I Swear I'm Not Steampunk
October 15, 2008 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a new carbide bike lantern for cheap, or how hard would it be to build one?

I recently read about carbide lamps and I found them fascinating enough to consider buying one for my bike. Most of the stuff on eBay is old stock, expensive, and ill-suited to my purpose-- more collectors items than anything else.

I found one company that sells the things, JK Dey and Sons, but they're in India, don't seem to have an importer in the US, and haven't responded to my e-mails.

So barring divine AskMe intervention, I might be SOL in the retail sector, which brings me to the backup question: How might I go about building one of these lanterns? I think I can get old plans from the patent library, but I don't have much in the way of power or machine tools. Is it still possible to construct one with, say, soup cans, rubber gaskets, and used lab equipment?
posted by The White Hat to Shopping (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think Lehman's imports Indian-made carbide lamps. On backorder, natch.
posted by pullayup at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I found a spot here that has some sources of them, particularly for cavers.
posted by jquinby at 7:36 PM on October 15, 2008

I'd be a bit careful trying to make one, considering it's a small pressure vessel containing flammable gas ...
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:36 PM on October 15, 2008

Try eBay? There are over a hunded currently listed, including one NOS.
posted by X4ster at 8:48 PM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: Fair warning: If you live in London or Boston you'll get shot in the head for having this thing.
posted by The Monkey at 11:07 PM on October 15, 2008

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