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...