View Full Version : Carbon Arc Torch
Has anyone ever used a Carbon Arc Torch (L2645)? I was looking at welder’s guide for AC225 and saw this in the back of the booklet. I haven’t seen or heard of this thing. Please give us your thoughts about this.
01-12-2006, 08:25 PM
i have used a carbon arc dont know if its the one your looking at what are you going to use it for?
01-12-2006, 08:42 PM
Ive not used one either CVG, they are kind of a relic of past. But Ive talked to some guys who have used one. Basically it performs some jobs that one might consider to be very "torchlike" Some would even consider it something like a poor mans tig. Although I personally beleive this is giving too much credit. What would you be wanting from this device. You gotta remember this machine has been around for many many years. One fellow for instance actually has one just like ours and when I contacted lincoln iwth the numbers he gave me on it, it was built june 1965 I believe. This should tell you one about how long these machiens have been unchanged, but also give you an idea of this carbon arc torch. In the 60's when I believe this machine first came out on the market, TIG welding and mig welding were out o fthe question for the home user...the guy who would be buying this machine. Therefore, this carbon arc torch, although far inferior to a tig or a mig in their own rights, would enable a user to use his ac 225 to handle certain thin metal jobs and jobs related to heating and brazing. Infortuntately Ive heard a lot of love/hate type of feed back. More hate than love. But it has a place according to a lot of older guys. I think you can do most stuff with it using a torch, but than again I dont know. You will need your welding hood on before you use it if you deciede to get it, good luck and post how you like it. IMO I wouldnt bother though with todays easy access to tools and competive prices. Good luck
Thanks Guys for the replies, I don’t plan to buy this. I know this ole stick welder has been around for a long time. I remember using or trying to weld using one back in the mid 60’s. My son was looking at the manuals that came with our new welder and ask me about the Carbon Arc Torch, I had no knowledge of this thing. I know this forum is the place to go for information about welding.
01-13-2006, 09:22 AM
They are good for cutting bolts and melting stuff, but the one I used was about as precise as a sawed off shotgun.
01-13-2006, 06:08 PM
i think the carbon arc chuck talkin about the air arc type right? its differnt for cutting there wild :D
01-13-2006, 06:47 PM
i have used a carbon gouge or air arc the other one for welding i have only seen in old books
01-15-2006, 11:36 PM
I have one of those air arc setups. Its similiar to an oxygen lance. I used it to scrap a carhauler in a hurry. It will even cut thru concrete! problem is , the rods are outrageously expensive so I'd only use it to remove bound up pins and stuff you cant reach with a torch.
01-16-2006, 03:22 AM
the carbon arc torch the original poster is referncing is a differnt device. It connects to both the pos and neg leads. You have like a trigger or a grip device you grab, pull these two prongs togther momentarily you release them a certam amount and you have an arc. Then with this it generates a lot of heat for doing various tasks like heating, brazing, Ive heard cutting. I dont have any personal experience with this tool...but I am aware of its use and that in the hand of an experienced farm hand they were really handy.
03-13-2006, 09:09 AM
Hi all; When I was an apprentice about a hundred years ago in a sheet metal shop, there was a process of carbon arc welding on high pressure HVAC fittings.It used a single carbon & everdure rod.Anyone know rod composition,amperage, polarity, details? You could weld as thin as 24.ga. galv.It would be a usefull process for some things.
03-17-2006, 07:36 PM
I believe this is what they are refering too in the book
here is a close up of the box, it might give some ideas of their intended use
I have had this one for about 15 years and have yet to hook it to a welder
03-17-2006, 11:27 PM
Hey MattC.......... Good to see ya here!.Boy you've got some uncommon stuff up there in the cold!
03-17-2006, 11:56 PM
Hey Jim, up there is like a freakin third world country. Its crazy. Like the freakin eskimos burried things in the snow and then years later Matt finds it with all this global warming like WOW brand new 50 year old toys !!!
