill
=A330 for the bottle to be pressure tested and a =A315 handling charge)
ebay (=A350 for a new bottle filled but I needed to drive 100 miles to
pick it up) when I discovered that the calor gas distributor locally
supplies for =A315 +vat. Arriving with old bottle I was told you can
keep that sir we don't want it. Thus the price includes a new 5.5kg
bottle, pressure tested painted in the new colours (oh yes I did not
mention that the fire extinguisher company stated that my black bottle
would be obsolete in 2 years ) and whats more available at the drop of
the hat from their depot that opens at 07.00.
Now thats what I call a result"
The link to the group is
Unfortunately I have just replaced my Air Products bottle which will
last me a year or so, then again this seems so cheap perhaps I'll get a
CO2 bottle for the "gash" jobs and keep the expensive gas for the more
Sorry if it's too late to help