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Thread: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

  1. #1
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    Default Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Hi All,
    I need to replace these lenses in the Nav Lights on my old boat. I don't want to replace the housing, just clean and polish them, so hoping I can get an idea where I can find lenses to fit.
    Thanks in advance
    TerryO
    IMG_8014.jpgIMG_8015.jpgIMG_8016.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    HA! Good luck! Such lenses are the sort of thing that is impossible to find.

    They look to be plastic. You might try to find a plastics shop around. In the States, we have a chain called "Tap Plastics" that can fabricate a lot of stuff out of plastic. They'd have to have the right color, or some way to color them, too. It looks like they are flat plastic sheet heat-bent to the desired curve. You might also see if a glass craftsman might be able to shape them for you. I expect glass of the right color would be easier to source than plastic.

    You might be able to repair that cracked hole with epoxy, if you could figure out a way to color it. The plastic lens should buff out on a buffing wheel with regular buffing compound. Don't be surprised, though, if they crumble to pieces when you try to get them out. Plastics don't last forever and the UV degrades them eventually.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Hi Bob,
    Nice of you to chime in! Some good observations and some food for thought in that response.��

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    I wonder if you could find coloured LED bulbs and just use a clear lens. Another idea would be to find the closest match in a current model and mod them to fit. Good luck, I've got some old kerosene nav lamps that I want to switch over to electric (winter project).

    Cheers,
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Any markings on the fixtures or lenses.
    Glass or plastic? Doesn’t really matter, either will be a fun project to make.

    Coloured art glass is easily obtained from any stained glass studio. Some stained glass studios have a kiln to do slumping and fusing , go in and have a chat. Or try your local art school or potter. The hardest part might be making the mould.
    You can slump acrylics in the oven when your wife’s not home. The colour will be harder to get but coloured gells for stage lighting placed inside clear lenses should work.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    I wonder if you could find coloured LED bulbs and just use a clear lens. Another idea would be to find the closest match in a current model and mod them to fit. Good luck, I've got some old kerosene nav lamps that I want to switch over to electric (winter project).

    Cheers,
    Mark
    If you are converting an oil navigation lamp to electric, keep in mind that real starboard oil navigation lamp lenses will be colored blue because an oil lamp flame is yellow and yellow and blue make green.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by L.A Marche View Post
    Any markings on the fixtures or lenses.
    Glass or plastic? Doesn’t really matter, either will be a fun project to make.

    Coloured art glass is easily obtained from any stained glass studio. Some stained glass studios have a kiln to do slumping and fusing , go in and have a chat. Or try your local art school or potter. The hardest part might be making the mould.
    You can slump acrylics in the oven when your wife’s not home. The colour will be harder to get but coloured gells for stage lighting placed inside clear lenses should work.
    Unless they've come up with some new synthetic material since I was working with stage lighting fifty years ago, lighting gels are made of gelatin (because it doesn't burn from the heat of the stage lights) and they immediately melt if they get wet.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Gelatin, who da thunk, thanks for that. A lot can change in fifty years, might still be worth looking into.
    If it was me I’d try the glass route first, but I’m a journey rather than a destination guy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    If you are converting an oil navigation lamp to electric, keep in mind that real starboard oil navigation lamp lenses will be colored blue because an oil lamp flame is yellow and yellow and blue make green.
    You made me look, no it's green.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    You made me look, no it's green.
    I have a nice antique pair of oil-burning copper yacht running lights that a fellow gave me because he had no use for them because one of them had a dark blue lens. It took me a while to realize why the lens was blue, but it became immediately obvious when I cleaned them up and lit the "blue" one.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I'd experiment with heating and bending acrylic.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    I'd experiment with heating and bending acrylic.
    I would not. Plastic is such garbage. Glass has been around for thousands of years, the techniques are well-known, if you have to go to a lot of trouble to create something it may as well be something good.

    p.s. Is that a Charlie Noble in that middle shot with the line wrapped around it ? Looks kind of cool.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Hi Agree Glass is the proper solution..
    Would you please explain that Charlie Nobel it is interesting.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    I discovered that colored LED bulbs are very expensive! You would be better off using non colored bulbs and consulting a custom glass blower if you want to retain those nice fittings. That won't be cheap either so you might just bite the bullet and investigate fittings that are available.
    Jay
    https://www.fisheriessupply.com/dave...igation-lights

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    That won't be cheap
    If you don't mind doing it yourself and taking some time, lots of community colleges have useful artsy-craftsy evening classes. A friend of mine does bronze castings this way and it's much cheaper than any other way. He does feet and stuff insted of cleats but the principle is the same.

