Harris Torch Tips: How To Use a Cutting Torch

Harris Torch Tips: How To Use a Cutting Torch

You're a welder, and you're on a tight deadline with a co-worker. Both of you have experience in the welding field, and you decide to cut corners to make the deadline. 

Suddenly, your friend's clothing catches on fire. You quickly grab a nearby coat and stymie the flame as he rolls on the floor. You then rush him to the hospital. The doctors treat him for second-degree burns.

What happened?

While cutting corners, your co-worker wore a nylon shirt that caught fire as he used the torch. Before learning how to use a cutting torch, wear fire-resistant clothing with protective boots. Then, adjust the gas and acetylene before using the torch.

This article will show you the best way to use a Harris torch in a safe manner. Keep reading if you wish to master a cutting torch. 

Safety Tips

Before using a cutting torch, procure the following clothing items:

  • Soled-leather boots
  • Fire-retardant clothing
  • Leather gloves
  • Cutting goggles

These items will protect your skin and feet from slag that can get on your feet or clothes. Additionally, avoid loose clothing items to prevent contact with the flame.

Always keep the work area free of clutter. Further, keep the torch away from flammable items, including anything that can catch fire easily. Additionally, use the torch in a well-ventilated area

Always have a fire extinguisher nearby in case an emergency occurs. 

Adjusting the Torch

Check the hoses for leaks by pressurizing them. The hose contains a leak if the gauge shows a sudden pressure dip. Before using the torch, close the primary valves if necessary.

From there, back out the regulator screws.

  • Note: Turn on the oxygen cylinder slowly after checking the torch valves.  A sudden turn of the oxygen cylinder could cause it to burst. Avoid facing the regulator as you turn it on. Refer to the manual for adjustment guidance, but the oxygen bottle should be around 40 psi. 

After, adjust the acetylene cylinder valve halfway or slightly more. Refer to your guide for proper settings, but the acetylene adjustments should fall between 5 to 7 psi. 

The oxygen hose is usually blue, and the other acetylene bottle is usually red. 

Close and open the gas valves to flush the hoses. You only need to flush each hose in seconds. Adjust the regulator pressure according to the manufacturing guidelines.  

Using the Torch

Turn the acetylene valve anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 when activating it. Then, light the torch using the striker. Ignite the acetylene torch before turning on the oxygen.

Adjust the acetylene to get rid of the black smoke. Turn on the oxygen torch valve to define the flame. 

  • Note: Do not light the torch if the oxygen and acetylene valves are on at the same time. 

After using the torch, turn off the oxygen valve first. Other torches might require you to turn off the gas first. If confused, refer to the manufacturing instructions for additional guidance. Then, turn off the acetylene and gas valves.

Finally, release the pressure from the lines one valve at a time. Shut down the oxygen valve and loosen the regulator pressure screw. Release the acetylene line, including the pressure regulator screw. 

What Is the Best Way to Use a Harris Torch?

The best way to use a Harris torch is to read the manufacturing instructions. Failure to do so could cause accidents and/or bodily injury. Moreover, follow each step from beginning to end to avoid errors. Turning on or turning off the torch haphazardly could cause mishaps and malfunctions. 

After learning how to torch, you can find creative welding projects for any hobby of your choosing. To learn some welding project ideas, visit our webpage today to get more information. 


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