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Thread: I need to cut a propane tank in half

  1. #1
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    Default I need to cut a propane tank in half

    So the metal recycling place will take it. It's a 200 gallon, I think. It's been sitting empty for a couple of years, with the fill valve open. Any ideas about how to cut it in half safely?

    Ken

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    may I suggest you have someone else do it. I have a candidate. one of my old ambulance calls involved a teenage who decided to light a match over his filler on the gas tank at night to see how much he had siphoned from his father's car.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I think that having the fill valve open does not mean the gas is truly gone. The valve is not really open unless a filler mechanism is connected to it.
    You might just have a slow go at it with a manual hack saw blade till you have created a small hole. Having done that, air it out for a few minutes then go to it with a Sawzall.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Step back about 100 yards. Put at least one, preferably 2 or more 30-06 rounds through the tank. Let it vent for a couple days. Cut to your heart's content.
    Bill R

    There was supposed to be an earth shattering KABOOM!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Pressurize with nitrogen and purge. Repeat several times then cut.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Remember propane is heavier than air so unless it's upside down there's still gas in there.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Can you disassemble the valve?
    18' Friendship Sloop
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    As mentioned, propane is heavier than air so there may still be gas in the tank. If I wanted to cut it half, I would remove the valve, which should be safe enough to do, and fill it with water making sure it is well rinsed. Then it should be safe to cut.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Unscrew the valve and fill it with water, then drill a few holes in it to start a Sawzall cut. Drain it out completely and cut away.

    Somebody will be along shortly to tell you not to do this.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill R View Post
    Step back about 100 yards. Put at least one, preferably 2 or more 30-06 rounds through the tank. Let it vent for a couple days. Cut to your heart's content.
    .

    It will blow up and go hundreds of feet in the air.

    Dont ask me how i know this...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    remove valve. Fill it with water untill the water is coming out the valve position, wait one day. Drill with a cordless drill at the lowest point untill all the water comes out, wait one day. Presurise with air for a half hour. proceed to cut. bottom up.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Just take the tank and start cutting with an angle grinder, It will be in pieces in no time. Before you start make sure you have good medical insurance with a low deducible and no upper cap.
    Allan of the Grove - S/V Laura Ellen, 1937 Gaff Schooner
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    notify the new first...or it didn't happen
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    kaa has some amazing fire pictures somewhere on the web that involve bullets into b-b-q size propane tanks. One of the pictures, I remember, shows this incredibly huge tongue of flame looking just like a dragon.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    There are a couple of approved methods for cutting into tanks containing volatile, combustible fuels. None of them have been mentioned yet.

    I suggest that you research it and learn the answers from a better source than the internet.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Thanks for the input. The valve has been removed, and I'd already thought about filling it with water. This whole episode sure makes renting instead of buying next time more appealing. There is nothing wrong with the tank, its the valve that leaks and my supplier says it cannot be repaired or replaced. Something about being new in the '60s...

    Ken

  17. #17
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I have no idea how to do this. Your post did bring back memories of the one person I know who tried something similar. When I met him he had brain damage and a very odd personality.

    Please be safe and good luck.
    Yachting, the only sport where you get to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    A bit of thermite should do the job.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Dont you have "Scrappies" there.

    We have a lot that drive around taking anything metal and old fridges and stuff.

    They are experts in this sort of thing.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Well, this might be interesting:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ank_peril.html

    But this, this (or perhaps these)...

    http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/st...ank_Explosion/

    MAKE WAY! MAKE WAY! "I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others."

    As a general rule, the better it felt when you said it, the more trouble it's going to get you into.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering kaboom"


    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill R View Post
    Step back about 100 yards. Put at least one, preferably 2 or more 30-06 rounds through the tank. Let it vent for a couple days. Cut to your heart's content.
    More fun if you use tracer rounds

    Try the Old Western Scrounger aka Dangerous Dave.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I was going to recommend a company taking it and refurbishing it..but,I'm voting to shoot that baby,far far away.and alert the FD. Maybe they'd just take it out of harms way. ...NAAA Shoot it!!!Gota be like Myth Busters-saftey first tho...

  24. #24
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Put it on your truck and drop it off outside the recyclers gate at midnight .It's illegal but better than dying .
    Try to work out what the marketing guy wants you to do then do precisely the opposite.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    "I need to cut a propane tank in half"
    I think the consensus is, no you don't.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Let the pros do it.

    BTW, watched the youtube vid, that's proof of evolution right there if one of them died then a service would have been done for humanity. Darwin, explaining why man is so smart, one death at a time. The vid also had a link after that lead to a vid of a girl shooting a shotgun where the recoil sent the scope into her face, removing her eye. Why do I watch that stuff . . . ?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by boylesboats View Post
    Okay I have done that before with an old 20 pounds tank...

