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View Full Version : Can I cut an Acetylene tank in 1/2 to scrap it?


JoeWelderX
01-23-2008, 08:25 PM
Hi all! Please don't think I'm an idiot, but I was given a couple outdated Acetylene tanks and some outdated O2 tanks. I want to get rid of them rather then recert them (I have as many as I need) My local scrap yard will take the O2 tanks if cut in 1/2, but will not take the Acetylene at all! Why is this? If I can cut it safely and remove the acetone I should be O.K. right?

Please advise....:eek:

randy_m
01-23-2008, 08:41 PM
The act tank cant be cut to the best of my knowledge. It has some kind of stone filler in it to keep the acetone stable. You might try just giving them to the local weld shop or post them on craigslist for free. maybe someone else would get them certified and reuse them. It would seem like such a wast to just cut up the tanks.

84ZMike
01-23-2008, 08:54 PM
I'd sell them as well if for nothing just to keep them around......if you do toss them you'll kick yourself the first time you go to get your tanks swapped out and they don't have any on hand :(.......just because the cert date is out is no big deal....I have seen tanks that the first test date on them was in the early 20's still going strong....no telling how many valves and coats of paint, but still serviceable none the less......

Dr Dean
01-23-2008, 09:12 PM
If you really don't want them, let's figure out a way to ship them to Iowa. I need both oxygen and acetelene!

84ZMike
01-23-2008, 09:25 PM
Haz Mat Freight is one (legal) way.....possibly others, but UPS wont ship anything that has at one time contained any flammable gas....plus the bottom plug would be missing from the ace by the time you got it :D....Fed Ex wont ship them.....check with your LWS they may know of a carrier that would.....

cutter
01-23-2008, 09:58 PM
Okay, I guess I have to be the one to ask:
Cut them how with what?
I've heard there's a guy in somewhere in Afghanistan who might like to speak with you. :)

JoeWelderX
01-23-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks...the reason I wanted to get rid of them is because I was given three oxy's and two acet tanks. We already have three of each, but only use one set. Don't know.....guess I could keep them around, but we don't do much burning or cutting for the one set we have let alone 5 sets! Maybe I will do the local Craigs list....anything received would be better than the scrap value in baltimore of $105/2000 lbs!

Dallas B
01-23-2008, 10:22 PM
I cut my old tank's up the other day, did not get anything for them at the scrap yard.......I do have a pic of the cutting.......Oh...dont worry about gloves........... http://www.dailymotion.com/cluster/extreme/tag/crazy/video/x3wokg_kaboom_extreme

JoeWelderX
01-23-2008, 10:41 PM
That was the best....woke half the house up with my laughter! Yeah....maybe I'll sell them instead!:o

calweld
01-23-2008, 10:50 PM
If you can store them, they're always worth keeping around for barter also.

JoeWelderX
01-23-2008, 10:51 PM
Yes....another good idea. Thanks!

rocketeir
01-23-2008, 11:15 PM
When i got my out of date tanks i just traded them in to my LWS and got new used tanks with a full load of oxy and actyl

partsgurut
01-23-2008, 11:29 PM
you guys have better luck than me, I have a set laying around that none of our lws's would touch unless you had leased them from them. Which of course I hadn't I actually got them from my grandpa some he had bought a long time before I was born. They won't exchange or anything, finally just leased a set from them.

getatorch
01-24-2008, 12:11 AM
I had a set of old ones one time and the LWS took them in on trade. Besides trying to cut them up is one trip my wife won't do to the ER. As would anybody in about a 1/2 mile circumference of my address.:eek::eek:

clive
01-24-2008, 05:45 AM
We've got an acetylene tank that has been cut away, most of the time I use it to keep the classroom door open but it is really there to show the apprentices what is inside.
I think it was sawn, I'll try to remember to have a look tomorrow.
And (insert laughter here) I'll try to post a photo of it.
Clive

JoeWelderX
01-24-2008, 08:03 AM
Now we're talken! I kinda really want to cut them up to look inside and taking them to scrap might be my way to justify it! I am not able to exchange them locally.....they either want to sell me a set or set me up with another lease...lease or buy isn't the problem...thats just the cost of doing business! But I have too much crap as it is and just wanted them gone! I'd love to see a pic of the cut tank of Acet to...well I would just like to! LOL:D

USMCPOP
01-24-2008, 08:46 AM
You could take them out in the boondocks and do something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdSdYhGdf6c Watch out for stray chunks :D (Turn up the sound toward the end.)

