How many balloons can I fill?

TheLadyLion and I are getting close to our wedding day and she’s coming up with decorating stuff I didn’t even know existed. Yesterday she told me she had to go to four placed to get balloon weights. “Whatthehellareyoutalkingaboutwoman?” was my incredulous neanderthal response. I quickly learned that there are special weights for holding down helium balloons on tables. Fair enough but then she said she was going to have to spend around $100 on disposable helium tanks. Ouch. I have an inert gas tank for welding and I can get it filled for less than $25. Problem is it’s not a big one, only 55 cubic feet. My back of the envelope calculations say it will be marginal for filling 120+ 11" balloons at best. If I’m way off base on that I’d like to know. I’d prefer not to risk incurring her wrath by only filling half the balloons. Should I get a second bottle which I wanted to do anyway?

I’ll also need to get an inflator valve but already found one on ebay and several welding supply places. If anyone knows how to fill a balloon inside a balloon please let me know.

Didn’t you just answer your own question? Get the extra tank. If she asks why, say that you just want to be on the safe side. The fact that the tanks can also be used for welding (or whatever other Neanderthal Guy Projects you have in mind) is purely coincidental, of course.

Also be advised that helium used for balloons is often “cut” with air, so you can probably get the gas even cheaper if you just want to fill balloons with it. Alternately, if you go for pure helium, your balloons will have greater than typical lifting power, and will stay buoyant for longer.

Finally, the weights used for holding down balloons are usually just more balloons, filled with sand. You can probably get them cheaper than at the party-supply store, as well.

Dude. Any money you save is NOT worth it. You’re making an argument based on false economy. Here’s the deal: immediately telephone your honey and say, “Sweetie pie, I’ve been thinking about it and I really couldn’t sleep last night because of it, but I’m worried that trying to save money on the balloons just isn’t a good idea. Let’s do it your way. Maybe we’ll spend a few more dollars, but then we won’t have to worry about it and we’ll know it will look great for everyone. I don’t want you to have to worry about anything and I know this is important to you. It’s important to me, too. It’s a special day and so what if we spend a little more: you’re worth every penny.”

This little speech, which should be memorized and delivered straight, in the utmost sincere and heartfelt fashion, will in fact save you from lots of potential distress in years to come. You will probably even re-use it, with slight modifications, many times without her ever realizing that she’s heard it before.

As a bonus, you might be favored more frequently with ‘special’ things in the matrimonial bedroom. Trust me. You DON’t want to save the $100.

Can’t help you with your larger problems, but having done the balloon within a balloon trick just with my lungs I can tell you how to do that (presumably it’s the same if you’re filling from a tank). Simply slip one deflated balloon (preferably of a darker color) into another deflated balloon. Inflate that balloon a little bit and tie it off. Then inflate the other ballon which now has the smaller balloon with in it.

I have seen another method used with some specialized balloons and equipment. They had a balloon with a mouth that could be stretched rather broadly and put it over a a tank that had a vacuum pump suck the air out of the bottom of it. Then they filled the balloon with a variety of large scale goodies like stuffed animals and sealed it up. Kind of an interesting method to do it but I don’t think it’s quite what you had in mind. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the validation Cronos. As much as I’d like a second tank though I found a rental place that is more cost effective for the task at hand.

Pablito, I see the logic of your post but I don’t think that works for us. She wouldn’t want me to “spare no expense for her happiness.” If I did try it she’s immediately be suspcicious. I try to be a generous guy but her bullshit meter is finely tuned.

On a related note a long time friend has taught me the correct and appropriate usage of a phrase I have no doubt I’ll use, “shit, my wife’s gonna kill me!”

A friend volunteered to pickup and return the tank so I can get the job done for $35 and have a win-win-win situation.