Thursday, December 17, 2009

Looking for friends?

Are you sitting home lonely because nobody ever emails you?

Heres what you do, buy something from Harry and David. Heck maybe you should just do that anyway, Moose Munch is tasty but when you do be prepared for the DELUGE of emails Harry and David is gonna send you. 2-3 a day is not unusual, you'll be reminded that Christmas is "just around the corner" and they'll tell you about all the good crap they've got that you might want to buy...

On second thought you could order from Figi's, its cheaper, the shipping is faster and they don't send you a stack of emails...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

190D Adventure!

Red 1984 190D 173,000 miles, dead engine and its mine. $250 because the timing chain broke and the engine might be garbage. It might be rebuildable but it might be garbage.
Originally this was to be a parts car for my other 190D. This car is pretty much rust free and mine isn't so I figured a couple body parts, the diff, the electromagnetic fan clutch and some interior bits. Maybe sell a couple bits to recoup my costs and off to the scrapper.

On second look though this is way too nice a car to do that to... It turns out replacement engines are pretty easy to obtain at reasonable cost so I need to talk to my mechanic and see if he's hip to swapping engines or knows somebody who is. This could become a nice driver.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Yes another one... This is a Coleman 242 (ahh, theres a letter but I can't remember right now, "C"?) 1949 I think, I forget...
Yeah its not supposed to be blue, the fount is nickle underneath. I have no idea why somebody would paint a nickle fount blue... Originally I was looking for a fount to replace the bent one on my 249. It turns out that won't work since the 242 uses a narrower hole in the top. The guy who had offered to sell me a fount also had some 242 lanterns and for $15 I couldn't pass one up. The $15 apparently goes to support the International Coleman Collectors Club which is a good cause too.

I *think* the blue paint will come off and I hope to be able to shine this one up. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coleman 249 Scout

I don't remember if I've written about the Scout before. I bought it on eBay back last summer some time. I'd had a bunch of trouble with it because the generator was bent and would leak at its base. I finally sucked up the $20 price tag and bought a replacement. With the replacement and a #24a Peerless (Coleman #99 equivalent) mantle it lights up like a CHAMP!
This is a kerosene 350cp lantern. Kerosene lanterns are fun because you have to preheat the generator to get them to light. If you don't preheat you get liquid Kerosene and big flames (been there, done that!) So you fill the preheat cup with denatured alcohol and let that burn which preheats the generator. As the flames are just about to go out you crank open the valve, kerosene vapor heads into the mantle and you get light.

My lantern takes about 5 minutes to get lit but the results are great, 350 cp is about like a 60 watt bulb so its plenty to comfortably read by. The best thing is that this lantern makes very little smell. I had it burning in the living room yesterday for a couple hours and while I could definitely smell it the smell wasn't objectionable. In the winter its nice to burn inside because of the heat, think small electric space heater and you get an idea how much heat this throws.

Now I just need a contact with a fuel distributor so I can get road taxed, undyed kerosene. I want it without dye because the dye will gum up the generator. To get kerosene without dye you need to pay road tax. I'm okay with that, the gallon of kero I have came from the hardware store and was (I think) $12. If I could get kero with the road tax for $5 (which would be a considerable premium considering diesel fuel is under $3/gal) I'd be pleased...

My Wenzel lantern is also kerosene, it'll be interesting to see how it does. I'm waiting on parts, apparently they've shipped so I expect to be able to play with it this weekend.


Spent a little time today going through all my posts and adding tags for them, this will help in searching out specific posts or threads of posts. Thus if you see a tag at the bottom of a lantern post that says "lantern" you can click on it and get all the lantern posts I've made. Coleman stuff? Click on Coleman. Some I've even made more granular like "Coleman 202".


This also got me reading some of my older posts. Expect a few "then and now" type posts in the near future.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Doctor visit

Got to go to the doctor again today, oh joy, oh rapture!
Satire aside I explained how the naproxin he'd put me on made me feel worse. He figures this means my problem is actually stomach related which is handy because I'd decided the other day that food seems to have an effect on "the pain". So he's got me taking an acid blocker (think Prilosec but prescription only) for the next 10 days. If that helps then he'll have a look in my belly and find out whats going on. Thats a fun prospect huh?

So its always interesting here in sick-ville.

The thing is I don't really feel sick. I go to work, I go home, I slowly take the dog for a walk...
Then sometimes, WHAM. Like the other day I figured I'd work on my lawnmower but "the pain" stepped up and laid the hurt on me.
Some days are good though, Saturday Angie and I took Buster for a walk, full speed, long distance, no problems...
Sure would love to get it figured out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 stoves

Did I ever mention I have 4 stoves now?
#1 is the Coleman 425 I got from my grandmother
#2 is the Coleman 413 I got from Angie's grandfather
#3 is the Coleman 502 I bought on Craigslist
#4 is the Prepo I got from my grandmother.Its my only propane stove and as most propane stoves are pretty soulless and since stoves take up a lot of space it'll probably stay my only stove...
It is, like my Wenzel, pretty cheaply made. The case is just stamped steel welded at the edges. It uses a piano type hinge for the lid which was probably an off the shelf item.
Propane comes from little 6oz cans which are no longer available. Thats going to be a problem. One of the reasons I wanted this stove is because I hate using liquid fuel stoves in the house. For camping they're the bomb but in the house they smell. Propane is basically odorless so its a nice alternative when the power is out. This is also why I like kerosene lanterns, my 249 is mostly odorless too.

