Jun 15, 2018
You probably already know this, but if you don't...
-to improve cutting performance with an acetylene torch, tip the torch's tip slightly in the direction you're cutting. That pre-heats the metal and helps create a cleaner cut.
-when turning on the oxygen and acetylene valves, open the oxygen valve several turns for full, regulated flow, but open the acetylene valve only 1/4-turn. That way, in case of emergency, a flick of your hand will stop acetylene flow.
-Generic settings for cutting with an acetylene torch are: 7 psi for acetylene and 25 psi for oxygen. Never go higher than 7 psi for acetylene due to explosive risk, but oxygen settings can be raised or lowered above 25 psi to fine-tune cutting efficiency.
-sunglasses, cutting goggles or a tinted face shield dramatically improve cutting accuracy. I prefer a tinted face shield because it keeps sparks off my face. Yes, you can cut without a tinted lens, but your cuts will be less accurate because it's harder to see the different colors of metal that allow you to precisely control the cut.
-Leather gloves are another option that improve cutting accuracy. I invariably have to cut in a direction that requires me to hold the torch's handle so my palm is cupped under it, and sparks in your palm make it hard to maintain a steady cut.
-finally, if I had my way, every torch cart would have a place for three "bottles": the acetylene bottle, the oxygen bottle and my trusty water-filled fire extinguisher. I never spark a torch without some sort of garden hose or water-filled fire extinguisher handy. A simple 3-gallon pump-up style garden sprayer filled with water not only puts out any flames sparked by torching, but is a great way to wet down and dampen the area before the torch is fired to prevent fires.