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Thread: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

  1. #1
    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    in high school, i learned oxy/acetylene welding and brazing operations.
    when i went to community college in the late 80's, i spent 2 years and a semester learning welding processes.
    gtaw and smaw. i learned a ton of stuff from a master welder who ran the program.
    i would use a mig welder at work, get off work drive to school,show up early to class learned smaw on monday,wed
    learned gtaw tuesday,thursdays. i couldn't get enough
    needless to say i got a lot of welding in and became addicted to joining metal together.
    i came across a process that's very old carbon arc welding...
    i have been intimate with a gouging torch may times, but never even considered carbon arc as a welding process.
    come to find out that it was first discovered and used in 1800. and is effective on ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
    DCEN (straight polarity) is used.
    i then remember my welding teacher talking about brazing and welding with twin carbon arc on AC.
    there was 1 half page explanation of the process in our textbook and i had forgotten all about it entirely.
    i recently reread some of the textbooks and ran across some notes that i had taken on the subject.
    the first thing that jumped out at me was the process was extremely effective for repairing cast iron, both as a welding process and a brazing process.
    i came to the sudden realization...
    i never had the pleasure to twin carbon arc braze or weld anything this was a hurdle i had to jump,
    here's why...
    i recently found a deal on a complete vintage 1972 wards(century) 230 ac welder w/ a twin carbon arc torch set up complete with some electrodes .
    i have an old school JET power hacksaw that has some cast iron in need of repairing...
    JETPOWERHACKSAW.JPG
    the miter clamping bolt goes into a cast iron clamping plate with poor threading...
    photo (10).JPG
    i got lucky on one side i was able to put a stud into the clamp on one of the clamps, an easy fix.
    as for the other clamp, i wasn't so lucky.
    it was poorly drilled from the factory and not much of the thread profile remained.
    a stud was out of the question for now...
    i thought to myself, what an excellent opportunity.... to try a new old thing
    i fired up my recently acquired shop oven(on casters) and preheated my damaged clamp to 300*F
    jetfix2.JPG
    i took out the Twin Carbon Arc Rig, slapped a couple 3/8" carbon rods cranked er' up to 90 amps and went to town on a brazing operation to fill up the hole in the cast iron. the process is slow , but, i was amazed that i didn't need flux on the brazing rod to get the puddle to stick. after a few minutes of brazing, BaddaBing ...

    i put the casting on firebricks inside the oven to cool overnight.
    i'll post more as i finish the repairs!
    stay tuned for part 2
    thanks for reading!
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

  2. #2
    Cast Iron
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    You can also braze thin galvanized sheet metal together with Everdure (sp) rod and a single carbon without having the cyanide smoke release from the galvanizing.
    Ray

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    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    i Made the brazing repair on the miter clamp with the TCA and preped the clamp for the drilling operation!

    photo (12).JPG

    i''l drill and tap the hole to accept a 1/2-13 stud to match the other clamp i repaired earlier.
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

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    Tool Steel Hawkeye's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    I can vaguely remember an article in Mechanix Illustrated (I think) in the '60s that told how to make a twin-carbon torch. As I recall, it plugged into a regular wall outlet and used an electric iron as a ballast to prevent the breaker from blowing.

    Might have to make one to run off one of my welders. One more for the project list.
    Mike

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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    thanks for the post Ulma Doctor.
    OMG, you sure stirred some old memories with this one.
    (look at me, typing like a teenager)
    i remember in the late 60s when my house payment was $98 a month.
    i splurged for a Lincoln 225 AC stick welder($104 out the door)
    i found a can of 1/8" fleetweld 180 that had gotten wet, but it worked
    for crude cutting of old car frames and such.(one tuff little buzzbox)
    but i needed a way to heat, bend and braze. a complete set of torches was
    selling for more than two house payments and i couldn't swing it.
    Enter your "Miracle Tool"
    Montgomery wards carried an attachment for welders called a Carbon Arc Torch
    that claimed to do everything but clean your windows.
    it came with a variety pack of carbons and a hand held face shield for less than $30.
    bakelite handles and a sliding thumb screw to adjust the arc.
    i used to light up the night skies at all hours. after a few visits from the cops and
    the fire department, they told me if i was going to use that thing at night to close the door.
    my paranoid neighbors never knew what to expect to roll out of my garage.
    they had a huge block party when i finally moved and let them have their peace and quiet.
    as they say.... the rest is history.
    But i finally got my torches, then plasma. i just counted 11 of the Red and the Blue welding devices.
    that old carcon arc torch is probably still around here somewhere.
    thanks for shaking the cobb webs.
    y'all remember what the old man said... always hammer on the cheapest part!

  6. #6
    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Thanks swarfed , for giving my post a read!
    i'm glad it stirred up them feelings! here's the set up i got last Wednesday.
    PK230(2).JPG
    WARDSPOWER_KRAFTTCAWTORCH1.jpgWARDSPOWER_KRAFTTCAWTORCH2.jpg


    just as you described!

    thanks ED for the input!!!
    Last edited by Ulma Doctor; 04-20-13 at 07:12 PM.
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

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    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    After completing the TCA brazing repair, i prepared the clamp for the drilling operation.
    Jetfix5.JPG

    i then tapped to 1/2-13 and cleaned the bore with laquer thinner and compressed air.
    i added high strength(red) locktite to the stud before installation.

