At moment I wouldn't buy from eBay or any other Ethernet E-Commercei'd advise buying one off the likes of ebay they rock up occasionaly, tbh i wouldnt't put much effort into makeing something not wishing to rain on your parade but it really is a crap prosess, and welderburn central if you do have a go don't show it any skin
I have not a forgeI get why you'd consider it if you want to avoid bottle rental / risks, but really have to agree with dannyp ^
It's what I am thinking to do if I achieve to make one , use it to help bending steel (32mm rounds)Some of the carbon arc torches that were on sale years ago were rather poorly constructed, and fitted with thin leads that got very hot very quickly. I had one in which the sliding movement was nice and smooth when cold, but became very sticky and jerky when warm, so it was difficult to adjust the arc gap accurately. (Actually, I still own that one, but lent it to a friend many years ago. Every so often he reminds me that it is still somewhere in his garage, and I tell him not to waste too much time searching for it.)
I used to use the carbon arc torch to heat steel for bending or to release rusted nuts, because it was much faster, cheaper and more effective than a little propane blow torch; nowadays I rarely work with thick material, and can heat most things with a MAPP gas torch.
It is possible to do fusion welding of steel with just a single carbon in the electrode holder, but I never managed to achieve a tidy looking weld. Maybe I was using the wrong flux.
I have a photo of Mike Cannon competing in WKE 555. I bought it as a box of bits in 1972 & ran it until 1986. I’ll have to see if I can get a reasonable copy of it & send it to you. The car is still running, now with a 1500 Ford engine, when I had it I fitted a 1098 BMC engine with an MG1100 head & 1/12 SU on it. It was so light it was the fastest accelerating thing I’d ever been in, it must be frightening with a 1500Had one years ago (made by Kel-Arc?), like your good self, just couldn't get on with it, gifted it to Mike Cannon the trials car man, I don't think he ever had much success with it either.