1968/08 AL620 Tilley Railway Inspection lamp

Discussion in 'AL15-AL15A-AL16-AL620' started by jonathan fairbank, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. jonathan fairbank

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    Hi all,

    Here's an AL15A I bought off E bay recently, it arrived with a track work stand, but as I needed that one for another AL15A which was without that particular apparatus, it'll maybe be appearing slightly half dressed.

    This one here came equip with the large hooded cowl, bracket & doofer wing-nuts; but as the cowl was in very rough shape indeed, I thought it a good enough idea to fit the proper hood, cage net & onion globe to an AL620 model :idea: .

    I did have to give it some thought first, as I don't entirely like to separate part components from old timers (unless breakage forces it), but I'd have been looking at the other AL15A for another few years, before I got around to ending up joyously sequestering, "just" the single track work stand sought, in any other auction find/ bring & buy, or E bay UK.

    It sort of looks nice enough to me, any way, here it is, a little bit the worse for wear . . . .. (hiccup) !

    1405811094-DSCN1940.JPG


    I was very surprised when I'd started removing its original white or cream coloured paint, to be looking at what appeared to be a steel tank ! I had a tip given, to boil them in a pan of water, which then makes very light work of the complete paint removal process.

    Well, that worked & it certainly was steel, as I'd suspected it could have been an under coat, as the boiling had begun, but later on the clock, apart from the heavy pitting & rust at the founts crown, most of its sides were thankfully in quite good nic, with no dings or pit runs to be seen round the 360'.

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    The manufacture date is stamped on the base, to me it looks like 1968, the month of August ? I can't see this dating to the mid eighties :mrgreen: , but another question was why or what, at that late 60's date, were Tilley using steel for with the tanks. The usual brass roll, possibly thin on the ground for what reasons, I haven't a clue there ?


    1405812295-DSCN1947.JPG


    I just enjoy fettling these types of lamps, and that's not just for their diminutive size, they have a certain charm about them, that's brought to light as you move through the cleaning up process.

    Eventually, on 'clunk clicking' all the parts back together again, the photo session looms 'a near'; & it's this reward in itself, that makes these AL's also, a lot of fun . . . .


    1405812820-DSCN1876.JPG


    I find 'em a very photogenic lamp, they catch the light well, from any angle. . . . .


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    Any further info on these models, including how to easily acquire "another track work stand", would be very interesting to hear, hopefully so ?

    I haven't dared to light this one yet, I usually enter a scan with the lamp, during 'burn'; but I hope it's enjoyed regardless. I might give it a shot, around this crimbo time.

    Cheers :thumbup: ,

    Jon.
     
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  2. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    That sure is a nice looking lamp! Did you simply polish the steel tank, or have it re-chromed? It looks really shiny. Oh, and please do light it up... how else will you know how well it works?

    Phil
     
  3. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The AL-620 is a very handy lamp and in my opinion it's far less bother to maintain than the AL-15 and AL15-A.

    August 1968 is correct and as it's stamped made in England, that was a tank which they had in stock and steel is cheaper than brass.

    It's a fine lamp, but if it's going to be a user rather than a shelf Queen, then I would change the pump to an X-246 Guardsman lantern pump and I would also change the control cock to a proper brass GF., Jeff.
     
  4. jonathan fairbank

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    Hi Phil,

    It's a "No" to your chroming question, all that can be seen of the tank, either the main steel carcass or the brass base plate, has just been heavily polished.

    It all took a hek of a long time, as I did it manually, the least impressive area left visible, is around the top of the tank; it was covered (near enough) in it's original coat of cream white paint, & because that area will be where rain can rest & pool, this maybe where the weather first starts to get behind the paints skin (with the type of work these were used for, way back)?

    The rust had just germinated all around the shoulders, the camera's not too good with 'close up' shots anymore, but it kind of resembles very fine acne scarring; it doesn't depreciate the look of it though, more than anything, it adds to it's authenticity value.

    I'll have to light it, for sure, but will test it without the globe in place & with a cheapo X246B helmet & burner fitted; it's just too nice to ruin all that work, for one safety test run. It'll be a shelf queen, unless I do the dirty, & holler it's potential around the markets !

