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Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?


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  #41  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:43:27 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Argon gas can be dangerous too, it is heavier than air and displaces all oxygen. A local manufacturing plant in San Marcos Texas had several employees die, they used a large in-ground vat of argon gas for a welding process, for unknown reasons an employee climbed in and promptly collapsed, so another employee jumped in to save him and collapsed, so a third employee jumped in, and collapsed. Can't remember if it was 2 or 3 deaths.
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  #42  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:27:40 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
My "Thanky button" is all burned up right now, but I'll try to catch you later on that one, as I guess maybe I learned something there....

I didn't know that Argon burned to make the shield. I thought it was an inert gas that didn't burn
....
So it looks like maybe I was right after all.... in that, and my previous post...

I'll still leave my Thanks as posted for Trowel for trying to help.

Hopefully we've BOTH learned some more, and hopefully no-one was injured in the mean time, No Matter What Method they used.

As I noted before, no matter how many times a person may do something and get away with it, (myself included), it's always the LAST ONE that gets you.
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  #43  
Old 11-06-2011, 03:22:44 PM
tsalconoci tsalconoci is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
Argon gas can be dangerous too, it is heavier than air and displaces all oxygen. A local manufacturing plant in San Marcos Texas had several employees die, they used a large in-ground vat of argon gas for a welding process, for unknown reasons an employee climbed in and promptly collapsed, so another employee jumped in to save him and collapsed, so a third employee jumped in, and collapsed. Can't remember if it was 2 or 3 deaths.
Argon gas is dangerous in the same way that water, a plastic bag, or a piece of food is dangerous. If it blocks the entry of oxygen into the lungs either by displacing enough atmospheric air or by blocking its entry, you will suffocate. "Promptly collapsed" probably means that he blacked out as a result of asphyxiation. Even underwater, you won't pass out instantaneously.

The same holds true for being in an atmosphere of CO2 (also heavier than air), He, N2, or, for that matter, any other non-toxic gas. If it excludes enough O2, you will suffocate.

Note: This is in contrast to CO which binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells and essentially prevents the O2 bound to hemogloben to be released to support metabolic needs.

---------- Post added at 02:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:20 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
So it looks like maybe I was right after all.... in that, and my previous post...
Yes, you were 100% correct: filling something with O2 and then introducing combustible or material capable of being oxidized (e.g. steel wool) is an extremely bad idea. Figuring this thread was one of the top hits when I was trying to figure out how to cut a propane cylinder, it seemed important to make this point.
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  #44  
Old 12-16-2011, 07:41:40 PM
Yukon Yukon is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

I dont know about cutting one, but metheyl alcohol HEET will remove the smell.
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  #45  
Old 12-16-2011, 09:32:05 PM
fabricator fabricator is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

I've cut up about a dozen 500 gallon tanks to build bio diesel processors.
As an experiment on the first one I removed the main valve and it stunk to high heaven, I went and bought three of the largest model rocket engines I could buy at the local hobby shop.
I rolled the tank into the middle of an 80 acre field and suspended the rocket engines inside it,hooked to about two hundred feet of speaker wire.
I got down behind my gun range backstop which is railroad ties three wide and six high and touched the wires to a 12 volt battery.
It was highly anticlimactic, the engines went off for about 30-40 seconds bouncing around inside the tank spewing flame and sparks and nothing happened.
After that I would just dump five gallons of clorox in a tank and fill it with water, then roll it around the field with the tractor for a while and drain it then have at it, I've never has so much as a puff, all the smell in an empty tank is the chemical they put in the gas so you can smell it, the stuff settles out of the gas and stays in the tank, the old wives tale about the gas being in the pores of the metal is BS.
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  #46  
Old 12-16-2011, 10:09:13 PM
gene w gene w is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

don't know about the gasses being in the pores of the metal, how ever, a place I worked at had a shaft break [the shaft ran submerged in oil] it was turned to a press fit and we had to heat it to slide/fit it on. The sleve was about 11/4 and hole 7/8. when we heated it up about a teaspoon of oil came out of it
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  #47  
Old 01-20-2012, 05:45:55 PM
Gotit Gotit is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTO-Sawyer View Post
Wasn't trying to "use your post against you" . Didn't know if it was a typo, or if you meant it that way.

Fires burn hotter with more oxygen added as in cutting torches or even just using a blower on a forge to blow more air and therefore more oxygen into the coals.

Argon is a shielding gas not a cutting gas.

As for how many tanks you've already cut safely, it could be many more, or not quite as many and the old guy I knew that was killed after cutting just one more 50 gallon drum for a burn barrel after doing the same thing hundreds of times over 50-70+ years without incident.

It's always the Last One that gets you.

No Offense intended, I'm just trying to help people too.

