1953 Thermidor 303

Discussion in 'Thermidor' started by James, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. James

    James Subscriber

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    This is my example of this lantern.

    The glass is marked "Chance Hysil" and the base is stamped 5 53 which I assume is the date of manufacture. There is a rectangle in the paint where the decal used to be and a few flecks of red.

    It has a few problems. The needle is missing from the pricker, so I have to take it apart every so often to clean the jet. It didn't come with a preheater cup, so I used a Tilley torch.

    It doesn't run very well. It starts to dump liquid paraffin through the burner after a few minutes of running. I think it suffers from the same problem as the Veritas 350 and "Superb" namely the mantle is too far away to keep the vapourizer hot enough to run properly, and it doesn't have a Preston ring like a Petromax to compensate. I got this photo by running it at a very low pressure, where it seems to run okay.

    I thought it might have been a gasoline lantern due to the lack of a preheater. However, the presence of an air-release screw suggests otherwise. The control dial acts as both a jet cleaner and a shut-off valve.

    1354467692-thermidor1.jpg
    1354468339-thermidor2.jpg 1354468347-thermidor3.jpg 1354468352-thermidor4.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2017
  2. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello James, would it be possible to fit a Primus style of pricker?

    You could try using a larger mantle, that might help.

    I do not have one of those lanterns, but other collectors here do, so perhaps better advice will be forthcoming, Jeff.
     
  3. James

    James Subscriber

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    I don't actually own any Primus lamps so I am not sure what the pricker looks like. I won't bother trying to fettle the pricker unless I can get the thing running properly.
     
  4. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello James, there are photos of Primus prickers shown on this website, Jeff.
     
  5. James

    James Subscriber

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    Guess I should have looked at the photos to the left :doh: I'm not sure if the part with the needle unscrews from the rest of the pricker rod.

    I'm using a Butterfly 500cp mantle, but they do seem to shrink quite a bit when lit. Can you recommend a larger brand of mantle, or perhaps one that will form a rounder shape?
     
  6. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello James, I'm not keen on those Butterfly mantles for that reason, I prefer Anchor mantles, I shall send you a PT., with a link for them, Jeff.
     
  7. James

    James Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link. I tried an Anchor mantle on it and it did seem to form slightly larger and it ran for a little longer but then I had the same problem as before with puffs of orange flame and smoke.

    Strange as other owners of this lamp model don't seem to have problems running it.
     
  8. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello James, it is a heating problem then, perhaps you could try giving it 2 torches, one right after the other.

    It also helps if you can tie the mantle so that when it burns off, it forms close to the vapouriser.

    However, those lamps may be designed for a certain mantle, or they could just be poorly designed.

    I'm speculating here, because I have never had an example of that lantern, Jeff.
     
  9. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I used a Bulfinch mantle on mine and the rounder shape made it fit closer to the generator and the lamp worked fine. These lamps have to have a mantle almost touching the vaporiser tube so it is a matter of shape not size. ::Neil::
     
  10. James

    James Subscriber

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    Cheers Neil,

    Base-camp sell three types of Bullfinch mantle, which one do I want?

    1582 Bullfinch 1595 Floodlight & AutoFlood mantle
    1617 Bullfinch 1616 Handilight mantle
    1228 Bullfinch 1215 Miniflood mantle
     
  11. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I really can't remember. I think they were the floodlight type. You want the biggest one although I know I have used two and I don't recall noticing any difference. All three are round ball shape in use though. Might be worth buying a few and experimenting. ::Neil::
     
  12. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    The 1616 Handilight is rated at 150 watts and the 1225 Miniflood is rated at 100 watts. That would suggest the 1616 mantle is the larger of the two. I can't find the 1595 Floodlight & Autoflood you mention listed in the catalogue so I've no idea about that one.

    Like Neil, I can't remember which mantle I put on my 303 but judging by the shape, it looks like a Coleman of some sort. That's a bit surprising because they're more U-shaped than globular. Notwithstanding that, I've no recollection the lantern ran badly - I was quite pleased with it at the time... :D
     
  13. James

    James Subscriber

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    Please could someone take a photo of what the preheater tray is supposed to look like - I might have a go at making one.
     
  14. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    It's a sort of kidney-shaped thing but more curved which clips around the vapouriser. It's too late now and I'm out all tomorrow until late so it'll be Wednesday evening unless someone comes up with something before then. Very difficult to reproduce at a guess and you may possibly be better considering one of Stu's Tilley replacements, sleeved to suit. Just a thought...

    Despite what I said in my post above, I don't think the mantle I fitted to mine is a Coleman, although it is U-shaped. Probably a Petromax or Optimus. There's a good 1/2" gap between it and the vapouriser...

    Edit:
    1369250552-Thermidor_303_spirit_cup.jpg
    You could get a Bialaddin Spirit cup in there - or perhaps one of Stu's reproductions sleeved to suit - just a thought...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2017

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