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Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Unread postAuthor: BowerR64 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:45 am

I really enjoyed the thunder mug design and i think i shot it the most last year being so simple and portable but still has a decent bang for what it is i went with 3 this year. 2 for each hand and one with a foot trigger!

Ive shot one of the new ones 5 times now me and my nephew shot a few today got about 150 yards straight up with a tennis ball he got a kick out of em. Wasnt that interested last year

I also found a little rubber ball for the big one cant wait to try it with a ball. I normally just use a blast dist for the big one but hope to try a ball if the hot flame doesnt cook a hole in it.

I bought 3 pounds of carbide last year, gave about 3/4 of a pound away had about 1/2 a pound left over from the second cannon pound the third is little rocks. Ordered my third pound of cannon grade (fine) this year.

I found out something i overlooked last year, lukewarm water is the key to consistant blasts. I used ice cold water a few times last year and didnt understand why i had issues. Well now it makes sense.
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Re: Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:34 pm

I don't think I will simply because propane and other gaseous fuels are a lot easier to handle and meter out accurately. I have always liked you work though, it's nothing personal.
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Re: Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Unread postAuthor: Donal » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:13 am

mark.f wrote:I don't think I will simply because propane and other gaseous fuels are a lot easier to handle and meter out accurately. I have always liked you work though, it's nothing personal.

Acetylene from dissolved carbide's too damned trick to fool with, but it's good to learn the process...
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Re: Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Unread postAuthor: BowerR64 » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:03 am

The big one failed, about july 1 i took it over to my buddies and shot it.

FIrst some used a cardboard blast disk loud as hell.

Second one we shot a small air filled ball with little blinking lights in it went about 200 yards into a field.

Third shot we put a paper cup down inside with a 3" tennis ball and a 26" military flare parachute and that blew that back end off the 6" rear cap. It shot the stinky water all over. The cannon was tilted so the end just hit the ground behind it.

I knew better then to try to shoot anything from it, its just to big and to powerful. I didnt have any kind of stopper to limit how far down into the barrel to put something because i didnt plant to do that with this one. No one got hurt thank god stunk everyone up though.

They were only sch40 caps, the guy i got them from said he could get me sch80 for next year. It was to late to get anything for this year.

I just shot the smaller 4" ones and had just as much fun with them, they are loud enough really. I had a total of about 10 3" tennis balls lost em all by the 4th sometimes they go so high everyone loses track of it.

Not sure if next year i want to build another 6" PVC one or go bigger with a 5 gallon milk jug like the dutch do in all the youtube videos. Shooting a soccer ball 100 yards in the air sounds like a little more fun :lol:

search youtube for "karbid cannons" or Karbid Kannons" you will see some insane setups with the milk jugs. They REALLY get into it.

I might try and fix it, since it just blew the end off so clean, almost as if it was molded in a way to pop the end off we thought about using PVC glue, a few screws then sit the whole thing down in a 5 gallon bucket with sand around it.
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Re: Anyone going to try carbide this year?

Unread postAuthor: Rahim17 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:05 am

I don't think that's very practical. I believe it's made in a carbon arc
furnace at very high temperatures. Just from memory I think it's made by
fusing coke and lime.
Why try to make it at all? Last I knew I could still buy calcium carbide at a
local military surplus shop. It came in white plastic bottles and I think it
was a full pound but could have been a half. It was only 3 or 4 bucks as I
recall. I haven't bought any in several years but don't see why it wouldn't
still be available. It comes in hard chunks so you'd probably need to break it
up with a hammer, or maybe a ceramic mortar and pestle. You'd have to do that
anyway if you made your own.

Actually I just looked on eBay and there are two auctions currently running for
calcium carbide. One is definitely overpriced ($9.95 to start or $15
buy-it-now for only 1/4 pound. That one ends in about 6 hours and has no bids.
The other one is for a metal can of calcium carbide and I didn't see anywhere
that it said what the quantity is. That one has a $5 starting bid and 7 days
to go with no bids.
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