Acetylene generator info?

Helping a friend dispose of his brother's estate. brother was an accomplished machinist and benchrest rifle builder. One of the last things we need to get rid of is an old acetylene generator.
I have no idea what it is worth or who might be a prospective buyer for it. It's in the DFW area if anyone here is interested.
Suggestions?
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I would put it on ebay.
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Ignoramus7868 wrote:

thought about that, but saw no listings, either current or completed. And I'd like a little more info so I could write a decent listing.
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Any markings on it?
http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1094675718030600828aGyZle
Dave
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On Feb 6, 11:20am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/94673964cjPxoT
D
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Heck, I haven't even seen it. I ran across those same pics whist trying to find out what to expect.
He said it's about the size of a 55-gallon drum, which seems to gibe with those pictures.
So what were they used for?
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Generating acetylene gas for welding and cutting.
Prior to the acetone/sponge method of storing dissolved acetylene in cylinders, it was impractical to do so, because acetylene becomes explosively unstable at elevated pressures.
So, in order to use acetylene in the shop, it was generated (more or less) on-demand by those water-bath generators.
I remember my Dad working in a shop that had one. That was in the '60s, and still not everyone had switched to tanks.
(y'know... I've still never quite figured out what they do with that small volume of high-pressure acetylene between the acetone medium and the valve/regulator. Doesn't THAT exist at the dangerous pressure?)
LLoyd
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On Feb 6, 2:25pm, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

There was a lengthy discussion of that somewhere- I think an RCM thread here referred to a sci.welding thread where it was all laid out.
Had something to do with the pressure, size of the piping, heat dissipation, a lot of factors that went into it.
Dave
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On Feb 6, 3:03pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I do recall the thread had a warning to run like hell if your acetylene tank got hot or started making noise.
Dave
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On Feb 6, 2:03pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

This issue was discussed in SEJW over concerns about putting a splitter with two regulators on an acetylene tank. Link: http://tinyurl.com/auoh5u
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On Feb 6, 11:25am, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:> (y'know... I've still never quite figured out what they do with that

No, it's low pressure (maybe 80 psi?), which won't spontaneously explode. It also won't fit much into a gas bottle, thus the acetone/wick is used to increase capacity.
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wrote:

Be VERY carefull. Acetelene at over 15 PSIg is unstable. Pressure in the tank can be around 250 psig in an acetone solution. (which IS safe). If acetone is removed from an acetylene tank it can become very dangerouse - which is why acelylene cyls MUST be stored and used in an upright position only.
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Seems if transport on their sides is OK, so storage should be ok. Using them, they must be upright, as getting acetone into the gage and lines will damage them. And then you may have overpressure in the lines or torchhead.
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On Sun, 8 Feb 2009 00:30:56 -0800, "Calif Bill"

DOT regulations FORBID transport of disolved acetylene tanks in any position other than upright.
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Shop where I exchange bottles nevers says a thing about them laying down in the back of the truck. Must have the safety cap on, or they charge you on the empty and you can not swap with the new bottle.
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I saw these along the street in Port a Prince called "Little Detroit". They literally ran whole shops along the road, and packed up every night. The generator was the source of Acetylene gas for their torches.
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Acetylene generators were used all over America in years past. Where there was not natural gas piping, etc. Union Carbide got it's name from supplying the Calcium Carbide powder for the generators. Miners lamps were Acetylene fired.
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They were also used for residential lighting. I remember my aunt and uncle's farm house in Kansas still had the gas pipes coming out the walls. I remember my uncle and cousins hauling the old generator out of the cellar and dumping it. I remember all the white sludge in it. This was about 1940 and they still did not have electricity. My dad also worked in a couple of auto shops that used them for welding. Smaller versions were used for automobile headlamps and small lamps used by miners and cave explorers.
Don Young
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On Sat, 7 Feb 2009 17:26:28 -0800, "Calif Bill"

The first one I saw (in a welding shop ~1958) had been removed from a local church when electricity became available for lighting. The church elders were happy to be rid of this finicky, messy system, and the shop owner was quite happy to remove it and clean up the mess at no charge. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Sat, 07 Feb 2009 22:44:18 -0500, Gerald Miller

I suppose they are still handy if you do lots of welding and are waaaaay out in the wilderness - it has to be a lot easier and safer to ship in drums of calcium carbide than filled Acetylene welding bottles, if for no other reason than you don't have to send empty bottles back for refilling. The empty drums become raw materials.
Do a bit of searching, there are companies in India still selling the generators new.
The big problem as noted is the "care and feeding" of the generator. And knowing what we know now, putting an acetylene generator in the basement probably isn't the smartest thing to do... A shed out back might be far safer. A shed with an earthen berm all around it to send the blast energy up.
Of course, if you do that much welding you'll also need an Oxygen concentrator for the other necessary ingredient...
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