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Who Likes And Uses Hurricane Lamps..?

Chigger

Ray Mears
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Hi,

I spent 2 years living on a little island just off the coast of Papua New Guinea and of course, electric lighting was a real luxury...we had power for 2 hours per day between 4 and 6pm. This was back in the mid 80s.

We had to use a hurricane lamp outside those hours. We had a kerosene fridge too so always had kerosene on hand. I found both to be a pain in the arse: the fridge was great when it worked but too often we'd come home from school to find our little house full of soot and the fridge out. The lamp inside the house stank.

Was never able to fix the fridge so just had to keep pulling it apart and cleaning it every week or so.

We solved the lighting by picking up some 12volt lights to run from a car cigarette lighter. Ran them from a 12 volt battery which was connected to a charger plugged into the power. Switches on the walls and it was a great set up. It charged up for 2 hours per day and was enough to keep the lights going and our radio.

Now back In Oz, I go campig and am onto my second Coleman dual fuel pressure lamp. I picked my second one up the other day at a garage sale for $10...it was hardly used at all. I also picked up a great kero pressure lamp some years ago but gave it to a friend...not sure if he still has it.

My Coleman presssure lamp is the go to lamp for checking out Aboriginal engravings at night. Put the light source down on the rock and hey presto, you'll see stuff that's just not visible in daylight.

KB

Interesting living on an island and although I have never used a kerosene fridge knew plenty of farming people of years ago whom did. Kero fridges were a bit of a fire hazard and some houses had a concrete enclosure for where the fridge was located because of this.

The burners needed regular cleaning as you have noted.

Many years ago spent a few months in a farm house with no electricity at all. A wood burning stove, hurricane lamps and for quick boiling of water for tea used my Dad's Primus pressure stove.
Still have the stove which is in working order.

Coleman lamps are very bright, I use Shellite in mine. (Also have a Coleman dual fuel twin burner stove, the green box one). Best not to put Australian unleaded fuel in them as the generators can be damaged.

Unleaded fuel sold in Australia has additives which are not good for lamps and stoves.

Knew a group of 4WD'ers whom made the mistake of putting unleaded fuel in their Coleman dual fuel stoves and they all had to have the generators replaced.
 

koalaboi

Ray Mears
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Ta for the reponse.

Only use shellite in m ine too. I also have an old optimus shellite stove whih needs metho to prime it. This was before trangias. It's much smaller than a trangia and heats up very quickly. Have walked in Australia and PNG with it.

KB
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Ta for the reponse.

Only use shellite in m ine too. I also have an old optimus shellite stove whih needs metho to prime it. This was before trangias. It's much smaller than a trangia and heats up very quickly. Have walked in Australia and PNG with it.

KB

Would love to see a photo of that one, maybe we need to start a stoves thread.


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Chigger

Ray Mears
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Fished out a couple more of my lamps which were stored away.

The blue lamp is a Dietz No 10 Monarch hot blast lamp which was more intended as a barn lamp. The other is a very old English Chalwyn Far East model, very rusted and in my youthful enthusiasm slopped silver fros paint all over it.

Probably one day I will do a proper restoration of it sometime.

Dietz Monarch and Chalwyn.jpg
 

Edward

Ray Mears
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Hi there. Some nice old lamps here... Koalaboi's story sounds like paradise!

When you start out using an oil lantern's in the 80's how/ why would you stop??? Such a beautiful ambience indeed- really makes a camp, IMHO.

Here are two contemporary, but well used, (galvanic) Feuerhand lanterns made in Germany I brought about a year ago, and a stainless steel/brass Miners Protector Lamp I just had to have from England, by Eccles.

I take 1-3 army green Feuerhand's when car camping, and occasionally 1 when rock, river or jetty fishing.

I also looked into some early 1950 kero pressure lanterns, hence the Tilley Lamp Book and even brought the washer servicing kits. But I wasn't able to find any good examples at the time and restorations weren't really feasible for the ones I could find.


6D59BlU.jpg
 
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Chigger

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A hurricane lamp makes a good night fishing light and is cheap to run. Always take one with me on my fishing trips.
 

Edward

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A hurricane lamp makes a good night fishing light and is cheap to run. Always take one with me on my fishing trips.


Agreed Chigger :_applauso:

I have always been surprised by the run times too. And unlike with an electrical headlamp etc, I know it simply cant fail me and if it does I can probably fix it!

There is a bit on you tube about enthusiasts making these lamps run more efficiently by trimming wicks, increasing candle power by using thicker wicks and running them on different and cheap natural fuels. Its all good fun I reckon!

When I brought these new oil lanterns I ran them out the back of my house every Friday and Saturday night. One late afternoon I noticed I hadn't turned one of the darn things off before bed one night. On closer inspection I realised it was still alight, and it still had a third of a tank of gas left in it it!:malefico:

As a kid I was also intrigued by those primitive torches you see people like Indiana Jones using in caves, etc. albeit not that practical nor safe.

