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Metal Cutting: How to Use Oxygen Acetylene

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: I was going to fire up my oxygen acetylene torch and make a little cut on a piece of steel for a metal sculpture I?m working on. Let me demonstrate how to light an oxygen acetylene torch.

First, you need to open the valves on your bottles: a quarter-turn only. When it comes to setting the regulators, check with the manufacturer?s information on either the regulators or your torches to figure out the proper setting.

When it?s time to light it, you?ll notice on the torch that there are three knobs and a lever attached to two lines, or hoses. If you follow the red line, or hose, you'll notice it goes back to the acetylene bottle, which we?ll leave alone for now. The green line, or hose, goes to the oxygen bottle. Think green for go, or green for gas.

When you?re ready to light the oxygen acetylene cutting torch - not the welding torch - the cutting torch, open the oxygen valve a quarter-turn. That supplies oxygen to the valve through the green hose, which is now the control for your cutting head.

Now it?s time to open the acetylene valve a little. Once you get your flame going, you can now open the oxygen valve at the top of the torch, adjust it and get ready for cutting.

As you can see, it?s out of adjustment right now. Notice how the flame changes at the edge, when I push on the cutting lever. To adjust it correctly for cutting, put your cutting lever down and turn your oxygen knob.

Now that it's correctly adjusted, the flame doesn?t change - when you push down the valve, the flame stays the same, indicating the correct setting for when you want to cut something.

Now put your welding glasses on and prepare to make a cut. First, get the metal hot. As soon as it starts to look molten, push down on the lever and then make the cut through the metal. It?s that easy.

When it comes to thicker metals, turn the flame up a little, add a little more heat. When you want to turn it off; turn the oxygen off in the top valve. Turn the acetylene off in the bottom valve. Turn your other oxygen valve off, and you?re all done. That?s how you use it.

I hope that cleared things up for you. See you next time.

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