Cylinder Sizes

Educate me on cylinder sizes.
Viewing this chart, what are the common cylinder sizes?
http://www.airproducts.com/products/fastfacts/charts_n_tables/indgascylinderdata.asp
Thanks
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

http://www.airproducts.com/products/fastfacts/charts_n_tables/indgascylinderdata.asp
That chart is not helpful. Try:
Welding Cylinder Data (capacity is in cubic feet @ 2100 psi)        
Oxygen / Argon / Helium / Other High Pressure             Tank Designator    Capacity Height Dia. (height w/o cap & valve) K 251 51" 9" S 156 46" 7 3/8" M 125 47" 7" Q 92 30" 7 1/8" R 20 14" 5 1/4"
Acetylene             Tank Designator    Capacity Height Dia. #5 350 45" 12" #4 150 38" 8" #3 75 29" 7"
From Ernie's welding class notes.
Grant Erwin
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Thanks Grant....and Ernie. ;<)

Interesting the difference in volume between the S and M tanks...one inch shorter and 3/8" larger with a 25% difference?
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

The chart doesn't indicate, but it may be a higher pressure tank, like 2215 vs. 2015.
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Coulple more questions....what cylinders are the most commonly used in a home shop?
I have seen a number of different ones used.
Is it better to have more smaller cylinders or fewer larger cylinders?
This is for A/Ox, MIG and TIG setups that one finds in the home shop.
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

It's better to have whatever size you can get as owner cylinders, generally the smaller-medium sizes. Pay for the cylinder once and then just do the exchange thing whenever you need more gas (infrequently) and not deal with cylinder lease or hydro testing. Gas may be cheaper in big tanks, but it is typically insignificant for home shop use vs. cylinder lease costs for big tanks.
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For home hobbyist use, I'd look at trying to get a fresh tank every 3 months to a year or so. For example, the 'lugable' O2/Acetylene packages would be great for jewelry or random odd jobs, completely unusable for cutting the flange off a 20' steel beam. Figure out what you plan to do, buy accordingly. Keep in mind that the K size tanks are really heavy to transport. (Last weekend someone brought a K tank to our pit area rather than the usual M tank. 2 wheel dolly time!)
I run the classic medium sized home outfit: #4 Acetylene with 122 cubic foot (Size M) O2 tank. The O2 tank is a bit small if I have a project with a lot of cutting but the Acetylene lasts forever. (but I don't have a rosebud tip!!)
You will find that the local dealers have various contract terms and pricing policies on the different sized tanks. This may force the choice. I'd suggest shopping several distributors (if you have that many) and ask for the very specific details on how they handle cylinders. Be prepared to be confused.
Too_Many_Tools wrote:

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Most guys get either a #3 (75 cf) acetylene tank and a 125 cf oxygen. I had those for years, even made a rack for carrying them around on my car: http://www.tinyisland.com/tankframe.html
Now I have bigger ones, can't be running in to refill them all the time.
Grant
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It all depends. How close is the supplier? Can you drive a few miles and get a replacement, or do you have to drive farther? How much work do you do? You will run out more often with the smaller ones, and work stops until you can get another. Budget has a bit to do with it, too. Larger cylinders cost more to lease or buy, and buying or leasing two so you never run out is a budget buster, too. And it all has to be cost justified. How much can you spend on cylinders? Will they be bringing any of that money back in?
Things to think about.
Steve
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All good points...that is why I am asking questons.
What got this started is that I fell into a number of FREE cylinders....CO2, He and H2.
They are all "Q" sized so I see them working better for MIG and TIG. I will likely trade some of the cylinders for other gases and/or trade up to larger tanks. Up to this time I have leased cylinders when they were needed or used the welders at work to avoid actually buying my tanks.
If you had a bunch of FREE cylinders, what assortment of cylinders would you want to trade for?
Thanks for the advice so far everyone.
TMT
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wrote:

WARNING, WILL ROBINSON!
Sometimes, the word "free" does not apply in the world of cylinders. Some are stamped or cast on the collar, and forever and always belong to that company. If you take them, they will legally and rightfully keep them, and will thank you for returning them. Others that do not have collar identifications may be exchanged or refilled, but it depends on the individual company. Sometimes, you must produce proof of ownership, and I don't know what that would entail.
In the old days of oilfield drilling, Hughes Tool Company would not SELL any drill bits. They only leased them. If they EVER found one that was not accompanied by the necessary paperwork, they had the right to confiscate it, or call the law and have the person in possession arrested for possession of stolen property. Thieves never took any Hughes drill bits because they weren't worth a dime.
Before you take your cylinders down there, I would call ahead as a dumb newbie and ask about it. Tell them your brother in law wants to sell you some, or something like that. If you can get them to fill them or swap them, it's a beautiful thing. If you beebop in there, and they confiscate them, it can mess up your day.
It's different all over, and it's up to YOU to find out how it works in your town.
As to which sizes are best, it just depends on how much you use them. As for MIG bottles, I would rather have two smaller ones rather than one large one so I would never run out. But the smaller ones are probably more to fill proportionately than a big one. For OA, if you're going to wheel it around a shop, the bigger ones last a long time. If you have to wheel them in and out of your pickup, or to a remote site, the big ones won't do. There is no "best" size. The use will dictate the size.
HTH.
Steve
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A rear-ender could be really exciting.
Bob
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Bob F wrote:

Your comment could be interpreted several ways, Bob!
I only ever intended that rack for carrying my cylinders about 3 miles to the local welding supply for refill. And I'd drive extra carefully. I did notice some drivers giving me a lot of clearance!
Grant
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