03-18-2006, 12:26 PM
I wish I could just find the stuff, I spent good money for most of the junk I have
03-18-2006, 12:57 PM
One out of ten folks that have a twin carbon arc torch will actually be quite fond of 'em. They are pretty good for limited applications. The other nine will keep them in a remote corner with a bunch of stuff piled on top of them hoping none of their friends finds out that they actually bought one.
I have an old 50 amp off brand that I use for holding tarps down in high winds and stuff like that. The cords make them easy to drag around. I think one of the killers of the application was the cheap flimsy aluminum holders, handles and brackets. I mean a number ten stove bolt as a set screw in a smashed and threaded aluminum head isn't going to hold any grade of use for very long.
The one I have could also be used as a 50 amp welder. Loosen the set screw, put in a rod and go for it. And of course the set screw didn't hold the rod worth a hoot and the aluminum work clamp will arc and blow as much as the rod. Real wrestling match to get anything out of it.
03-18-2006, 06:14 PM
they do suffer from a love hate audience
03-19-2006, 05:43 AM
well txredneck maby I should send you mine it sounds like your kind of toy ;)
03-21-2006, 02:23 PM
Home Built – Twin Carbon Arc Holder
I had seen references to twin-carbon arcs being used for brazing and recalled the old 1960 Popular Science and Popular Mechanics advertisements for twin-carbon arc welders. My initial interest was brazing because frankly I had experienced little success trying to braze with propane or mapp gas or even oxy-acetylene. What I wanted was an intense temperature over a localized area but the gas torches seemed to provide only moderate local heat while heating up the entire surrounding area.
I had a small 117 volt AC welder capable of output of about 24 volts AC at from 40 to 80 amps. I thought that I could use that as my power supply for the carbon arc. Before investing any money, I wanted to see if the idea would work. I recalled that the basic carbon-zinc D cell flashlight battery has a central carbon rod about 2 inch long and 1/4 inch in diameter. So, I tore apart a dead flashlight battery to a carbon rod.
Sticking this single carbon rod in the electrode holder and using it like an electrode for welding, I tried maintaining an arc to a grounded piece of angle iron – it worked! I found I could re-melt previously laid down weld beads – so the heat was intense and highly localized. However, on sheet metal, all I seemed to do was to burn holes right through the sheet, 24, 22 or 18 gage. I tried brazing two piece of sheet metal together with the single carbon rod, drawing an arc to the base metal and feeding in flux coated brazing rod; the result was not good. Then, I tried drawing an arc from the carbon rod to the flux coated brazing rod that I grounded, the base metal being close by but not grounded; the result was equally poor. It looked like one carbon rod was not going to do it.
I tried using a twin-carbon arc, pulling another 1/4 inch carbon rod from another D cell battery. I cobbled together a temporary arrangement to hold the carbon rod tips about 1/8 inch apart, struck the arc and watched the electric flame arc between the two carbons. I could bring two layers of 22 - 24 gage sheet metal close to this flame – and burn through both or with better control turn them cherry red in a localized spot. I saw enough to convince me this could be the answer to brazing – but I needed much better control.
To make this work, I needed a proper twin-carbon rod holder. Before that, I also needed some proper carbon rods – flashlight carbon rods were just too short. For $17 or so, the welding store supplied me an ‘ArcAir’ package 50 copper coated, 12 inch long, 3/16 inch diameter carbon rods. I broke one into two 6 inch long pieces – my two electrodes. I put together a temporary holder to figure out the best amperage to run, the best angle for the rods to meet at and to see how long the carbons would burn before the arc would go out. For the 3/16 inch diameter rods, less than 40 amps did not work well, about 55- 65 amps was quite nice, 75 – 85 amps yielded a more force-full arc but the carbon electrodes burned away faster. The best angle for the rods to meet at was not the 90 degrees I had expected but a shallower 30 to 45 degrees. This angle throws the arc out like a flame in front of the carbon rods.
