Lamp Repair

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Lamp Repair & Projects

STRESS CRACK REPAIR

Great information from R. Will Newman in Georgia

"I wanted to share something with you that I have found very useful while working on these old lamps.  As you know it is quite common to find stress cracks in the brass fonts and it is not always easy or feasible to solder them or use the two part epoxy putty (which works well on perfection heater fonts).

"I am in the heavy duty truck business and we frequently have old rusty and leaky tanks sent to the local radiator shop to be cleaned out and coated with a fuel tank sealer.  The fuel tank sealer is a thick red fluid ["Red Cote"] that you pour into a tank and roll it around to cover all of the inside and then pour out the excess.  It will dry in an hour and then a second coat is applied to "seal the deal".  It is impervious to diesel or gas and kerosene of course as well.

"I started with a well cracked brass font insert like are so common and I simply tape up the cracks from the outside.  Stress cracks only now, not big gaping ones!! 

[Remove all of the wick raising parts you can remove, especially wick sleeves.  Remember, the lamp fonts were made first then the wick raising parts installed.  Hence, all of the parts inside the tank CAN BE removed from the font. Note also that the tank MUST BE clean and dry.  The tank can be cleaned with a hot soak in citric acid bath, rinsed with gasoline and then cleaned with acetone, and with any method used must then be thoroughly air dried PRIOR TO adding the Red Cote to the inside of the tank. Miles]


"Pour in the sealant and turn the fount on its side and roll it around to coat the inside.  Care must be taken to keep the sealant off of the center drat tube as much as possible, but it is not critical as this sealant dries very thin and dry not sticky.

"Pour the excess back into the container and then a couple of hours later, do it all again.  You can simply wipe the sealant from the threads and acetone will also clean it.  A gallon is about $60 and you can buy it on line.  That much is a lifetime supply for a lamp guy!" 

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EASY SOLDERING REPAIR

Sometimes it is necessary to effect simple lamp repairs just to get an old lamp back into working condition.  The first example will be a Lampe Florentine.

At right is a 3-wick Lampe Florentine.  These lamps were made and used for most of the 1800's in the Pyrenees Mountains in both France and Spain.  They were used concurrently with Argand lamps, mostly in rural areas.  The fuel they require is almost any heavy oil such as olive oil, canola oil, sunflower or walnut oil.  The wicks are 1/4'' diameter cotton wicks, but many vegetable fibers can be twisted together and used.  Light outout is not great but is sufficient for area lighting.  The very simplicity of wicks and versatility of fuel requirements meant the Lampe Florentine could be used without any outside supplies needed - a distinct advantage in very remote villages in the 1800's.

The photo above shows the missing post in the font.  Not only would fuel pour out but the font itself is not stable.  I had to use brass, of course, to make a new post.  Measurements showed that a .30-06 cartridge case would fit fine.  The case was trimmed right at the shoulder using a Dremel tool with tiny cutoff wheel.  The photo above right shows there was still too much space between the cartridge case and the font. 

I used an old Lyman 310 Tong Tool and a .44 Special expander to put a bell/flare on the top of the case.  The second photo above shows there is still room around the cartridge case for solder, and the 3rd photo shows the bell or flare fits perfectly into the bottom of the font. The photo above, far right, shows the cartridge case with the head trimmed off and soldered into the font.  The case has enough height above the font so fuel can be poured in without spilling and the case fits tightly enough to the rod  to keep the font stable.

The repairs worked!  At right is the Lamp Florentine burning brightly for perhaps the first time in a century.

Wooden stands and wood lathe projects

Many store lamps have a wick lift rod which extends beneath the drip cup.  An elevated wood stand solves that problem when using a store lamp as a table lamp.  Other types of lamps can also benefit from a wooden stand.  If you have a wood lathe or have a friend with one, these projects are simple elementary wood turning.

I made the base above for a 30''' Central Vulcan lamp because a hot-rod lamp like a Vulcan projects a lot of heat downward through the draft tube.  That can be hard on a nice wooden table, but a lamp stand solves that problem.

The two lamp stands at right were trials to see what they would look like.  The  Rochester store lamp on the left is sitting on a very ugly stand.  That one was discarded. 