So since the small propane cans are no longer available I'm planning to rig up a way to run this with today's larger cans. Theres 2 ways to go about that:
#1. Adapt a valve system from a newer stove to go to this stove's burners. The problem with this idea is that theres no valve for the right side burner, just the valve on the can. Most newer propane stoves have 2 burner controls.

#2. Adapt from the newer type propane bottle to the older type mount. I like this one because if I were really clever I could hide some of the conversion parts inside an old can. The problem here is making sure my fabrication skills are up to the job. Propane is a high-pressure fuel so care is called for. This is not something that can be bodgered together with tape...

Another problem is that the hinge had rusted (okay it got painted when I was a kid...) and wasn't working and at some point the case had torn some where the hinge mounts. So thats got to get welded or brazed or whatever back together. Then the whole thing needs to be stripped and repainted so I'll need to remake the Prepo sticker in the lid. Its a pretty simple design so I'm hopeful its something I can accomplish...

And 7...

I just can't stop myself. Last Monday I bought a Wenzel 1887 lantern. I haven't got a pic yet but its a Petromax type lantern (Butterfly and Brite-lyt are other brands). Found it on Craigslist for $35.
The Wenzel is a Chinese made copy of a German design.
A 600cp (candle power) kerosene burning monster the Petromax design provides two methods for preheat, theres an alcohol cup just like Coleman used but theres also a crazy blowtorch arrangement that shoots fire at the generator...

This lantern was made on the cheap and the pump is TERRIBLE. Plus you need a LOT of pressure to make the blowtorch work so its a huge hassle to get the thing running. The pump leather is thin so it doesn't make a great seal and if you push too fast the air slips by...
Brite-Lyt has 2 solutions for that, one is an updated pump which uses an o-ring arrangement, the other is a schrader valve so you can use a regular tire pump. I ordered both. Figure the schrader valve is better because I can use a bigger volume pump (or electric compressor) but the pump will be good if we're out camping with no other pump available.

The glass is broken and I guess this is a common problem with Wenzel lanterns which were, as I mentioned before, made on the cheap. Brite-lyt makes some big claims about their glass so I grabbed one.

Finally I don't have any 500cp mantles, my 249 is the brightest single mantle lantern I had before this so I tried one of my Peerless 24A mantles, it worked okay but was clearly too small. I ordered some of the Brite-lyt mantles but probably should have waited, the online guys say they're junk. I need to call Leacock Coleman and order some more #24A mantles anyway as I want to try one in a 200A, they carry a #111 that should work well.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

200A complete!

Remember this sad little lantern?
Heres a closer look:

In case you'd forgotten I found it on the wall in my grandmother's garage. Dad says my grandfather bought it, my AGM 2572 and two stoves (my 425E and Prepo) from a friend of his and that none of the stuff was used much after he bought it.
Last summer I went up for a visit and grabbed the lanterns and then went crazy and ground all the paint off this one. Then spent HOURS sanding and painting, sanding and painting etc. Finally got it all painted up and assembled and it wouldn't burn right... Spent HOURS figuring that out, bought a parts lantern even and finally got it burning correctly so tonight I put the Coleman sticker on.

So its done and hangs in a place of honor... Well actually it doesn't. Right now its sitting on the workbench, you see I've got this 249 that has a bail from a 200A and I'm trading a guy for a proper shaped bail and I wanted to send him the nicest one I have which was currently installed on this lantern... I'll clean up the one thats currently on the 200A to put on here...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rumors of my demise

"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" - Mark Twain

I had another doctor's appointment yesterday. Ostensibly this was a "checkup" but in reality it was "what did the stress test reveal?" and the answer there is nothing...
So basically my heart is fine, something else is wrong. He gave me some big words that boil down to "inflammation and pain" whoop-dee doo doc, print that one on your sign. So he put me on naproxin which is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. If that helps (ie the pain gets better) it means that I've got a muscle strain somewhere. If it doesn't I dunno...

He also changed out my blood pressure medication. I was well pleased with that as Metaprolo knocks the wind out of me. I was needing naps basically every day which is just out of control... The new pill is just a dieuretic and shouldn't bug me so bad, plus I only have to take it once a day so I'm much less likely to forget...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How freecycle SHOULD work.

Angie and I got a new bed a couple months ago. The old mattress and box spring moved into the guest room and the guest room mattress went to camp. That left us with the guest room box spring... We'd procrastinated about getting a dump permit for awhile when it occured to me that as nothing was wrong with the thing why not try freecycle.
I did and yesterday a guy came and got it. He said his daughter's box spring broke and she was glad to have a replacement. Terrific, I was glad to get it out of the house and glad to not send it to the landfill when there was really nothing wrong with it.


