Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another lantern repaint

Bought a Coleman 237 some time ago, the 237 is cool because its a big kerosene lantern, at 500cp (candlepower) its one of the brightest lanterns around. On eBay they generally go for $50 or more even for dirty non-working ones.
So I spotted this one, not many pics, no glass, wrong gas cap, some rust and corrosion. Won the bid for $42. Thats more than I would normally bid but it was in Maine so the shipping would be cheap. It was right around $50 total. Then the guy emails me, the fount (thats the tank part) has a hole in it and leaks. After some discussion he refunded $20 and I took it hole and all.

$15.50 won me 3 other whitegas lanterns, a 220E, 228E and 220F. The 220E and 228E use the same size fount as the 237. I figured for that money if I got the 220F running I could sell it for maybe $20, fix my 237 and have a 228E for free.

The 237 fount really was trash, big chunks of rust in the fount, pinhole leak right in the center. Its a steel base, I probably could weld it but it'll doubtless leak other places. Considering these are under pressure that seems insanely dangerous. I'll keep it, maybe I can weld it into some kind of art project...

I took the 220E apart and instantly remembered why I generally only do single mantle lanterns, the duals are way harder to disassemble. The fount is okay but had a couple dents and loads of pits. I filled the dents with JB Weld which is a mistake because it shrinks and is very hard when dry. Thus you need to overfill the dent and then cut it down to the correct profile which is tough because the stuff is hard. Live and learn I guess. One dent I later filled with regular old Bondo which is much easier because it doesn't shrink as much and is soft for the first few hours.

So then paint and paint and paint. I decided to use primer to fill some of the pits. That works but is the pits to do since you need about a million coats AND since the fount has a Coleman rising sun stamping on the side I didn't want to lose I had to keep sanding most of the primer off and then occasionally using a wire brush to clean out the stamping. Next time I'll fill all the pits with Bondo before priming.

Anyway right now its got color on (Krylon's "Dark Hunter Green"), it needs two more coats topside, and 3 on the bottom, then I'll cut and polish and do a clearcoat which should give it that prized depth of shine.

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