Carbide lantern

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Farmer Brown
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Carbide lantern

#1

Post by Farmer Brown »

I have a German carbide lantern that seems to work but, I don’t know the general nature of these lamps yet. How bright is to bright? What should I not do? What is the basic running Procedure?
Tyler
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Carbide lantern

#2

Post by Farmer Brown »

I have a German carbide lantern that seems to work but, I don’t know the general nature of these lamps yet. How bright is to bright? What should I not do? What is the basic running Procedure?
Tyler
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Northman49
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Re: Carbide lantern

#3

Post by Northman49 »

"Seems to work" ? Have you lit it yet?
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Coldwaterpaddler
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Re: Carbide lantern

#4

Post by Coldwaterpaddler »

Typically, at least on the 4 I own, calcium carbide is in the lower chamber, and water in an upper chamber. You open the valve allow water to drip on the calcium carbide which creates acetylene gas. The gas exits at the gas tip where you ignite it. Some old carbide lamps are missing the gas tip, so make sure yours has one.

Check the gasket between the two chambers where gas can escape. Mine were dried and cracked and I had flames coming from there.

Also, IMO, too much flame is when the flame seems sooty. It should be pretty clean.
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JimL
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Re: Carbide lantern

#5

Post by JimL »

>>Check the gasket between the two chambers where gas can escape. Mine were dried and cracked and I had flames coming from there.

Me too! And it was pretty exciting having flames shoot out of that seal, and probably humorous for anyone nearby seeing me try to blow it out.
-Jim

Flammable liquids, open flame, what could go wrong?


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Bob1774
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Re: Carbide lantern

#6

Post by Bob1774 »

They are fun, if you can find the carbide reasonably priced. I have 4 or 5 lanterns.

As suggested, check the gasket for the lower container. A large o-ring will work until you either find the correct replacement or you can cut your own out of a suitable gasket material.

There should be some sort of filter, usually felt, that lets the acetylene gas move under pressure up through the porcelain tip. Lots of times the felt and felt retaining clip are missing. If you have a filter, clean it carefully. The felt has to be dry to work and let gas through.

You might also need to ream the tip with a wire tip cleaner. Any very small stiff wire will do.

When running correctly, it should be a very bright white light.
Common user error is flooding the carbide tank. It only takes one drip every few seconds to activate.

Photos?
Image
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Hot_Diggity
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Re: Carbide lantern

#7

Post by Hot_Diggity »

Pictures and model would help a bunch. There's probably a Youtube video on it.

Did you add Calcium Carbide and water or was there some left? The flame is bright and long, but a lot depends on the reflector to create useful light.
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macwacs
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Re: Carbide lantern

#8

Post by macwacs »

Also, too much water (rapid drips) gas will bubble up threw the water cap vent hole. May even ignite there. When filling with carbide fill the lower carbide tank half full. The carbide expands when wet and will fill the lower compartment. May even crack the bottom if brass and overfilled. If he bottom is already cracked do not use until either replaced or the cracks are soldered. The bottoms get too hot to hold in the hand unless they have the rubber bumper grip or other means to hold them. Some miner lamps have handles on them.
They come in cap lamp and mine inspectors' sizes 4- & 8-hour runtime. When finished using clean the residue carbide from the lower tank. I have seen the dry out and harden like concrete making the unable to come apart.
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Farmer Brown
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Re: Carbide lantern

#9

Post by Farmer Brown »

For about 30 seconds before I was a chicken ha ha. I can send a photo in awhile. I’ve never really dealt with acetylene before so I’m hoping someone could clue me in on the carbide lanterns- lamps.
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Re: Carbide lantern

#10

Post by Farmer Brown »

The first photo.
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Re: Carbide lantern

#11

Post by Farmer Brown »

the second photo
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Gunhippie
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Re: Carbide lantern

#12

Post by Gunhippie »

If you got it lit, it works and you know how!

Flame should be about 1" long and intensely bright.

Does that have a screen flashguard? I can't tell from the pics.

Check the big gasket between the carbide tank and head for leaks. Do it outside and use a lighter or match to check. If you have a leak, it will make a small flame you can easily blow out. The carbide gas--acetylene--will have displaced any air from the tank, so no explosion risk.

We used carbide headlamps for caving back in the seventies and early eighties. They had the best fuel density for long days underground--alkaline batteries had barely hit the market--and were as bright as or brighter than any battery powered headlamp of the time.

I lit one of mine up recently. I'd forgotten how much they stink when running!
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Farmer Brown
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Re: Carbide lantern

#13

Post by Farmer Brown »

When i lit it i only 3 pieces of carbide in it just to see what i got myself into. No where near a 1 inch flame. i will do a leak test for sure although its probably fine. Is there such thing as to much carbide or can i just fill it up?
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Re: Carbide lantern

#14

Post by Farmer Brown »

:) Well apparently I’ve had a conversation saved before on this. Thank you for the info here anyway.
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Deanofid
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Re: Carbide lantern

#15

Post by Deanofid »

Note:
products of this thread were merged due to a double tap entry. (no problem.)

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Bob1774
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Re: Carbide lantern

#16

Post by Bob1774 »

It appears that your German carbide lantern is much different that the common mining and spelunking carbide lamps compared to here. I enlarged your photo, and that lamp seems to be more like the early kerosene bicycle lamps, where you had a flame with a reflector behind.
I think your flame you described is probably what it was supposed to be, like a candle with a reflector perpendicular to the flame.
The mining lamps are more like a mini blow torch coming from the center of the reflector.



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Re: Carbide lantern

#17

Post by Farmer Brown »

That’s about how it burned Bob. It also has a blue and red side if you open the spring latches. I originally bought it just because it was a different-interesting source of fuel.
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Stovie
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Carbide lantern

#18

Post by Stovie »

Now that you have Carbide, you may be interested in the Big Bang Toy Cannon - as every schoolboy knew, these were advertised very heavily in comic books back in the day. Cast iron construction with steel tube. They are quite loud, yet very safe and probably a better alternative for Independence Day celebrations than the stuff that can take off fingers or start fires.
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Re: Carbide lantern

#19

Post by Gasman64 »

The carbide cannons can be found here:
https://www.bigbangcannons.com/
I bought one 40 years ago, the "60mm Military" model (still have it.) Hmm, the prices went up somewhat over the years.
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