    They usually have stained glass and other glassy art forms. I had a neighbor that did art glass, it wasn't a big deal. The schmoozing was, but making the stuff was pretty simple

    Those are plain but nice. I wanted them but three for $270, sigh. Over my budget for luxuries. If that was all I had to buy they'd be on the way already

    I think the op's are nicer, for a sailboat. I wonder if you could slump them over a form with just a rosebud torch ? I would sure try ...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Without the size or voltage, a precise answer is more difficult.
    Perko makes several sizes
    https://www.perko.com/catalog/catego...s/product/605/
    https://www.perko.com/product_listin...e_parts/3/175/

    Colored LED bulbs are an option if you have to bend a plastic cover and can't find colored plastic.

    It would probably be easier to cold bend a 1-3mm thick (guesswork on the thickness) polycarbonate sheet than thermoforming acrylic. PC can be bent like metal. Be careful of sealants and coatings on PC. Some chemicals such as acetone embrittle it badly, so check to be sure that anything you use on it is compatible. You can find PC with a UV resistant coating, but you can also apply a clear coat paint to protect it. https://autofthings.com/best-clear-coat-for-headlights/ (Anyone with clouded or scratched plastic windows should look at headlight refinishing products.)

    Casting a clear lens with PU is another possibility. Resins are available from a number of sources.
    https://www.smooth-on.com/tutorials/...tal-clear-202/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMe9MOBjkmc
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    I wonder if you could slump them over a form with just a rosebud torch ? I would sure try ...
    That's basically how I'd do it. You'd have to be able to cut the glass to fit and then bend it. Perhaps the best approach would be too lay it over a form and put it in a kiln, heating it until it bent... and no more. If you've ever tried to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich in a microwave, you'll know what I mean. It would be nice, however, to try to get them made of tempered glass. In any event, if and when you do make glass replacements, I'd suggest you have them make up a pair or two extra in case one breaks! If you have the back-up replacements, you'll be sure that you'll never need them. If you don't, odds are you will bust one of them again... so it always goes with such things. You might try a specialty automotive glass shop. I'm always amazed at what they can do forming safety glass for windshields.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    If you've ever tried to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich in a microwave, you'll know what I mean.
    Toast the bread first, add cheese, nuke for 20-30 sec.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    The use of a kiln would allow for annealing the glass. This is the same process as those flattened bottles you see at craft shows except you slump it over a form. Not expensive to do, my local stained glass studio gives lessons in this technique.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Terry, I have a glass kiln, which I’ve used for ceramics, and I’m not far from you, Semaphore. I believe you can use plaster mounds. I’d be happy to experiment as I want to do some glass mouldings myself. Pm me if you’re interested.

    Regards. Adrian
    the invisible man........

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Mounds = moulds
    the invisible man........

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    Toast the bread first, add cheese, nuke for 20-30 sec.
    Toast turns soggy. Cheese does a "melt down' and half of it ends up on the plate instead of the bread.

    The goal is a crisp piece of toast and a perfectly melted piece of cheese, retaining its original shape, yet soft and warm.

    Cherish the small pleasures in life.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Classic Nav Light lenses needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Toast turns soggy. Cheese does a "melt down' and half of it ends up on the plate instead of the bread.

    The goal is a crisp piece of toast and a perfectly melted piece of cheese, retaining its original shape, yet soft and warm.

    Cherish the small pleasures in life.
    Mea culpa, I meant to say 15- 20 sec. There is a very narrow window between soft and warm and hot runny mess. It can be done.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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