How to set the oxy acetylene regulators
I’m going to tell you how to set the pressure regulators and probably get into torch tips and a few things like that for oxy-acetylene. It’s very important how you set these things. You know the high pressure and the oxidizing problem with oxygen if there’s any carbon present. The acetylene can’t be over 30 pounds. In fact, if you look on the gauge you can see anything over 15lbs. in red, and of course it tops out at 30lbs. So we need to consider what pressures we’re going to put on this. They’re definitely going to be below 15. I prefer Victor gauges as they are the most accurate.
First we’re going to adjust the regulator before we get started. If you turn it clockwise, that increases pressure. That’s a little backwards from most valves, but that’s the way a regulator works. When you start it should be loose. Now go ahead and turn on the gas. Now this is acetylene, this one is only running 235 pounds of pressure and, of course, I’m zeroed here because there’s nothing coming out. Now when I go to adjust this, I’m probably going to adjust this thing to about 5 PSI. If you look you can see it says oxy and gas. Gas is a fuel gas, because you don’t have to use acetylene, although you’re nuts if you don’t. If I’m going to set this regulator, I want the gas open, because I want to set the pressure while there’s actually gas coming out. So I’ve got that open. Well let’s take a look a little closer at the gauge. As I start turning this down it’s going to have a little more resistance, and the pressure will go up. Now I’m going to set this thing to about 5lbs. Now if I shut it off, it will go up a pound or two. That’s why I want to do it running.
Now my acetylene regulator is set. Remember when I’m setting this regulator I’m not going to get up to 15 pounds. Keep that sucker way down here someplace. If you’ve got a pretty good sized tip you’re gonna have to go up a little bit higher on that, but don’t get above 15 pounds.
Now I’m at the oxygen. Again, this is loose. Before I start, I open, the gauge and it goes up, I’ve got about 700 pounds in there, and again, as I did before, I’ll put this thing up here, I’m gonna go to oxy, and I’m going to open it. I start cranking this thing down, and it will start coming up. I’m going to run this at about 10. Think of the two numbers, 10 and 5. Always your oxygen should be at a higher pressure than my acetylene. You may want to run that up to 12 or 13, something like that, but for torch work, braising in the light, you usually don’t need it much higher than that. For cutting everything is different and the oxygen pressure should be about 25 PSI.
This thing is ready to go now. One of the things I’m going to do right now is show you what’s wrong with my torch. There should be check valves in the torch body. All new ones have check valves. One of the reasons I make sure my oxygen is always higher than my acetylene is so that we do not get into a situation where acetylene could actually go back into the oxygen line. Then it could burn inside the line. I’ve done this for so many years, maybe I’m just set in my ways. You’ll notice that the acetylene gas has a mark around the fitting. This one does not on oxygen. That’s because this is left hand thread. They don’t want you mixing these things up, because here again if you’re running acetylene, which is just full of carbon, through an oxygen line, it could explode. So these cannot get mixed up. That’s a regulator set up. Next we’re going to get into the torch tips and how to set the flame on the oxy acetylene welding rig.
The big thing you need to remember about tips is that they must be clean. A typical cutting tip has a large center hole where the acetylene-oxygen mix exits and 6 smaller holes evenly spaced around it. The small holes are for the high pressure oxygen that blows the slag away. All 7 holes must be clean for the cutting torch to work efficiently. Tip cleaners are made by Weldmark, Lincoln, US Forge, and Tech Team https://techteamproducts.com/. We like Tech Team’s (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NGV9CS2?ref=myi_title_dp) the best because it has all the necessary ream files and a handy storage case.