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Thread: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

  1. #1
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    Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Can you help with suggestions for material to place on the ground below cutting torch work to protect it from hot slag?
    I plan to use a cutting torch on some 3/8" mild steel plate. My outdoor work area is covered with nice pavers and I don't want to crap them up. I need to be able to set up, work, and leave no trace when done.
    I learned that cutting slag goes right through a fiberglass welding blanket so that is out. How about carbon fiber felt welding blankets? Sheets of plywood and a fire extinguisher? Cut while standing in a kiddie pool with a few inches of water? What else?
    Thank you for your help.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    If you can’t cut it over dirt then spread a layer of dirt out over the pavers. Lay down some underlaymeny like plastic or plywood to help make clean up easier.

    God mad dirt so dirt don’t hurt
    Last edited by N2 Welding; 01-22-2021 at 08:31 PM.
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Build a cutting table out of a 55 gal drum cut in half long ways. Put a grate on top to hold material, all dross/slag goes into the barrel (a little water in the bottom helps).

    Or cut over sheet iron/R panel, 16 ga sheet steel......

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by hhchapman View Post
    Can you help with suggestions for material to place on the ground below cutting torch work to protect it from hot slag?
    I plan to use a cutting torch on some 3/8" mild steel plate. My outdoor work area is covered with nice pavers and I don't want to crap them up. I need to be able to set up, work, and leave no trace when done.
    I learned that cutting slag goes right through a fiberglass welding blanket so that is out. How about carbon fiber felt welding blankets? Sheets of plywood and a fire extinguisher? Cut while standing in a kiddie pool with a few inches of water? What else?
    Thank you for your help.
    Some wet plywood will work pretty well. Sheet metal is another good choice, I scored a nice 3'x6' aluminum road sign at the local scrapyard once for a pretty good price because it had a wrinkle or two in it.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    You pool idea is good. No need to stand in it. How much surface area do you need? Hot parts will melt plastic...
    Last edited by tapwelder; 01-22-2021 at 07:46 PM.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    A buddy has a Rubbermaid shop cart. The top shelf has a raised lip all around it. He has filled it partway with sand and also water. He puts pieces of angle or tube over the cart and sets his workpiece on them and cuts down into the wet sand. Seems to work OK.

    I've tried lots of things. Wet plywood is OK but if you're doing more than a few cuts, hot slag will of course dry out the wood.

    Aluminum sheet metal warps horribly. Copper sheet works OK. Steel works OK too, but the slag tends to stick to it.

    Also, it depends somewhat on what you're cutting. If you are flushing off 1" thick steel pads, you are going to be dropping white hot golf ball sized slugs of slag. If you're cutting a couple inches of 3/16" steel the sparks won't be nearly as ferocious. I was cutting some 2.75" plate recently with a no. 5 divergent tip. Cutting oxygen was at 100 psi and preheat oxygen was at 45 psi. That torch was putting out some heat! I have a tub on wheels under my pattern cutter table. That tub is welded up from 1/8" aluminum. I worried about that somewhat, but nothing bad happened even though some super heavy slag was collected.

    metalmagpie

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    There some better welding blankets but usually just some some heavier gauge metal like 12 gauge would work. Maybe go to an auto wrecker and get an old hood to put on the ground. You could put a little water in it.

    100 PSI is way overkill for 2.75" plate. Shouldn't need more than 45 PSI with a #5 Victor tip.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    I agree with 12v71

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    There some better welding blankets but usually just some some heavier gauge metal like 12 gauge would work. Maybe go to an auto wrecker and get an old hood to put on the ground. You could put a little water in it.

    100 PSI is way overkill for 2.75" plate. Shouldn't need more than 45 PSI with a #5 Victor tip.
    The old automotive hood would work well on the pavers as no matter what the size of a flat sheet you use you will have stray balls of slag rolling off.

    Problem lies with where do you store the ugly thing when done??


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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    Some wet plywood will work pretty well. Sheet metal is another good choice, I scored a nice 3'x6' aluminum road sign at the local scrapyard once for a pretty good price because it had a wrinkle or two in it.
    +1 And wet plywood (or aluminum because it's so thermally conductive) will wick the heat away from the dross, cooling it faster.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    As usual it depends on what exactly you are doing as others have said. Build a steel pan and put an inch or 2 of sand in it. If it is up close to your cut wet the sand so it doesn't blow around. If you place it on the ground, well below where you are cutting, you can keep the sand dry and riddle most of the slag out of it. I would think bare metal plates may lend themselves to having the slag bounce off it. $0.02
    ---Meltedmetal

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by cwby View Post
    Build a cutting table out of a 55 gal drum cut in half long ways. Put a grate on top to hold material, all dross/slag goes into the barrel (a little water in the bottom helps).