Cheers, Edward.
 
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Chigger

Ray Mears
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An occassional brush away the carbon buildup from around the wick and a trim will help to widen the flame out which results in more light output. Did that with my Dietz's a few days back and could see the improvement.
 

Edward

Ray Mears
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An occassional brush away the carbon buildup from around the wick and a trim will help to widen the flame out which results in more light output. Did that with my Dietz's a few days back and could see the improvement.

Hi Chigger,

Thanks for that. I trim the wicks when needed, but I haven't brushed off the carbon build up. I will try that as well to keep them running efficiently! I have always wondered what peoples reaction would be or what they would say, particularly the young, if they saw me using these lamps:risatonaD: Some great old lamps you have there. Cheers, Edward.
 

koalaboi

Ray Mears
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Would love to see a photo of that one, maybe we need to start a stoves thread.


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Here it is packed up to travel. I keep it in a cotton bag.

DSCN5229.jpg

When opened out, the tank and heat shield move out onto the dropped hinged side and the key is set to turn the fuel up or down.

There is a shallow dish around the base of the fuel jet. I fill it with metho then light. The heat vapourises the shellite in the system and, just as the metho flame is about to finish, turn on the fuel and it lights. It's a loud little fella and was well known amongst bushwalkers back in the day as a choofer. Gets very hot very quickly.

DSCN5231.jpg

One of my favourite bits of kit which has boiled my billy from the highlands of Papua to the southern coast of Tassie to the deserts of Central Australia. It's 38 years old, has had no maintenance and works every time.

KB
 
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MongooseDownUnder

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Th Optimus 8r is a great stove, I have one that is almost brand new. I tend to fall back on a small Coleman 442 though as it has fantastic simmer control.


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Chigger

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This little Svea 123 is also known as a "chuffa", burns Shellite and will work at full heat output even in the coldest of climates. Easily 30 plus years old and still going strong. Still use it for overnight full pack walks especially during total fire bans.

Chuffa Stove.jpg

Recently bought this stove over from the U.S as not available in Australia and is the Optimus plus Hiker. A multifuel stove and will burn Shellite, kero, diesel and probably some others. Also known as the Himalaya stove and meant for expeditions going into really remote sparsly populated areas where fuels are hard to get.

Again a stove that will work at full heat in the harshest of climates.

Hiker plus stove.jpg
 

Edward

Ray Mears
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Here it is packed up to travel. I keep it in a cotton bag.


View attachment 25228

...One of my favourite bits of kit which has boiled my billy from the highlands of Papua to the southern coast of Tassie to the deserts of Central Australia. It's 38 years old, has had no maintenance and works every time. (sub-quoted)

KB


WOW! She's a keeper then I assume. Oh, the romance...:non sono stato io:
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Some interesting comments and photos.
I've been using Optimus, Dietz + Weems and Plath lanterns for years.

Cheap Kero fuel, Try A1 Jet fuel from Airports. MUCH cheaper than store bought Kero. About as smelly though.

For the MUCH cheaper alternative to expensive Lamp Oil, use Mobil / Pegasol 3440 Special.
This is Pharmaceutical grade pure Kerosene. The stuff they put in Make Up, Lipstick etc.
Approx. $140 for 20 litres.
You can add Citronella or Lavender Oil to keep Bugs away if required.
Make ABSOLUTELY sure you LABEL it toxic as it does not smell or taste like kero. very easily confused with water.

Wicks, to prevent improper burning (creating soot) trim outside edges 45 degrees. Ensure majority of wick still has flat top.. Guaranteed to solve problem.

If you have those older style Marine Lanterns that sit in gimbals on bulkhead, WARNING, they are toxic due to the lead ingot in base of bowl to stop the lantern tilting and causing the flame to pulse.
NOT necessary if you do the following.
Remove bowl, heat lead out on Barbie, blowtorch etc. Scour inside bowl with pad. Replace wick (contains lead)
If using on Boat, put some Cotton Duck, Canvas etc in bowl to prevent fuel sloshing around. Not required in house.
Cable tie the Gimbal arms to prevent Lamp moving. No longer required, due to cotton baffling and Chimney will not get smashed against bulkhead in rough weather...
Trim wick as above. The cotton inside will enable you to use shorter wick if unable to replace quickly.
Wicks will generally only burn creating hard black line of resin on top, only, if the kero runs out. (common issue)
It is the Vapour that burns on the wick.
Glass can be cleaned with Mentholated spirits if required when COOL.

If you have a old lantern and are unable to get replacement Chimney, go to a University lab, or Fax them details and they will happily Glass Blow a new one for pretty cheap with the advantage it will be correctly annealed and not explode like some cheap shit Chinese ones at Boat Chandlers....

Hope this helps with some of those obscure questions/concerns.
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Hi, further to the lamp subject, here is a link to the Amish website of Lehmans.

