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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Cas City Historical Society (Moderators: St. George, Silver Creek Slim)  |  Topic: Center Draft Lamps 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Center Draft Lamps  (Read 4371 times)
Ben Beam
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« on: May 28, 2017, 11:35:45 pm »


I'm sure the first part of the story will sound familiar to some of you: I bought a cheap oil lantern on a lark. $13 at my local hardware store. Tried it out and thought "gosh, this thing is actually kind of handy." Bought another one, a Dietz this time, but I researched and bought the Air Pilot since it was reputed to be their brightest. Way better than the cheapo one I bought. Of course now I knew what to look for, so when I came across a "proper" Emerson hot blast lantern at the antique store I picked that up as well. More period correct, but not very bright. And even though I'm using "clean burning"  lamp oil, they all smell a bit unpleasant burning indoors.

Then I learned about the wonders of the Argand lamp, more commonly known as the center draft oil lamp (technically an Argand lamp has the fount above the light and a slightly different burner, but the name is often used interchangeably and the designs are very similar, both using the central draft tube and round wick). Uses a round wick to provide dramatically more light, and purportedly practically no odor when burning properly due to better combustion. Lucked across one at the flea market for a good price that even had a shade, although it needed some work. Ended up having to boil it in citric acid and water to get it apart so I could free up the wick and give it a good cleaning. An afternoon later and I get it working only to find out that the chimney it came with is much too short at 8", and that it needs at least a 10" chimney to burn properly, preferably a 12" at my altitude (around 5200 feet). And the wick might need changing, since it's been sitting around so long the cotton is deieriorating. Currently it burns so hot I can't turn the knob on it. Whoops, wrong fuel (needs low odor mineral spirits, not lamp oil).

Suddenly I find myself surrounded by lamps I don't need, looking for any excuse to sit outside and bask in their glow. But when has this whole old west hobby been practical? Certainly not since it was the old west.

https://imgur.com/a/H8sun

Gee, those Aladdin lamps sure do look interesting...
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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 07:14:27 am »

My Aladden lamp is very bright and I have the high altitude chimney on it. All parts and extras are available for them at a hardware store in Boulder Colorado.
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Ben Beam
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 09:14:47 am »

Let me guess: McGuckin Hardware?
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 03:03:49 pm »

Let me guess: McGuckin Hardware?
One of the best Hardware stores anywhere.
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Delmonico
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 04:24:30 pm »

Use charcoal lighter fluid in coal oil lamps for a brighter less sooty light.  Been doing it for years.  Wouldn't in the Aladdin ones but is fine in regular barn lanterns.
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2017, 05:30:20 pm »

Let me guess: McGuckin Hardware?
So you know of the meca of hardware!
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Ben Beam
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 06:22:16 pm »

I've been shopping at McGuckin hardware since the days when they had their additional store at Thunderbird Shopping Center.
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Ben Beam
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 10:44:25 pm »

Use charcoal lighter fluid in coal oil lamps for a brighter less sooty light.  Been doing it for years.  Wouldn't in the Aladdin ones but is fine in regular barn lanterns.


I always thought that charcoal lighter fluid was just less refined mineral spirits?  If so, Mr. Kirkman expends quite a bit of typing making a big deal about not using it in any flat-wick "kerosene" lanterns. I don't claim to know one way or the other, but I feel obligated to point it out lest someone get hurt. Of course here I am burning The Devil's Fuel in my center draft lantern, despite the fact it seems to get hotter than my Dietz. I think maybe I better do a bit more research. If nothing else it'll give me a chance to play with my thermal camera and see just how these boys get.

Edit: From Wikipedia: "Round wick, center draft lamps, must only burn either Klean-Heat or low odor mineral spirits.

Any liquid with a low flash point presents a high risk of fire or explosion if used in a kerosene wick lamp. Such liquids are dangerous and should not be used in a kerosene lamp or lantern. Examples include:

Charcoal lighter fluid
Gasoline (petrol)
Naphtha, white gas or Coleman fuel
Mineral spirits, paint thinner, white spirit (Stoddard solvent)
Other hydrocarbon solvents such as turpentine, benzene, xylene, toluene, acetone, camphene, lacquer thinner
Denatured alcohol"
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 06:59:20 am »

Wiki as a prime source?

My info came from a chemist I trust.   Whatever, been doing is for about 15 years.

Flash point if checked is about that of coal oil aka kerosene aka paraffin oil to the Brits.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

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The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 07:21:39 am »

Also many people confuse flash point with auto-ignition point which does not matter because in theis case they are also about the same.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Ben Beam
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 10:00:08 am »

Wiki as a prime source?

My info came from a chemist I trust.   Whatever, been doing is for about 15 years.

Flash point if checked is about that of coal oil aka kerosene aka paraffin oil to the Brits.

As I noted before, I don't know anything about this and am not trying to tell you you're wrong. As you said, you've been doing it for fifteen years and haven't had any problems; but a lot of people are making a big deal about it being exceedingly dangerous.

