Friday, September 27, 2013

A little lantern talk

I know at least a few of my readers come from the lantern world and in review I haven't posted anything about lanterns for a long time. Thats not to say I haven't done anything with lanterns lately although I must admit I haven't been doing a whole lot with them.

Last spring a co-worker came to me with a lantern that had been hanging on the wall of his camp for years and years. His family had given up on it some time in the '60s and periodically considered sending it to the dump but refrained because it had been grandpa's.
He sent me a couple pictures:

I made the mistake of immediately offering him $50. If I'd told him it was worthless and I'd take it if he wanted to get rid of it he'd have just hung it back on the shelf...
Look close at the second picture and you'll notice the winged fuel cap and slant R55 generator. I knew this was an odd duck and was excited to get my hands on it.
Here it is on my bench a couple weeks later:

It came apart quick, the pump leather was completely dried out:

Otherwise it seemed in good shape:

I was shocked when I cleaned the fount with a dish scrubber and soap and got this:

Apparently years of hanging over the old wood stove had protected the nickel. With a little polish the shine came up nicely.

The brass parts got a soak in citric acid and quick polish with steel wool:

It didn't need much for parts:

NOS R55 generator with the proper square nut, fuel cap gasket, new burner screens and packing. Not shown here is the beautiful mica chimney from Fred Kuntz.

Here it is all dolled up:

This was probably one of the easiest builds I've had, the inside of the fount was very clean. I didn't spend much time on the outside of the fount as I didn't want to polish through the nickel. I also didn't want to over restore the burner frame since the vent has a couple chips and I didn't think the owner wanted to have it re-enameled. If we were going to re-enamel the vent I'd suggest re-nickeling the fount and then polishing everything to a high shine, since we didn't I wanted everything to look like the nice, clean 1929 lantern it is.

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