As of right now, we'll only be building the miniature carbon arc light, and not the full-scale one that uses a car battery. Eventually I'll get around to posting two different designs I have used to easily control the gap between the two rods. In the meantime: Create! Instructableify! Make!
Tools to make the mini-light:
Other things that we'll need:
A battery (I used a lantern battery because I think that they have more current than smaller ones ((like AA's and D's)), but feel free to try!)
Some latex gloves so you don't get crap all over your hands
A rag for cleaning stuff up
Some insulated wire (nothing fancy here)
Some ZINC-CARBON OR ZINC CHLORIDE BATTERIES!!!111!!! We must NOT use ALKALINE batteries! Alkaline batteries are the ones that have lots of nasty manganese dioxide and other bad stuff. You'll find that Carbon-Zinc batteries are often marketed as "Heavy Duty." I used C batteries, but D's, AA's, and 9 volts are fine. Keep in mind that the size of the carbon rod contained in each of these batteries is different.
So for clarification:
We want this: Zinc Carbon
Not this: Alkaline