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[UK Source] Oxygen tanks


#1

Hello everyone,

I’ve finally managed to club together the funds to purchase the
Smith Little Torch here in the UK. I’ve done a search on the archives
and thanks to everyone I’ve amassed a ton of However,
I’m still trying to source the oxygen tank. Does anyone know a place
other than BOC?

They charge such a huge amount for rental per year regardless of how
much or little gas is used. I realise this may not be realistic
given the health and safety aspects but I’m looking for a small
one…one step up from the disposable and am willing to travel to
pick it up ( am based in London).

I’ve called various welding suppliers but they seem to stock
everything except the gas and the tanks!. Thanks in advance for any
help,

Alison


#2

Alison,

Some years ago I purchased a soldering kit made by a company called
Microflame. Part of the kit was an optional small, refillable, oxygen
cylinder about 18" tall. Although I now use a water torch for flame
soldering I retain the Microflame unit for when I need a portable
device. Another optional component, which I also have, was a special
umbilical cord for refilling the bottle from any standard sized
oxygen bottle.

I checked Microflame on the web but, although I couldn’t find a
website, they appear to still exist at…

Microflame Ltd
Vinces Rd
Diss, Norfolk, IP22 3HQ
Tel: +44 (0) 1379 644813

I hope this helps.
Regards, Gary Wooding


#3

I am also interested in another source of oxygen but currently havnt
found one (and i doubt there is one). I can handle the UKP 5 per
month rental on the smallest size bottle but i think the UKP 40
delivery charge is a little excessive. Even if i had transport to
collect you still have to pay extra. Unfortunately when they have the
monopoly on the market you have very little choice…

Just have to make lots of pretty things to cover the costs!

Jon


#4

Hi Alison,

My hubby looked into this for me when setting up my torch system. We
went with the BOC option in the end. He dictated the following
reply:

There are very few alternatives. Scuba diving shops are one. You’d
be buying medical grade oxygen, rather than industrial grade. You
will, however, need a cylinder which will cost you UKP 150-200. This
will need to be oxygen scrubbed as pure oxygen may cause an explosion
if there is anything dodgy in the cylinder or connectors and the
cylinder then marked oxygen only. You will need a first stage
regulator which is basically half of a scuba diving regulator, which
will cost another UKP 80-100. Then fills of oxygen at about UKP 15-20
a go. So your first fill will cost you around UKP 300. Then every two
years, the cylinders test stamp will expire and it will be illegal
for the shop to fill the cylinder without it being retested, which
cost UKP 35 14 years ago when hubby used to scuba dive (all other
prices are more current). Once retested, the cylinder may need oxygen
scrubbing again but not 100% sure - costs UKP 20. So if the cost is
UKP 50 for testing (which would sound reasonable), then this works
out at about UKP 2 per month over two years and as BOC charge UKP
5.40, there’s not much of a saving when you take into account the
initial cost of several hundred pounds andthat if the cylinder fails
the test, they cut it in half and give you the two halves back so it
can never be used again. So if this happens within the first ten
years, then the BOC option is actually less expensive.

Apparently garage suppliers sell it but they were more expensive
than BOC (they’re probably another middle man in the chain, getting
it from BOC in the first place) and you’d still need to buy the kit
to start with. Another possibility is someone who supplies the
universities (for chem labs, etc) as some want more pure than what
they can get from BOC, but again for most applications, they just use
BOC (at least

they did at my uni when I was studying chemistry).

The oxygen from BOC option costs approximately UKP 1 a week which we
are happy to pay. There’s no huge start up cost and they obviously
pay for any replacement of tanks as necessary because it’s rental as
opposed to ownership.

I hope this helps.
Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#5

Some other brands to look for…

“Air Liquide” and “Linde Industrial gasses”.

Other than that there’s not much else out there, and yes rental does
kinda kill the experience, over here in Australia you can pay by the
quarter, but it’s still rather a killer and there is no option of
buying your own tanks either, so they really do get you coming and
going!

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#6

Hi Alison,

I get my argon from a place in Swindon called Complete Welding
Supplies, I have a completely different type of contract because I
am a small user. I expect they do oxygen as well. They are a long way
from you but they might know of someone in London who has a better
contract than BOC.

The other alternative is to get an Oxygen concentrator. All the glass
beadmakers use them, they produce up to 5cu lit/min of 90 percent
oxygen.I don’t know if that is enough for you, they extract it from
the air. They are often on E-bay as ex-medical and cost about UKP
250, use the word oxycon.

regards Tim Blades.


#7

Alison - in the UK, BOC and Air Products seem to have the
welding-gas market sewn up, which I think means you are stuck with
their ruinous rental prices.

If you find any alternative, I would love to hear about it!

Thanks,
Richard


#8

Thanks to all who replied to my plight. I know the rental per day
seems quite reasonable but the principle bothers me…to say nothing
of the cost of delivery or pick up…However, as was suggested, I’ll
just have to make a ton of jewels to use up enough gas per year to
make it worthwhile!. I will go with either BOC or the other one for
now but will continue to see if I can find out another way that won’t
be too complicated. Anything of any use I’ll post to this amazing
forum.

best to all
Alison in London