Welding Rods and Wire

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
As most everyone who welds knows, consumables usually aren't cheap. I want to buy some more Tig rods and have an assortment of sizes. I usually use ER70S-2 . The question though is what brand to buy and where to buy it from.

The local dealers all carry the well known names and the prices reflect that names quality. Then there is Ebay, with brands like Blue Demon and other unknown (to me) names. Has anyone tried these lesser known names and what results have you had with them? Many of the things I weld with Tig don't need lots of structural strength, so I'm sure lesser names will do fine for them. Then there are the other occasions where I do want structural strength. I may buy rods specifically for those welds when needed. What experiences have other Tig and Mig welders had with the lesser known (off brand) rods and wire ?


Weldcote,Eastwood,Blue Demon,Oxford,INETIG,Hampdon,Radnor,Pinnacle
 
Last edited:

kent Ashton

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
799
Location
Concord, NC
I usually find cheap surplus rod somewhere. Just saw 10 lbs of ER70S-2 on ebay for $18 + $11 shipping. Amazon's asking $60 for 5 lbs. Search ebay for Welding rod surplus ER70S-2.
 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,994
Location
Wisconsin
Rod for one airplane is pretty cheap so price is irrelevant to me.

You want TIG rod that's quality, sealed and not oxidized, and that's about it. ER70 conforms to a standard so there's very little fluctuation between manufacturers......of which there's only a couple because most of the brands are just private labels.

So, to answer your question, I personally don't care about cost and I buy local. I own a small business so I appreciate things like buying local. I always enjoy have a couple rap sessions with the local welding supplier. For me, there's value in conversation and shaking hands etc. Ithe matters more than a couple $$ savings. The difference in rod prices locally vs ebay, as it concerns one airplane is quite cheap.
 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,994
Location
Wisconsin
It's worth mentioning that my supplier rebuilt my Acetylene regulator for free.....because I always buy local. What's that worth?
 

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
Rod for one airplane is pretty cheap so price is irrelevant to me.

You want TIG rod that's quality, sealed and not oxidized, and that's about it. ER70 conforms to a standard so there's very little fluctuation between manufacturers......of which there's only a couple because most of the brands are just private labels.

So, to answer your question, I personally don't care about cost and I buy local. I own a small business so I appreciate things like buying local. I always enjoy have a couple rap sessions with the local welding supplier. For me, there's value in conversation and shaking hands etc. Ithe matters more than a couple $$ savings. The difference in rod prices locally vs ebay, as it concerns one airplane is quite cheap.
It used to be that way here. I bought all my welding stuff for most of my life from one place and they were friendly and helpful. Not anymore though. They kinda got pushed into a corner by city redevelopment and sold out to a larger company with little customer friendly service. They got rid of most employees . Then they sold again to an even larger company that basically doesn't care about individual accounts. They pretty much said "screw everybody" that can't prove they own their tanks, leaving a lot of people with tanks they can't get filled. I was lucky that the original counter guy was still there and let me take a picture of his computer screen showing I had had my tanks refilled in the last couple years. The code number on the screen contained a "C" which meant "customer owned". I went to another large local company because the first place was ripping people off on acetylene refills. About $120 to fill a 300 cu ft tank vs about $70 at the competitor. Again, I lucked out because a former employee of the first company looked at my picture of prior refills (from the first companies computer) and recognized that the "C" meant I owned them. A neighbor of mine retired and gave me his old tanks, so I can get the ones that are identical to the ones I already own, refilled. Since then, I figured out how to skirt the whole mess, and I can get any tank refilled. Now this, as far as I know is only a problem with the LARGE tanks. Apparently smaller tanks aren't a problem

The new company is OK, but I lost about 35 years of "rapor" and I'm just another unfamiliar face. The third local company has never been friendly and every time I have been there they have a different counter guy. So, all I can say is "good for ya" if you still have a place that's friendly.

Oh, like you say, rod costs for one airplane I can live with. It's just that I do a lot of other stuff too.
 
Last edited:

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
Check ebay
Not really sure what you are referencing. I do buy most rods off eBay but buy spools locally. I bought my welders off eBay because they had the best prices and free quick shipping. You can buy tanks on line but the ones I have seen are not the large industrial (300 cu ft). As an aside, company #3 that I mentioned is now selling tanks to individuals again. As I previously stated, I have several different (10) tanks, and I know how to get them recertified for my use if I get any more. You can often get a good price on used tanks because they are out of cert and the owner has no proof of ownership. You just have to know how to get around the problem of proving ownership.

To those who don't know, it's much more economical to fill/use large tanks. Don't buy the "used" small carry around unless you have a specific need for that portability. They usually need to be recertified before you can get them filled.?
 

Little Scrapper

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,994
Location
Wisconsin
I have both, I love my small tanks. For me the cost difference building one airplane is nothing.

I carry small tanks with me because of what I do for a living but I'm use to it. My large tanks tend to sit. I'm talking Oxyacetylene.
 

rbrochey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
1,569
Location
Gallup, New Mexico USA
I have both, I love my small tanks. For me the cost difference building one airplane is nothing.

I carry small tanks with me because of what I do for a living but I'm use to it. My large tanks tend to sit. I'm talking Oxyacetylene.
I like the small tanks too... I can use them for repairing horse panels and I'm welding patch panels on my old pickup... I like I can carry them around easily. I hear different things about best rods for chromoly use... maybe Scrapper can clear that up... for thin metal like my truck parts I use a mild steel rod.
 

Winginit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
811
Location
x
I have both, I love my small tanks. For me the cost difference building one airplane is nothing.

I carry small tanks with me because of what I do for a living but I'm use to it. My large tanks tend to sit. I'm talking Oxyacetylene.
Yes, in your case, going from job to job, small tanks are beneficial. For the person wishing to equip his shop, its usually a matter of "cheaping out".
If they are going to do aircraft welding, they need to purchase a decent torch made for thin wall welding. The gages on the small cheap tanks often are of poor quality. Then time wasted refilling rather than exchanging. Higher costs for small tank refills.
 
Top