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Roach1948
05-20-2007, 09:28 AM
I have one of these small Tilley lamp copies that my brother gave me when he was on a trip to San Francisco. I have been using "indoor lamp oil" and it simply refuses to stay alaight without flickering madly as if it is just about to go out.

Anybody have one of these and can tell me what the trick is?

PS. The indoor lamp oil I get works fine on the other gimballed oil lamp so ruling that out.

http://www.weems-plath.com/uploaded_files/large.600.jpg


PPS before somebody suggests - no I cant get hold of Weems and Plath oil here in the UK.

Thorne
05-20-2007, 09:37 AM
Can you replace the wick? Not sure what they use, but if "official wicking" is unavailable, sometimes you can find cotton cord without the usual plastic core at hardware stores.

And is the wick fully saturated with oil? Oil lamps often misbehave until this happens, depending on the oil levels in the lamp and absorbtion levels in the wick.

S.V. Airlie
05-20-2007, 09:39 AM
Umm.. I've got five.. not had this problem...I'm guessing it is the length of the wick though....

Roach1948
05-20-2007, 04:23 PM
Doing the electrics late and needed the lamps on last night. It is a bit of a mystery my lamp as it simply does not behave. The 60 year gimballed one that was original to the yacht - same wick material - works a treat.

I am trying to some scientific tests, but it looks like oxygen starvation to me. Even after giving the wick a good old soak, the flame flickers, a tell-tale steamy coloured smoke starts being produced under the flame, the flame then dances and then, hey presto, OUT!

With no cover in it works a treat. Cover on, problems start. Can't be a design issue as it is a well known classic. Not low oxygen in the cabin as I have no washboards yet! Wick is Weems and Plath original as purchased -The only thing I can think of is that I the lamp oil I am using is wrong for this type of lamp. Will buy some paraffin tomorrow and test on that (but I hate the smell).

sawcutmill
05-20-2007, 07:43 PM
try kerosene also known as K-1. I have also heard of mineral spirits being used, a whiter light and cleaner.
PS on your weems &Plath, have you checked to see if the top is not got some sort of paper or plastic stopping the flow of air? other wise, re trim wick also, pull out a bit farther an try again.stephen

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-20-2007, 09:01 PM
Where is Meerkat when you need him, I seem to recall he had an oil lamp, I can't recall the brand of oil he used. I would be *really* cautious about using kerosene if the lamp is not designed for it, I don't know, but my camp stove can burn both kerosene and white gas ("Coleman fuel", other names in Europe), and white gas burns much cleaner than kerosene. But again, I would investigate extremely well before using either of these volatile fuels.

Then again, there's always whale oil. :o

By the way, though not as spiffy, I have a candle lantern that is basically a similar design but for candles, I've used it for years, love it, and they are cheap. I've also used mine to warm brandy on a cold night:

http://www.rei.com/product/622044

It also collapses to half its length to cover and protect the glass when transporting. They work well on regular wax candles, though once, I bought these green melt-resistant candles because regular ones melt easy in a hot car; Well they didn't melt all right, but the flame was a pinpoint, it just wouldn't melt the wax quickly enough to feed the wick. So go with regular wax candles, and keep them out of the heat.

S.V. Airlie
05-20-2007, 09:33 PM
Bob.. oh that....
I kinda agree with you on the K-1.. No experience but I'd try dealing with the wicks first.
Sorry for lecturing....

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-20-2007, 09:37 PM
Bob.. oh that....
I kinda agree with you on the K-1.. No experience but I'd try dealing with the wicks first.
Sorry for lecturing....

You don't seem to be lecturing to me. All input is good. :)

Say another thought occurred to me: In biblical times, they were rather fond of olive oil for the lamps, seriously. I have not a clue how well it would burn in one of those.

The Weems and Plath website mentions their fuel being paraffin based, that might mean it is wax based, or kerosene based, or not; this is a bit sketchy, as I have seen the word paraffin applied with regard to kerosene in my camp stove instructions; in Spain they call it parafina, in the Netherlands it is called petroleum lampolie. Interesting. I'd still be careful.

S.V. Airlie
05-20-2007, 09:44 PM
I've got four or five of these.. they come in 2 sizes... I believe it or not use the garbage from West Maine... I have not had a problem but I don't put the wick up very high..
I've got two forward cabin, and four main cabin...
I really don't know what the problem here is.. truthfully and I have had these lamps for four or five years.... I still am aiming towards a wick problem... out of suggestions...

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-20-2007, 09:52 PM
I've got four or five of these.. they come in 2 sizes... I believe it or not use the garbage from West Maine... I have not had a problem but I don't put the wick up very high..
I've got two forward cabin, and four main cabin...
I really don't know what the problem here is.. truthfully and I have had these lamps for four or five years.... I still am aiming towards a wick problem... out of suggestions...

