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Thread: Cutting a BIG propane tank?

  1. #31
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    Mar 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    .50 bmg from 300 yards away

    Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
    Now, there's an idea! got any surplus AP's in inventory?

  2. #32
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    Dec 2016
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    Atlanta, GA, USA
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    I'll bet after turning the camera on and lighting the torch, you are going to turn to a buddy and say those famous words, "Here, hold my beer". Its the usual beginning of an "adventure"!

  3. #33
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    Oct 2002
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzig5 View Post
    Do not go into a tank unless you have oxygen supply tank or are fully versed in closed area ingress. I've heard of too many poeple going into something like a tank and they have "bad" air in there, pass out and die. Others that try to save them can fall victim as well.
    Unfortunately, this is all too true. Happened right in front of me once at Todd Shipyards in Seattle. Two guys dead in two minutes all because one guy tried to skinny by the tank opening and the safety rail popped his wallet out of his pocket and down in the tank. Down he went, and dropped. His buddy went right after him, he never made it out either.

    Bob Englehardt's statement above is right on. I followed his advice years ago and have since repurposed many propane cylinders.

    If you want to get the stink out, here's how: (written for a 5 gallon bottle, obviously not for a huge cyl data good tho)

    Propane is "odorized" with methyl mercaptan, a very perceptible (odor threshold is in the range 0.1 to 1.0 parts per billion) "skunk-like" odor. Some say it strongly smells of garlic. The chemical makeup of ethyl mercaptan is CH3- SH. This can be quickly and easily transformed to CH3-SO3 by rinsing in a 5% sodium hypochlorite solution (common household bleach) after which it can be rinsed away with hot water. To do this, pour 1-2 cups of bleach into the threaded tank opening, plug it with a 3/4" NPT pipe plug or equivalent, pick up the tank and slosh it around thoroughly, then fill the tank with hot water and drain. The dissolved mercaptan will turn the water orange. It isn't rust, don't worry. Repeat the hot water rinse, then turn the tank upside down and let it air dry while draining.

    metalmagpie

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Clarke View Post
    Now, there's an idea! got any surplus AP's in inventory?
    What you need is API (Armor Piercing Incendiary) - and yes, I might know where some are.


  5. #35
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    Apr 2011
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    South Louisiana
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    I split 2 24' 2500gal horizontal tanks like a hot dog bun. Then plated the halves over to make pontoons on house boats. Torch works.

  6. #36

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    Fyi, its Beryllium Copper. And yes, the dust is highly bad for you. We like it in the oil patch as its strong, non magnetic, and doesnt gall onto the usual unobtaium (Inconel, monel, and MP35N). It might cut mild steel sort of ok.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  7. #37
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    Jun 2005
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    eastern colorado
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    Whooie, some of these answers don't have a clue to the danger of doing this, and I am speaking up because I have just accumulated 15 years driving a propane delivery truck and having been around the use of it for truck fuel and heating use for years so, please don't do the real dumb suggestions, I am hoping this is just a pipe dream for something to talk about. Getting blew to hell is a heck of a way to go but probably pretty sudden without much suffering!

  8. #38
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    Jul 2007
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    West Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post
    None of this is necessary - what's inside a propane tank is propane & pure propane does not burn - oxygen is necessary. I have demonstrated this by drilling a hole in an empty 20lb tank and holding a match to the hole. What happens is a very languid flame as the slowing escaping propane mixes with the air. I'm talking about an empty tank of course - with a pressurized tank I would have gotten a jet of flame, but still not an explosion. Also, one cannot use an oxy-fuel cutting torch, as the torch may introduce oxygen into the tank.

    Yeah, one hears stories of exploding propane tanks, but the devil is in the details - just what were the circumstances of the explosion. I guarantee it was not someone cutting open an empty tank where a cutting torch was not involved.
    You are correct about not having oxygen in the tank. We had huge heat treat furnaces that were full of very hot natural gas for carburizing steel parts. They always had a positive pressure of natural gas inside of them and the tops of the furnaces had stacks with flames burning the natural gas off when it reached the outside of the furnace where there was oxygen present.
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

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  9. #39
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    Dec 2007
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    SW Kansas
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    Here is an idea build a working sub out of plywood. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eGhewbTRnhs

    Check out their other videos on the ship they are building in their back yard. I have been there to see it.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Keeping the mixture in the tank non-flammable is the answer, positive pressure inert gas flooding and a plasma cutter works just fine.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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