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Thread: Gun Smoke, carbide lamp

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Gun Smoke, carbide lamp

    I found an unused Gun Smoke miniature carbide lamp. The instructions say it is used to blacken sights with carbide smoke. Has anyone used one of these to smoke a mold?
    It did not have the calcium carbide, so I have to find some pellets to try it out

  2. #2
    I have the Calcium Carbide. Also have an old lamp that I need a couple parts for. If you decide you want to part with your lamp, pls let me know.

  3. #3
    odette,

    Here is a source for calcium carbide, Bangsite Ammo. A bit expensive, but the GunSmoke lamps don't require a lot of carbide per use.

    PB

  4. #4
    Boolit Master




    Bzcraig's Avatar
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    There is no need to smoke a mold.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same......." - Ronald Reagan

    "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived." - George Patton

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    When set up that will put out a lot of soot may be enough to change dimensions. I have one and used it to smoke the front sight on service rifles. As I said when there set up and running right they put out a lot of carbon. Calcium carbide and water gives of acytelene gas, the carbon is a very dry soft soot.

    There arnt many parts to one of these. The stirker / sparker is 4 parts body set screw spring and wheel. A flint goes in it. I used the old flints from bic lighters or zippo flints, the nozzle orifice that on some were straight up other were 90*, I made some that were 45*. Orifice is .020 dia. A small filter under the orifice in the cap, a piece of cotton ball or cigerette filter works here. The body and a o-ring. Keep o rings on hand as when they wear they will leak and a flame comes thru usually right where a finger is. If the striker is bad It can be lit with a match or lighter.

    As far as I know calcium carbide can only be shipped by truck and in the open. Moisture in the air will interact enough to give of the gas. I bought mine at Camp Perry from champions choice on commercial row. It only takes a couple "rocks" and a few drops of water to make it work. To much and youll wait for the pressure to drop to be able to light it. The above was enough to smoke 3-4 rifle sights.

    Remember even when you put the flame out its still producing gas and putting it into the air. Moisture in the air can produce gas from the residue in it also.

    I went to a miners lamp for this and some other uses as it can hold more and the water flow is regulated making a more even controlled flame. These also work nice for smoking metal to be inletted. I still use the miners lamp on occasion. Its just a nicer flame and burns longer.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Carbide lamps are neat to play with, but be sure all your seals are in good shape before lighting......it's no fun to have flames emitting from the nozzle AND joints!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    For many years, used a carbide smoker for 'blacking' sights and, occasionally, as a substitute for Prussian Blue when fitting metal parts but never tried one for smoking a mold. IMO, carbon coating could be thick enough to cause dimensional variance. I rarely 'smoke' a mold but, when I necessary, a couple passes with an old-fashioned kitchen match gets the job done.

    Bill
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Buy a box of long fire place matches. They are long enough to smoke parts. burn a little hotter and are not that spendy.

    DEP

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I found if it wasn't removed from sights 2 things happened. 1) rust would form as the coating attracted moisture and held it. 2) after a couple applications elevation zeros started to change. A couple passes with a tooth brush each way removed it. Tjis is a thicker heavier coat of carbon than a match gives off. I have also blocked the air vents on a butane grill lighter and used it to smoke. Long stem and with the vents blocked a rich flame that gives a very fine even coat of soot. A small piece of tubing slid over the vent cuts works well. a loose fit can be pinched to provide the needed friction to hold it in place.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    Why waste $$ on carbide when all you need is ONE beeswax candle.......if you a mold smoker. NOT paraffin candles. Beeswax gives a nice soft thin build-up of smoke on your mold interior. And it will last you a lifetime and cost you only a buck or so.

    I used to by carbide for 10 cents a pound at my local Hy-Vee food store in Iowa when a kid. We still had coal mines in full operation in the town and miners used carbide lamps every day. Fun to play with. Fill balloons with 25% acetylene (from the carbide) and 75% air.....tie off with some home made string fuse and light the fuse! Makes for a good bang.

    Or just drop a couple hunks in an un-inflated balloon with water in it and tie off REALLY fast!

    Oh, for the "goode olde daze". Amazing I still have 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and a face.

    banger

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    A scrap yard here had a cutting torch that used a pressure pot with calcium carbide to provide the acetylene for the torch they only had to buy oxygon then. Claimed it was cheaper for cutting up scrap than bottled acetylene, the draw back was it seemed like when they got it going good customers stopped in and interrupted them. If I remember they used around a small coffee can full of carbide in the pot. ANd the water tank was an adjustable drip into the pot.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    those Gun Smoke carbide lamps can do funny things to plastic sight inserts.
    ..

  14. #14
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    leebuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beerd View Post
    those Gun Smoke carbide lamps can do funny things to plastic sight inserts.
    ..
    Yup good way to find plastic on your rifle. Lol. Omg. Never see them any more. Yes keep them joints tight! I wouldn't use them to smoke a mold, it isn't the same,, the smoke or carbon is thicker. Spit will work if you have no water.
    I smoke my sights with a bit of burning masking tape.
    Be well
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    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    Why waste $$ on carbide when all you need is ONE beeswax candle.......if you a mold smoker. NOT paraffin candles. Beeswax gives a nice soft thin build-up of smoke on your mold interior. And it will last you a lifetime and cost you only a buck or so.

    I used to by carbide for 10 cents a pound at my local Hy-Vee food store in Iowa when a kid. We still had coal mines in full operation in the town and miners used carbide lamps every day. Fun to play with. Fill balloons with 25% acetylene (from the carbide) and 75% air.....tie off with some home made string fuse and light the fuse! Makes for a good bang.

    Or just drop a couple hunks in an un-inflated balloon with water in it and tie off REALLY fast!

    Oh, for the "goode olde daze". Amazing I still have 10 fingers, 2 eyes, and a face.

    banger
    Yep, been there and done that! Growing up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky late 50's early 60's and carbide was still sold out of those big blue cans sitting on the oiled wooden floor of the local store catering to the miners of the time, yes a lot of those guys still used carbide lamps even then. As kids we would go in and buy a nickel's worth of carbide that was scooped out of the keg and into a small brown paper bag, a nickel bought quite a bunch of the stuff then and was enough for all kinds of mischief! I bet you too have been guilty of the coffee can trick where a hole was made in the can near the bottom with a few chunks of carbide placed in it, spit on the carbide, slap the lid down good and tight and stick a lit match to the hole -BOOM! We would compete to see who could blow their coffee can lid the farthest.

    Wow kids just don't know how to have fun these days but truth be known I probably would have had the big one if I had of caught my son doing something like that when he was that age.
    Statistics show that criminals commit fewer crimes after they have been shot

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    The last time I purchased calcium carbide it was in an outfitters store and was sold for use in lamps.

    The Hazmat fees and shipping make it difficult to obtain but here's reasonable source: https://cheapcarbide.com/

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    when I was a kid and we went to visit the grandparents to PA it was required we go into an old mine and do some mining of coal.
    they put carbide lamps on us and we went about 30 feet in and picked and shoveled where they told us to.

    came out blacker than the coal we got . Pictures showed our white eyes and teeth, everything else was black from head to toe.

    decided then and there I don't like closed in places with tons of dirt and stuff above me
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