Just going to prattle on as it comes to me, hence menagerie, for this column starting off with the progress I’ve made on the twin supercharger project plus a couple of interesting, in a historical sense, messages from readers. My suburb like many others in Victoria has been placed under a COVID-19 lockdown putting the kibosh on travelling anywhere to source fasteners, bearings and chunks of aluminium in person so I have had to resort to using whatever materials I have on hand or wait for delivery from on-line sources. So far it appears someone in the postal service is also creating a dual AMR300 installation going by what seems to have been lost in transit.
Here follows a heads-up for anyone who purchased argon gas at the end of July into the first week of August at a Bunnings store. Not wanting to get stuck without argon during the lockdown I handed over $99.00 at the Sunbury Bunnings store and got an exchange bottle of Coregas branded argon. All’s good for plenty of welding during the lockdown, or so I thought, until connecting the bottle up to my welder and trying to TIG weld some aluminium for the blower project. Using the same settings that had worked previously it was now difficult to initiate the arc and at best I could only lay a splattered contaminated weld deposit, not a weld bead. This indicated (at least to me) that the argon supplied was either not pure or perhaps the bottle was incorrectly filled with a MIG welding gas mixture. So back to Bunnings and after some persistence I managed to swap it for another “fresh” bottle that unfortunately was from the same “fill” batch and gave the same crap welding result. In desperation, after wasting a day swapping from a water cooled torch to an air cooled one, trying different settings, checking for gas leaks etc. to eliminate an equipment fault as the cause, I managed to borrow a bottle of Air Liquide supplied argon and voilà, aluminium welding was back to normal. Obvious to me that the Bunnings supplied argon was faulty, especially with two bottles from the same batch being crap, so back I go wanting a refund of my $99.00 and the $200.00 bottle deposit back so I could take my custom elsewhere. Apart from wanting my money back, I was keen to alert Bunnings of the faulty batch so other argon customers wouldn’t be inconvenienced and end up shopping elsewhere, but the manager was in no mood to be the “Belle” of the customer service ball. Instead she advised that Bunnings are not responsible for what they sell, that I had to deal directly with Coregas, even though I paid money directly to Bunnings and therefore had a contract with them. Other gas bottles I have are with BOC (yes a rental rip off) whom I pay directly for each bottle exchanged at the local agent, so my sales contract is with BOC and not the agent, that is converse to the Bunnings situation I believe.
Enter Robert Parrish the Strategic Projects Manager at Coregas based in NSW who replied to the complaint I had left on the Coregas website. He facilitated a customer service resolution after I outlined how I came to the faulty gas conclusion. No doubt the photo included here of sample welds done using both Air Liquide and Coregas gas served to illustrate the problem. Robert arranged for the suspect gas to be collected from my home for analysis and a fresh bottle delivered so I could get on with my welding project. Kudos to Robert for his professional handling of the situation and also to Brian from the Coregas Thomastown, Vic. facility for the non-contact delivery of the replacement argon bottle. If a reader is experiencing the same problem get in touch and I will pass on the Coregas direct contact details. Before leaving the argon subject, kudos also to Daryl Malia at Sunbury Cylinder heads (03 9740 2479) for the loan of the Air Liquide bottle of argon.
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