Welding is only one part of metalworking. You also can cut steel, using oxygen/acetylene equipment with a special head called a cutting torch. Cutting torches come as part of many consumer-grade gas welding sets. In addition to mixing the gases before they exit the torch tip and burn, a cutting torch has an additional lever on the top that releases a narrow, high-pressure stream of oxygen. Once you’ve heated the metal along the cut line so it’s red hot, you press the lever down with your thumb before dragging the torch tip along the cut line. The oxygen blast burns the steel away in a thin line — it’s actually ultra-fast oxidation. Cutting neatly with a torch takes practice, but it is fast and effective once you get the hang of it.
Photo courtesy ISTOCKPHOTO/GLEN JONES