Fascinating site and well worth a visit. LOTS of info. Just click on the Lamps and lighting site and trawl around for tips.. very slow to load, but well worth it as they have some really good info on any Homesteading stuff. Enjoy..

 

Chigger

Ray Mears
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Some interesting comments and photos.
I've been using Optimus, Dietz + Weems and Plath lanterns for years.

Cheap Kero fuel, Try A1 Jet fuel from Airports. MUCH cheaper than store bought Kero. About as smelly though.

For the MUCH cheaper alternative to expensive Lamp Oil, use Mobil / Pegasol 3440 Special.
This is Pharmaceutical grade pure Kerosene. The stuff they put in Make Up, Lipstick etc.
Approx. $140 for 20 litres.
You can add Citronella or Lavender Oil to keep Bugs away if required.
Make ABSOLUTELY sure you LABEL it toxic as it does not smell or taste like kero. very easily confused with water.

Wicks, to prevent improper burning (creating soot) trim outside edges 45 degrees. Ensure majority of wick still has flat top.. Guaranteed to solve problem.

If you have those older style Marine Lanterns that sit in gimbals on bulkhead, WARNING, they are toxic due to the lead ingot in base of bowl to stop the lantern tilting and causing the flame to pulse.
NOT necessary if you do the following.
Remove bowl, heat lead out on Barbie, blowtorch etc. Scour inside bowl with pad. Replace wick (contains lead)
If using on Boat, put some Cotton Duck, Canvas etc in bowl to prevent fuel sloshing around. Not required in house.
Cable tie the Gimbal arms to prevent Lamp moving. No longer required, due to cotton baffling and Chimney will not get smashed against bulkhead in rough weather...
Trim wick as above. The cotton inside will enable you to use shorter wick if unable to replace quickly.
Wicks will generally only burn creating hard black line of resin on top, only, if the kero runs out. (common issue)
It is the Vapour that burns on the wick.
Glass can be cleaned with Mentholated spirits if required when COOL.

If you have a old lantern and are unable to get replacement Chimney, go to a University lab, or Fax them details and they will happily Glass Blow a new one for pretty cheap with the advantage it will be correctly annealed and not explode like some cheap shit Chinese ones at Boat Chandlers....

Hope this helps with some of those obscure questions/concerns.

I would very much like to get 20L of JetA1 however our local airport is a number fortified enclosures with nobody about. Buying kero at Bunnings is very expensive.

This American site has a lot of info on lanterns : https://lanternnet.com/

TW Sands of Melbourne a local Oz lamp supplier along with Braidwood Oilamps is where I get my lantern stuff.

Apart from my pressure lanterns use Dietz or Chalwyn lanterns of and on for camping. Easy to use, quiet and three set up around the campsite gives pretty good lighting.
 
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Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Exquisite candle lights and noticed the pistol type flint candle lighter which I would imagine would only be something for the very wealthy.

Although this is a thread on kerosene if I may ask one question. A while back I was camped in a cave and resolved not to use any modern fire lighting or night time illumination devices of any sort.
No electric torches, mobile phone torches, lumo stick thingers or anything.

Lit the campfire with flint and steel from which lit my collapsible candle lamp which was my night light.

Upon going to bed realised that one I put the candle lamp out it was pitch black dark, could hardly see my hand in front of my face.

Lets say some calamity arose during the pitch black night and your candle lamp was the only source of light and the fire had gone out and one urgently needed a light fast.

I have enough trouble lighting a fire with flint and steel when in day light and can see what I am doing let alone in the pitch darkness.

Any suggestions ? No sneaking out a box of matches.
Hi, you could make a "slow match"

This is a piece of hemp line/rope soaked in potassium nitrate and dried.

If no nitrate available, you could soak in urine if wanting to be " authentic"

This is what keeps "Tailor made" cigarettes from self extinquishing unlike rollies.
Also used to light cannons on ships.
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Hi, have just been on another yacht discussing heaters.
He uses a large Dietz lantern and runs alcohol (meths) in it for heating.
Just beware that it is easy to inadvertently leave on due to flame not being visible.
 

Chigger

Ray Mears
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Hi, have just been on another yacht discussing heaters.
He uses a large Dietz lantern and runs alcohol (meths) in it for heating.
Just beware that it is easy to inadvertently leave on due to flame not being visible.

Probably has a Dietz Blizzard which is a Dietz with a 1 inch burner, a very large lantern . I have one and they can put out quite a good amount of illumination. Quite easy to read a book by the light.

Did not know they could be run on metho, must give it a try one time and see how it goes.
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Probably has a Dietz Blizzard which is a Dietz with a 1 inch burner, a very large lantern . I have one and they can put out quite a good amount of illumination. Quite easy to read a book by the light.

Did not know they could be run on metho, must give it a try one time and see how it goes.
Hi, yeah that is a new one for me.
Obviously kero is going to give heat as well as light, but he reckons the alcohol gives more heat.
Personally, in this weather, I prefer to drink the alcohol (Scotch, not meths) and run keep in lantern.
 
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