boilerman
01-24-2008, 10:27 AM
if you cut the o2 tanks...turn them into gongs ...you'll get more money out of them that way

Dallas B
01-24-2008, 02:45 PM
I have been wanting to do this for a long time, but I always do things big...I was thinking about building a 20' x 8' x 8' tower and put several cut size in it. That should wake up the new nahbor's out here....There dogs vs my gongs.if you cut the o2 tanks...turn them into gongs ...you'll get more money out of them that way

Bender
01-24-2008, 08:11 PM
Me too Dallas, I have an unlimited supply of un-serviceable cylinders

randy_m
01-24-2008, 08:43 PM
if you cut the o2 tanks...turn them into gongs ...you'll get more money out of them that way



Gongs or BONGS ?.........:D

clive
01-24-2008, 10:57 PM
OK, I looked and took a photo. They have definitely been cut with a gas axe. Whether they had been cut with something else first I have no way of knowing. They have been here 27 years. They might have even come from the supplier like that and been cut when new and the filler put in after. I say this as there are no scratch marks on the filler. It is smooth, as if it has been plastered. Now I'll have my usual battle posting photos, although the work computer might allow it. Hmm, peice of cake from work. The 2 shots are the same but on different settings
Clive

Bubba Tex
01-25-2008, 09:01 AM
Gongs or BONGS ?.........:D

GONGS buddy GONGS.

rocketeir
01-25-2008, 10:54 AM
you guys have better luck than me, I have a set laying around that none of our lws's would touch unless you had leased them from them. Which of course I hadn't I actually got them from my grandpa some he had bought a long time before I was born. They won't exchange or anything, finally just leased a set from them.

Now tht you leased a set from them see if they will do the exchange on then.. they polly wont look at the date.. they will just assume they are your leased bottles...once they get the the place where they fill them they wont fill them being out of date so they will go to the needs to be certified pile..

Whattman
01-25-2008, 04:14 PM
Clive, Thanks for posting that picture. I've always wanted to know what
thay really looked like inside. I would have thought that the filler went all
the way to the top.

Bender
01-25-2008, 06:48 PM
Yup, thanks clive. I wondered too.

welderman23
01-26-2008, 02:24 AM
Gongs or BONGS ?.........:D

hey you cant say bong on the internet.....tommy chong got 9months in jail for that

LW Hiway
01-26-2008, 07:02 AM
hey you cant say bong on the internet.....tommy chong got 9months in jail for that

Now, now, lets be a tad more precise. You can say it, you just can't sell it. Good thing I bought mine early on.:rolleyes::) I really use it to cool the hot compressed air coming out of my compressor.:D

precisionworks
01-26-2008, 03:22 PM
I tried to return an ancient tank to Airgas & they wouldn't take it, so the next stop was Scrapyard Charlie. He used a pipe wrench to remove the valve, the used an O/A torch to slice the tank in half (to remove the filler).

Said he'd done the same thing hundreds of times without incident. Your results may vary:eek:

cutter
01-26-2008, 07:04 PM
I would have thought that the filler went all
the way to the top.
I mentioned that same assumption to Clive in a pmail shortly after he posted those pictures.
Here is his reply:
Cutter,
The space at the top of the cylinder is very important. This is where the gas comes out of solution, otherwise when you crack open the cylinder the liquid acetone would pour out. It is also the reason you don't lay a cylinder on it's side in use, the space would fill with liquid. It's not recommended that you do lay a cylinder down, even in transport but if you do or it falls over in a truck and doesn't get noticed for a while. Simply set it upright and leave for at least one hour, this will allow the acetone to be re-absorbed.
Clive

However, I have always heard you should stand one back up for 7 hours before using it.

IHdonnie
01-26-2008, 11:08 PM
What purpose does the acetone serve?

cutter
01-27-2008, 12:33 AM
Donnie, to avoid the risk of oversimplification, read this history of acetylene.

http://www.westernintl.com/files/Acetylene_History.pdf

It should make you glad you weren't one of the pioneers of the industry. :)

IHdonnie
01-27-2008, 05:15 PM
Thanks Cutter, pretty interesting stuff. Always enjoy learning something new.

Matt K
03-09-2012, 02:43 PM
I know a Youth museum that is looking for 5-6 cylinders to use in a sound exhibit. They will need to cut them also. Donating your cylinders to a non-profit might be a tax saver.

Matt

digger doug
03-09-2012, 03:09 PM
Jeesh....

Yes, I cut one, with a torch.

After I carefully drilled a 2" hole in the bottom with a well lubricated
(oiled) hole saw, and then washed and rinsed all the filler out.