About a month and a half ago I started having strange tightness in my chest during *ahem* "amorous encounters"... It didn't happen every time and went away quickly so I ignored it.
Then about a month ago I was out cutting wood and felt the same tightness. Over the next couple weeks it happened more and more frequently until I got to the point where I really couldn't exert myself without pain.
I got in to see the doc (when I explained the pain his receptionist FREAKED) who put me on a blood pressure pill (which I needed anyway) and sent me for tests. Blood work and a chest x-ray didn't show anything (except high-ish cholesterol) so I got a stress test which also apparently didn't show anything.
At this point I've ruled out my heart. I'm pretty much too young for heart disease and all the heart related tests are negative. Several people have suggested pleurisy which is an inflammation of the pleura which is the lining between your lungs and chest wall. Everything I've read makes it sound just like what I've got.

Which of course means I've got Elbonian sheep flu...

And then there were 6

I'd been thinking of getting another lantern for awhile now and Sunday when Angie and I took Buster for a walk I decided it was time. Around the corner from our house theres an antique/junk store called "The Barn" where I'd seen a couple Coleman 200As hanging out. We stopped in and they were still there just as I remembered. One had a safe on the bottom with a wrench and a pair of new mantles. Unfortunately that one had a brown fuel cap (probably from a Coleman 275, AKA "the turd") and a wing nut for a vent nut. The other had a proper 3 piece fuel cap and nut and as Angie noticed an old school sandblasted globe like my 202 has. They were marked at $15 each so I took the one with the sandblasted globe inside and asked if he'd take $12. He said yes pretty quickly which makes me think I should have asked for $10 but whatever, its a niceish lantern.

I got it home and drained out nearly a quart of disgusting smelling, but surprisingly clear whitegas. The vent is dirty but doesn't appear to have any scratches or dings. The fount is dent free with decent paint thats only scratched off in a few places. The fuel cap needs a gasket of course but surprisingly the pump works perfectly...
The generator had a 1/16" of carbon right at the nozzle, which probably explains why it wouldn't light with more than a dim glow (of course I tried it).
I've disassembled the whole thing and the found is sitting with BBs and vinegar. It was basically clean except for the filler hole which had some fairly serious rust buildup.

I tried the fuel & air tube from this lantern on my Grandfather's 200A which FINALLY got that lantern working correctly. So my theory that the FA tube was the problem there turns out to be correct. I'll need to order another FA tube. While I'm at it I should order a new generator ($20, gasp) for my 249. I'm trolling eBay for a new fount for that one. The old one is bent, I dunno if I did it when I took it apart or if it came that way but, who cares, its bent...

Friday, October 16, 2009


Didn't mean to neglect posting for so long, things have been busy.
Since my last posting Angie and I camped at Burlingame State campground in RI, that was the same weekend as the annual "ChowdaQ" Mercedes enthusiasts gathering. I took the 202 and the AGM 2572 with us and they worked out great.

We had more light than anybody...
We stayed in a yurt which was okay but nothing I'd write home about
When they say "rustic" they mean it, theres the yurt, the platform its on, the door and nothing else... The quarter operated showers nearby were warm and relatively clean... Apparently the cabins in the park have actual bunks and are more comfortable.

The ChowdaQ was great, as usual the weather was lousy but we had a good group: 6 cars

6 cars and about 10 people, about the same as last year. I did burgers, dogs and sausages on the grill with peppers, onions, mushrooms and bacon fried up on my Coleman 413E which worked out really well.
We took the 190D down because the throttle was sticky on the 240D, that turned out to be the throttle shock. I wish we'd been able to take the 240D its got more space, we were pretty well crammed into the 190D...

Anyway, first snow of the winter was today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Eric's bachelor party was last weekend. We went whitewater rafting on the Deerfield river. We did the Monroe dam section which includes class 2, 3 and 4 rapids. It was AWESOME. For the second half of the ride I was the "bow bitch" which means I kneeled in the very bow of the raft and got slammed around by the water. Amazing...

Anyway we camped Friday and Saturday nights at the Barton Cove campground. I brought the Coleman 425E stove that Angie's grandfather gave me, the AGM 2572 lantern that was my grandfather's and my $5 Coleman 202 lantern.
Everything worked great. I burned both lanterns quite a bit and found that we would have done just as well by having only one lantern, the second was excessive. The AGM is slightly brighter but in some cases is TOO bright... I need to buy one of the quart bottles of white gas, the full gallon cans are decidedly unhandy for pouring, I end up spilling a lot...

I did have one time where I tried to start the AGM too quickly and got fuel dripping from the mantles, that caused BIG fire. Fortunately nobody (especially me) got real excited...
One guy brought a 2 burner propane stove but after seeing the heat my 425E could put out nobody was all that interested...

Here's my AGM 2572 in action at home on one of my proving runs before taking it on the trip with us:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coleman 202 video

Got my 202 video up this morning, as much as I thought it was "big flames" I've not see clips from other people lighting videos that have way more...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The 202 lives!

Got the 202 lit today. Took some fiddling... I'd ordered a new generator which arrived Thursday but I didn't have any time to mess with it until today. So I threw it all back together, these are pretty simple lanterns I can reassemble one in 5 minutes or less. It fired up with a surprising minimum of fuss but there was a definite halo of fire around the mantle. This is apparently a sure sign of over fueling though the gas tip was marked "6" the same as the old generator.