    Jetfix6.JPG
    JETPOWERHACKSAW.JPGJetfix7.JPG

    a really fun fix, and used another process to boot

    thanks for reading, please add your comments and/or stories!
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

  8. #8
    Plastic
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Here is an old one I have in my collection of welding gear. The slider on top adjusts the carbon rods as they burn.


    P1010040.JPGP1010041.JPGP1010042.JPGP1010043.JPG

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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    here's another example of a brazing build up of a damaged lathe compound rest.
    the part will be dressed down and filed to the correct dimensions.
    CRfix1.JPG
    CRfix13.JPG

    the process is a little tricky to learn.
    the arc is very hot i've read somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000*f and 9,000*f, dependent on amps,rod diameter, and i'm sure other factors not coming to mind.
    the process is very simple and works equally effectively as an oxy/acetylene torch on brazing cast iron, albeit a little trickier due to the large volume of heat.
    with more practice i'll take on other types of repairs, for now i'm concentrating on cast iron repairs.
    thanks for viewing!
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

  10. #10
    Cast Iron
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Thanks to all of you. I never used carbon welding but I am impressed with the results. I used to think carbon arc was used for creating light for search lights and big movie projectors.

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    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    funny that you say that Bill
    they are/were used for welding, brazing,spotlights and film projectors as other uses for the carbon arc energy!

    thanks for you interest!
    i hoping to educate and have fun in the process!
    Last edited by Ulma Doctor; 04-25-13 at 03:02 PM.
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    This thread sent me hunting out the instructions for my old Oxford arc welder, which has a tapping specifically for carbon rods - interesting bit was how to case-harden by rubbing the rod over low-carbon steels, fusing the carbon into the surface... I might have to try that!

    Here in the UK arc brazing got a bad name because of adding carbon to car repairs, leaving the thin sheet hard and brittle, with bits dropping off, so it's now a test failure... Worth bearing in mind.

    Dave H. (the other one)
    Rules are for the obedience of fools, and the Guidance of wise men

  13. #13
    Chips
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    The late 1800's is sometimes referred to as the "Age of Blind Actors" due to the number that went blind performing in front of carbon arc lights. The high UV tended to make cataracts.

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    Cast Iron Ulma Doctor's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Here's a video of the repaired saw cutting some 2 1/8" CRS!
    thanks for looking!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbQPwVRuM1I

    enjoy!
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    I will have to dig out my "MAKIT YERSELF" booklets. ONE is how to make your own C.A. torch, (VEWY similar to the ward's) Another is a "DISINTIGRATOR" which uses a C.A. rod, drilled out, so it (get this) can pass WATER through. It feeds down, zapping broken taps, drill bits, and other hard to drill things that jam a hole. The water flushes out the zapped metal. I built one. IT WORKS! Then there is the benchtop C.A. furnace. It arcs metals into a puddle for casting small parts. The original instructions call for a "water resistor" which is an earthenware pot, filled with water, copper bars on opposite sides, series connecting your hot lead. Betw. line and load is an ammeter, and after plugging into a 110 receptacle, you add salt to the water until the meter reads 7 amps. And they got us all thinking we need sophisticated equipment to put superhot to the metal... (There IS a good reason...)

    that LAST one is a reprint from a boys project magazine, 1910-1930 somewhere...

    - - - Updated - - -

    NICE work BTW,
    Overheard at the engineering meeting: " 'Working Perfectly' does NOT mean it isn't broken!'

  16. #16
    Cast Iron DAN_IN_MN's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Anyone know where I could get a few rods for a CA torch? I picked one up at a garage sale a few years ago for $5.00. Couldn't pass it up!
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Hi Dan,
    i do have a source i was able to find that were reasonable in price:

    How to order from Cinema Carbons - AC DC Carbon Arcs - color films


    A word of caution if you are going to use AC power use AC Carbon Arc Rods, DC Rods will not function correctly on AC.
    i found that out the hard way......
    You can use the TCA in DC but you will need a large DC rod and a small DC rod, because the rods in DC do not get used up at the same rate.
    For AC you can use the same size rods as they are consumed at the same rate.
    i hope the info helps out!!
    mike
    Mike
    "If it broke once, it WILL break again!"
    Ulma Doctor- Meat Processing Equipment/ Packaging Specialist, Serving the West Coast.

  18. #18
    Moderator terrywerm's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Try your local welding shop, or even the welding area of some well stocked hardware stores. If you have trouble getting any, let me know, my local hardware store has them.
    Wermie


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    - Keller 5HD power hacksaw, Logan 210 lathe, Clausing 8520 mill.

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    Cast Iron DAN_IN_MN's Avatar
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    Re: Twin Carbon Arc Torch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulma Doctor View Post
    Hi Dan,
    i do have a source i was able to find that were reasonable in price:

    How to order from Cinema Carbons - AC DC Carbon Arcs - color films


    A word of caution if you are going to use AC power use AC Carbon Arc Rods, DC Rods will not function correctly on AC.
    i found that out the hard way......
    You can use the TCA in DC but you will need a large DC rod and a small DC rod, because the rods in DC do not get used up at the same rate.
    For AC you can use the same size rods as they are consumed at the same rate.
    i hope the info helps out!!
    mike
    Mike

    Thanks for the link, words of wisdom, and the PM! Oh, that was my first PM on this forum! You win!

    Quote Originally Posted by terrywerm View Post
    Try your local welding shop, or even the welding area of some well stocked hardware stores. If you have trouble getting any, let me know, my local hardware store has them.

    Terry

    I drove through your area today and I believe I saw "your hardware store". LoL! I thought that there is another hardware store I need to check out!
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