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Cutting torch for beginner

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Columbo, Jan 13, 2023.

  1. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    Take a few minutes to find and read through the safety warnings for using compressed oxygen especially, and a cutting torch as well. The thing that sticks in my mind, looking at a nice set of older regulators, is the advice to always back the pressure out on the regulator, then crack the valve open very slowly, and with the regulator facing away from you and your face facing away from the regulator. Before that, crack the oxygen valve to blow any dirt out. Reduce the chances of the oxygen regulator blowing up in your face. Then there are a whole nuther set of warnings for once you get the torch started and how not to blow yourself up doing it. Most guys don't back out the regulator pressure, but at least look away when you open.
    John Shipp and Columbo like this.
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2021
    New Hampshire
    I bought the Victor handbook for oxy fuel welding/cutting and I’ll read it before I attempt anything. I don’t want to take any shortcuts on safety!
    treemuncher likes this.
  3. eastroad

    eastroad Active Member

    Jun 4, 2008
    SW Vermont
    There are several welding suppliers near you.
    Check out airgas.com and maineoxy.com for locations.
  4. willie59

    willie59 Administrator

    Dec 21, 2008
    Service Manager
    Knoxville TN
    The two most important things, #1, do not get any type of oil or lubricant on the fitting where the oxy regulator connects to the oxy cylinder. #2, open the oxy cylinder slowly to allow the regulator to slowly receive the pressure from the cylinder.
    John Shipp and Columbo like this.
  5. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

    May 21, 2009
    The shore of the illinois river USA
    Since you are new to using a cutting torch, it is important to know that the size of the tip will make all the difference in the world as to what you can cut with it efficiently.
    The bigger the tip the thicker the metal you can cut.
    The same is true for welding and brazing metal.
    The psi setting of the oxygen supply to the tip will make a difference in what you are doing.
    I have used both acetylene and propane and I didn't care for propane at all, for different reasons.
    One is that when welding mild steel, a rich acetylene flame is needed to prevent the tip from back-firing.
    A back-fire will blow metal out of the molten puddle.
    Columbo likes this.
  6. terex herder

    terex herder Senior Member

    Nov 10, 2017
    Mild steel should be welded with a neutral flame. I would not use a rich (carburizing) flame when gas welding mild steel. The molten pool will absorb excess carbon from the carburizing flame and the weld metal will be a higher strength and less malleable than the parent metal, making it more prone to cracking. The gas flow through the tip is required to keep the tip cool. If your weld zone won't tolerate all the heat from a properly adjusted flame you need to switch to a smaller tip.

    One application for a carburizing flame is when applying hard facing with a OA torch. There the extra carbon is helpful.
    John Shipp and SPARKY74 like this.