So I pulled the new generator out and put the old one in. This one was a pain to use because I had to keep cycling the tip cleaner to get it to work but when it did work everything was fine, no halo... So I tried the new generator again, still the halo. Finally I took the old tip and the new generator and together they make a pretty good team... I've got video of this one firing up but its pretty exciting. For some reason it didn't light on the first match which led to gas buildup which all lit at once, flame action! I'll post some video links (I've done videos of the AGM and Kerosafe also) here soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ranger repairs

My dad always said that when you buy a used car you buy somebody else's problems. My Ranger is a 2003 but when we bought it only had 25,000 miles. That means at some point it sat... Well when things sit the rust monster gets to make a play for them. On the Ranger the rust monster got to the bed and in places got to it BAD. It had 3 or 4 good size rust holes and when I attacked with a screwdriver they got worse. So Monday I pulled the bed off (lousy job when working alone) and started cutting. I ended up with about 1.5 square feet of bed cut out. I'd bought a repair panel from JC Whitney and some angle iron from the hardware store. The angle iron is to remake some of the bracing underneith that had rusted. Its MUCH stronger than the origninal. The repair panel doesn't match the bed exactly but isn't too bad.
Tuesday I had to take off because I'd hurt my back pulling the bed (bad job as I said). Yesterday and today were spend grinding and welding, welding and grinding but finally all the repairs are done. The underside of the bed has been painted and then covered in rubberized undercoating. Tomorrow I'll get Randy and Chuck to come over and remount the bed (no big job with 3 guys) and then I'll paint the patch panels and coat the whole bed with Herculiner.

I used Herculiner on the Dakota 10 years ago this year and that bed had no rust inside when I traded the truck. Its good stuff and helps keep stuff from sliding in the bed. I hadn't coated the Dakota thick enough because cold weather caught me, this time I'm going to do both coats in 2 days so I should be okay.

I think the patch looks like hell but Angie says it looks good to her and anyway its way better than rust so that makes me feel good. Still I think I'll either put a piece of plywood or a rubber bedmat over it...

I can't believe

I can't believe I didn't post here when I figured out the problem with the AGM... That was like a week or two ago too.
Anyway heres the deal, the AGM 2572 would light if it had been sitting for awhile, it'd burn for 20-30 seconds and go out like it had run out of gas... I cleaned the fount, cleaned the fuel/air tube, cleaned the valve, installed a new eccentric block so I could use a new Coleman 220 generator, cleaned and painted the air tube and burners, nothing...

Then one day I tried opening the valve MORE after the problem started, fuel came pouring out... So whats happening is that with the needle only a couple turns open the fuel/air tube is still closed and we're burning on fumes from the top of the tank. Its not that the lantern needs to sit its that the pressure runs out too quickly... With the valve open more like 3 full turns the fuel/air tube is opened and fuel can get to the burners.

This lantern is now the absolute brightest in my collection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Kerosafe fun

Tonight I experiemented with a mix of Coleman fuel and kerosene. I've noticed a little smell when using Coleman fuel.
So my goals:
1. Light with just a windproof ligher for preheat
2. Low smell
3. Brightest light possible

Started with 50/50 Coleman fuel/Kerosene. No-go, it won't light with just the lighter, I can't get enough heat into the generator. If I use the propane torch its the old game where I can't keep enough heat in the generator.

Went to 75/25 Coleman fuel/Kerosene and I think I hit a sweet spot, easy to light (as easy as with just Coleman fuel) no smell to speak of and brighter than Coleman fuel or Kerosene alone.
I may try a 66/33 split somewhere down the road but for now (until I burn off most of a quart) I'm quite pleased with this new mix... I ordered a cable for my digital camera, its supposed to be in by next week (stupid special Samsung cable) so I can post the good pics.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Coleman 202

Cruising Craigslist the other day I noticed an ad "Coleman Lantern $5". I figured it was a propane jobbie but was surprised to find a nickle fount single mantle. I called the guy and arranged pickup for a few days later, then posted about it on the forum. The guys there went bannanas "Thats a 202!"...
So a 202 is a form of 200A with a nickle fount and some stainless and ceramic bits. It was more expensive than a 200A and thus is a bit rare.
Angie and I went on Saturday and picked it up. I made sure I gave the guy the $5 before giving it more than a cursory examination. The picture on the web was better than the reality, the lantern is pretty gross but all the important bits are present.
I'd guess that its been run on unleaded gas at some point and the fount was left pressurized but the cap leaked a little so over the years gas has spit out and varnished on the side of the fount. The fount smells AWFUL, I drained out a trickle of horrible orange nasty last night.

The fount is covered in a green corrosion thats hard to pick up on the photo.

Notice the nut on top of the vent is upsidedown.

Surprisingly the pump works fine though as I've mentioned the cap leaks. The valve was stuck but disassembled it looks fine so it was probably just varnish. The fuel/air tube was gross and will need to be soaked in carb cleaner. Valve packing looks perfect, I don't think this lantern was used much. The vent is very good with only a couple tiny chips.
Tonight I'll set it to soak with Marine Clean and BBs to breakup the varnish in the tank. A new generator is already on order though I think the one on it is okay, it seems to work on my 200A anyway... Hopefully this will be a relatively quick cleanup job.