You're one of my favorite people on this board, not to mention a valuable asset (they should insure you!), and I would hate to see you or anyone else get hurt. But you're an adult, and I'm certainly not going to tell you what to do, just sharing what I had read. Kirkman makes a big deal, and quotes some primary sources other than Wikipedia here under Question 3: http://www.lanternnet.com/faqs.htm
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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2017, 03:55:18 pm »

Anyone own a Famos 120 C.P. lamp?

I have about a dozen of them and a few other  "20 line" (a little larger diameter wick than an Aladdin. Aladdin's are a 15 line. Line is a European measure.) lamps. They are quite the mantle lamp with twice the output of an Aladdin.
 
 I also have a German made burner (Kronos Mammoth) that replaces the burner in a Rayo lamp to make it a mantle lamp (the Rayo is a 30 line size). The mantle for it is huge and the light output from it is 180 C.P.! ( about a 150 watt incandescent bulb for us "older" folks!). We only light it a few times a year, it has the only mantle I've ever seen for one that size and probably will never see another one.

 These old lamps are quite fascinating. For the record, we only burn clear, fresh, K1 kero.

Mike
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pony express
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2017, 06:38:23 pm »

Anyone own a Famos 120 C.P. lamp?

I have about a dozen of them and a few other  "20 line" (a little larger diameter wick than an Aladdin. Aladdin's are a 15 line. Line is a European measure.) lamps. They are quite the mantle lamp with twice the output of an Aladdin.
 
I'm guessing a "Line" is about 1/10 of an inch, since the Russians referred to their .30cal Mosin Nagant rifles as "three line" So a 15 line wick should be about 1 1/2, and 20 about 2". Does that seem to match your lamps?
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Delmonico
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2017, 08:22:37 pm »

Interesting because the MSDS's on both (were looked at when this subject first came up)  list the Flash point of Kerosene at 100F and Kingsford lighter fluid at 105F.

http://www.interstateoil.com/forms/KeroseneSDS.pdf

http://www.rwsidley.com/MSDS/kingsford2.pdf


Then there is the OSHA guidelines that define both as a category 2 Flammable liquid. 

https://www.osha.gov/dte/library/TrngandMatlsLib_FlammableLiquids.pdf

Class 1 is where gasoline - 40F flash point and Colman Fuel a 0F flash point are. 



* FL 1.JPG (54.58 KB, 698x465 - viewed 26 times.)

* FL 2.JPG (80.3 KB, 700x353 - viewed 26 times.)
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
45 Dragoon
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2017, 11:16:38 pm »

Pony Express,
 I believe it was a measurement that originated in France. The history is a little vague .  .  .  
But, the English folks I know in the "lamp community" call the Aladdin lamp wicks a 15''' (line/linge) size. Many of the early mantle lamps were 14''' (Saxonia, Index, ). So, Aladdin wicks are 1" dia. and the 20 line lamps are just shy of 1 1/4" and 30 lines are 1 1/2". The Rayo lamp is considered a 30 line burner. If the round wick is cut and laid flat, I believe the total width is the "line" number.

Delmonico,
  I'm almost sure K1 Kerosene is cheaper by the gallon than lighter fluid but I could be mistaken. I know folks that will burn Mineral Spirits in their lamps, still more expensive (where I live anyway, GA.).
 
 We burn some "open flame" lamps, Angle lamps, but outside only. They are great looking lamps but for inside, we use only mantle lamps. The Famos lamps will run for about 14 hrs at about half its output (about an Aladdin at almost full brightness) and put out a lot of heat.

 The best part about mantle lamps (for those that don't know) is they are probably the most efficient user of a fossil fuel. They burn with a blue flame (total combustion) have an incandescent mantle for a catalyst for anything escaping the "total combustion " part,  give off abundant white light ,  heat and water vapor. Therefore, there is no smoke or odor, just slient white light and heat. They are great "ambient lighting" during the cold months if that's your "thing".

So, I won't argue what fuel folks can or can't use in whatever lamp they have but, these were made for use for " water clear Kerosene" and for almost 30 yrs, that is what we've used in the mantle lamps. Colored oils will clog wicks and "lesser" fuels will do the same.  

I'll try and post any pics I can of the Famos 120s and especially the Kronos Mammoth.

Mike
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Delmonico
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 09:24:06 am »

Dragoon, it's the being handy to buy anywhere, the handy package and not having to buy large amounts to store that is part of the appeal.  The other is the cleaner burning, far cleaner burning.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
45 Dragoon
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2017, 02:45:34 pm »

Delmonico,
  I get that. Convenience is defiantly a factor. I've tried other fuels as well but they don't seem to perform as well as Kerosene. They seem to be too thin for some applications and others trying different grades of diesel fuel (looking for convenience) were less than satisfactory. This is strictly pertaining to the mantle lamps.