And then I welded (gasp) on it and made a pressure vessel (gasp)
out of it.

Now, can you cut one ? Only you can answer that.

monckywrench
03-09-2012, 03:27 PM
I gave an oxygen cylinder to a machinist buddy for a bowling ball mortar. Horizontal band saws go through them nicely! I kept the base in case I ever want a large crucible or similar.

Some old acetylene tanks used asbestos filler, so handle residue carefully.

terry lingle
03-09-2012, 03:51 PM
I have cut and machined on a few oxygen and inert gas cylinders. I leave the fuel cylinders to those that feel confident in there knowledge and ability.
Most survive the rest make the papers.

moe1942
03-09-2012, 04:49 PM
Acetylene tanks are filled with balsa wood.

monckywrench
03-09-2012, 06:35 PM
Acetylene tank fillers varied over the years, and there are plenty of old tanks in service.

Mixed filler example with both balsa and asbestos as well as infusorial/diatomaceous earth:

http://armyordnance.tpub.com/OD0017/OD00170113.htm

storts
03-11-2012, 09:33 AM
Hi all! Please don't think I'm an idiot, but I was given a couple outdated Acetylene tanks and some outdated O2 tanks. I want to get rid of them rather then recert them (I have as many as I need) My local scrap yard will take the O2 tanks if cut in 1/2, but will not take the Acetylene at all! Why is this? If I can cut it safely and remove the acetone I should be O.K. right?

Please advise....:eek:

Hi, Id Put them in my Ellis saw,and They would be done!!! No Problems at All,!!!! In Ct,were not allowed to OWN any thing over a 100 CY cly!!!! So,, 7.70 for demurage out the door every month, And NOBODYthat i know is setting the world on fire,with a Stick Match:eek::mad:,,,Nov cant come fast enough,as Ct,might be a baron pc pf land By then,!!!!!!!!!!!!!,
As Our new Gov bankrupted stamford,Ct,,next to NY,???????? Now Ct!!!!!!!!
But any band saw( horizonal) didnt think i was going to learn to spell?:D:D:D:D,should do the trick,as ive done many! and no BOOMS Yet!!! ,,Good Luck,jack,, sorry for the apsitie,,but me and Ron are Hoked up on Lininden!!!!! Thas been around before FB!!!!!!! :):):)

bunkclimber
03-19-2012, 05:16 AM
yes you can cut them up with a torch..my cylinder was EMPTY(it had the valve knocked off three years earlier,I just put it out back behind the barn and vent to atmosphere)-even empty they still have plenty of acetone residue in them.. To cut it I used a rotary welding turntable set on slow speed,set the cylinder on top..then used a forklift to support my torch at the right height (duct taped to the fork) now when you burn thru the cylinder it will flare a bit but will not explode like in the movies(or Texas) I used a water fire extinguisher and kept spraying the outside of the cylinder to keep the heat down,(not knowing what to expect)-for the most part it just flared out behind the cut,because it was the only place it could get oxygen to burn.Once the cut was finished(cut the top off first)I sprayed the cylinder end with water again to help cool it.The acetone smell is pretty strong,even with an empty cylinder-definitely do this outside.The stuffing is a chalk-like concrete consistency,pretty hard to remove from the cylinder even if you burn both ends off the cyl and try to punch thru it to extract it.Have a bunch of 5-gallon buckets with lids on standby to put the stuffing into when you carve it out-it doesnt like to break up into manageable chunk size and you don't want to handle it anymore than you have to.I spread the chunks out on a tarp for a day-it smells really strong even after exposure to the air and sun for a while.Best of luck-your results may vary.

aametalmaster
03-19-2012, 08:43 PM
You guys got more guts than me i guess. I have 3 huge Acetlene's in my dads old shop looking for a home if anyone wants them. NE Ohio. What do you do with the material that comes out of the old tanks? Just wondering. My local scrapyard is full of them too...Bob

Bender
03-20-2012, 03:00 PM
Why couldn't one remove the valve and fill it with water as acetone is water soluble?

mudbug
03-20-2012, 04:20 PM
I don't need to see what's in an acetylene tank anytime(and I have several around) that comes under my heading of I'm not doing that :eek:

I DO however want to cut up a large oxygen tank in 3 pieces...the top for a gong...the bottom for a dished anvil ...and a middle piece for a thick walled piece of pipe for another project.

If I remove the valve what would be the suggested procedure from that point on...?