Sunday, July 26, 2009


Finally a little success with the 200A. I got it assembled late last week but it wouldn't light correctly. It was hard to get lit and required heat on the generator to stay burning otherwise it was big fireballs all around which can be pretty scary. I kept asking questions over on the OldTown Yucca Coleman board and eventually tried the old generator again. I didn't have much hope for it since I'd soaked it in Metal Ready (ahh the things we do when we don't know better) but the son of a gun worked fine. Much better than the replacement. I've lost the packaging for the replacement but I'm 99% certain it said it was for a 200A lantern...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Awww, geez

So making my last post made me think of like a year ago when I'd posted about xkcd. So I checked in and there were a couple new comics. Then I spent hours going back through old ones.

Goodbye productivity.


Geez what happened? I can't believe I haven't posted for 2 weeks... My parents brought my good Samsung camera back from camp and I've gotten some great pictures of the Kerosafe in action but I can't find the stupid cable so I can't get the pictures off the camera... I'll stop at BestBuy soon and get a new cable...
Speaking of the Kerosafe as an experiment I lit it the other night using just a windproof lighter (they shoot out a flame more like a torch than a regular lighter). Worked slick, one small poof and it was lit and running. The lantern works much better on Coleman fuel than it did on kerosene. I need to try blending in some kero and see how that works. At some point I need to pull it apart and clean the fount but as its still working okay I'm not going to rush.

The AGM is all apart again. Cleaning the fount made no difference in how it burned, it'll light for 20-30 seconds before the flame peters out. So I figured the problem was the generator, AGM generators are of course hard to find so I bought a Coleman 220 gen and made a modified eccentric block so its different style pricker rod would work correctly.

Same problem...

So yesterday I pulled the manifold, air tube, and burner tubes off. The burner tubes are soaking in Metal Ready (which is an acid that removes rust and corrosion), the manifold and air tube got an electrolysis bath. After a couple hours the electrolysis had done is work and I put some paint on the manifold and air tube. The burner tubes got flipped in their bath as I didn't have enough Metal Ready for them to be completely covered. They'll get a coat of paint tonight.
I didn't see anything about those parts that would explain my problem when cleaned them but maybe I'll get lucky...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

200a update

Tomorrow I plan to once again wet sand the 200a in preparation for clearcoat. With any luck I won't sand through the color coat again, I'll be real careful... In the meantime have a look at all the other bits of the stove polished and lined up for reinstallation:

The Kerosafe in its glory

Had the Kerosafe burning this evening with its globe on. I got it lit and burning good with the globe off, then got the globe on before it cooled off too much.

These pictures are lousy I know but you get the idea.
I'm beginning to think that this lamp has been converted to burn naptha (Coleman fuel) as its tricky to light and hard to keep lit. Even with the globe on it needs more heat every couple minutes. Granted it was in the mid '50s outside.
I also don't think its as bright as it should be, its maybe as bright as a 40 watt bulb and very yellow. Either the generator is really dirty (a distinct possibility) or somebody has set it up for a lighter fuel. Its got a distinct smell of kerosene when burning (if you hold your nose over the top) which makes me think it may be running rich. Tomorrow I'll drain the kerosene and try it with Coleman fuel. I've heard that since today's K1 is different than the kerosene of yesteryear it may want a 50/50 mix of K1 and Coleman fuel. I'll have to mess around and find out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What to do?

So I've got this bachelor party camping/whitewater rafting trip to go on in August and while I own plenty of camping equipment I don't have a tent...
I was at Kmart the other day and they have a 3 person tent for $30. That seems like a screaming deal but ever the conscientious shopper I searched online today. The $30 tent has reasonably good reviews for what it is but nothing outstanding as you'd expect. Then I stumbled upon this:
The Eureka Timberline 4 which they've made since forever. Ed Ostrander and I spent many a night in his Timberline back when I was in Boy Scouts and its a heckuva tent. If I buy one I can be assured it'll take us on camping trips way into the future.
I say us because I don't really need to buy a tent at all, Matt seems to have the whole tent situation worked out but theres something nice about staying in your own tent, shifting around the way you want to shift around, not getting bumped, etc... I'm also thinking that with a tent Angie and I could take Buster camping a couple times a year. Yeah I've got a camp in Maine but its an 8 hour drive to get up there and theres lots of camping opportunities closer to home that I'm interested in trying out.

So the question is, buy the cheap tentand hope its adequate or buy the really good tent and hope its good enough to justify the expense of 4 of the cheap tents...

Still pluggin

The paint on the 200A is getting there. I wet sanded yesterday with 2000 grit and once again sanded the paint off around the rim at the base. Not everywhere just a little strip. The rest of the fount cleaned up nicely so a couple more heavy coats paying particular attention to the rim should have it. This is the hardest part of the job, I want it to come out good but I'm excited to have it done... I've decided to go all out and get it as good as possible without removing the dents. I'll wet sand to remove orange peel, then I'll clearcoat and then use polishing compound to get the best shine possible. In a month or two I'll wax it so the shine stays.

The Kerosafe has been lit, I need to get some pictures of it burning. Its quite a process getting it going, put 20 or so pumps into the fount, then hit the generator with the propane torch until its good and hot, then crack the valve and it lights. Thats if everything is working correctly, if its not working right you get big flames... The first two times I had it lit I had mostly flames, then Angie went out with me to see it go and I got it lit with very little fuss. I've only had it lit with the shade once and that time I had major big flames which indicates I had way too much fuel and the generator wasn't hot enough... I hope to use this lamp inside this winter so I need to keep playing with it.

