I have an old acetylene generator, but not sure how I should go about restoring it. The upper portion houses the water valve and fill cap, and there is some loose rust inside. The lower part has the basket for the calcium carbide and pail for the water. How can I clean inside the top portion? Should there be a gasket seal between the two halves? There is a removable steel plate in the top part, held on with 2 small nuts. What is that for?
So it looks like you have a Jno Brown generator. As much as you can clean the water tank out do so. If you have a shop vac you can find a small flexible hose and connect it to the vacuum to remove those pieces you can't get out. If you want to do a dandy job on it you can use some rust away found at harbor freight, pour it in your tank and let it sit or if you're really cheap fill with white vinegar and let it sit several days. Then flush it with water. I then use Red Kote to seal the water tank. You will need to do this in three parts. First the inside bottom, 2nd the sides & 3rd the top. The reason I do it this way is so the fixture that the water valve screws into doesn't get covered. Red Kote is easy to work with and really give you a semi flexible membrane. I use it in the bottom tank also. It's much easier to brush it on there. I don't know if they make a rubber gasket for the tanks but they are easy enough to make. The galvanized plate held on by the 2 nuts helps to hold the gasket in place. Be very careful removing them because they will break off and you'll have another repair to make. If you have a good basket I'd Red Kote those two items too. It helps keep them from rusting or at least that's my experience. I noticed that your carbide gas tank has some cancer on the mounting plate. Be sure that it hasn't effected the integrity of the carbide gas tank. As you can image you don't want a gas leak around any flame. Good luck.
Thanks, John. The bottom has some rust holes, so I'l have to figure a way to seal it.