How to Use Oxy-Propane Cutting Torches

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Many metal workshops use cutting torches to shape and cut a variety of metal. Cutting torches use a gas and oxygen to cut through metal; the gas provides the heat while the blown oxygen cuts the metal. The gases you can use with oxygen in cutting torches includes acetylene, propane and others. The main difference between acetylene and propane is the heat each provide. Acetylene burns much hotter than propane and therefore can cut quicker; but propane is usually cheaper than acetylene and can be used just as effectively in a cutting torch.

Things You'll Need

  • Propane tank
  • Cutting torch
  • Oxygen tank
  • Tank pressure regulator with hose connection
  • Hose with gas nut connection ends
  • Striker
  • Long clothing
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Screw the pressure regulator gauge into the propane tank valve.

  • Connect a preferably red gas hose to the propane regulator. You can purchase red and green torch hoses at welding and torch supply stores or at a local hardware store. The gas seal nuts should be on each end of the hose.

  • Screw the other end of the propane hose to the torch handle gas outlet.

  • Connect the green gas hose to the oxygen tank regulator.

  • Screw the other end of the oxygen hose to the torch handle oxygen outlet.

  • Turn on the propane tank and oxygen tank. Adjust the psi on the oxygen regulator to around 40 psi. Adjust the psi on the propane tank regulator between 5 and 10 psi.

  • Turn the gas knob completely on on the torch handle. Use the striker to light the gas. Slowly turn on the handle oxygen knob a half turn. Adjust the flow of oxygen on the torch head oxygen knob. Adjust the oxygen until you see two to four small blue triangles at the tip of the torch cutting head.

  • Heat the edge of the metal you want to cut for about 30 seconds. Press the oxygen blow trigger to begin cutting the piece of metal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear protective long clothing, gloves and eyewear.

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