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Experience:  L1 Advanced Level Diagnostics Specialist
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ACETYLENE - OXYGEN CUTTING QUESTION. I am just learning how to use this equipment. Three questions right now. 1. The manuals mostly say to open the main HP outlet valve on the acetylene tank 1/4 turn only. The gas supplier I got the tank from says all
his valves have dual seals and always should be opened all the way. Opinions? 2. When cutting steel, say 1/4" thick steel, do most welders keep the torch tip as close to 90 degrees at all times or do some opt for a slight angle? 3. I have never cut aluminum.
Are there any special precautions to use when cutting aluminum?
Hello and thank you for using
Although this is not a car question however mechanics use torches on a daily basis and we have very good experience with acetylene oxygen torches and I will share my experience with you to answer your questions.
First concerning opening the main outlet valve, I would open them both all the way on the tanks and control them from the handle. That's how I've always used them and never had issues over the years.
Concerning when you are cutting steel, I would stand the torch at a 90 degree angle to the surface then you will press the oxygen handle or increase the oxygen depending on the design of your torch then when it's hot and cutting get it close but don't touch the tip to the surface otherwise you will ruin it. What worked for me is to get it close and start cutting then back it off to see where you are at and how things are getting cut because if you keep it there you risk getting molten things at the tip and ruin it.
Concerning aluminum, it's a bit more tricky to cut because it tends to melt and seem harder to cut. Be careful with aluminum because unlike steel where it will throw big chunks of red debris that you can't miss. Aluminum will start melting and get deformed very quickly and it will ruin your torch tip very easily. When cutting aluminum you want to make things quickly unlike steel where you heat it up first then cut it. Be careful with aluminum cutting because it can be tricky because of the way it melts.
Of course safety glasses on at all time and use tinted welding glasses and a face shield if possible until you are familiar with aluminum cutting.
I hope I have covered everything, if you have any other questions please let me know.
A positive rating for my input would be greatly appreciated.
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