The carbon rods burn down fairly quickly, the gap between the rods going from about 1/32 inch to 3/8 inch in about 15 to 20 seconds, then the gap is too big for the arc to jump – at least at 60 amps. Raising the amperage to jump a larger gap only causes the rods to burn faster and gives no gain in time. One thing became very clear; the fixed-gap, set-screw type Y-shaped electrode holders pictured in the old books were not going to work for more that 20 seconds! That meant that the user would have to stop and try to readjust the gap while the carbons and their contacts with the holder were very hot. There was just no way that old design was going to be suitable. What I needed was a holder with an ability to finely adjust the gap between the carbon rods while the arc was ON. This was a MUST – and after building it, I tell you again, this is a MUST.
Here is what I build.
The trick was to use a small 6 inch long wood clamp. This comes with two floating bi-directional screw with extension handles that allow you to open and close the clamp. I removed the bottom screw. I added a hinge at the base (bottom) of the clamp – under the base of my thumb in the photos. The clamp became a ‘V’.
When the remaining upper screw is turned, one can slowly open and close the gap at the top of V clamp. I covered the two wooden noses at the top of the V clamp with sheet copper. The source for the copper was 1/2 inch diameter copper pipe used for house-hold plumbing. Note: There are two kinds of copper pipe, thin wall and thicker wall – use the thicker wall as it is better for this purpose. I cut off small sections of pipe, slitting each section with a aviation snip, opened up the pipe and pounded it flat – every one in a while using a propane torch to heat the work and remove work hardening. Using a hammer and a vise, I formed and molded the sheet copper around the noses of each side of the 'V'. Note: I suggest you do this with the bottom hinge removed – as the gentle hammering rather misshaped my first hinge! I used brass machine screws passing through each nose to secure the copper sheet to the wooden noses.
To form the holders for the carbon rods, I hammered sheet copper around an old drill bit slightly smaller that the 3/16 inch rods; that gave me a flat base with a U-shaped cup in the middle to hold the carbon rod. I used brass wood screws to secure these holders to the clamp noses. Note: The holes drilled in one of the rod holder were precise while the holes drilled in the second holder were oversize. This permits angling one holder enough to align the rods in one plane to obtain a point contact between the two carbon rods.
I found that the clamp was rather sloppy due to some side-to-side movement in the hinge and looseness in bi-directional screw assembly. To counter this, I added slotted strips of 1/8 inch thick hardboard on either side of the clamp. This stopped all side-to-side motion and allows precise alignment of the carbon rods to be maintained as the gap is adjusted.
Power cables were #4 booster cables (the type that is super-flexible at low temperatures) on sale at a local auto store. Cable connectors were made from older 100% real-copper pennies (not new the copper plated stuff), soldered to the copper stands in the cables. The other ends of the cable were simply soldered as suitable for clamping to my welder’s ground clamp and electrode holder.
The result – GREAT! By adjusting the clamp screw, I could bring the carbon rods together to strike the arc, then open up the gap to form a nice arc. Note: An auto-darkening welding helmet is a big help here. In use, one has to turn the clamp screw to adjust the arc gap every 15 to 20 seconds or so – but one can maintain a continuous arc with a little practice.
My first challenge was to see if I could braze together those two pieces of 22 – 24 gage sheet that I had so butchered before; they still had beads of brass and flux stuck to them. I brought the arc carefully up to the area and fed in some flux coated brazing rod, the rod melted and it flowed! I was able to sweep the arc over the area and watch through my welding helmet as the previously applied small beads of brass melted and flowed together into a smooth golden river of brass - Beautiful!
In my opinion, this is a great tool to have around. It is perfect for brazing. Also, the next time I have a rusty bolt that defies my propane/map torch, I have the power to superheat it or just burn it off! Just think of it, no need for gas! I don’t need any gas - no oxy-acetylene bottles, hoes, regulators, gages, etc. This tool runs on my small 117 volt welder.
It is too bad that you can’t simply buy a holder like this and avoid all the hazel and hours it takes to build it. Still, it was fun to build and the main thing is I now have a tool that works very well - exactly what I wanted!