The Imperial lamp on the right has a thick post-type font.  I made that stand simply by holding a chunk of cedar firewood  to a belt sander and grinding it down.  It looks pretty good, not as pretty as a lathe-turned base but not bad. 

Wick sleeve cleaners

These wick sleeve cleaners were lathe turned from broken hardwood tool handles and can be used to clean and polish the inside of wick sleeves so the sleeves slide up and down the draft tube smoothly.

Soldering Stress Cracks in oil pots

   

 

 

 

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Lamp Wicks:

Center Draft Wicks - Wicks available only from this Wick Shop. #0L, #1B, #1M, #1R, #2L, #2R, #2 P&A, #2B, #3L.

Flat lamp wicks and

Kosmos Lamp Wicks

Aladdin Lamp Wicks & parts

Lamp Chimneys:

Center Draft Lamp chimneys in borosilicate glass from Junior "Tiny" to Mammoth lamps.  #0M, Rayo Jr., 2 1/2", 2 5/8", 2 15/16", 3 1/8", 4", 4 1/2"

Standard glass lamp chimneys & Kosmos chimneys

Globe Vulcan (Central Vulcan) Chimneys - 18''', 24''' & 30'''

Fabulous "Sans Rival" borosilicate chimney for 14''' Kosmos lamps

Student Lamp Sans Rival Chimney with 1 7/8" fitter!!!

Angle Lamp chimneys

Sonnenbrenner Lamp Chimneys

Lamp Chimneys - Dimension of nominal base diameter by make, model and "line".

Information on lamps:

Aladdin Lamp History

Aladdin Lamp Wicks & Chimneys,

Aladdin - Exploded burner views

Beginning Lamp Restoration

Center Draft Kerosene Lamps
(Photos, information and history, etc)

Center Draft Lamp manufacturers and brand names

Kosmos-Brenner lamps

Photos of restored center draft lamps 

Victorian Era Student Lamps

USE, CARE and WICKING of CENTER DRAFT LAMPS

Early American Metal Font & Specialty Lamps

Flame Spreaders and "Smoke Consumers" from Alex Marrack

  • Vulcan, Imperial, Veritas, Belgian, Hinks, Messenger's, Young's Court, etc.

    Articles by Alex Marrack:

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Kindler Wicking For Oil Stoves & Ranges

Kerosene Heaters

Alphabetical list of most kerosene heaters and the proper wick, & cart checkout.

List by wick number and the heaters that fit them. (A helpful guide for buying on eBay)

Measurements needed if you have an unlisted heater.

Care and Maintenance of Kerosene Heater Wicks

Installing Kerosene Heater Wicks - generic for unpinned wicks

Owner's_Manuals & information for many kerosene heaters

Kerosene Heaters - General types, how they work, recommendations for some good ones - and those I would avoid.

Economic Benefits of Kerosene Heaters

Kerosene Heater Safety

Regular maintenance   

Troubleshooting kerosene heater common problems

Breaking In New Kerosene Appliances

Burning Kerosene Heaters at Night

WATER IN KEROSENE causing "dwindling" and poor performance.

Flame Spreader Heaters and Lamps -
A Century of Excellence

Kerosene Heater Carts -
why carry your heater around?

Kerosene Fuel Primer 

Sweet Smelling Kerosene

Kerosene tank cradles (photo) Building a Cradle

HALLER "ORIGINEEL" STOVES

KEROSENE HEATERS MADE IN THE NETHERLANDS

Beatrice Boiling Stoves & Mini kerosene heaters you can make

Sad Iron stoves; Wicks & Installation instructions

Wicking For Oil Burning "WICKLESS" Stoves & Ranges

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Kerosene Stoves, Lanterns and Ovens

Kerosene Stoves -

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Kerosene Stove Maintenance and Storage
  


Butterfly A-822, 22 wick
, all-aluminum premium stove.   

Butterfly #2487, 16 wick stove Butterfly #2412 Pressure Stove; instructions for virtually any pressure stove.

Butterfly #2418 Double Burner Stove; good with any gravity flow stove.

Butterfly #2421 Oven for Kerosene Stoves

Butterfly #2641, 10 Wick Stove -
the least expensive emergency stove.

Butterfly #2698 Cook Stove -

THE Best Heavy Duty Cook Stove.

 
Butterfly #828R Pressure Lantern;
same for most pressure lanterns.

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