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Sac Midtown: Intro to Oxy Acetylene Welding

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Oxy-Acetylene torches are versatile tools for welding, brazing, cutting, and heating metel for bending and shaping.  Oxy-Acetylene Welding is a gas welding process using a handheld torch and two gas cylinders (ever wanted to weld but don’t have electricity available?).  You will learn the proper techniques to use the torch safely for basic welding, cutting and heating purposes.

This class is required if you want to use the Hacker Lab Oxy-Acetylene welding equipment.  Students are preferred to have taken the “Intro to MIG Welding” class as a pre-requisite.

There is pre-study material and a quiz that should be completed prior to attending class.  This replaces previous prerequisites and will allow us to spend more time hands on with the equipment. 



How will the class be structured?

Pre-Class Study Materials:

– Pre-study material online at Victor Technologies Oxy-Fuel Safety Video

– Then take the Victor Technologies Oxy-Fuel Safety Quiz and print out your certificate.  This replaces previous videos and prerequisites, it is well worth the time savings in class!

Class Topics:

– Welcome and overview

– Learn about the necessary equipment, tools and supplies.

– Learn how to safely operate the equipment

– Learn how and practice attaching the heating rose bud and heating up a piece of metal for bending purposes.

– Learn how and practice attaching and utilizing the welding apparatus for welding regular steel.

Hacker Lab Resident Members: Please bring $10 for Materials Fee to pay the instructor.  All other students, the Materials Fee is built into the class fee.


Oxy-Acetylene welding is the most common of the Oxy-Fuel welding/cutting techniques, and has been used since 1903.  The same properties that make Acetylene such an effective fuel gas also make it inherently dangerous, and it should be treated with respect.  This workshop is designed to give you an understanding of HOW and WHY the process works with a focus on safety, and to provide you with resources and material to be able to effectively implement use of this versatile tool in your projects.

As both an instructor and an individual I firmly believe that if you can grasp the underlying concepts of how and why a tool works you will be able to accomplish much more than if you were to follow step by step instructions but not know why.  This does require that you take personal ownership of what you are learning, and to acknowledge that the only person who can be responsible for your own safety is yourself.  I am not an expert welder or metal fabricator by any metric, but with my approach to this workshop the goal is that you will be able to safely use the equipment in whatever manner the many artists, builders, and makers of HackerLab Midtown come up with (hint: if you’re taking this class, I’m referring to you).

How should students prepare?

As noted above please follow the links to Victor Technologies (the manufacture of our equiptment) and view the safety video and complete the safety quiz prior to class.


Because of possible sparks, please wear close-toed Shoes and cotton work clothes.  Bring a welding jacket, gloves, and goggles if you have them. No dangly jewelry, and long hair tied back.

The Maker Space at Hacker Lab is unheated – wear clothing appropriate to the weather.

About the Instructor

Michael Rowan has been working with and around tools in one fashion or another since he put down his toy hammer and saw to help his dad with DIY projects around the house, shop, and garage as a kid. Taking a jack-of-all-trades approach to learning he focused on understanding how tools did their job with the idea that if you understand the how, problem solving and innovative use aren’t far behind.  At 19 he decided that a career in the fire service would match his desire to work with his hands and problem solve while also allowing him to serve his community.  He has been working locally since 2011 as a fireman, paramedic, and HazMat specialist and will draw on his variety of experiences to teach the basics of operating an Oxy-Acetylene torch with an emphasis on safe use as well as an understanding of the capabilities of the tool so students can implement it to meet their own needs going forward.