03-21-2006, 04:24 PM
very cool:cool2: good job
04-05-2006, 02:55 PM
Like many of you, I have a habit of picking up interesting technical stuff in garage sales and salvage stores, "...just in case I need it someday." I also have a compulsion to rescue stuff from the waste stream to the landfills.
Let me describe a task for which my "General Electric PYROTIP Electric Burner," was perfectly suited and rescued my butt. This is just a plain enclosed 115 VAC, 880 watt transformer with very low voltage, high current secondary with just two wing-nut terminals - no adjustability. It came with a wire with a ground clamp and a wire with a carbon holder with the carbon still there. That's all. The carbon holder is a brass casting that fully encloses the rear end of the 3/4" diameter carbon and grips and contacts the carbon very securely. I probably paid $2 or $3 for it. Looks like pre-WWII vintage.
I was in the middle of a seismic upgrade involving epoxying many all-thread anchors into thick brick walls. This involves using wire screen tubes to carry the epoxy past the void in the middle of brick walls to the hole drilled into the far side - a standard installation technique in seismic upgrading. Through bad planning and parsimony (I hated paying $3 for a 5-cent piece of screen made into a tube), I ran out of screen tubes at the beginning of a weekend in which I had lots of assistance available to make the final push to complete the job before the statutory deadline for upgrading came due and big penalties could be imposed by the city.
I wrapped wire screen around a steel rod mandrel of the desired screen tube I.D., grounded the rod, and manually pressed the carbon against the lapped screen for about 1 second to make a series of spot welds along the length of the screen tube, then folded over the ends and made a spot weld of the folded end tabs. Worked like a charm! No arc. Just intense red/white heat at the point of contact. No sticking of the screen to the carbon or to the mandrel. No heat distortion of the screen tube. I don't think I could have done the job as quickly and neatly with my Prestolyte acetylene torch, propane torch, OA torch, MIG, stick, or TIG. Couldn't tell the difference between commercial tubes and my tubes.
As I keep reminding my wife when I walk in with yet another piece of junk, there's nothing like having the tool you need when you need it!
04-07-2006, 11:52 PM
That was a neat trick! Amazing what one can do - when you have no choice.
I'd seen articles on using a 12 volt battery charger and a single carbon rod to directly heat local areas for soldering. I tried this and it worked - but that was soldering not welding.
I've tried using my stick welder (max output 85 amps) with a single single carbon rod to spot weld 20 gauge metal sheets together but it didn't work - not enough heat. (Unless, you pulled the carbon rod off contact and established an arc - then the arc rapidly blows a hole in both sheets!)
From your success, it appears that the contact technique has enough heat to work well with wire. Got to remember that - thanks. Great story!
04-11-2006, 05:24 AM
I have one somewhere. When I purchased the Lincoln AC/DC that was an optional piece that you could buy. It uses 2 carbon rods that are touched together. I thought that it would be good for heating things up but quickly ended up putting it on a shelf somewhere.
05-03-2006, 10:00 AM
Hi, I built a carbon arc torch in hopes of brazing with it, but I seem to be unable to transer heat to the work piece without melting it. I was wondering if anyone could provide me with tips. I made my torch such that I could both pivot and slide back and forth one electrode, not really knowing what the best way to set the thing up would be. Also I have quite a few degrees of freedom in my torch setup, so I should like to know any thoughts on the most effective orientations of the carbon rods.
I can't quite make out what it says on the picture of the box posted. I should like to know are there many limitations on what can be brazed with the torch and an 130 amp dc machine, and what sort of thing would be easiest to try out in order to get the hang of the process. Would I be better off sticking one of my d-cells in a stinger and setting current low? also, appropriate current settings would be helpful. any suggestions would be appreciated
ps, here is a picture of what I built: http://www.glue.umd.edu/~neilg/pictures%20off%20digital%20cam%20040.jpg
05-03-2006, 03:04 PM
If you're trying to braze light weight stuff such as autobody work just use MAP gas with low heat brazing rods and some flux. It's cheaper in the end.
