View Full Version : Argon pigtail
I quite often get stuck lugging argon bottles into very inconvenient places to perform very small jobs. It was suggested to me that I should get a "pigtail" hose, and "balance transfer " Argon from a large tank to a smaller tank.
Has anyone else done this?
Anyone have specifics on the hose I must purchase, and a good source?
I admit I'm a little nervious about this idea, I know it is not at all complicated, but I have a very high respect for High pressure gas
Thanks In advance
09-10-2009, 09:40 PM
You can do it, but the pressure in the small tank will always be less than the large tank started with. Really only worth while if you know that you won't need much gas from the small tank or if you run enough gas at your shop that you always have full large tanks around.
I keep a 60 CF tank for the road for the situations where I need to hump the thing and pop the $20 or so to swap it. Worthwhile to me no to mess around. I go through maybe one fill a year on it. I bill it, prorated.
Much of the time, it isn't a big deal to get a larger tank in. Roll it by hand, throw it on a handtruck, move it with a lift, whatever. The small one is for when there is no choice but hand carry. It usually isn't that big a deal to move a larger tank one way or another.
I wish it was so easy, but I'm on a ship, and hauling a bottle up and down a ladder is a pain, and often as many as four is seperating me from my work location, so the savings in back pain alone is definately worth the effort and cost of the pigtail, but I still need specifics on the hose if anyone knows.
refilling bottles is not entirely at my leisure, out in the middle of the atlantic, the local welding supply is not an option, it is "do it yourself, or hump the bottle". I would simply get enough argon hose to go anywhere I need to, 500 feet, but the problem is that some one will without a doubt, close a door on the hose, no matter what you do to prevent it. :(
09-11-2009, 07:49 AM
I am familiar with your situation. It sounds like you know your options.
If it were me, I would keep a couple of the largest bottle you can to fill from, and find a location to secure them where access is easy with the ships crane... maybe even make up a rack that can be directly hooked with the crane.
Then, make up a carrier for the small bottle(s) that will protect the neck and valve but not interfere with regulator installation, and give you something to tie onto so you can use a line to raise and lower it at ladders.
I find that the 60CF is a decent size... light enough to carry, but large enough to be useful. My carrier is simple: A hunk of 4" light channel, a 1/4" plate for a base, and a ring that goes around the valve handle to protect the valve. A ratchet strap holds the bottle in.
09-11-2009, 07:13 PM
Any welding supply can make and sell you a argon charging whip to fill small cylinder from large cylinder. Cyberweld and other on line welding supply companies can also sell you one.
You can use this link to buy your own parts to build charging whip. Most welding supplies stock and order from this company. You can make your charging whip with or without pressure gage and bleed valve. The Link doesn't have HP 1/4" globe valves which I would use for bleed valve.