Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Lanterns, stoves, etc... anything old!

Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby Caveman1970 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:11 pm

Greetings!
I have noticed the love and lots of followers whom are camping with all sorts of Coleman Lanterns, Anyone
using Carbide lanterns/lights for their camp lighting?

Cheers!
"If at first you don't succeed....Caulk it!... A-lot!"
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby GerryS » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:37 pm

Cool lamps. Love to have one, but the fuel is hard to find, and kind of expensive....
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby kudzu » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:56 pm

Just curious. How would you dispose of your spent carbide?
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby Caveman1970 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:45 pm

kudzu wrote:Just curious. How would you dispose of your spent carbide?



Great Question Kudzu!
A Lot of people worry about "spent" carbide, the bi-products of mixing water and calcium carbide are Acetylene gas (let there be light) and Slack lime,
the slack lime has a PH range of 10-11, there are no regulations on what you do with it, with in reason. Large amounts the rules change a little and require you to drop the PH value before you may disperse it in a water way....Which I still don't recommend, In this PH range I would not dump it in a stream, I normally place mine in the fire ring where the ash has a higher PH. I have also used it in the garden to increase PH in soil. While piles of it are unsightly they are not going to cause you to grow a third eye. However some folks are going to raise eyebrows and cry foul, be aware the following:
Carbide is made by using coal coke (fine crushed coal) and crushed limestone are "fused" together in an electric furnace, by nature coal DOES contain heavy metals while traces of these remain after the burn off in the fusing process, bout the same you will find in a shovel full dirt. Be responsible. If you feel badly about leaving your spent carbide in the fire circle, you can always take it home, dilute it in water and a 1/4 cup vinegar, this will reduce the PH to a dump it in the yard level.
hope that sheds some light on it!

Also to Gerrys comment carbide can be found in most towns fairly cheep, check at the local welding supply, Carbide is still manufactured as it is the first step to bottling acetylene gas, our gas supplier here in town sells it for change, but you have to bring your own container... something dry! :Note if you haul more than 10lbs you have to Hazmat placard your vehicle... and you never need to carry 10lbs!

Cheers!
"If at first you don't succeed....Caulk it!... A-lot!"
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby GerryS » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:38 am

Welding supply...good to know. In my travels, the only place I've seen it was been at some obscure hardware stores were it sells for about 40 bucks a pound. Now, I may be wrong....the amount used may be so small this is cheap. But it just seemed a little pricy compared to other fuels...
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby Greg M » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:55 pm

If you have a hard time finding it locally, there's always cheapcarbide.com
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby GerryS » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:50 am

Now that more like it. I think the hardware store I'm talking about is smoking crack... I don't know how my google search didn't return cheapcarbide.com. I was actually looking for a noise maker at the time.
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby Wolffarmer » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:55 pm

Carbide makes good bombs. Some time around a camp fire I may tell the story and how we all lived.

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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby GerryS » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:16 pm

It produces acetylene gas...no surprise that has some serious "oomph"!
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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby skinnedknuckles » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:39 am

Those lamps look interesting. But then so do the carbide cannons :twisted: oh boy another project. I googled cheapcarbide and ordered a pound each of rock and pea size now to find a couple of old lamps and try them and get stuff together for a carbide cannon :Oh Brother:

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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby 666K9 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:50 pm

The simplest carbide cannon is a quart paint can, old all metal type. Just put a small hole in the bottom near the edge with a nail. Put a piece of carbide inside, spit on it, put the lid on tightly, place on it's side, on ground, with small hole up and hold down with your foot. When the fumes start coming out of the hole, light it... BOOM. My dad taught me this about 60 years ago.

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Re: Anyone Camping With Carbide?

Postby skinnedknuckles » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:39 pm

I did find a couple of lamps at an antique store not too far away in the lead mining area of Wisconsin. One has a large reflector alittle bigger than twice the size of the smaller one, it will be interesting to see if they will put out the amount of light that I want. I have seen the small ones in use down here in the lead mine tours here in Southern Wisconsin and the iron and copper mine tours up in the U.P. I am going to clean them up and give them a try. As for the carbide cannon I have made one up but at 4 feet long , a 4 inch diameter combustion chamber and 3 inch diameter, barrel I won't be setting that off at home. I'll take that out to my shop at work and try it . Years ago in a Popular Mechanix magazine there was a submarine made out of tin cans that ran off of carbide. Put it in the water, it would sink because of drilled holes in the pressure vessel ( hull ) , the water would react with the carbide producing acetylene gas which would force out the water up she would come then sink back down and repeat and it would kind of propel itself from a tube running from the carbide container to out the rear of the sub. Just don't put a spark near it :shock:
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