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Propane tank forge body - dangerous?


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2 hours ago, JPH said:

heh heh heh....another victim falls into my well laid trap...wha ha ha haaaaaa...

Oh the sweet taste of a fresh mind corrupted dances upon my tongue like a fine wine...

Have some Madeira, my dear???

JPH

Really looking forward to reading your book!

     Warner

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  • 2 years later...

You certainly can do that, it's just messy and not good for the angle grinder.  Do not use a torch.  The reason you don't cut any kind of tank with a torch is that you will always have some unburned oxygen and acetylene(or propane, if that's what you're using) getting pushed into the tank while cutting, especially if you're too close and the torch pops out.  If you get the right mix, it will go boom in a rather spectacular fashion, usually taking you or parts of you with it.  This applies to ANY tank or closed object, no matter what it may have held in the past.  Sure, people get away with it, but it's not worth the risk.  Use a grinder.

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I have cut many propane bottles with a torch and I'm still here.  The older style bottles I would open the valve and leave outside in the sun upside down.  Propane is heavier then air and will escape especially when the bottles are warmed by the sun.  At night the bottle will cool and suck cool air in and the process is repeated the next day.  After a few weeks or a month of this passive aspiration, I warm the bottle with a rosebud torch and after a bit I play the flame at the open valve.  If it doesn't light, there is no propane left and I cut into it safely with the torch (or a grinder if that is what you have).  The newer bottles have a valve with a three lobed valve handle or knob that require a fitting to be screwed into the valve to let the gas out.  I scavanged a fitting with just a stub of the hose remaining off a gas grill from the curb for that purpose.  The same process applies but you have to leave the scavanged fitting in until you have cut into it.  A grinder spark or flame from a torch will ignite propane so the bottle has to be empty of flammable gas before you cut.

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I'm not sure if it's true or not, but I've been told you can also simply take the fitting off the propane tank and fill it full of water.  Water in, gas out. Someone correct me if that's incorrect.  I'd hate to have someone blow themselves up and haunt me for the rest of my life.

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There was an old-timer around here that filled a gasoline tank with water and tried welding it and he is no longer with us. Not sure if propane would have the same effect. I always just take the valve off and start cutting. I've probably cut a dozen or so tanks and never had an issue.

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