    Plain huntin' ammo will not work well because lead will flatten and create no sparks

    Build a small fire near the tank, then set back about 150 - 200 yards away.. pop a round or two into it, watch it goes crazy like a rocket out of control before it split open...
    That's been my experience as well. Small fire, behind the tank did the trick.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    not propane but worth watching for the lesson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qcrw...eature=related
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by boylesboats View Post
    Okay I have done that before with an old 20 pounds tank...

    Plain huntin' ammo will not work well because lead will flatten and create no sparks

    Build a small fire near the tank, then set back about 150 - 200 yards away.. pop a round or two into it, watch it goes crazy like a rocket out of control before it split open...

    NOTE: Ya have to be somewhere that has at least 600 arces of open land to do this.. flying tanks isn't cool if one landed on somebody or crash into building and setting it on fire..

    here is an sample... Exactly like I did 'cept being out on open corn field
    very dangerous intertainment...and we let those guys vote
    The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.
    Personal failures are too important to be trusted to others.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I suggest asking over here http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtalk/

  31. #31
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    One time i was driving when we saw a burning RV with a horse trailer on the side of the road.

    I stopped and the Lady was getting the horses out.

    I asked how could i help as the Fire dept had not yet arrived.

    She said hold a horse while she gets the other one out.

    Ok i have never held a horse by the reins or even been near one but had watched a lot of Mr Ed so i did know how to talk to the Horse.

    Anyway as the rv was burning i looked over into the woods as a small tree was cut in half and grass was mowed down.

    Not sure if it was the Propane tanks or tire spit rims going off but THAT scared the heck out of me and cured me of screwing around with tanks.

    If i was standing 10 feet over i would have been cut in half.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I did it lotsa times.....large, full prpane tanks, attach grenades to them, pull pins as you kick them outta the aircraft at low altitude......or attach parachute and have the valve set for slow leak....set a timed explosive....tank leaks out on the ground, 20 minnits later big boom.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    OK Chuck, so, first he needs a helicopter.................................... and a grenade, or do you need two?.....

  34. #34
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    C-123 works better.. C130 works more better.
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  35. #35
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Thanks for all the ideas. I have "inherited" the tank. My parents bought it back in the '60s. It started leaking from the valve a couple of years ago, and the propane supplier said it couldn't be fixed, so the brought a new one. Said that since it was owned and not rented it was my problem, and no, they couldn't dispose of it. The local metal recyclers said sure, bring it by but make sure it's cut in half. It's an eyesore it'd like to get rid of. Thanks again!

    Ken

  36. #36
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by S/V Laura Ellen View Post
    Just take the tank and start cutting with an angle grinder, It will be in pieces in no time. Before you start make sure you have good medical insurance with a low deducible and no upper cap.
    Please record with camera, Have next of kin put it on the WBF. We love stuff like that.

    Seriously, let a pro do it, we'd like to keep you around.
    KM Bever

  37. #37
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Quote Originally Posted by The Gentleman Sawyer View Post
    Thanks for all the ideas. . . . It's an eyesore it'd like to get rid of. Thanks again!

    Ken
    Ken, I've been following the thread and would like to know what the proper, safe method ends up being. If you're apprehensive about attempting to do this yourself, that's understandable and taking it to someone knowledgeable would be worth whatever it might cost. Please, let us know how you end up resolving this.

    Curtis
    Ask your doctor if medical advice from a TV ad is right for you.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    By now the tank should be cut in many pieces.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    Here's another little thing to worry about. Every once in a while someone blows up a 55 gal drum when the sparks from the threads ignite the vapors inside. Also had a couple of kids one year behind me in highschool (back before this would have gotten them arrested for terrorism) who lost several fingers screwing the end onto a home made pipe bomb. I'd be a little apprehensive unscrewing the stuck valve on that thing. If sparks from metal threads are an actual issue, I'm not sure how to do that safely. Good luck.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: I need to cut a propane tank in half

    I had a big propane tank with a metal cap, The cap was rusted on and the valve opened while next to my tar pot, The propane was gushing out and the pot was cooking.

    We were ready to be blown to kingdom come.

    I wrapped a shirt around the cap and worked it loose with the pipe wrench so as to not spark.

    I thought i had to take the chance as the vapors would have ignited with the pot or anything else..

    I always run my torches direct to the tank with no regulator as it draws so much out in fact the tanks freeze fast thus the need for big tanks or one has to switch them often..

    They wanted new tanks so they had a Propane dealer come to town that took all the old tanks and/or installed new valves, One cannot fill the old tanks anymore.

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