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where to get helium?

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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where to get helium?

Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Sun May 04, 2008 9:55 pm

does anyone know a cheap source of helium gas? I'm thinking of using it in my next gun.. Thanks
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Unread postAuthor: biggsauce » Sun May 04, 2008 10:34 pm

Party supply store? Got a local welding supply?

Thats all I can think of...
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Sun May 04, 2008 10:34 pm

Cheap helium.... Sorry, but that's an oxy-moron.
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Unread postAuthor: biggsauce » Sun May 04, 2008 10:41 pm

Ah yes, didn't say it would be cheap, but considering availability, be prepared to pay (rent a bottle). And then theres insurance for the bottle if I'm not mistaken...
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Mon May 05, 2008 1:00 am

Are your pockets really deep? What does cheap mean to you?

Cheap bottle gases simply don't exist for most of us.

The least expensive option for high pressure bottle gases, are probably going to be CO2 or HPA for scuba or paintball.

Bare in mind, you will need a regulator. Mine is 3000psi input 450psi output, it cost me ~100.00 with shipping from ebay. (this is the low end of the cost spectrum)

Then you will need a pressure hose and fittings. 20-30.00

With contracts, deposits, and actual gas, your looking in the 300.00+ neighborhood to use most bottle gases.

Does it still qualify as cheap in your book?
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Mon May 05, 2008 1:46 am

It all depends on what country you live in and if you live in the US depends on what state you live in. In most states if you live near a big city, you'll find that helium is a little bit cheaper than say if you're out in the sticks. For me OxArc is the best place to get any bottled gases simply because I used to do a lot of business with them in the past and have gotten to know the guys over the years therefore I get discounts on just about everything. The best thing to do is to buy the bottle, not rent. This way you outright own the bottle and you won't have to worry about insurance or anything like that. You will initially pay for the bottle and that will include the gas. You can buy bottles anywhere from 5lbs up. Once you run out, simply take the bottle back and they will either fill it if it is a custom painted tank, or exchange it if it is factory orange. Then you simply pay the fill fee, which will be about 10 to 30 USD depending on the size of the tank. As Gippeto also mentioned, you are going to need to get a regulator as well. Most of the dual gauge adjustable regulators are gonna run you minimum of 150 USD depending on the gas you you are using. For a single gauge fixed flow regulator as used for filling balloons i think you'll find they run a bit cheaper but I doubt that it will suffice your need. I hope this answers most of your questions.
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Unread postAuthor: JDP12 » Mon May 05, 2008 7:22 am

aah darn, okay, guess i'll go with CO2 or air, was looking at helium because it gives better velocities, but looks like i might have to with cheaper stuff... thanks guys
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Mon May 05, 2008 3:08 pm

If I would spend the money for helium, the easiest accessible source is to go to a copany that has stuff to arrange parties.
They sell or rent helium tanks to inflate balloons.
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Mon May 05, 2008 4:49 pm

Contact you local Airgas or Praxair distributor.
http://www.airgas.com/
http://www.praxair.com/
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Unread postAuthor: Lentamentalisk » Mon May 05, 2008 6:12 pm

I am lucky enough to know a guy who has an old gigantic helium tank that he used to use for welding. The thing is a BEAST. Its about 5' tall and weighs too much to be picked up by one person EMPTY! I can get the entire thing filled for about $80, and that should be enough to last me for more than the rest of my life.
(p.s. I think the tank was a 120', though I'm not sure what that means, I just heard my friend and the shop owner saying that a bunch.)
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Unread postAuthor: potatoflinger » Mon May 05, 2008 7:22 pm

Lentamentalisk wrote:I am lucky enough to know a guy who has an old gigantic helium tank that he used to use for welding. The thing is a BEAST. Its about 5' tall and weighs too much to be picked up by one person EMPTY!

Wouldn't it be lighter when it's full of helium?
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Mon May 05, 2008 7:27 pm

potatoflinger wrote:Wouldn't it be lighter when it's full of helium?

You might think so, but no.
Under the pressures the gas is under, it's density is pushed way up past that of regular air.

Besides, the tank will never contain regular air, so you either have a tank full of atmospheric pressure helium - or one with more helium in it than that. Which will weigh more is pretty logical.
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Does that thing kinda look like a big cat to you?
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Mon May 05, 2008 7:28 pm

potatoflinger wrote:Wouldn't it be lighter when it's full of helium?

No. It is under high pressure and thus higher density.

EDIT: darn..beaten
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Mon May 05, 2008 7:29 pm

nope, helium is less dense then air, but when its lequified, its quite heavy.
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Unread postAuthor: brogdenlaxmiddie » Mon May 05, 2008 7:30 pm

potatoflinger wrote:
Lentamentalisk wrote:I am lucky enough to know a guy who has an old gigantic helium tank that he used to use for welding. The thing is a BEAST. Its about 5' tall and weighs too much to be picked up by one person EMPTY!

Wouldn't it be lighter when it's full of helium?


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