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Author Topic: cutting torch on propane?  (Read 3419 times)

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Offline 85diesel_rc

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cutting torch on propane?
« on: November 9, 2005, 04:23:01 PM »
The guy at the salvage yard was using a gas grille propane bottle and oxygen bottle with a oxy/acetylene regulator to cut a frame. Do any of you know if it is possible to use the air from a compressor and a propane bottle running through a cutting torch regulator setup? I'm thinking that the air from the compressor could be regulated with the propane and would be a way of avoiding paying the yearly deposits on a oxy/acetylene setup. Maybe this would also work with an on-board air compressor on the trail? Has anybody tried this and do you think it would be a safe alternative? If this is the wrong place for this topic tell me. Thanks acetylene
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Offline Electric Squid

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #1 on: November 9, 2005, 05:02:09 PM »
The open air is only about 12% oxygen. Because of this, you may have trouble getting a compressor to work as an oxygen alternative.

BUT, if you do get it to work, I'm SO interested in how. Please post it for the rest of us.  :D

Offline comrade cheddar

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #2 on: November 9, 2005, 06:32:31 PM »
My Dad uses the propane oxy. set- up because he can fill his own propane, avoiding the 8 mile trip to town. You would still need oxygen bottle.
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Offline KansasCrewCab76

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #3 on: November 9, 2005, 11:01:54 PM »
You can use propane because propane has similar flamable gaseous qualities as acetylene.  You cannot use compressed air, because you are doing just that, compressing, not enriching the amount of oxygen. 
Think of it like this, you can ignite pure oxygen, but it is violent.  Acetylene or propane can be ignited easily and controlably.  Adding oxygen results in an exothermic reaction, just like combustion in an engine, result heat.  Except in this case lots of heat.  The only alternative to oxygen I can see, would be nitrogen, but that is even more volatile and very expensive.
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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #4 on: November 9, 2005, 11:59:49 PM »
i agree with these guys, i do not think it would work well using compressed air for this due to the low o2 content.

however, having used the oxy/prop setup, remember you must use tips designed for propane, can find them at most welding and hardware stores.

and i actually prefer the way it cuts over acetylene

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Offline 85diesel_rc

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2005, 10:53:37 AM »
I feel kinda dumb since I wasn't thinking about the oxygen content versus the compressed air and the difference between the two. I will check on the oxygen bottle price and the refill costs, but I may still like to try the propane with it. It may not be worth the hassle since I would still have to go to the gas supply house for the oxygen bottle and refills. Thanks for the clarification.
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Offline Electric Squid

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2005, 06:54:57 PM »
What about a Oxy-Mapp gas set-up?

Offline IntenseImages

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2005, 08:25:35 PM »
What about a Oxy-Mapp gas set-up?

oxy-mapp can be used as well

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Offline Electric Squid

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2005, 09:59:36 PM »

Offline offroader_dodge

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2005, 10:22:31 PM »
propane is used in place of acetelyne,mostly as a cost savings,you probably can get twice as much cutting from oxy-propane compared to oxy-acetelyne.downfall,its not quite and slightly more oxygen is required.
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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2005, 11:27:08 PM »
Better?

from my understanding, similar to propane

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Offline kev

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2005, 06:25:44 AM »
If cost is a factor....

I had a buddy in florida that used propane and a 50% oxygen mix...

He got the regular propane and then got a 50% oxygen mix at a local dive shop.

Which is not a big deal to slightly enrich ambient air which is all ready 21% oxygen.... This was in Florida so dive shops were far more availabe...
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Offline jungle

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2005, 02:45:53 PM »
Acetelyne has a hotter flame than propane or mapp. Depends on what your cutting.
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Offline Casper8x

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2005, 01:33:09 AM »
  Think of it like this, you can ignite pure oxygen, but it is violent.  Acetylene or propane can be ignited easily and controlably.  Adding oxygen results in an exothermic reaction, just like combustion in an engine, result heat.  Except in this case lots of heat.  The only alternative to oxygen I can see, would be nitrogen, but that is even more volatile and very expensive.

Uhh, Oxygen and Nitrogen are both Non-Flammable gases. I think you are mixing Nitrogen up with Nitrous Oxide. Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide are both Oxidizers which vigoursly accelerate combustion but cannot support combustion without a fuel gas or solid like oil/grease.

As far as the question goes there are a few alternatives to using acetylene. You can use (common gases) Propane, Butane, MAPP Gas and Propylene.

If you do use an alternative like propane/butane you cannot use a normal acetylene tip in your torch. If you decide on this route drop me a PM and I can set up with whatever you need.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2005, 01:42:41 AM by Casper8x »
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Offline 85diesel_rc

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2005, 08:40:00 AM »
Looks like I found a solution for now, my dad loaned me his oxy-acetelyne rig to use for as long as I want. I would still like to have a small portable setup to take on a wheel trip, like the propane, mapp gas setup with some oxidizer. Any other suggestions?
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Offline Casper8x

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2005, 07:06:36 PM »
You can get small oxy-ace setups. There are several different sizes of both cylinders.

Oxygen can be bought  as (cft) 20, 40, 60, 80, 125, 251, and 307.

Acetylene you can get  "MC" 10cft, "NB" 40 cft, "Small" 145 cft or "Large" 300ish cft.

Alot of welders use a Small 145  ace and 125 oxygen setup on there trucks for in the field jobs. For just a weekend trip setup, a 40 O2 and NB acetylene  would work well.
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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2005, 01:07:51 PM »
For just a weekend trip setup, a 40 O2 and NB acetylene  would work well.

and how much would that run? Just a ballpark figure will do.  :)

Offline Casper8x

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2005, 02:07:33 PM »
and how much would that run? Just a ballpark figure will do. :)
Using my shop's price at 9% tax they are:
NB Acet- $11.99
40 O2- $10.36

That's only for the contents of the cylinders. You would have to pay a rent/lease on each cylinder which would be about $4 a month or $40ish a year.

And of course those prices are somewhat high due to the fact that you aren't buying a large amount. For example O2 is  40cft-$10.36 125cft-$14.17 251cft-$19.62
As with anything the more you buy the cheaper it gets.
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Offline 89RC4spd4x4

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Re: cutting torch on propane?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2005, 12:51:56 AM »
Don't forget the price of regulators(gauges) hoses, and torches + tips. A small cheapo with bottles will cost round $100- $130 new. Tou could find a larger used setup for the same price however be sure you can test them before you buy'em. Hoses leak, bottles expire, and idiots ruin rupture discs in regulators.
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