Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 04-25-15

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ken572
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Re:Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.CAUTION Update10-11-13

Post by ken572 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:06 pm

Updates Above
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

scmods
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Re: Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 10-11

Post by scmods » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:15 am

Thanks for the pics. I have never seen one of these generators, but have heard stories about acetylene lighting and have had personal and graphic experience with carbide.

I was talking with a friend after a meeting one night, and the topic of gas lights came up. He told me about a relative out in the country that had gas lights in the house, even though this was well before the advent of natural or bottled gas, and there was certainly no city (manufactured) gas anywhere near there. He went on to describe an occurrence one evening where the lights began to dim and his relative went into the basement, clanked around for a little bit. The lights came back to normal, which he found somewhat unusual, until he was older and became aware that this was an acetylene system, and his relative was recharging the carbide supply. This must have been quite a plus for the homeowner, as the acetylene flame is much brighter than kerosene or city gas (without a mantle) and is also much whiter.

A discussion of old autos with another friend led to an operational description of gas lighting systems in the early days. The acetylene was generated from carbide, and the lamp had two jets for the gas. The two flames would impinge on each other and flatten out into a wide flame of significant brightness. He said that although there was a certain amount of fussing to get things adjusted right, they were, basically, very good lights.

My own experience with carbide is from the metal casting industry. I spent my career as a professional firefighter, and one of the businesses in our city was Black-Clawson, a maker of large paper making machines. They used a cupola to melt the iron for their castings, and carbide was used for part of the process, as Harold referenced in his thread. Apparently, they would put the casks of carbide directly in with the charge. The claim on the cask printing was that it increased fluidity of the iron, and its temperature. There was a storage room made out of sheet iron in the foundry, where a working supply was stored, but the excess was stored in an old warehouse out back, along with hundreds of disused patterns. Of course, the roof was leaky, and there was usually water standing the concrete floors. My involvement began when a worker went to retrieve a pallet with a forklift and ran a fork through several casks, spilling the carbide into the water on the floor. Either the heat of the reaction, or something on the forklift set the generated acetylene on fire, and the wooden pallets became involved. Our task, in dealing with it, was to remove the carbide from the building and extinguish the fire (fires by now). I clearly remember that every time the pallet with the broken casks was disturbed, more carbide would fall off into the water, and large flashes of flame would race across the floor, under and around the stacked carbide casks. After this short, but dramatic unloading process, all the pallets were outside, the fires extinguished, and the broken casks isolated, end of incident.

I seem to recall that there was around 8000 pounds of carbide stored there. Of the approx.20,000 incidents I attended, I remember this one.

It would be interesting to see how the gas generator actually worked. Was the water or the carbide regulated, safety features, etc.

Bill Walck

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Re: Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 10-11

Post by ken572 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:40 pm

scmods wrote:Thanks for the pics. I have never seen one of these generators, but have heard stories about acetylene lighting and have had personal and graphic experience with carbide.

I was talking with a friend after a meeting one night, and the topic of gas lights came up. He told me about a relative out in the country that had gas lights in the house, even though this was well before the advent of natural or bottled gas, and there was certainly no city (manufactured) gas anywhere near there. He went on to describe an occurrence one evening where the lights began to dim and his relative went into the basement, clanked around for a little bit. The lights came back to normal, which he found somewhat unusual, until he was older and became aware that this was an acetylene system, and his relative was recharging the carbide supply. This must have been quite a plus for the homeowner, as the acetylene flame is much brighter than kerosene or city gas (without a mantle) and is also much whiter.

A discussion of old autos with another friend led to an operational description of gas lighting systems in the early days. The acetylene was generated from carbide, and the lamp had two jets for the gas. The two flames would impinge on each other and flatten out into a wide flame of significant brightness. He said that although there was a certain amount of fussing to get things adjusted right, they were, basically, very good lights.

My own experience with carbide is from the metal casting industry. I spent my career as a professional firefighter, and one of the businesses in our city was Black-Clawson, a maker of large paper making machines. They used a cupola to melt the iron for their castings, and carbide was used for part of the process, as Harold referenced in his thread. Apparently, they would put the casks of carbide directly in with the charge. The claim on the cask printing was that it increased fluidity of the iron, and its temperature. There was a storage room made out of sheet iron in the foundry, where a working supply was stored, but the excess was stored in an old warehouse out back, along with hundreds of disused patterns. Of course, the roof was leaky, and there was usually water standing the concrete floors. My involvement began when a worker went to retrieve a pallet with a forklift and ran a fork through several casks, spilling the carbide into the water on the floor. Either the heat of the reaction, or something on the forklift set the generated acetylene on fire, and the wooden pallets became involved. Our task, in dealing with it, was to remove the carbide from the building and extinguish the fire (fires by now). I clearly remember that every time the pallet with the broken casks was disturbed, more carbide would fall off into the water, and large flashes of flame would race across the floor, under and around the stacked carbide casks. After this short, but dramatic unloading process, all the pallets were outside, the fires extinguished, and the broken casks isolated, end of incident.

I seem to recall that there was around 8000 pounds of carbide stored there. Of the approx.20,000 incidents I attended, I remember this one.

It would be interesting to see how the gas generator actually worked. Was the water or the carbide regulated, safety features, etc.

Bill Walck
Bill,

Thanks for the Very Interesting and Informative

story from Back in Your Day.

I bet the people that knew the relative out in the country

that had gas lights in the house, looked at them with envy. 8)

Edit: 08-03-2014 Also see :wink:
http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/vie ... 12&t=97440

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

golfpin

Re: Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 07-14

Post by golfpin » Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:08 am

Thanks to all who have contributed nothing like memories ..all seems like yesterday. Now back to my original question has any body had any practical experience with building and or useing an acetylene generator. Here are some of the "d,s dont,s etc that I recall. and at this point a huge thank you to Ken for all the links he has passed on.
1 do not use copper at all in the setup, it reacts with acetylene and gets twitchy.
2 acetylene gets twitchy if pressured over 15 psi
3 so a press relief valve is required what puzzles me if relieve the pressure where does the excess go to the atmos ?..
have found a sight on web created by Sean Michael Ragan he shows a generator made from PVC good its inert won,t create a spark but I am still trying to figure out the pressure/blow off safety aspect.
My interest in this stems from 2 sources 1 for those who might have not read my inquiry under welding is that I have been asked by a body in our village to teach the local indigent to weld as part of upliftment. The cost of oxy/gas is prohibitive given that this is privately funded.
Second even if I teach them to use an arc.... we have a huge electricity supply problem. No elec no arc........ this is what put me onto the idea of a Ace/ genereator because carbide is readily available here, even if some suppliers quote min order 1 metric tonne !!! Before anybody jumps on me and asks what about oxygen this is not anything like as expensive as acetylene itself it is the rental etc that the conglomorate Afrox slap on the bottles.
Perhaps we had best go back to Blacksmithing...now there is a art.
Thanks for the interest,
Golfpin Interesting to note according to one of the replies acetylene generators were on US army inventory list in the mid 60,s ? and they are available, obviously from China and Switzterland.

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Re: Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 07-14

Post by RCW » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:41 pm

Were there ever carbide headlamps on locomotives? Anyone built a model?
--Bob

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Re: Oxy-Acet-Make-Welding-Cutting-With.(CAUTION)Update 07-14

Post by ken572 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:22 am

One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

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