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Practical uses of arc torch...???

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  • #16
    Are they still available (new)? I've always been intrigued by the idea, but have never actually seen one. No more than I use my oxy/acet rig that would take up a lot less room.

    I assume the carbon rods are consumed by the process, do they burn up pretty quickly?
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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    • #17
      My dad had one before we had oxyacetylene. We used it mostly for bending steel as it gets really hot.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lynnl View Post
        Are they still available (new)? I've always been intrigued by the idea, but have never actually seen one. No more than I use my oxy/acet rig that would take up a lot less room.

        I assume the carbon rods are consumed by the process, do they burn up pretty quickly?
        I don't think they are being made new any more, but still plenty on eBay and flea markets etc. Carbon rods are the same as always at welding suppliers. They shouldn't burn up too fast, its slower than arc-air.
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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        • #19
          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
          Are they still available (new)? I've always been intrigued by the idea, but have never actually seen one. No more than I use my oxy/acet rig that would take up a lot less room.

          I assume the carbon rods are consumed by the process, do they burn up pretty quickly?
          Not nearly as quickly as one might think. I bought some new ones as the ones my father had when he got the torch finally were getting pretty short. The new ones were listed as "gouging rods" and are 12" in length.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Noitoen View Post
            I remember repairing one of these back in 1979 in South Africa
            When I was a kid, all the theaters (not cinema) and circus venues had carbon arc spotlights. They were bright as the sun, and they always had a little trickle of smoke out of a chimney above the arc.

            I'm not sure when they went away, probably about the time the powercos got tired of supplying DC to the theater districts. When I first went to St Louis, they were still around, but then DC service was cut off locally. (St Louis also had 25 cycle power for some areas, Wallace Pencil Co here down Hanley Road was all 25 cycle until maybe 45 years ago when Union Electric got tired of doing that also).
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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            • #21
              I had a carbon arc lamp about 40 years ago , aluminium housing you had to move a knob, I think til electrodes almost touched to start the arc then move the gap with the knob... 110 volt , plugged in a normal outlet. Are you guys saying it must have had a DC transformer in it ?
              At the time I asked people what they were used for, someone suggested operating room , as it did not cast shadows ..they said..
              YEAH I think always a wisp of smoke coming off it ..

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              • #22
                There ain't no such anymule as a DC transformer......

                There ARE now some things that act like one, but they do not overlap arc lamps time-wise in history.

                Arc lamps cast fine shadows.... but the traditional OR lights are designed with a wide effective light source, so that they do not. Same with the dentist's worklight.
                Last edited by J Tiers; 07-29-2020, 01:00 AM.
                CNC machines only go through the motions.

                Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                • #23
                  so a "single carbon torch" is like tig without gas? never tried that.

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                  • #24
                    I remember the arc lamp we repaired was automatic. The carbon rod holders were mounted on a rack and pinion gear and there was a motor controlled by the current of the arc. This compensated for the natural wear. I think it was AC powered as DC will only wear one of the electrodes.

                    I remember destroying some of those 0,5mm lead pencils by heat when we used the lab power supply to make miniature versions of arc lamps
                    Helder Ferreira
                    Setubal, Portugal

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                      When I was a kid, all the theaters (not cinema) and circus venues had carbon arc spotlights. They were bright as the sun, and they always had a little trickle of smoke out of a chimney above the arc.

                      I'm not sure when they went away, probably about the time the powercos got tired of supplying DC to the theater districts. When I first went to St Louis, they were still around, but then DC service was cut off locally. (St Louis also had 25 cycle power for some areas, Wallace Pencil Co here down Hanley Road was all 25 cycle until maybe 45 years ago when Union Electric got tired of doing that also).
                      Studios lots and soundstages in Cali were typically wired with both AC and DC for the convenience of being able to use an arc lamp when desired.
                      Demonstration on how to operate a Carbon Arc.You can learn a little more about the Carbon Arc here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mole-richardson/7365856730/h...

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