05-03-2006, 03:10 PM
I"m interested in stainless steel, which doesn't seem to want to conduct the heat well enough with the mapp gas. I work in a lab and rather enjoy the welding/brazing, but lack expertise. I was hoping to work on 1/8"+. I have used mapp for smaller brass parts, and sometimes I can get away with certain stainless joints.
05-03-2006, 04:03 PM
I think it is risky to generalize about which process is "best." So much depends upon the specific task at hand.
Let me relate another recent task in which my General Electric PYROTIP Electric Burner that I described earlier worked very well.
I wanted to reattach the steel wire form basket that supports the filter bag in a central vacuum to the pressed sheet steel ring that is clamped between the motor/cyclone section and the collection can. Both pieces are zinc plated, so I was reluctant to use a torch and create a large heat affected zone in which the zinc plating had been burned off. There was originally a spot weld at each of the four points where the wire attached to the ring, and all had failed without any distortion or damage to the pieces.
I decided to use the carbon to press the wire against the grounded pressed steel ring and use the heat to silver solder the connection. I figured the heat would be very localized and the size of the heat affected zone wiould be minimized.
Worked pretty well except that the heat was much too great. Got some melting of the 1/8" wire at the point of contact of the carbon, but I did get a good silver soldered joint with a nice fillet. The damage to the zinc plating on the pressed steel ring was limited to about a 1/4" or less to either side of the wire attachment. Having done quite a bit of silver soldering and brazing with a MAPP torch, I think the zone over which the zinc was damaged would have been much larger than with the carbon torch.
The nice part of this task was that the setup time was just a few minutes and the whole job was completed in about 20 minutes, including the grinding down to clean steel in preparing the joints, applying flux, positioning the parts, and making the joint.
If I was doing it again (and I would use the carbon for this type of task again), I would use either a high power resistor or a Variac variable transformer at the input of the transformer to limit the temperature and make the whole process more controllable.
To respond to earlier questions, the problem of melting of the workpiece is clearly a matter of current control, so the solution is to figure out how to limit and control the current through the torch or the carbon and workpiece. That depends upon your power source. Can't give specific recommendations, since I haven't yet measured the current and voltage I used in my two projects. Might pursue this in the future and come up with some more specific suggestions.
Meanwhile, my $3 General Electric PYROTIP Electric Burner is proving itself to be very useful. I'm a booster.
05-12-2006, 08:49 PM
I've had a Lincoln Carbon arc torch for many years. My father bought it along with a Trindl "Buzz-Box" 110VAC welder around 1959 for brazing. It's the type that has a shield and two copper-coated carbon arc rods that can be brought together to make an arc flame. The cables plug into the openings on the front of the welder which are marked "ABC" on one side and "123" on the other to obtain various amperages.
Mine is still working and does a wonderful job of brazing on metal up to 1/4" thick. The heat is quite intense and very localized so that you get a nice flame-like quality to the arc. It's got to be the cheapest method of brazing ever invented. I've never tried it on straight metal welding but I guess it would work on sheet metal. No gas regulators or tips to fool with.
They are still listed in the Lincoln Catalog and sell for approximately $70.
03-23-2009, 02:59 PM
The twin-carbon arc torch (not to be confused with the arc-air gouging torch, which is an entirely different thing) is a perfectly good tool, out of fashion but not anymore obsolete than a blowtorch, for example. Some guys think stick welding and gas welding are obsolete, and that thoroughly up-to-date people only use TIG, wire-feed, and plasma processes, and if you're in that camp, fine.
But if you are willing to take the time to develop some skill with the twin carbon torch, you can do some jobs that save a little money (electricity being cheaper than welding gases) and amaze your welder pals. It takes some interest in the tool to learn to choose the right current and carbon diameter, set the carbons at the best angle, keep the gap between the carbons constant by gradually closing the holder with your thumb (in the case of the Sears holder pictured above) while you work, and so forth, and do it downhand or out-of-position. And even if you don't want to devote any time to this, the twin-carbon arc torch is still a useful tool for heating seized fasteners by holding the carbons firmly against either side of the nut, stud, etc., with the advantage that you don't have to worry about what else you are cooking with a flame-envelope from a gas torch.