Finally I got Angie's grandfather's Coleman 413E stove working correctly. That one had a dirty tank when I got it, I sealed the tank and in so doing managed to seal the tube that brings air from the pump into the tank. I finally got a new tank from a fellow on the Coleman forum at OldTown Yucca. With the new tank I realized that the generator was all dirty but when I tried to clean it I managed to break part of it in the valve. Fortunately I had another valve so I ordered a replacement generator and with that installed and the manifold and burners cleaned the stove lights easily (maybe easier than my 425E) and burns well. Yesterday I made a dutch oven BBQ which had the stove burning for nearly 3 hours straight so I'm ready to call that one a victory. It could use some more cleaning but functionally its all set.

I need more pictures... I should work on that tonight.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kerosafe - So CLOSE!

Last night as I was farting around with all my projects in the garage I tried the check valve in the Kerosafe again and finally was rewarded with the sound of silence...
Meaning I pumped air into the tank and it didn't all leak out again immediately. This is a big win, I've been soaking the check valve in various substances (most recently carb cleaner) for a couple weeks now and while its improved a little every day I didn't really feel like I was getting anywhere.
The valve still leaks some, apparently the ball inside the valve has a sweet spot, but no where near as bad as it did. So tomorrow I'm going to pick up one of the hideously expensive ($12) gallons of kerosene at the hardware store, tie on a set of mantles and give this thing a shot!

Busy busy

Life continues....
I thought I was done with the paint on the 200A until I went to wet sand in preparation for polishing and I sanded right through the paint! Shouldn't be able to do that with 2000 grit paper. I think in my effort to not have any runs I was applying paint way to thin and as I was sanding between every coat I was thinning what little was there. Now I'm going to put on 2 or three layers and lightly sand with the 2000, then 2 more. Last night I realized the reason I get such bad orange peel is that I'm painting too thin a coat so I went as heavy as I dared and I seem to have lucked out and gotten no runs.

I got my 413E stove to work yesterday after having it for 8 or 9 months. When Angie's Pepre gave it to me the gas tank was dirty so I sealed it and in doing so I sealed the tube that lets pressure in from the pump, oops! A nice person on the Coleman forum at oldtownyucca gave(!) me a replacement. Then the generator broke so I had to buy (cheap) a replacement and THEN I had to clean the manifold good but finally everything works. I had it lit yesterday morning but in the bright sun its hard to be sure everything is good so Angie and I lit it again last night and it's perfect.

Just before I left for Burbank I mowed the lawn with my '64 Cub Cadet model 70 but I'd fueled up with the last of some old snowmobile gas which turned out to be bad and full of water. The tractor would run but only with the choke on and had no power... We've had loads of rain and the grass has gotten really long so Monday I pulled the carb and hosed it down with carb cleaner and let it soak overnight. Yesterday I slapped it back together (literally, no new parts) and shazam it worked! I'm very pleased with this one since Angie didn't seem to think it'd work...

Finally I'm working on an 8hp Tecumseh to put into my '65 Snapper. Its in a newer (mid '80s I'd guess) Snapper right now so once I get it started I'll be able to make a couple laps around the yard before moving it (and the wheels) over to the old beast. The old Snapper was my Uncle Pat's and I'm excited to have it going. Honestly I think it'll be a more appropriate mower for our yard, the Cub is really too big and ungainly...

Monday, June 8, 2009

In other news

The pump for the Kerosafe FINALLY arrived. USPS took their sweet dang time getting it here. Of course the leather was all dried out but a little time in an ATF bath fixed that. The next problem is the check valve leaks badly. Its possible a little soak in PB Blaster will free that up. I'll do that when I get back from California in a couple weeks.
Actually if I was smart I'd get it into the Blaster now....

200A painting

Paint on the 200A fount has progressed. Its pretty much done, I just need to figure a way to get paint into the lip on the base. To do it well I'll need to mask the base some, before I do that I want to let the paint dry and harden, its handy I'm going away for awhile...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Coleman paint underway

I don't know what came over me but Monday at lunch I took the drill with a wire wheel and ground the decal off the Coleman lantern... With the decal gone I just HAD to paint it. So over the next 30 minutes or so I used the drill, angle grinder and dremel to grind all the paint and most of the rust off. I found the date stamp on the bottom, 11/71 which makes this lantern older than I'd expected. I also found a fair amount of rust. Once the paint was taken off I inverted the fount and filled the base with Metal Ready. Metal Ready is an acid which will eat the rust off if its left alone for awhile.

After a few hours the base looked pretty good but there was still a lot of rust on the sides so I put it in a bucket with some washing soda and an iron bar for electrolysis. The nice thing about electrolysis is you don't lose any good metal and it makes a really nice finish. I let that run all night, rotated the found 180 degrees and let it run until lunch Tuesday.

At lunch I pulled it out, cleaned it off good and hit it with primer. Its going to take several coats of primer to build up in the rust pits. The primer also shows all the dents and dings in the fount, this thing is a disaster. Oh well, I knew that going in. I'm not going to bother with the dents and dings but I do want the rust pits filled in. It'll probably be a few days before I'm ready to paint. I need to get another color of primer so I can alternate to more easily be sure the pits are filled in...

