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.