If you run across the handbook which used to be sold with Forney welders, and was in print until recently, it has several pages on using the arc torch. If someone here has the book and a way to scan it (and permission), maybe those pages could be reproduced here.
I don't think the correct carbon rods are available anymore.
Some of the older Lincoln books have information on the use of these torches.
03-24-2009, 02:01 PM
I think I recognize R W from a post by him on this subject on another site. He is evidently casting about the Web for info on the topic, and thanks to him I have gotten curious and am doing the same. There is widespread confusion between this process and arc-air gouging, I find, including on WikiAnswers, which I'm going to correct one of these days.
Here is what I put on the other site that somebody here might have use for:
The carbons used for arc-air gouging are on the small side for the twin-carbon torch. I bought enough carbons to last me indefinitely when I bought the torch years ago, so I haven't kept track of suppliers, but now I'm curious. When I get a chance (or you can do it first), I'll look up suppliers of carbons for old-fashioned movie theater projectors. And maybe the process is still in use overseas, somewhere. The standard welding/brazing electrode was compressed carbon, but the best ones were pure graphite. With the small diameter electrodes, 3/16 or 1/4" diameter, don't use more than 30-40A, probably. If the carbon gets red more than about an inch from the tip, it's getting too hot. Wear at least a #12 lens.
03-24-2009, 02:17 PM
Here's something from a site that is largely printed in Cyrillic:
(quote) The carbon arc welding process has been widely used for welding galvanized steel. Both the single carbon torch and twin carbon torch can be used. The twin carbon torch is used as a source of heat much the same as the oxyacetylene flame; however, when the single carbon is used the carbon can be played on the filler rod and extremely high rates of speed can be accomplished. Normally in this situation the filler rod, Type RBCuZn-A (60% Cu-40% Zn). By directing the arc on the filler rod it melts and sufficient heat is produced in the base metal for fusion but not sufficient to destroy the zinc coating. This process and technique is widely used in the sheet metal duct work industry. (end quote)
I only have used (so far) a twin-carbon torch, but looking in an old Forney handbook last night I learned a couple of things about single-carbon welding, as recommended in the above quotation: 1) use DC Straight polarity; 2) don't overheat your standard stick-welding handpiece, which isn't built for the heat of the carbon. Some old single-carbon torches were water-cooled.
I recommended in an earlier post that anybody interested in the carbon arc process try to find an old Forney arc welding manual, but having looked at it last night, I see that it is better than nothing, not not hugely informative either.
Thanks for all of the info, I havent seen one of those in a long time .Check out some of my pics if you have some time,http://www.caseysbuilding.com
03-31-2009, 04:38 PM
For the few oddballs who might be interested in CAW/CAWT:
Went into the local Airgas outlet, which still pictures a twin-carbon torch by Lincoln on their website, and had them look for the torch, a non-stocking item. The counterman called Lincoln, where the torch is NLA, and had them see if their computer could find any Lincoln warehouse or outlet where there might be a torch remaining on the shelves. The answer, as far as they could tell, was no.
I also stopped by the Sears parts and service store in Seattle, and had a veteran parts-guy search their computer using the part numbers I gave him for the old Sears torch and carbons, which were pictured on Page 1 of this thread. He couldn't find anything useful.
My informants tell me that there is no longer any new equipment in the UK or Australia. So unless we find new equipment in Europe or remoter locales, if anyone wants to try this process he will have to buy used equipment or make his own.
04-03-2009, 03:26 PM
In hunting for info on this, I run into a lot of, "Carbon arc??? Why bother??!!!" Many are young guys who think that stick welding is for Neanderthals, and that the intelligent welder shouldn't waste his time with anything but pulsing inverter wirefeed and nice clean TIG.
Three true stories:
1) You're on your second day, the hell-and-gone up in the hills, answering a gyppo logger's hot-rush emergency. You didn't have time to fill your bottles and you're starting to get a little concerned about having enough gas because you are so far up in the woods they had to tow your 2wd service truck into camp with a Cat. You need to preheat an assembly for welding, but no problemo, you can conserve gas by breaking out the old arc-torch!
