Steel-Tubular Electrode Cutting Technique : Thick plate

When cutting steel plate that is 1/4-inch thick or greater with Steel-Tubular electrodes, use the drag technique and proceed as follows:

Insert the electrode into the collet opening until it bottoms out against the washer. Tighten the collet nut.
To start the cut, hold the electrode perpendicular to the surfaceto be cut and hold the oxygen trigger down to get a steady flow. Place the tip of the electrode against the work and call for SWITCH ON. If necessary, withdraw the electrode slightly and tap it against the work to start the arc.
NOTE: Thick, gauntlet-type rubber gloves in good condition, worn over a pair of playtex-type gloves afford the best protection against electrical shock. They should be secured at the wrist to prevent slag from entering the glove. In cold water, wet-suit gloves in good condition, worn over surgical gloves are equally effective
As soon as the cut is started through the full thickness of the plate, drag the electrode along the desired line of cut and keep it perpendicular to the work. Hold the electrode with the free hand as if holding a pool que, approximately four inches from the tip for a more stable cut. The tip of the electrode should be pressed against the advancing lip of the cut. Pressure should be exerted in two directions: inward to compensate for electrode burn-off and forward to advance the cut.

CAUTION: The hand should never be closer than 4 inches from the electrode tip. Therefore, as the electrode is consumed and becomes manageable, the pool que grip can be released.

NOTE: Before beginning the cut, the diver should visually chec kthe oxygen flow while holding the electrode in a horizontal position. Holding the oxygen for approximately 20 seconds allows time for enough cutting gas pressure to build upalong the full length of the hose. To ensure a clean cut, at least a 6 inch stream of oxygen should be issued from the electrode tip.

Low oxygen pressure, high travel speed and uncontrolled manipulation are typical causes of back-flare that result in incomplete cuts. In such cases, the area must be chipped and cleaned and the cut restarted.

WARNING: When the electrode has been consumed to within 3 inches of thetorch, stop the cut and signal for SWITCH OFF before attemptingto change electrodes. Maintain the torch in the cutting position until the tender (phone talker) acknowledges SWITCH OFF.Then tap the electrode twice to make sure the current is off. This safety precaution is mandatory, regardless of the type of electrode being used

When the electrode has burned down to within 3 inches of the collet nut, break the arc, release the oxygen trigger and call for SWITCH OFF. When the phone talker has confirmed SWITCH OFF, tap the electrode twice to make sure the switch is off. Loosen the collet nut 1/2-turn and blow the cutting stub from the torch by squeezing the trigger. Insert a new electrode and repeat the starting procedure.