    Or cut over sheet iron/R panel, 16 ga sheet steel......
    I like that, but I would use sand instead of water. As Lis said, it also depends on how big it needs to be and your ability to store it after the job is done. Melted has a good suggestion too, but if storage is an issue, maybe make your tray out of plywood with sides (to be filled with sand) that can be broke down for storage when you are done. A light stand with a grate could be made to hold the project over the sand box.
    Last edited by whtbaron; 01-23-2021 at 11:55 AM.
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Many years ago I made a cutting table using a 15 gal steel drum. It works very good at containing sparks and slag for most small cutting I have had to do. There are 2 ways to do it. Even just putting a grate over the drum works ok but you do get some hot blow back air that you need to be cautious of. The second way eliminates the hot blow back. Cut the bottom 3rd of the drum off. Use some angle to raise the top 2/3rds up a couple inches. You need to bend the bottom lip of the upper 2/3rds in at a 30 degree angle all the way around so that sparks and slag are deflected tward the middle of the bottom piece of drum.

    That is a cheap and quick setup to make. If you want bigger or better than that then make a square one any size you want . Make the bottom larger than the upper piece so it sits down inside the other with a 2 inch opening all the way round.

    I have worn one 15 gal drum out and made a new one a few years ago. You can also put an inch or so of water in the bottom to stop the sparks from defecting but I use mine quite a bit and do not like messing with the water all the time.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Thank you all for your constructive and thoughtful suggestions. A metal container of some sort with sand in it sounds sensible. I spent my career working with solvents in 55gal drums. Maybe now it is time to get an empty one. And I'd get to cut it up too.
    Much appreciated, this is a great forum.
    -Harlan

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Snow also works good to catch sparks.
    ---Meltedmetal

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    I put 2 to 3" of sand on floor.
    Now in shop it is in the dirt or grave.
    My last welding shop only had gravel in side building. The mache shop was in a different building with concrete and heating and cooling.

    Today I am retired and just use dirt for cutting. The good news my welder cord and cables are short and first time in my life., I am welding on concrete under a carport.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by hhchapman View Post
    Can you help with suggestions for material to place on the ground below cutting torch work to protect it from hot slag?
    I plan to use a cutting torch on some 3/8" mild steel plate. My outdoor work area is covered with nice pavers and I don't want to crap them up. I need to be able to set up, work, and leave no trace when done.
    I learned that cutting slag goes right through a fiberglass welding blanket so that is out. How about carbon fiber felt welding blankets? Sheets of plywood and a fire extinguisher? Cut while standing in a kiddie pool with a few inches of water? What else?
    Thank you for your help.

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  25. #17
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by hhchapman View Post
    Thank you all for your constructive and thoughtful suggestions. A metal container of some sort with sand in it sounds sensible. I spent my career working with solvents in 55gal drums. Maybe now it is time to get an empty one. And I'd get to cut it up too.
    Much appreciated, this is a great forum.
    -Harlan
    Or an old fashion bbq pit like the type used for charcoal briquettes. The 47 gallon drum sounds good if you have one but you still need the grate. I would use sand without the water in it. I use Sheetrock because I have an almost unlimited supply of it. My cutting bench has dense shield in it. Dense shield is an exterior Sheetrock and right now it's full of snow. Otherwise I think the best option is plywood with fire retardant over your pavers.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Thinking about a cheap and readily available substance for the bottom when the sand pile is frozen in the winter.... does anyone know if kitty litter burns? Isn't it mostly clay pellets?
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Thinking about a cheap and readily available substance for the bottom when the sand pile is frozen in the winter.... does anyone know if kitty litter burns? Isn't it mostly clay pellets?

    It is used as cheap refractory material.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Sand works good. I suggested dirt as it is usually easier to get for free depending on your demographics.
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  32. #21
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Your right

    I do not know where they ever charger for dirt
    But if you work right so one pay to remove the dirt.
    A flower need weeding works it great smell as you cut too.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by N2 Welding View Post
    Sand works good. I suggested dirt as it is usually easier to get for free depending on your demographics.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    How about one of the cement board underlay panels (Durock, Fiberock,Wonderboard, etc.) ? Available in different thicknesses and sizes like 3 x 5 and 4 x 8 ft.
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    How about a short length of aluminum gutter (scrounged on craigslist), with or without a quarter-inch of sand or water in the bottom?

    Put a hook on each end so you can hook it to hang below whatever you're cutting.

    Easy to move around, easy to store, cheap, effective.

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  37. #24
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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    I used to carry small pieces of cement type boards to place between walls and welding sparks. Easy to keep in place. Heavy as full sheet. Easy to find around construction sites.

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    Re: Floor surface under oxyfuel cutting

    Floor dry and or kitty litter work in a pinch as well.
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