2) You're a small cattle farmer, a one-man-show most of the year, and for the last week you've busy as a one-armed paper hanger, and you keep forgetting to take that empty oxygen bottle up to Severy to be filled, and now you need to braze a busted part, but no sweat, you have that arc-torch that came with your buzz-box!
3) You're a poor young blacksmith/welder/tin-bender/mechanic in a dusty 4th-World land with an ancient and semi-glorious past and a dismal present. You'll never be able to afford a new piece of welding equipment in three lifetimes, and the only good news is that the electricity has been working at least half the time. But you have wound your own transformer and cobbled together a welder out of industriously-salvaged scrap, and you built your own arc torch, too, and with these rough tools you feed your family and answer to no man.
The first story is mine, and I met the other two men. The farmer was a neighbor of my uncle outside of Howard, Kansas, fifty years ago. He only had one helmet, but he put it on little me and let me try to light his arc torch, probably influencing the subsequent course of my mis-spent life.
I ran into the Ethiopian handyman here a couple of years ago, and heard his story. All his friends were avid scroungers and DIY'ers, poor but resourceful cousins of mostly bygone Americans who built their own cultivators and motor scooters and shortwave radios from plans in Popular Science and Popular Electronics and Mechanix Illustrated. Somehow he managed to get himself into the local university, found a way to bring himself and his family to the USA, became a proud citizen, and now can afford just about any welding machine he wants.
05-29-2009, 10:09 PM
Some while ago, I found an interesting Carbon-Arc lamp (which I no longer have) and just happened upon an article about it. Among other things, it shows the carbon rods which were used in the lamp, and the maker looks a bit familiar to me. Anyway, I thought some here might like to see the site too:
[Don't get any crazy ideas from this, though!]
05-30-2009, 05:42 PM
I've never tried to buy carbons at my LWS, but one source of carbons out of the movie industry is APEX Electronics in near North Hollywood in the L. A. area.
As you can see from the website photos, this is not your full service electronics supply house with every item bar-coded and inventoried. It is a glorified, semi-organized junk pile that has almost anything you can imagine in electrical/electronic/metal junk - if you can find it. I know I've seen several shelves full of carbons there.
If you catch the owner or counterman in a good mood he might be able to tell you what he's got. These are carbons from stage lighting and movie projectors, not torches but I'll bet that you could get good service from them in torches. Most are copper-sheathed and many have a hole down the center of the rod with something in it. I'm not sure what is in the holes, but I imagine it has to do with enhancing the brightness or color spectrum of the arc.
If you want to experiment with single or twin carbon arc torches, don't think you need some fancy commercial product. In fact, the commercial torches I've seen look like something slapped together in someone's garage in an afternoon. And, as I recall, my WARDS torch (long since buried under piles of junk) just used steel clamps and arms, not copper.
Basically, you just need a high current carbon holder (preferably heavy copper) with a thermally insulated handle connected to a cable for the single carbon version (which I have found very useful for some special tasks). For the twin carbon version you just need two carbon holders joined with a crude hinge and some way to manually move the carbons together as they burn away.
05-30-2009, 06:33 PM
This device has been around for a very long time. I believe it was orignally offered by Forney, for farm shops. There is a pocket manual copyright 1974 from Forney, that still may be in print, that shows the diffent uses of this device. I have seen these manuals on ebay from time to time.
05-30-2009, 10:16 PM
05-31-2009, 08:21 PM
Thanks, hghsl. Not only do I learn something about carbon arc torche use, I learn a little spanish and french, also.
What publication is that out of?
06-01-2009, 07:34 PM
Thanks, hghsl. Not only do I learn something about carbon arc torche use, I learn a little spanish and french, also.
What publication is that out of?
I think it was out of a lincolin manual. There is a pocket Forney welding manual that is a lot better. One of the differant uses is to loosen a frozen nuts. You short the nut between the two carbon electrodes, nut turns red hot in about two seconds.
