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Preparing Calcium Carbide


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  • 6 months later...

In my mis-spent youth I purchased a small can of calcium carbide at the hardware that consisted of small (say 1/4") chunks that could be used in a miner's lamp. I took a used 1-gal paint can (and lid) and punched a hole with a large screwdriver in the center of the bottom of the can. Next I placed a few chunks in bottom (at 'corner') and spit on the chunks until it fizzed. Keeping can horizontal, I slapped on the lid--hand pressure only--waited 30 seconds and held a lit match on a long wire to the hole in the bottom. The lid flew off with a boom as loud as a cherry bomb. (BTW spit works better than water----hmmmm.) Voila, a homemade noise cannon. Doesn't hurt the can, either (and it kicks the can about 1/2" ---the lid flies about 6 feet) so it's reuseable. Smaller paint cans are less noisy, but still loud enough to disturb. We did ours at the family farm so not to bother anyone.

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  • 3 months later...
In my mis-spent youth I purchased a small can of calcium carbide at the hardware that consisted of small (say 1/4") chunks that could be used in a miner's lamp. I took a used 1-gal paint can (and lid) and punched a hole with a large screwdriver in the center of the bottom of the can. Next I placed a few chunks in bottom (at 'corner') and spit on the chunks until it fizzed. Keeping can horizontal, I slapped on the lid--hand pressure only--waited 30 seconds and held a lit match on a long wire to the hole in the bottom. The lid flew off with a boom as loud as a cherry bomb. (BTW spit works better than water----hmmmm.) Voila, a homemade noise cannon. Doesn't hurt the can, either (and it kicks the can about 1/2" ---the lid flies about 6 feet) so it's reuseable. Smaller paint cans are less noisy, but still loud enough to disturb. We did ours at the family farm so not to bother anyone.

 

My father told a story of doing the above out back of a dairy in the neighborhood using old stored 10-gallon milk cans. They hammered the covers on tight, created enormous explosions, throwing the covers many hundreds of feet. Dangerous activity- that's why it was fun!! imp

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