    It's very difficult, I find, 'just up & selling' ready & completed lamp/ lantern projects I've labored long with; the money it cost in the first place, just seems to be a body blow recall to memory, that's long since forgotten.

    All's I wanna do is just stare at 'em, or occasionally put 'em through their paces, when there's a fine night; too much care & attention, unfortunately, lends to those lighting anxieties, resurfacing.

    I'll light it though, soon enough . ... .

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    Ta :thumbup: ,

    Jon.
     
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  5. jonathan fairbank

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    Thanks for the two tips Jeff, what's shown there is everything it arrived with (pump & control cock, I mean), the control c/k isn't a cheapo X246B replacement (that arrived with it), & added later by whom ever; it's very similar to the very good quality, original X246A stop c/k's. I couldn't be fully sure, but suspect its the one it headed straight out the factory with, in thelate 60's.

    The pump ? Well, I have to 'ditto' there with that too, though it does look like the X246B full pump from the appearance of the thumb fob & cap; it is much heavier & has all the same internals as the Hendons have. If it does go pear shaped mind, I've plenty of X246 pumps from the 50's, infact in the collection I've one that's chromed, so it'd match; I'll give that a go, should it be needed.

    The vapouriser's a good'n, it cleaned up well & gives a powerful yet constant stream, straight up; that's always good to find, all those newer ones loitering about here & there, ought be reconstituted within a girder ](*,) . I find most of those with the brass stop, work very nicely.

    Steel V's Brass ? Steel can be sparked (nearly was last week), brass can't; but from what you're saying, the smelting ingredients or process of brass, must require more labor intensiveness.

    That's got me wondering how many lanterns there are out there, made from Stainless steel; I read the Nite Hawk is, maybe there are other world models/ brands, that will also not rust ?

    The AL620 does look good, mine, well, I'd prefer it to be sporting the track work stand, but until then; I'll be packing it away after it's had its first light (the attached pic's, show the stand it had been bought with, it'll be the shiniest black one there; it was red on arrival mind).


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    This picture may show the grotty Cowl canopy, I got the picture order mixed up, sorry (I've three AL15A Cowls); but in any case, the worse one will be redundant' until something 'just right' comes along in the market, I can add it too.

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    This shot turned out a bit whacky (It's Zig & Zag, hyper bolting through space on a ragga trip. . . . .. . :lol: .)


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    I have to get those cowls enameled, to finish these pictured here; it all takes time, but hopefully I'm nearly there now.

    Cheers :thumbup: ,

    Jon.
     
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  6. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Having met and spoken to you at Newark, and then understanding how meticulous and passionate you are about your lamps and lanterns, I'm not surprised at all at how well the 620 turned out, and I'm sure the 15A's will be of a similar high standard too :thumbup:

    Well done ;)

    The nighthawk ! Was that he beastie that Neil was faffing around with at Newark ? Did you get her going Neil ?
     
  7. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Wow, that Nighthawk was a butt-ugly thing, wasn't it. Four year waiting list and $400 or whatever - Nein danke! =;
     
  8. jonathan fairbank

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    Neil's took off like a meteor, it was a pleasure to watch him at work/ play, it was off & running in no time & the light out put was totally awesome; I couldn't stare at the mantle glare, even though it was broad daylight :idea: :idea:

    They look jolly fellows, to me they do anyway, I'd have to keep the one I eventually commandeer, in fine fettle, the shinier the better, but "each to his own" there; it's certainly daft to be vigilantly cleaning a 'practical working lamp or lantern', day in day out, unless lives are dependent on it.

    I ain't earned that 1000 yard stare yet, being a rookie still, so there's still time left to crank it down a peg or two, with the broom cupboard activity ! Looking forward to a new delivery, shortly, a 7407 Double Sears, the rarer red one; I can't wait, yippee !


    Cheers :thumbup: ,

    Jon.
     
  9. jonathan fairbank

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    Cheers for the commendation there, nice one !

