How to Cut Stainless Steel With an Acetylene Torch

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Cutting metal with an acetylene torch requires a special cutting attachment that consists of a cutting tip, oxygen control knob and cutting lever. Using an acetylene torch with a cutting attachment creates straight or curved cuts through the metal. Stainless steel requires more heat than some other metals, but successful cutting is highly achievable.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Soapstone pencil
  • Metal workbench
  • Degreasing detergent
  • C clamps
  • Cutting attachment
  • Heat-resistant face shield
  • Welding gloves
  • Welding apron
  • Use a tape measure to measure the piece of stainless steel to be cut.

  • Mark the cutting line with a soapstone pencil, which remains visible even under intense heat.

  • Place the stainless steel onto a metal workbench free of flammables. Clean the workbench with a degreasing detergent prior to each use.

  • Clamp the stainless steel to the workbench, leaving the cutting area hanging off the edge of the table a minimum of four to six inches.

  • Place the cutting attachment on the torch handle and screw into place.

  • Wear a heat-resistant face shield, welding gloves and a welding apron.

  • Turn the acetylene torch on and begin heating the stainless steel along the cutting line until the stainless glows red.

  • Depress the cutting lever to increase the oxygen flow to the cutting tip, which concentrates more heat on the cutting line. Cut through the stainless steel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Secure C clamps onto the overhanging stainless and onto a straight piece of angle iron, which will serve as a straight edge to help you follow a straight cutting line.
  • Allow the stainless steel to cool completely before removing it from the workbench.
  • Remove all flammable items from the room, including paints and chemicals.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.

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References

  • "Working With Metal"; Time Life Editors; 1981
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