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anybody using propane for cutting?

Tracy T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/16/2019
One of my customers just gave me a harris with propane tip, he didnt know what he had! just curious what kind of pressures you all that have them are running. I just cut thru a 1/2" x 2" bar stock, took a little longer to heat up but it did a good job.
 

Bear67

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
Tracy

I have been using propane for Oxy/fuel cutting and welding for over 60 years. My father was in the wholesale LP business all my life and we used propane for everything we could. The big farmer I went to work for at 14 had propane on the portable welder/tool trailers we pulled to the field with us every day.

All the torch sets I use propane on are Victor and the two piece cutting tips are much easier to clean and is a benefit. I usually set fuel regulator to 15-17 psi for cutting and 13-14 for brazing. I prefer oxy/act for gas welding. You can run a oxy/act rosebud on propane, but it may pop every once in a while so again I usually go to oxy/act for big heating jobs. Propane is considerably cheaper especially for me as I fill my own lp bottles here at home as we keep a nurse tank with wet line on it at the farm and I have another nurse tank mounted on a trailer--I still have 7 propane tractors.

I cans switch back and forth between them because I have Oxy/lp here at home shop, oxy/act at Farm Shop and on the portable welding trailer most of the time and have propane tips in the tool trailer and can switch out cutting gases. I get a little cleaner cut especially with thick steel (3/4 and up) with oxy/act.

Hope this answers some of your questions

For brazing or gas welding with propane, I just run a little longer blue fire cone out to braze or gas weld. I like Victor equipment but have a couple of Smith Torch setups and they work fine. Sears Craftsman used to be Smith and one of mine is labeled Craftsman. I even have a Eutectic torch that came with a new spray welding setup that I picked up from a friend last year--bought it for a song, complete with several bottles of different metal alloys in it. Only used it once to build up a shaft for a 5 hp electric motorwhere the bearing race fit, but it is good to own as I only gave $40 for the setup with torch which included a spray weld tip and a cutting head for it also. Even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while.

Play with it and you will find your personal pressure settings for your rig. With savings on using lpg, you can get used to a little less heat and adjust.
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/16/2019
thats what i needed, i never ran the fuel pressure up and it sounds like i need to.
 

Bear67

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
Tracy
I will look in my spare parts repository and look to see if I have some Harris tips in my "stuff". I did have once upon a time and will never use them. If so I will get your snail mail address and send them to you. I shouldn't run out of Victor and Smith parts in my lifetime.
 

Sonny Reese

Registered
I was around propane one time and its a joke!! I only run acy. in my personal torches. --- Takes way less gas, 10 times faster too. Propane may be cheaper, but you gotta use more and wait longer, so you dont save anything. When I need to cut it has to be now not next week! LOL!! To each his own!
 

Tracy T

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/16/2019
Sonny this harris works pretty damn good and i still have acy on hand if i need it. There was a shop here that had a computerized pattern torch and they used a propane / acy mix and was cutting material 4 inches thick with no problem! after watching the video this morning and taking what i learned from it to set the propane "right" I cant tell the difference between the two on half inch material.
 

Sonny Reese

Registered
Maybe with the right torch, it could work. --I just never messed with it myself, just watched junkers fighting with it! lol!!
 

Dan H

Registered
Maybe with the right torch, it could work. --I just never messed with it myself, just watched junkers fighting with it! lol!!
Everybody has a opinion which is great. I used to run a salvage yard that used propane torches. On the average we could use 15 to 20 large bottles of oxy for every 1 20lb bottle of propane. We had our pressure set at 7lbs for propane and 50lbs for oxy, using a #3 tip. The cost savings were huge. The men needed on average at least 10 hours of experience before they were able to preheat the metal to start the cut properly. I would offer to put any one of my men up against anyone using oxy / act cutting rusty old metal and unless the other guy was really really good we would beat them. My Canadian 2 cents worth. Dan H
 

OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
Age
58
Last Subscription Date
07/15/2019
I was somewhat surprised to see the guy in the Smith Video shut down the Oxygen valve BEFORE the Propane valve. . .

Is the procedure different for some reason when using Propane than it is with Acetylene ???

I've ALWAYS Shut the Gas (acetylene) Off FIRST and Then the Oxygen, which is also how it says to do it in my old 1929 SMITH Booklet.

:unsure:

My 1929 book Doesn't cover Propane which is why I'm asking if the procedure is different for some reason.
 

Bear67

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
02/02/2020
If checked my Victor Educational book from late 60's and shut down for propane is same for propane as acetylene. Oxy/fuel setups have been used with MAPP gas and pressure boosted natural gas. Gas first then oxygen. I taught welding on the college level a few years in late 60's and Victor had some of the best safety teaching aids available at the time. Books, filmstrips, 16mm movie film and slide shows. Pre VHS and CD's and all the modern media methods. They were also happy to share with instructors and industry alike. They had pictures of equipment that failed because safety rules were ignored and company produced accidents that made viewers think, "that could have been me.

OTTO-Sawyer. I thought I was old, but your 1929 book trumps my torch stuff.
I do have some Lincoln, and Hobart books that have publication dates during the WWII era. The Hobart booklet on welding rod selection and recomendations is one of the best I have ever seen. I got all of them with some older equipment and tool boxes I purchased down through the years. Lincoln at one time had some of the best hard cover Welding instruction text books available.
 
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