IF STUPID WERE MONEY THEY'D BE RICH BEYOND BELIEF!

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,091
Way back when in Alabama, I used to be a caver. We used good ole Justrite Carbide Headlamps on our hard hats. The reflector had a striker similar to a Zippo lighter on the edge of it and to light the burner nozzle you cupped your hand over the parabolic reflector and let some gas build-up under your hand. Then in a quick motion and using the heel of your hand to rotate the striker wheel and throw a spark it would light. If done just right you could get a pretty darn good BOOM out of it. Used to drive the bats batty. I always wanted that carbide cannon they always had for sale in the back of comic books. They actually still make them.
 

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Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,723
I always wanted that carbide cannon they always had for sale in the back of comic books. They actually still make them.
A friend had one. Add a little water, wait a few seconds then hit the striker and BOOM. Thought that stuff was called "Bangsite".
 

ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
1,133
I have one unopened metal can of Calcium Carbide left. It was old stock when I got it 50 years ago.
I had a plastic submarine that ran on batteries. It ran around on the water in a bath tub. Add one piece of Carbide inside the sub. I drilled a hole in the bottom so it would slowly fill with water and dive to the bottom. Then the water in the sub would react with the CaC2 to make acetylene gas, that pushed the water out, and the sub would surface again. Great fun.

You know we also launched tin can into the air with the acetylene gas.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,344
As a teenager we used to use the carbide for the lamps and a empty paint can. Put a small hole in the bottom of the can, a little water in the can and a little carbide. Fasten on the lid and wait until the acetylene started to come out of the bottom hole, and light. Big boom. And Acetylene is the correct term for the gas that carbide and water makes.

One day we found a steel 5 gallon bucket that was both clean and empty. Did the same with it, but also bent the tabs down on the lid to really seal it. When lit it totaly flattened out the can and blew both ends out. Couldn't hear for quite a while too. Wonder how I ever lived to the age I am now.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,344
I drilled a hole in the bottom so it would slowly fill with water and dive to the bottom. Then the water in the sub would react with the CaC2 to make acetylene gas, that pushed the water out, and the sub would surface again. Great fun.
We also did something similar. Put a hand full of carbide in a mason jar, with a couple of holes in the lid and a hand full of gravel for weight. Throw it in to a lake, it would sink and a little while later it would explode and shoot a gush of water up looked like in the war movies when they used depth charges.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,091
Carbide am fun but stanks. It was better than the homemade black powder we tried to make. The sulfide gas would get in our eyes and combine with the tears to make sulphuric acid. Eyes would burn for days after.
 
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SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,091
A friend had one. Add a little water, wait a few seconds then hit the striker and BOOM. Thought that stuff was called "Bangsite".
That was the trade name for the carbide pellets you had to buy to use in the cannon. Don't know if you could just use the granular carbide. Carbide came in a couple of gravel sizes. The bigger stuff was for the old Acetylene generators used in the antique Oxy-Acetylene torch rigs. The smaller gravel was for lamps. We bought it in bulk by the pound from the hardware store. They had it in a big galvanized can that resembled the old galvanized 3-5 gallon Igloo water cooler with a tight seal. Probably a 50lb. can. Can't remember what we paid but it was a whole lot less than the small cans they had on the shelves.
 

Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,723
I have one unopened metal can of Calcium Carbide left. It was old stock when I got it 50 years ago.
I had a plastic submarine that ran on batteries. It ran around on the water in a bath tub. Add one piece of Carbide inside the sub. I drilled a hole in the bottom so it would slowly fill with water and dive to the bottom. Then the water in the sub would react with the CaC2 to make acetylene gas, that pushed the water out, and the sub would surface again. Great fun.

You know we also launched tin can into the air with the acetylene gas.
Had a submarine toy that you put a pellet into it and then dropped it into the pool. It would sink nose heavy, sail forward and downward to the bottom of the pool. Minutes later it would rise off the bottom and come back to the surface. If you didn't retrieve it quick enough it would sink again.

True to the title of this thread, I'd be one rich son of a biscuit-eater. We took a 25 gallon steel drum with a 3/4 inch bong and a 2 inch bong (plug). Little of that Bangsite and water and then shot a lit match into the 2 inch opening. Got one hell of a jet of hot, blue gasses out of both bongs. Best friend and I were less than 18 inches away from the barrel when it went WOOOOOOOOOSH! We thought that was so cool we wanted to do it again and again. The problem was getting fresh air into the barrel. We'd blow and blow and blow till we both nearly passed out.

Built a supercharger for my mini-bike out of an automotive exhaust air injector pump. It ran. We swore it was faster, but we lacked the skill to test both scenario's; without and with the charger. It probably didn't go any faster, just felt like it. You know, like when you waxed your car it seemed to drive better?!

What fun it was being dumb and experimental. More "Mental" than "Experi".

Wonder how I ever lived to the age I am now.
I've wondered the same thing about myself. 140 MPH on Highway 60 in So. Cal. with surfboards on the roof. I don't know who would qualify as "King of the dumb" but I know I'd be up there in contention for the honor.
 

ci139

Joined Jul 11, 2016
1,696
decades ago , back in "good old" CCCP times , i went , yet another time , to my classmates place and he got a surprise for me - a dynamite - he lit it and waited me to react (with a big smile on his face) . . . well i calmly waited to see if he is so stupid to blow himself up . . . unfortunately he wasn't (the fuse didn't want to go off by the spit-wet fingers so he had to plug it off)

there was a nice descending road near our summer place ... they put a new coating on it one day -- an ideal to test how fast my bicycle can go . . . well it went quite fast -- the only problem was the descent had a L (90°) turn at it's foot -- something i forgot to take into account . . . there were tracks going straight , but at that speed the road formed the ramp to it . . . well -- 15m at the air , pile of bike parts and a breath holding record (felt like 5 minutes but it must have been less)
 
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Thread Starter

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
5,723
i calmly waited to see if he is so stupid to blow himself up . . . unfortunately he wasn't
Unfortunately that's often the case. God protecting the stupid from themselves. In that vein, God has kept a close eye on me when I was young and VERY dumb. Though I never took a skateboard or hand railing to the groin. Though one afternoon I do recall being dared to ride straight down the side of the concrete wash in the San Gabriel Riverbed. The stupid handlebars were not tight. As I shot down the side and found myself hurtling toward the center where the water was flowing, unable to stop I decided to abandon the bike. Leaping up from the pedals and shoving the handlebars forward I expected - I said "Expected" the bike to be pushed completely out from under me. The darn handlebars half swept forward, leaving me to land on the unprotected knobby back tire. As I came down with all my weight (140 lbs.) I was shoved forward into the hand brake. God must have been napping that day and time. At least I didn't go into the river.
 

ci139

Joined Jul 11, 2016
1,696
i have pulled the branch 3 times off my eye when biking in a "bush" (well such involves crabbing this branch and using it as a handbrake to keep the branch from going into your brain)

i have had a leg cramp 3 times while swimming over "unknown" lake . . . well -- it turned out when you propel the water down hands aside the hips . . . it's not that exhausting to rest or move around (towards the shore for example ?)
. . . interestingly there is no any youtube example of such ???
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,344
a dynamite - he lit it and waited me to react (with a big smile on his face) . . . well i calmly waited to see if he is so stupid to blow himself up . . . unfortunately he wasn't
He probably didn't have a blasting cap in it, and he knew it wouldn't blow up. Dynamite without a blasting cap or knotted detonation cord around it will actually burn in a fire. Not blow up.
 
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