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.

References

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