Alan.
I always research "helpful" posts on forums:
Emergency Overview:
Argon gas is colorless, odorless and non-flammable.
It is non-toxic. The primary health hazard is asphyxiation by displacement of oxygen.
The information came from the following link:
http://www.uigi.com/MSDS_gaseous_Ar.html
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  #48  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:02:40 PM
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

We cut the top off two 100# propane bottles and the way we did it, we unscrewed the valves, dumped what ever came out. Then we stood them up and filled them with water, took a cutting torch and cut a 6" hole in the top to remove the heavy part that holds the valve. Then we cut the top off with the torch. There was a little fire but there can't be enough oxygen to cause an explosion.
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  #49  
Old 09-12-2012, 06:55:52 AM
Kevin Beitz Kevin Beitz is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

True story....

I watch at the junkyard as they cut up hundreds of the LP tanks.
They take a hammer and bust off the valve and take the torch and light the gas as it comes out the busted valve. As it burns they cut the tank at the other end. The first time I seen this I was ready to run for my life. But I've seen it done so many times that now I just stand and watch and shake my head. So far nothing never happened over the 50 some years they have been in business.
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  #50  
Old 09-12-2012, 05:18:14 PM
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Beitz View Post
True story....

I watch at the junkyard as they cut up hundreds of the LP tanks.
They take a hammer and bust off the valve and take the torch and light the gas as it comes out the busted valve. As it burns they cut the tank at the other end. The first time I seen this I was ready to run for my life. But I've seen it done so many times that now I just stand and watch and shake my head. So far nothing never happened over the 50 some years they have been in business.
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  #51  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:05:13 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Beitz View Post
True story....

I watch at the junkyard as they cut up hundreds of the LP tanks...........So far nothing never happened over the 50 some years they have been in business.
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It's hard to argue with success sometimes. There is probably 'safe and acceptable' procedures that have killed more people then what they are doing. But you gotta wonder-all those years ago. Staring at that pile of old tanks they just bought and wondering if the bought a stack of white elephants. And some ol boy pops off the blue wrench and moves in and goes "here's what we gonna do!" That man may of been dumber then a post but he had Cast Iron Cojones!!!!
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  #52  
Old 10-24-2012, 08:41:04 AM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

May not be a propane tank
Quote:
Man severely burned after oil tank explosion
Published October 23, 2012 Associated Press

Fire officials say a Virginia man was severely burned when an oil tank he was using a cutting torch on exploded in Somerset County.

It happened about 1 p.m. Saturday in Marion Station. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office says the 21-year-old man from Tasley, Va. and his father were using an acetylene torch to cut an oil tank which had previously been used to store gasoline. The tank exploded and ignited nearby building.

WBOC-TV reports that the younger man was flown to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Burn Unit in Baltimore with second & third degree burns to more than 90 percent of his body. His father was taken to Bayview Medical Center.
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  #53  
Old 11-10-2012, 05:31:57 PM
tinkerman2012 tinkerman2012 is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

I've done similar many times. Fill with water and go for it. Propane won't settle in the pores. Gasoline is different. I once welded a short piece of 3/4 pipe that had been removed from a gasoline tank. I blew through it a few times and touched the stinger to the pipe. Flames shot out the end. Of course it was fine after that but it sure woke me up.
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  #54  
Old 01-21-2013, 02:55:16 PM
Jack D D Jack D D is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

This old thread just keeps going and going.

I fill with water through the valve. Then drill a <1/4" hole below the water fill line. Turn it on its side with the hole up and continue filling until water squirts out of the hole. Then, using a hole saw with pilot drill in the drilled hole (still full of water) saw a ~ 1"-2"hole in the side. Empty out the water and it's good to go.

I made this fish sculpture (and others like it) from the top and bottom of a 20# tank.
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  #55  
Old 03-01-2013, 05:41:43 PM
arc1953 arc1953 is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Having just joined this group, I have read this thread in it's entirety, and learned a few things in the process. But, I was reminded of something stupid that I did 41 years ago when I was 18 that I will share with you. I was going to braze a small hole in a motorcycle gas tank, so I emptied it, rinsed it once with water, and to test it, I waved the lit torch over the filler hole holding the torch at arm's length while turning my face away. You guessed it, BOOM. The neighbors a quarter mile away heard it, my ears rang for days. After that, the tank was safe to weld on........the silly things we do.
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  #56  
Old 03-01-2013, 08:14:34 PM
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

If it was full of gasoline, it wouldn't have blown up. It would have just cought fire.
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  #57  
Old 03-01-2013, 10:27:14 PM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Heinz - but if it was full of gasolene it would be really hard to weld on.
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  #58  
Old 03-02-2013, 11:04:33 AM
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Default Re: Cutting the bottom off a propane tank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arc1953 View Post
.... I was going to braze a small hole in a motorcycle gas tank, so I emptied it, rinsed it once with water, and to test it, I waved the lit torch over the filler hole holding the torch at arm's length while turning my face away. You guessed it, BOOM...
At Dads Garage, we always used a large soldering iron (The big copper ones you heat with a torch) to solder small holes shut or to solder patches over bigger holes on gas tanks..... keeping the flame well away from the tank.

Dad did braze a hole shut on someones oil pan one time though with the car up on the hoist. Flared up a few times, but with any internal flame contained within the crankcase, it quickly smothered itself and he continued brazing. A wet rag took care of any flareups on the outside of the pan. But..... That's a bit different than cutting or welding on a gas tank or propane tank.
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