I think I've got a better vent sourced. Who knows, this thing might turn out yet.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coleman 200A Madness!

So last night I FULLY disassembled the 200A following the instructions from OldTown Yucca. They're excellent instructions by the way.
I've decided not to paint, this after buying new decals... I really like the patina the lantern has now. We'll see, my opinion has been fickle about this whole thing...
Anyhow I got all the burner parts apart and found them almost perfectly clean, I think this lantern probably has very little time on it. It probably got dropped at some point early on but for some reason it didn't get thrown away...
Metal Ready from POR-15 makes an awesome brass cleaner. I floated each brass piece in that for a couple hours which restored the wonderful brass color and left behind little piles of gunk. The primer works now too, it was the worst I've seen yet but soaking overnight in ATF softened it right up. It was in testing the primer that I realized the check valve in the fount didn't work. Pulling that was a chore. I soaked it in SeaFoam "Deep Creep" penetrating oil for hours and then still stripped the head. I drilled a bit and used my largest screw extractor and it came right out (WHEW!). So now I'm stuck waiting for parts. I've got my list in to Robert at Old Coleman parts waiting on a final price with shipping. I'm going whole hog including the packing and generator. I don't think theres anything wrong with this generator but I figure if I'm doing it I ought to do it right... I'll keep the old generator as a spare.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Disassembled the 200A last night, thats the little red Coleman in the trio picture.
Its a really simple lantern to take apart, 2 wrenches required. A good cleaning revealed its BEAT. The paint is trashed, the ventilator (thats the top part) was bent pretty badly and the valve is all gunked up.
Supposedly Rustoleum makes a good color match for the red so I'm gonna give that a shot. I could undoubtedly buy a replacement 200A for what I'm going to spend in parts and time with this one but thats not the point, that replacement lantern wouldn't be my grandfather's old lantern...

I've also sort of thought about just waxing this one and keeping the "patina" that its gotten from a lifetime (its certainly older than me) of use...

Anyway for parts I'm going to go whole hog and replace just about everything that could need replacing starting with the missing globe, the valve packing (don't want to get it together and have it leak) and generator. Other than that it should just be a matter of cleaning and reassembly... What interests me is how simple these things really are and how effective. I've got the bug now, I'll need to avoid yard sales and the potential for acquiring a ton of them...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lamp pictures

Bob over on the Old Town Yucca Coleman forum asked for pictures of my Kerrosafe with the shade off. I'm going to post them here as its easy to link them over that way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lantern pictures

Pictures, finally!
The trio, together on the bench. You can see the absolutely remarkable condition of the 220f that Angie's Pepre gave me compared to the other two that lived in my Grandfather's garage for so many years. Incidentally the fuel cap on the 220f is from the AGM to the left, the cap on the AGM is from my Coleman stove, I was testing caps, those two are both good. *EDIT* Lies! The cap from the AGM leaks but slowly enough I can't hear it. The cap off the Coleman 200A seems to be good. Its of the new type. So far I'm 2 for 2 good new type caps and 0 for 3 on the old type. I've got 4 cap gaskets on order.

Model plate from the AGM, interesting that it says to open the valve 1/2 turn. Some "experts" I've read say to just crack the valve to start a lantern.

The decal on the Coleman 200a, compare this to the decal on the 220f below.Which makes me think the 220f is an older lantern. I'm sure people in the know will groan and say "of course it is idiot". This is the way we learn...

More on the AGM

Spent some more time with the AGM lantern last night. Actually I spent some time cleaning my work bench first which was probably the best time I've spent in the garage in awhile...

Anyway I wanted to see if the packing on the valve was the same size as on the Coleman. The nut that holds them together is NOT the same size, the AGM is 1/2" the Coleman is 9/16". In finding this out I noticed that the nut on the AGM was very loose, like finger tight while the Coleman was tight... I tightened the AGM down and no more leak. Sweet!

I moved outside and got the lantern to light for maybe 10 seconds but not well. Working the tip cleaner seemed to help but not entirely. At this point 2 things seem likely:
#1 I didn't have enough fuel in the thing. You get kind of tunnel vision when the lantern almost lights. I didn't have very much fuel in it at all, I should add more like 1/4 tank and try again.

#2 Something is clogged. This seems quite likely since I ran the tank out when I was at my grandparent's house last week. I thought it had a bunch of fuel in it and it turned out to be pretty much empty...

So next test I guess is more fuel and see what happens, if that doesn't help it'll be time to disassemble and clean. I hate to do that since I just put new mantles on but thats the way things go.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

AGM 2572

The double mantle lantern is an AGM 2572, its in fairly rough shape, most of the paint on the base is compromised and the top has some significant chips out of it. The pressure pump and gas cap seem to both work correctly (a first, usually the pump's leather is dry) but the packing around the valve leaks. I'm going to try gently tightening it but it'll probably need replacement. Assuming its the same size as the Coleman 220F I've got it's easily obtainable.

I haven't found out much about this lantern, it seems uncommon, at least when compared to the 3016 which I've seen several of. AGM (then owned by King-Seeley-Thermos) seems to have stopped producing lamps in 1968 so mine must be older than that.

