One of the most dangerous items in a welding shop is an oxy-acetylene welding set up. Acetylene is highly flammable. Safely using this set up requires particular caution on the part of operators and proper welding safety clothes such as a long sleeve shirt, helmet, and gloves.
Acetylene has been replaced by propane, propylene, and HGX-3 propane in some operations. However, the high temperature of acetylene when burning still make it a popular cutting fuel in many small welding operations.
Valve and Cylinder Safety
Before using with an oxy-acetylene set up, make sure the cylinders are chained securely and on a stable surface. Check the gauges to see if they read zero, and then back out the tension screws.
Open the valve slowly. Any pressure in the regulator line could cause regulator burn out. A piece of dust or oil could lead to a small explosion in the regulator line that can cause severe burns in a matter of seconds.
Keep a valve cover on your tanks. If you jar a tank suddenly, the valve may come shooting off and do some real damage. By keeping it securely covered, you’ll provide extra safety in your shop.
Choose Your Tip and Pressure
The best place to start with choosing your tip size and pressure settings is a settings guide provided by manufacturers such as Smith Equipment. You just need to know the thickness of the metal you’re cutting in order to make sure you have enough heat in order to make a clean cut without warping the metal with too much heat.
Looking for more cutting tips? Check out this video at Welding Tips and Tricks.
Learn about Alternative Fuels