Cutting Torch - How to setup and shutdown an Oxygen and Acetylene Torch

see what osha 1910.253 Welding, Cutting and Brazing has to say about using a cutting torch

1910.253(a)(4) "Personnel. Workmen in charge of the oxygen or fuel-gas supply equipment, including generators, and oxygen or fuel-gas distribution piping systems shall be instructed and judged competent by their employers for this important work before being left in charge. Rules and instructions covering the operation and maintenance of oxygen or fuel-gas supply equipment including generators, and oxygen or fuel-gas distribution piping systems shall be readily available."

see a video on using a cutting torch here

Step by Step instructions on how to safely setup and shutdown a oxygen acetylene cutting torch.

oxy acetylene cutting torch

Inspect the Oxygen tank, the Acetylene tank and the hoses for obvious damage.

A quick leak check can be done by pressurizing the hoses and then watching the gauges to see if they drop in pressure. If the pressure readings drop, there is a leak.

Do not check for leaks with a lighter. only use approved liquid leak check solutions.

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Make sure that main valves are off and the regulator pressure adjusting screws are backed out with no pressure readings on the gauges.

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Ensure torch valves are off.

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Stand to the side and s-l-o-w-l-y turn on the oxygen cylinder valve. Do not face the regulator while you do this. Once pressure reads on the gauge open up the valve all the way and back seat it.

Always Always Always turn on the oxygen very slowly. Turning it on suddenly can actually make the regulator explode.

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Stand to the side and slowly turn on the acetylene or fuel gas cylinder valve. Open ½ to ¾ turn. Or slightly more if necessary to get a good reading.

using cutting torch

Set pressure on each regulator according to manufacturers recommendations

using cutting torch settings

Purge each hose individually by opening the valves one a time for a few seconds.

using cutting torch acetylene flame

Now you are ready to light the torch: Open the acetylene torch valve bout 1/8-1/4 of a turn. Not opening the valve enough will cause acetylene black soot floaters .

using cutting torch neutral flame

Using a torch striker, light the torch. Open the valve until the smoke just goes away from the flame and so that the flame is not jumping away from the tip. Now open the oxygen torch until the inner cone or cones define.

This is known as a neutral flame. If you are using a cutting tip press the cutting lever and make final adjustments to the flame so the cones are defined

Now lets Shut down the Oxy Acetylene Cutting Torch Equipment

To shut down the equipment first turn off the fuel gas torch valve. Then turn off the oxygen

Some brands like the Victor Cutting torch have instructions to turn off the oxygen first. Its always best to follow the instructions for the torch you are using.

using cutting torch

Now go to the source and turn off the cylinder valves. Purge the pressure from oxygen line by opening the torch valves one a time until the gauge pressures read zero. Close the torch valve

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Back out regulator pressure screw until loose

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Purge acetylene line until gauges read zero

acetylene oxygen tanks

Back out pressure regulator screw until loose

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Inspect area and wait the appropriate time before leaving area.

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