I tried to order a pump for the Kerosafe today but Lehmans' says they're out of stock. I tried to contact them to ask when they'll be in stock but their webpage won't accept any email address so I don't know if my messages are getting through. At any rate that same page, which used to be excellent seems to have gotten mostly broken in a redesign. In the meantime I'm trying some other sources.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One mystery down

I've been wondering where the Kerosafe lamp came from and how did it get in my grandmother's house? Did it come with the house, a relic of a bygone era?

Well the answe is no. My dad bought it at a yard sale for $0.50 years ago because it "looked interesting".

I checked out my grandfather's whitegas lanterns. One is a fairly old (60's?) AGM double mantle. The other is a newer (mid 70's?) Coleman single lantern. I plan to snag them both. Technically the AGM is my cousin
Tom's and the Coleman is mine. We'd decided this years ago when were were kids. Tom has kids of his own now and lives in Texas. I think maybe I'll clean it up and give it to him the next time he comes to visit his folks.

Friday, May 15, 2009

So I keep thinking about the Kerosafe lamp, how could I not? It sits in the living room and mocks me...
I've done more research, its interesting that there is actually very little info on kerosene pressure lamps available. Most of what I've found relates to the Petromax and Butterfly lanterns.
In the meantime I've gotten the Coleman whitegas lantern Angie's pepre gave me working. The gas cap leaked but the one from my grandfather's whitegas stove works so I used that. I need to get some replacement seal rings as I've got a couple other stove caps that leak. That experience reminded me how cool whitegas lanterns (and pressure lanterns in general) are. My grandfather had two which both still hang in his garage. I'm on vacation next week (starting now actually) and I'm going to try to get those going.

I'm going to get a couple of the Petromax mantles in the Kerosafe. Apparently kerosene lamps burn at higher pressure and the Petromax mantles supposedly have a larger mesh which keeps them from blowing out. They're also supposed to be very bright and are only a little more expensive than Coleman mantles. With any luck I'll find the pressure pump for the Kerosafe where I found the kerosafe (in my grandmother's house) originally. If not I have a complete spare pump assembly from a Coleman stove I was trying to get working, I wonder if with a small piece of tubing I could make a pump. Thats the kind of can-do spirit this country was built on!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So I'll admit it, today I'm obsessed with xkcd.
Yeah, weird little comic, simplistic drawing, heavy on the in-jokes and pop culture refs.

People wonder how I seem to be up on pop culture, its because I read things like xkcd and when I don't understand a reference instead of filing it away in the "things I don't understand" file I Google it. Today I've been Googling a lot.
Rickrolled - Okay I had a pretty good idea on this one but still
River Tam - Character from Firefly which I've never seen
xkcd - huh, it doesn't mean anything...
Cory Doctorow - still not sure I get this one.

I even spent some time playing with Google maps trying to get it to do odd things, interestingly it won't map from Inch Marlow, Barbados to my house...

Monday, April 6, 2009


We spent last weekend at my parent's house. When we were getting ready to leave my mother told me to take something of mine from my bedroom. I chose this:As near as I can tell its a Kerosafe M1001 made by the Thomas Manufacturing company of Dayton, Ohio sometime between about 1913 and 1926. Information is scarce about these though I did find Pressure Lamps International which basically has told me everything I know on the subject. If you Google Kerosafe m1001 there are 5 hits, one is in German...

I found the lamp in my Grandmother's house where it'd sat for who knows how long, my lifetime anyway. All I've done is clean it a bit with a wet paper towel. To fire it I need an airpump which it appears I can get from Lehman's, mantles which I've got and something that'll pass for Kerosene.

Apparently K1 which is what passes for kerosene these days isn't good for much and white gas is too volitile. I've read that a 50/50 mix of K1 and white gas or K1 and odorless mineral spirits will work. I've got to travel next week but when I get back I'll see what I can do. The lamp appears to be in near perfect condition. I'd like to have it useable.


Friday, April 3, 2009

ER is done

I just watched the last episode of ER. Its up on Hulu if you didn't see it broadcast. I didn't, officially speaking I "don't watch tv".
Anyway the first episode of ER was broadcast on September 19, 1994. I know that because I checked Wikipedia. On September 19, 1994 I was 18 years old, working as a surveyor's assistant, at that point we would have been starting the closure of the Waterville, Maine landfill and I didn't know squat. I didn't know what I what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go or what my options were.
Hulu didn't exist, neither did Wikipedia. At that point if I'd wanted to find out when a TV series started I'd have had to get in the car and drive to the library. Bill Clinton was president and I wasn't happy about it but as I say I didn't know shit about shit.
In 4 months I'd head off to college, the program was "Interactive Communications". I didn't know what it was but I figured it had to be better than freezing to death out surveying. I was dating a girl I was convinced was "the one". My conviction that she was "the one" didn't stop me from cheating on her in college where I developed a little theory I called "everybody cheats". That following summer she left me for another guy and broke my heart.

Today I'm 33 years old, married. We own a house and have a dog. There are 3 cars in the driveway and 2 motorcycles in the garage. I still don't know where I'm going or what my options are. The only real improvement I've made in 15 years is that I seem to have an idea how little I actually know. These days I help people make television. No not "televisions", television shows, I'm behind the scenes, way behind the scenes.

So I watched that last episode of ER and now I'm trying not to be too sentimental.