Some Tips on Cutting Off Bolts and Nuts with An Oxy Acetylene Cutting Torch

Some Tips on Cutting Off Bolts and Nuts with An Oxy Acetylene Cutting Torch

You can get pretty close washing frozen nuts off, and it saves on the grinding time. In repairs or mechanicing you may run into nuts and bolts that are rusted on so hard that you have to cut them off. On a bolt head, don’t go through the whole thing at one time. Start at the top and slice it off. When you get to the bottom, ease off the cutting jet and wash it off, taking care not to gouge into the base metal on the backside of the cut. Small nuts that are rusted on can be cut off the same way. The whole thing will get hot enough to slice through both the nut and the bolt. On larger nuts you won’t be able to get all the way through. The easy way to get this off is to cut right alongside the bolt. Jump to the other side and do the same. Then use a hammer to knock the pieces off.


Now some of the bigger bolts are expensive, or you may not have another one available, so you can cut the nut off and leave the threads to reuse the bolt. It works about the same way as cutting the nut off. You make the first cut away from the bolt a little, and then wash it off. As soon as the threads pass through you have to quit or you’ll bugger the threads. I guarantee that when you do that for somebody, you’ll fool them into thinking you know what you’re doing with a cutting torch.


Now we’ve been washing metal off with a regular cutting tip. Sometimes it is best to use a scarfing tip. The tip is angled so the oxygen cutting jet is parallel to the metal. This helps to keep from gouging into the metal on the back side. The cutting orifice is also larger to slow down and spread out the cutting jet. This tip can be used to remove weld from a joint where both pieces are going to be saved, and to gouge out a bevel while making repairs.


Well that’s about it. I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how to handle a torch. You really don’t know it though until you do it and see it for yourself at the end of your own cutting torch. You can go on YouTube or do a Hey Siri or Hey Alexa search to get a better understanding of how this is done. Remember keep your tip clean, get comfortable before you start, and concentrate on the cut while it’s happening. Good brands of tip cleaners include Victor, Irwin, US Forge, and Tech Team We like Tech Team’s 762 Tip Cleaner Set because it has all the correct size reamers, a file, and it comes in a handy storage case.


Know where your sparks are going and look up occasionally to check for fire. There’s one more thing we need to do yet. When you’re finished at the end of the day, you want to bleed the pressure off the system. Close both bottle valves and starting with the acetylene then open the main torch valve. When all the pressure bleeds off, screw the regulator adjuster out, so the next time the bottles are open, the internal diaphragms don’t get hammered and there’s not a lot of friction inside the regulator from the surge of gas. Close the torch valve, and bleed the oxygen the same way. And you’re finished. Have fun with this, and above all else, keep safety first.