    Yes, Newark was a new experience for me, I didn't really know what to make of how the day unfolded, just running on nerves, I was type of thinking there'd be much more activity, possibly a larger throng of enthusiasts & gatherers, even a few fairground rides & maybe a hot dog stand or pie shop :doh: !

    Regardless, it was very enjoyable all the same, the grounds were set amongst a pleasant, yet quaintly subdued area; if I'd a reliable vehicle of my own, plus tent & gubbins, Rory Gallaghers best of' would have been easing down the JD's & lemonade, A Million Miles Away blasting out . ...a kero lamp, dusting the scene lightly . . but then with all that. . . . Walk On Hot Coals might have arrived earlier than the Sun, or my head luxuriously hitting the umbrella gaff's pillow.

    We'd have liked to have stayed the evening, I might see if it's possible next year, I'll try for it for sure; but there's mucho work to be waded through before then . .. ..tha noz !

    Cheers Longilily, good to meet ya, & tutha folks, including Neil Mc, George, Graham (I think) Gatrix, Derek, Ross, Gneiss, David, Wim & young son Reinart & a few other folks also. Grand pictures added, of the 50 light up, I spotted later on return home. Hoping the weathers as glorious as these last few days have been, for the next one.

    Jon :thumbup: .
     
  10. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Jon, the Ipswich light up later in the year, is also worth a visit, Jeff.
     
  11. jonathan fairbank

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    Thanks Jeff, any dates for that, is it a few day event or just a 'throng on', one day knees up ?

    Cheers :thumbup: ,

    Jon.

    PS: May try out the 620 this coming weekend, crimbo's too far off; will take pic's, successful or not, ta !
     
  12. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Jon, it's held in October at the Ipswich transport museum and it's just for a day and in the evening it's open to the public and the entrance fees from the public help to keep the museum going.

    Check out the link below, Jeff.

    http://0flo.com/index.php?threads/5907
     
  13. jonathan fairbank

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    Thanks for that Jeff, during October then; I'll have a shufties with the e,mail address, to find out from the organizer which day it is going to fall on.

    Jon :thumbup: .
     
  14. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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  15. jonathan fairbank

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    Thanks David, it's a way off still yet, it looks very interesting from the many photo's loaded up from last year; many stalls, all full up, very nice indeed !

    I think it'll be train & my sarnie box, unless I can put out some tempters, which'll mean 'no display' of my own, unless I chance it with possibly one or two ?
    One would be the best bet, for safety & peace of mind: the newly finished Bialaddin 300X, will need double boxing, I'll cadge some fuel if I get there . . . . ... . . Here's an edited shot of those two AL's, 'bout all riggin' fixed up.


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    "Turquoise", it's truly the best colour ever !

    Jon :thumbup: .
     
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  16. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Ipswich is an evening light up display. Henry and I normally start firing lamps up around 3pm and the do ends at 9;30 so we normally don't carry any fuel but fill the lamps before we travel and make do with what they have. As we only need around 6 hours most lamps manage well with just a tank full. It is a long journey for just a few hours but those few hours have a sort of magic with maybe upwards of a thousand lamps burning amongst the muesum displays. ::Neil::
     
  17. jonathan fairbank

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    Cheers Neil,

    I'll try and get down by train, but would prefer to bring a few of my own, I don't know, I'll probably just bring the one Bialaddin, more than likely; it's bad enough having a lamp accident at home (where normality is at it's keenest), but going for a 'burton', 'two lamps in hand', like I did last year, running along Skipton Stations platform, after Henry'd dropped me off there, doesn't need to be repeated !

    So, turning up as early as mid day, wouldn't be an issue, or is there a preferred time slot for visitors arriving ?

    Thanks, Jon.
     
  18. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Jeff, the AL620 may be easier to maintain but if it's a user you want, give me an AL15 every time.

    Once, at a rally, I had both running side-by-side. It was one of those days when one minute, there's not a breath of air, the next, there's a strong gust of wind. The AL15 never faltered whereas the AL620 was nearly blown out. In fact I got so fed-up with it misbehaving (and giving the public a bad impression), I turned it off.

    Henry.
     
  19. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Henry, that's fair enough, Jeff.
     

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