Could be...I would think a bigger flame would require more oxygen. It's funny, I went through the same questions when I couldn't get those damned green candles to burn with a bigger flame, I finally concluded that the wax wouldn't melt well enough (which was difficult to accept, after all, they were on the market.)

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-20-2007, 09:54 PM
One of the things I love about my campstove is that it has a regenerator tube that preheats the liquid fuel to a gaseous state before reaching ignition, it makes such a huge difference in how easily it lights off and how cleanly it burns. But it's more complicated.

S.V. Airlie
05-20-2007, 09:58 PM
I'm gonna have to do with a 1920's old wood stove with an oven and two burners.... I refurbished it when I was in NS in Feb.. A really nice little jem.. Gonna keep me warm and toasty in Jan... :D
But I hear ya Bob...

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-20-2007, 10:34 PM
I'm gonna have to do with a 1920's old wood stove with an oven and two burners.... I refurbished it when I was in NS in Feb.. A really nice little jem.. Gonna keep me warm and toasty in Jan... :D
But I hear ya Bob...

Is it plain cast iron or enameled surface? I love enameled stoves. They have some really spiffy ones at the flagship Williams-Sonoma store in San Francisco for about 15 grand. Big drool.

Sorry about the thread drift.

S.V. Airlie
05-20-2007, 10:41 PM
plain cast.. heavy...

sawcutmill
05-21-2007, 05:54 AM
When I made the suggestions above , it was not something i just came up with.I use K-1 in my Weem & Plath, i have 2, plus a another Anchor Light, made in Uk, as well as a table lamp. I would suggest only things I have used, or use currently.

Don Z.
05-21-2007, 06:47 AM
I'm thinking that mineral spirits may give you a bright, white light... for a very brief time. Then you'll be worrying about hearing loss, among other things.

I'd check for a blockage somewhere. The "works ok with the cover off, goes out when it's on" I think is a clue...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
05-21-2007, 07:06 AM
You're in London.
"Paraffin" is the stuff - if you can't find paraffin then "Barbeque lighting fluid" is the same stuff (minus the standard smell)..

DO NOT use "white gas" coleman fuel or petrol - I am one of the few people in Britain to have survived this mistake - don't do it - trust me on this.

You'll be lead a merry dance trying to find a mineral spirit in the UK - there is a real risk of getting "meths" - which burns well in a wickie - but gives very little light.

Now the niggle - its not a Tilley lamp - tilleys are pressure paraffin and use two fuels and a mantle - great things but different.

My guess as to the flickering is that there is a shortage of ventilation from below the flame - you can't tell from the picture how this is supposed to happen - usually a gap beteen the base and the glass.

Roach1948
05-21-2007, 08:30 AM
Now the niggle - its not a Tilley lamp - tilleys are pressure paraffin and use two fuels and a mantle - great things but different.

My guess as to the flickering is that there is a shortage of ventilation from below the flame - you can't tell from the picture how this is supposed to happen - usually a gap beteen the base and the glass.

Your right, it is not a Tilley lamp. I know what you mean now, but it is a copy of a miner's lamp. There is a close weave wire mesh over the flame to stop explosions and there is NO hole under the flame. The air comes in from above with airvents above the flame. There is certainly no blockage. It could be using too much wick as suggestes above.

Got some Paraffin from hardware shop, and will try it later today. Will update here.....Now have the electrics wired in.

Roach1948
05-22-2007, 07:17 AM
Paraffin works a treat albeit a bit smokey - problem solved! Thanks for all your input.

paladin
05-22-2007, 08:01 AM
if it's a bit smoky than you don't have enough air.....and whale oil is available in London if you look in the right place....and yes...I know...we don't support killing whales.......and yes...we don't import the oil...and no...we don't have whale oil candles.....but
Look around the fishing fleet that cruises off iceland.....sooner or later you will find the whale oil and candles and they burn odorless and smokeless....

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
05-27-2007, 10:03 PM
You're in London.
"Paraffin" is the stuff - if you can't find paraffin then "Barbeque lighting fluid" is the same stuff (minus the standard smell)..


Umm, here, BBQ lighting fluid, I thought, is the same as lighter fluid for what Brits call Petrol lighters, "lighter fluid" here is naptha.

I have it on good authority...wait...it's becoming clearer...that Meerkat used Hollowick lamp oil in his, "liquid paraffin wax".

http://www.hollowick.com/07pages/Fuel/FuelInfo.html
http://www.hollowick.com/07pages/Fuel/Refillable.html
http://www.hollowick.com/07images/EasyHeat/MSDS%20Lamp%20Fuel%202003_b.pdf

(Jeez, you can even get it in 55 gallon drums.)

That last link is the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) which has all the technical info, so if you can't get Hollowick in the UK, you can print that out and find an equivalent.