I asked the scrapyard how they do it and they use the big shear claw and just pinch it in two... This of course leaves a pretty trashed up couple of pieces...:D and I want to use the parts after cutting..

H80N
03-20-2012, 05:44 PM
Mudbug...
around here we have a lot of bluestone quarries and stoneyards..... they have large diamond wet gantry saws ... that also make beautiful clean cuts on tanks like yours... for bell/gong purposes a cold cut leaves the tone clear and the edge nice...
these same saws will halve a stainless beer keg just beautifully... I have welded up a few nice barbecue grills from them.... :devil:

another option might be a large horizontal bandsaw at a steelyard or fabricator..... you will have to convince them that the tank is depressurized, clean and purged though...:eek:

OldRedFord
03-21-2012, 08:01 PM
I think a bandsaw is the best option.

milomilo
03-21-2012, 08:46 PM
Anyone know what type of steel they use for either type of tank?

monckywrench
03-21-2012, 08:52 PM
http://www.google.com/search?q=bowling+ball+mortar&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3oVqT4qQIpPAtgfo-LWaBg&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=664

mudbug
03-22-2012, 03:56 PM
Now BEFORE anyone decides to build one of those mortars .... I read an article this week about a guy that got drunk and went outside (California?) and fired off a homemade mortar (don't know what type of pipe) which exploded and sent chunks of metal in all directions... One chunk punctured his camper and struck his GF in the chest and killed her on the spot... He's being charged with murder :eek:

So IF you build one "DUCK!" when you light the fuse and do it in a remote area :devil:

I almost forgot this... http://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G8183-Angle-Grinder-Stand/dp/B0000DD72K

From a thread many years old I learned someone modified that (which I happen have) and mounted the tanks on rollers so they could be rotated while the 4" grinder with a cutoff wheel cut the cylinders. I thought it was a pretty slick arrangement which can be accomplished without much effort.

Granted the original builder makes a lot of "Gongs" from tanks ,but it's still a simple tool to do a good job. Considering I've got a pile of 6-8" pipe I might need to cut to length it'll probably be a useful tool and if it works out well I might make several "Gongs" (Not to be confused with "Bongs" which have another use!:devil:)

I was given a large Argon tank as well as the Oxygen tank... my only concern is I know the Argon is inert ,but what about an O2 tank ? with the valve removed ?

monckywrench
03-22-2012, 06:38 PM
O2 will disperse, but if in doubt just give it a shot of compressed air. I save valves and valve handles since handles get dinged now and then.

Bandsaws work great.

If all you have is a torch you could wrap it in a strip of emery cloth or gasket material or even a pipe wraparound, trace that with chalk then torch cut it like any pipe. Easy to grind that smooth when you are done and faster than a cutting disk.

In Ct,were not allowed to OWN any thing over a 100 CY cly

That's LWS policy, not legal statute. The major vendors love vendor lock.

If you have friends with contracts you can cycle multiple cylinders through them.

platypus20
03-22-2012, 06:46 PM
That's LWS policy, not legal statute. The major vendors love vendor lock.

If you have friends with contracts you can cycle multiple cylinders through them.

All of the LWS will not fill cylinders over a certain size unless they are leased from them. If they are private owned, they will not fill them. Already one of the LWS in our area, will not fill any bottle, they do not own, regardless of size.

monckywrench
03-22-2012, 07:37 PM
That's vile. It's not like they couldn't hydro them and press on. I've had a few "owner" cylinders hydro'ed no problem here in SC.

If you can find an independent hydro tester (perhaps a fire extinguisher firm) you could test any which are past due (it was eleven bucks for the last one I had done) then transfill owned non-acetylene cylinders yourself, but that's only worth it for filling small portable cylinders from large ones or if you want to disperse partially-filled cylinders to different welders instead of leasing multiple cylinders.

Anyone with a bunch of cylinders they can't get filled should consider posting in case someone who can get them filled elsewhere can make use of them. Neck rings and sticker pics help greatly. I have more than enough cylinders but others may not.

Bender
03-23-2012, 08:23 AM
http://www.google.com/search?q=bowling+ball+mortar&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=3oVqT4qQIpPAtgfo-LWaBg&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=664

I did not need to see those:cool:

George G
03-23-2012, 09:33 PM
I cut my old tank's up the other day, did not get anything for them at the scrap yard.......I do have a pic of the cutting.......Oh...dont worry about gloves........... http://www.dailymotion.com/cluster/extreme/tag/crazy/video/x3wokg_kaboom_extreme

Well, they call me "The Gloves". and I know I did'nt get hurt.