06-13-2009, 11:31 AM
Here is a picture of a commercial twin-carbon torch sold by either Sears and/or Montgomery Wards. A box of carbons, and some used electrodes are shown in the second shot.
06-13-2009, 01:59 PM
I should correct an erroneous statement in my earlier post. Apparently cored carbons WERE used in twin carbon torches, so maybe the ones I referred to from APEX are well suited to torch applications after all.
Also, I mentioned that I thought my Wards torch had steel, rather than copper or brass, carbon clamps. If I ever uncover the torch, I'll check that, but the torch in the picture looks like it has brass or copper carbon clamps. Maybe it is from an earlier era than mine.
The main point is, however, that anyone can put together a carbon torch pretty easily.
10-16-2009, 02:47 PM
hi redneck i used one in the long distant past in my youth i thought it was a very useful tool did you know they also did a spot welding torch for the arc personnaly i would like to get hold of another one all the bestIve not used one either CVG, they are kind of a relic of past. But Ive talked to some guys who have used one. Basically it performs some jobs that one might consider to be very "torchlike" Some would even consider it something like a poor mans tig. Although I personally beleive this is giving too much credit. What would you be wanting from this device. You gotta remember this machine has been around for many many years. One fellow for instance actually has one just like ours and when I contacted lincoln iwth the numbers he gave me on it, it was built june 1965 I believe. This should tell you one about how long these machiens have been unchanged, but also give you an idea of this carbon arc torch. In the 60's when I believe this machine first came out on the market, TIG welding and mig welding were out o fthe question for the home user...the guy who would be buying this machine. Therefore, this carbon arc torch, although far inferior to a tig or a mig in their own rights, would enable a user to use his ac 225 to handle certain thin metal jobs and jobs related to heating and brazing. Infortuntately Ive heard a lot of love/hate type of feed back. More hate than love. But it has a place according to a lot of older guys. I think you can do most stuff with it using a torch, but than again I dont know. You will need your welding hood on before you use it if you deciede to get it, good luck and post how you like it. IMO I wouldnt bother though with todays easy access to tools and competive prices. Good luck
08-18-2010, 06:11 PM
Forney used to make a very nice twin carbon arc torch, but they don't seem to offer it anymore. About 30 years ago a sheet metal man demonstrated the use of one 6 inch carbon in the electrode holder of a DC stick machine. He could make a beautiful lap weld with no filler rod on thin sheet. Don't recall the gauge, but it was for heating duct, so quite thin. I never got around to trying that so don't know how much experience it requires to master the technique.
12-10-2010, 07:48 AM
i have one similar to the #11 post hanging in my garage somewhere. think i saw it 6-8 months ago not sure
02-18-2011, 07:30 AM
Ive used a carbon arc torch since I started welding in the 50s. I braze with it and use it to put a new hook on a big coil spring on my mowing machine.I have my father in laws Sears torch plus a Forney and a small one I use with a Magic Wand welder.I do hot carbon soldering.The first welding ever done was done with carbon arc.Movie projectors used carbon arc .The Lejay manual shows how to make a hot carbon soldering tool, I put one together in the 50s.The Lejay manual has been reprinted by Lindsay publications.Lots of plans from the days when mechanics made many tools because they had little cash.A carbon arc torch will make short work of rusted nuts plus Ive used it to heat and bend metal.Use a #12 glass in your helment, the arc is bright and runs 9000 degrees.
02-18-2011, 03:34 PM
Got one of those like Matt posted a pic of. It's only been used 3 or 4 times when I ran out of acetylene or oxygen needing to braze something in a pinch. That's about all they are good for heating something when don't have gas or access to it. They are harder to control too for brazing but will work but not going to get as good of a weld.
11-27-2011, 05:37 PM
FYI, anyone wanting to make one of these, check out this 1941 Popular Science 'how-to' article:
The "cored type" electrodes are for AC. I would imagine you could get by with the air-arc gouging carbons that are formulated for AC. If you want to go to India, these folks make the cored ones: http://www.schutzcarbon.com/air_carbon.html
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