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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bunch of junk on a place I bought, and the value of scrap is high enough now that I want to cut it up and haul it myself rather than give it away. So I bought a cheap acetelyne torch from Harbor Freight, with the idea to convert it to propane. You can't buy a cheap propane set up. I figure that all I absolutely have to have is a tip, and an adapter to fit a propane tank. I can get a tip locally, but does anybody know where I can get the tank adapter?

Also, standard hoses say not to use them for anything but propane, but I don't see any of the U-Tube guys saying anything about that. I assume they are just using the standard hoses and replacing them when they start to deteriorate.
 

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I did a conversion for a company that builds bridges. They converted from propane to natural gas. They had hundreds of torches some for cutting and some for heating. Both worked well but nat gas was more cost effective. I had to assist building a pump to suck gas out of the city main faster than it could deliver it at normal pressure. Anyway what you may find nessary if the local welding supply does not have an adapter is to change the nipple and tank connector on your set of gauges. Or just buy a reg for propane. Make sure you have check/flame aresstors on your set up .
 

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Anyone that i know (and i know several) that are cutting up junk steel to sell, use a sawzall with a bimetal blade and that's what i use too. In the end, it comes out a LOT cheaper with the sawzall.

I don't get out the torch unless i have to...

BTW, i think you have to use a different guage with propane too? Maybe a different regulator too...

DM
 

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I use an oxy acetylene gauge on a propane tank to fire a turkey fryer. I need the fine adjustment for running my big AA pressure canner. It works great and all we did was unscrew the original nipple and replace it with a nipple with the acme fitting for propane. I worked for a couple of guys who used propane on their torches. I don't recall anything special as far as hoses either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I have a regular sawsall but no power where my problem steel is. I have a battery sawsall, but the steel is too hefty, even with 5 or 6 batteries I would be weeks cutting this stuff up. Using a sawsall makes sense for little jobs because you don't have to worry about starting a fire.

HIT or Miss, that is the kind of thing I needed to know, I'll just have to look harder at the places that sell propane fittings.
 

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Used one for several years. Now I didn't pay the bills so can't comment on cost. It worked all right, nothing more. It seemed to me that I went through more oxy than the acetylene torch used. I would not choose propane on purpose, unless there was a good reason to do so. It seemed to me there was less heat so it took longer to get anything done and that may be where the oxygen went. It could be that it was not optimized for propane either, that would not surprise me in the least.
 

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With propane the tip is different. Acetylene will spontaniously combust in a propane cutting tip and explode the cutting head. An acetylene tip is bigger inside in the fuel jet. The fuel o2 mix point comes into play also. The explosion can happen when you light the torch because of improper mixture/burn in a free state. Be sure to only use the correct tip with the correct gas. All of the rest of the rig will work the same.

Acetylene is particular to pressures over 15#/si in a free state. It can spontaneously combust. An acetylene tank has asbestous and acetone in it to absorb the acetylene to allow higher tank pressures. That is why the guage has a red line on it above 15#.

Oxygen in the presence of petroleum can spntaniously combust. That is why the O2 guage says "use no oil".

(Just in case you might not already know, there are other things to consider with a cutting rig.)
ear
 

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i use propane on my cutting torch, i use a regulator like on a grill. i use ordinary red and green torch hoses and it does take a special torch tip. i dont believe it hurts the hoses at all as these are over 10 years old. it does take slightly longer to heat up your steel but it is way cheaper than acetylene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys. I undestand that if you use acetelyne the bottles don't run out at the same rate, so if you rent, you never reach a point where you can take back the bottles and be done paying rent. Now if I use propane, I have lots of 20 pounders and I use them for lots of stuff. So I rent a bottle of O2 and do a bunch of cutting and then take the tank back when it's empty, no more rent until I need it again.
 

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For what its worth Tractor Supply has oxy/act kits with bottles for sale. They are larger than the bottles that fit the outfits used in ref work B thank size but not as large as 150 oxy or 130 act , maybe about half that size.
 

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i used the propane for year just a little longer heat up time cut 3'' plate with it a lot cheaper to use you will need a propane tip and connector for your gauge that will ft your pro pane bottle works good but you can't weld with it other than braze.
 

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Have used propane for years. as others have said propane dosn't heat as fast ( not as many BTUs in propane, there is more btus in nat. gas.) nor cut as fast but will do a fine job with the right tips. MAP gas tips will work just fine. don't use acet. cutting tips. welding torches will work with either gas. I have used the propane tank off my gas grill just have to use the Inside Left hand threads not the large Outside screw connection to make up to my regulator.

I came across a Propane tank from a forklift and had it retested and the fittings changed on it. I now use it and it last a lot longer just heavier to haul around. I do have a small set of cutting tanks that have the acet. and oxg. that Is more portable but I try not to use them around the shop. Note welding thicker steel with propane is a pain in the backside.... takes forever.... but stuff like mower deck cracks etc.. no problem. brazing is ok too.

the thing I like about propane is it dosn't smoke as bad as acet. when lighting the torch. Note. even if you have a large acet bottle, It is a good idea to pick up a few map gas tips. If you are like me you will be in the middle of a weekend project and the the acetl. bottle will be empty so you just grab the gas grill bottle and back to work. good luck.
 
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