 As far as "cleaner burning" goes, I don't know how much cleaner you can get with an output of light, water and carbon dioxide! There are no " bad" emissions from a mantle lamp. On the contrary, oxygen depletion would be more apt to happen.  Again, for those that don't know, when you have complete combustion, the usual emissions are heat, water and carbon dioxide. Incomplete combustion emits carbon monoxide. Thats the other nice thing about using mantle lamps indoors.

I think with open flame lamps or lanterns (flat wick or round wick), you can get away with a wider variety of fuels. I usually burn off any old kerosene in our Angle lamps. Their flat wicks are cheaper to replace than the Famos wicks.

Mikeo
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Delmonico
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2017, 03:01:43 pm »

Yeah, I just use it in them old barn lanterns.  Was funny one time a friend and I were sitting around camp and he demanded to know why my cheap Wal-Mart ones put out more light than his Dietz.  A quick dump out and filling with my fuel changed that. 

It allows more flame with out the soot and the light is brighter.   Also if it gets spilled it don't have the smell either. 

What's funny is I keep a bottle of the cheapest soy bean oil to use for fire starter if it's wet.  Pour it over the wood and some paper, put a match to the paper and it burns longer and is cheaper than the lighter fluid.  99 cents a liter at Wal-Mart.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
45 Dragoon
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2017, 09:27:48 pm »

Yap! I understand what you mean. Some folks have trouble with the mantle lamps as well! It's all about knowing the "tricks" or the right setup. My Angle lamps would burn better with good Kero but this summer I may try some of your "tricks" and see if it helps them with light output.

 Good trick with the soy bean oil!!  Sounds like a great idea!

BTW, the mantle lamps I've been discussing are wick fed, non pressurized lamps. Some folks may get the idea about Coleman lanterns/indoor lamps and I just don't want them to be confused.

Mike
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Delmonico
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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2017, 01:00:40 am »

Grew up with the Aladdin lamps, we had a couple we used in power outages, have done homework by them.

 
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
45 Dragoon
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2017, 03:34:05 pm »

Ha!! I can relate!! I was pretty big in the collecting of Aladdin lamps for many many years. The house was full of them and the collector bunch was just crazy about them. The Aladdin Knights (largest lamp club in existence)  held meets through the year and the big National Meet (called the Gathering) would bring in folks from all over the world! Buying and selling them was quite a business!! Needless to say, my kids have done their homework under "Aladdin light" many many nights!!

  Years later I found the German made Famos 120 C.P.s (and the later English variants) and my ideas about Aladdin's changed somewhat. Aladdin's are fine lamps for sure but the Famos lamps are honestly the king of mantle lamps (Those dang Germans make good stuff!!!).

 Though hard to find on this side of the pond, they are worth looking for (I've been finished looking for years!).  New wicks can still be had, it's the mantles that are the "hens teeth"!! An adapter can be easily made so Aladdin mantles can be used.

We use hanging Aladdin's in parts of our house (they are electrified but non-destructivly) and a floor lamp from the early 1930s and some table lamps but the Famos lamps have a permanent " use as intended" existence in our house!

Mike
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Ben Beam
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2017, 06:35:48 pm »

With the upsurge in "survivalist" types and those just concerned about being prepared for off-grid emergencies, you'd think there'd be some demand for someone to start manufacturing these again. I've heard people rave about how bright the Aladdin's are, but most sites I see people acknowledge that they tend to be finicky. Not much to go wrong with these center draft lamps (aside from maybe finding a fuel that won't piss someone off!). Wink
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2017, 01:14:13 am »

With the upsurge in "survivalist" types and those just concerned about being prepared for off-grid emergencies, you'd think there'd be some demand for someone to start manufacturing these again. I've heard people rave about how bright the Aladdin's are, but most sites I see people acknowledge that they tend to be finicky. Not much to go wrong with these center draft lamps (aside from maybe finding a fuel that won't piss someone off!). Wink

https://www.lehmans.com/product/aladdin-aluminum-table-oil-lamp/

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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2017, 01:16:05 am »

http://www.aladdin-us.com/?s_kwcid=aladdin%20lamps|11264721379&gclid=Cj0KEQjw9r7JBRCj37PlltTskaMBEiQAKTzTfBjtxkpUALfFu9m5egzQ_diQc9AyM5-4QQxjEjbyeZEaAuVC8P8HAQ
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Ben Beam
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2017, 09:24:30 am »

Sorry I wasn't clear. I know the Aladdin is still in production, but I was talking about the center Draft type or the Famos. If you want a pump mantle lantern you can get a Coleman for much less than an Aladdin, but again, they're fidgety.

Edit: When I was reading other forums I got the impression that the Aladdin needed to be pumped, which it does not. I still see comments that the mantle is less than ideal in an "emergency" setting due to the fragility, cost, and availability of the mantles. They do look pretty neat, though.

I received a taller chimney for use on my central draft, since I'm at a fairly high altitude. It definitely burns better, and not nearly as hot. Funny what a few extra inches of chimney will do.
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