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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch

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02-09-2018 06:32:26

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30 pound tank from a camper is correct fitting. I have not found a hose labled for LP. I bought tips and tried but had big problems getting it to light. went back to acetleene after shortage was over.

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Paul in MN

02-09-2018 08:52:10

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 Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch in reply to Leroy, 02-09-2018 06:32:26  
It takes a different lighting procedure. When I light the torch, I turn the torch gas valve on just a little bit and aim the tip towards a shielded area and then strike a spark. It lights easily with a small flame still hugging the tip. Then add a small amount of O2, keeping the flame at the tip. Increase the LP and then increase the O2. If the flame walks away from the tip, just reduce the O2 a bit until it comes back to the tip. You never get the dark smoke that burning Acetylene produces during lighting. LP gives a cleaner burn.

I have used LP and O2 for more than 50 years and about 2 years ago needed to replace my hoses for the 1st time. My Smith regulators are still original. For working with steel up to 1/2" thick (bending or cutting) I get enough LP coming off a 20# BBQ tank even with the newer valve. I do have bigger LP tanks available, but have found their bigger size and weight to be an inconvenience. I also have a LP blacksmith forge requiring only LP and no Oxygen. It is naturally aspirated, single burner. The local farriers use 2 burner forges with BBQ tanks for supply.

I will agree that there are some metal working processes that are better done with acetylene +O2. But for the few times that I have needed or wanted Ac, it is not worth the price for tank purchase or rental plus the cost of the gas. LP is a bit different, but far less costly.

Paul in MN

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02-10-2018 16:02:25

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 Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch in reply to Paul in MN, 02-09-2018 08:52:10  
I already had the 30# tanks for my camper and I bought my tanks back in I think it was 79. I have been told to turn oxygen on a bit before turning on LP and other ways and just could not get things to work. In the bright sun I could see the acetlene flame to adjust after getting lit, the LP if I managed to get lit I could not see the flame to tell if I was getting it adjusted or not. Some years I might go thru 2 tanks and other years not even a full tank so I don't use enough that cost was enough to compensate for the problems I was having.

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Paul in MN

02-10-2018 16:41:24

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 Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch in reply to Leroy, 02-10-2018 16:02:25  

You are right, when lighting the flame is hard to see in sunlight. So I have a "box" about 5" square open on both ends (scrap steel) that I use to light the torch. The box is dark inside so I can see the flame easily and it shields the gas coming from the torch tip so the gas doesn't just blow away. I do most of my torch work outside so as to not create a fire risk in the barn/shop. One BBQ tank lasts me 2 to 3 years.

To each their own. I'm not trying to sell anyone on the use of LP, but I have found it to be a successful solution in my shop and shops of both of my sons. None of the 3 of us is into welding with Acetylene, just heating, cutting, and bending. I have been able to braze sheet metal items like oil pans with the LP/Oxy.

Paul in MN

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02-10-2018 20:13:06

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 Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch in reply to Paul in MN, 02-10-2018 16:41:24  
It is when you are trying for 5 minuts to get torch lit and still not getting it done for that 30 second job and turn torch off you get disgusted and give up and go back to something you can get lit and get that 30 second job done.

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02-10-2018 20:08:22

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 Re: Propane Tank For A Propane Cutting Torch in reply to Paul in MN, 02-10-2018 16:41:24  
I only use the torch for cutting and heating. That box is something to remember if I try the LP again.

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