Step One: Figure Out How to Figure it Out! (The Torch Story, Episode 2)

As promised, I am here to tell you how the torch really is and the set up drama.

My torch “outfit” from Weldfabulous arrived last week, and I was eager to set it up.

I started calling different welding suppliers:

Airgas: Called them first because they have a location right next to my studio and I figured it was the most convenient. I asked them for the 40 Cubic Feet Cylinder which is what they call their B size, hence the name B Tank! They do in fact let their costumers put a deposit in for the cylinder and simply pay for the gas (as was mentioned before to me by my lovely friend at Studio Delucca), however they are not taking new clients because they are short on Acetylene gas. I know, sounded very strange to me too, but was later explained to me by Dave (a wonderful guy at Airgas).

Craig Welding Supply Co.: Then I called this smaller welding supplier near my studio, however they do not allow for a deposit for the cylinder, instead you have to purchase one which would cost $140

Sims Welding Supply: They are located in West Los Angeles area, close to my house and are very helpful and patient on the phone, but they too do not allow a security deposit on the B tanks, only for the larger tanks. Their price for one is also $140.

Grainger: I had seen their name when I was looking for Smith equipment distributors, and thought since they carry welding supplies, they might also supply acetylene gas, well, they don’t! They are actually an industrial supply company rather than just welding supply.

Victor Welding Supply: Finally I came across this place which is near my Studio. I talked to a guy name Bill who said the same thing as the last places I had called, but what was different about him was that when I mentioned the B tank he asked if I was a Sculptor. I told him that I was a jewelry artist, and he said “same thing”. 😀 This comment made me happy inside because it implied that a piece of  jewelry is really a mini sculpture. I don’t know if he meant that interpretation of it, but I think that’s a wonderful thought. I asked him if he would give me a discount, and he said that I should drop by and he will work something out with me.

He had mentioned on the phone that his B tanks were $140, while I had seen them for $77.79

Which would be around $90 with shipping and handling. (p.s. all the prices mentioned are for an empty tank), so I decided if Bill doesn’t lower his price to $100 or less, I would just wait and order it online.

I met with him the next day, pleasantly accompanied by my wonderful friend Leighann. The first thing Bill said when we arrived was “I guess it’s still morning in Hawaii”. 😀 I don’t know where he got the idea that I would meet him in the morning! Leighann and I were at first taken aback by his personality and attitude, but later realized that it was just the Brooklynite manner and his dry sense of humor.

Bill gave me a great deal. Somehow, he gave me a full tank for $97. He also set the whole thing up for me.

He is a uniquely fantastic person. What makes Leighann and I’s experience with Bill even more strange and  whimsical is that as we were leaving he told us to go back in the shop with him because he had something for us. We both though he was going to give us some tools so naturally we got excited, but then to our surprise he presented us with a box full of different colored brand new I.P.O nail polish. Leighann asked him where they were from and he said that his wife was in the beauty business. (I can’t help but to be filled with giggles when I think about the bizarreness of it all)

We left my welding supplier with torch in one hand and a bag full of nail polishes in the other.

However, even though Bill had equipped us with more than we had hoped for, I was still in need of a dolly to hold the cylinder, so, on our way to my studio, we stopped at Airgas. That is when I met Dave, with whom I bonded over Tito’s Tacos, Johnnie’s Pastrami, and the scent of Jasmine. He said the reason they are short on acetylene is that there was an explosion at one of their Calcium Carbide (a raw material used to produce acetylene) plants.

When I had first asked him how much the dolly was, he said about $100, but he looked it up and it was $60. I asked for a student discount, he said they did not have that, but he gave me a deal anyway and sold it to me for $40. I had looked up dollies on the web and found a few for $70 and up, so I was pretty happy with the bargain.

Nevertheless even with all the discounts,

The total cost of my torch (outfit + full cylinder + dolly) = $320

Pretty steep! But I am pretty happy with it, actually, I am pretty in love with it! 😀

Anyway…

After dropping the torch off at my studio, Leighann and I headed home and concluded our journey by doing our nails with our new assortment of nail polishes from Bill.

Lesson Learned: Always ask for a bargain.

Thank you for reading!

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