Last I told you about the torch I had it working but I was concerned about the seal at the pump. It turns out the seal was not actually the issue, there was a tiny hole in the bung that the pump screws into.
A great deal of time later and I managed to solder the hole closed
I think the hole is supposed to be there, I think its an explosion preventer, the torch gets hot and the lead in the hole melts allowing pressure to release without the torch exploding. There'd be quite a fireball but it wouldn't explode... I think this because I found at least 3 more little holes around that rim, it seems unlikely that many rust holes developed. Now with that fixed I still had a leak but I already knew about this one.
It was easy to fix too, a dab of lock-tite sealed it up tight. I pumped it up Tuesday and left home on a work trip, Friday when I got home it still held pressure.
The other odd thing I encountered was a tendency for the packing nut to back off. Thats the nut around the valve shaft. Its got a graphite seal inside and when I first got the torch it was stuck. I heated it with a torch and got it loose but it would tend to unthread when I opened the valve. Another very small drop of locktite fixed that too.
Now if only the weather would cooperate I'd give it a test firing...