How to Make Calcium Carbide!




Building a carbide furnes.

for this project you will need

chipped lime
crushed charcoal
a carbon rod
a welder

when makeing carbide you dont want to use powdered lime as it will blow out of the furnes, you need some thing thats denser. your charcoal also should not be too fine or it will be blown out too.

you will also need a steel crucible to melt the lime in. I have noticed that if a cast iron pot is used, it can crack and if that happened with a full pot full of molten carbide.... I think you should get the point. the size of your carbon rod should be a certain size so that it will work correctly (i'll talk aabit more about this later when it comes to runnig your furnes, just remmber the size of the rod determines the size of the furnes. AMPS to size of rod.)

I haven't finished this project but, i am working on it! if it interested you iam sorry its not finished yet. if you would like to know more just ask away iin the comment section below.



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    15 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    yes they are the droids you are looking for. then we'ill use them 4 target practise as well.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    What is it exactly that is being made here ? I'm looking to build a simple small part out of carbide but of course can't machine the stuff so I'm trying to figure out how to mold it in a home based sintering process.....I think that's how it's done.

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You are wanting Tungsten Carbide, the "Carbide" he is speaking of here is Calcium Carbide.

    benner81El Mano

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Carbon rods for arc gouging are available from some welding supply houses.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I think you are about 110 years too late.

    A man named James Turner Morehead from Spray, North Carolina invented the carbide furnace around the turn of the century and patented the idea. Lucky for him he did because he founded Union Carbide, the largest producer of calcium carbide in the world.

    I've attached the drawing from Morehead's carbide furnace patent.

    My book, The Flight of the Hog Wild, is partially about prisoners of war during WWII in northern Korea who were forced by the Japanese to manufacture calcium carbide using a Union Carbide-type electric arc furnace. I bet the Japanese bought the rights from Union Carbide before the war.

    Here's a link to my book >>


    good idea, except if your using a carbon anode in a bath of molten lime and calcium oxide that electrode will last about 2 min's possibly some alloy might suffice, or scrap metal from a car exaust converter also what are you planning for the power supply circuit


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You can drown in water as well, if you are not careful. I've used/played with calcium carbide since I was a kid and for the next 50 years. Young people nowadays may be too stupid to use carbide but it served me well as a tool and a toy.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I will be makeing an "actual instructable" but iam working on it. I was told a slide show type thing would be the way to go. so dont get too antzy!