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Austramax 3/300 - Burner - Repair or Replace?

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Pauly, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Hi guys, another question re the fettle that I am doing on this Austramax. This is my first pressure lantern that I picked up by chance at an antique shop out west of Brisbane. I didn't even know what a pressure lantern was, and in fact have not seen one running in real life so this is exciting. I bought it because I already own and like wick-style kero lanterns.

    The burner as you can see in the picture has a rather large hole worn through it. I'm guessing this needs repair/replacement. When I spoke to the guys at oillamps (australian site) they said they only sell the different style of burner for the 3/300, ie, the one with drilled holes rather than mesh. The one I have is the mesh style burner. I've read on this forum that this mesh style burner is a two piece burner. Does that mean I can repair this? If so, how best to do that? Or should I just replace it with the newer style of burner that has the drilled holes rather than mesh??

    Thanks!


    Austramax before disassembly.jpg 20171029_141500.jpg 20171029_141447.jpg
     
  2. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 South Africa Subscriber

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    It is the same design as the Coleman burner cap. Coleman used to sell loose replacement mesh disks for some of their burner caps. On yours, the retaining lip of the brass burner cap is intact so replacing the mesh will be sufficient. It may take a bit of experimentation to find the best grade of (stainless?) steel mesh that will not burn away when it gets hot. Cut a coin shaped piece of mesh with tin snips (sheet metal shears) and push it into place past the rim with your finger in the center. then use a wooden dowel or similar to push it flat through the tube so that the mesh seats well underneath the lip.
     
  3. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks Phil, to remove the existing mesh, is the retaining lip removable, so that you would remove that retaining lip first and then the mesh will pop out? Thanks.
     
  4. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 South Africa Subscriber

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    You do not need to do anything to the retaining lip. It is an integral part of the burner cap. Just pull out the old mesh with pliers. You are likely to damage the lip if you try to bend it open, and it is not necessary to do so in order to remove the old mesh and fit new mesh.
     
  5. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I've got some mesh suitable, I use it for cylindrical bialladin heater mantles and it works well. Send me a PM and I'll post some over :thumbup:
     
  6. Graham P

    Graham P Australia Subscriber

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    Do your pressure tests et'c check air tubes to burner are clear (I have had at least 3 mud wasp nests in those)
    When you get your mesh cut it about .5mm larger than the inside lip of the burner and shape into a dome (over a marble is one way) and as you insert and flatten it slightly it will spread. ones I have are slightly domed.
    Graham
     
  7. jacov

    jacov South Africa Subscriber

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    @Pauly I have successfully used a similar sized mesh from a stainelss steel cakeflour sifter, cut into the required size of course. My wife soon realized that hers went missing when she wanted to make some scones........:whistle: I did replace it though.... OK only after she saw a piece in my workshop:lol:
     
  8. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks again Phil. I've got back to this again now and went and gave it a go with pliers - that mesh pops straight out with no effort.

    Jaco - when I stopped laughing I went and checked in the kitchen. Plastic mesh on the one in the drawer - damn!

    I should be able to find some mesh about the right size locally without much trouble I expect. On the list of things to sort out in the next couple of weeks.

    Graham - spot on. There is a mud wasp in one of the tubes.
     
  9. Graham P

    Graham P Australia Subscriber

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    Thought I might have found an answer for you but no, the mesh looks a bit fine and diameter too small unless they are available in other sizes. Might be worth checking plumbing supplies .
    Also thought of "termi mesh" but I think its finer still. The Austramax nozzle is the left hand in first pic.

    02112017012.jpg 02112017013.jpg
     
  10. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks Graham. They use stainless mesh for positioning small plants in aquariums. I thought I might check that next at the local aquarium shop. I measured and there is about a 1mm aperture (hole) in the mesh that came out of the 3/300 burner.
     
  11. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Denmark Founder Member

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    You will find that the mesh in taps etc is too fine and burns away in no time. It shouldn't be too hard to find some high temp stainless mesh of the right gauge.
     
  12. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Guys, by chance I picked up some stainless steel mesh but it is heavier than the original. Will this make a difference? Do you think it will work? I have held the new mesh up to the same height as the existing burner mesh for perspective.
    Austramax Burner Mesh.jpg
     
  13. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Pauly

    It's worth trying it out.

    Do a burn test without a mantle and post some photos.

    Tony
     
  14. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Denmark Founder Member

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    The only thing I can think of is if the mesh is too coarse, then there is a risk of underburn or burning back in the mixing tube. The only way to find out is to try it. Spares of the newer type are readily available.
     
  15. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    I think it'll be OK because some lanterns have a perforated plate rather than a mesh. I presume they work on the principle of the miner's lamp i.e. the mesh conducts heat away from the unburned vapour on the other side of the flame...
     
  16. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I really don't mind posting you some FOC :thumbup:
     
  17. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Australia Subscriber

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    @Pauly

    I have been working on an Austramax and a previous owner had replaced the mesh with a much finer mesh (like you find in taps or pipe filters). It didn't work. When I fires it up on the bench without a mantle it only produced a fuel rich orange glow and wouldn't produce the blue flamelets (unfortunately I didn't get a picture). I think coarser would be better than a finer mesh.


    PB180195.JPG
     
  18. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks all. Based on your comments I think it is worth a try. The lantern is still disassembled at the moment while I finish up the rest. I think I'll give this a go. Once I'm sorted I'll do a burn test without the mantle and I'll update this thread with a few pics. You'll be the first to see it as I won't know what I'm looking for as good or bad!!! But Robbo you've given me a steer there.
    From there I might take you up on your kind offer @longilily if it isn't working out :)
     
  19. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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  20. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    OK this is super exciting now. I pressed the new mesh in and have reassembled the whole thing!! (aside from the handle)
    Here is where it got to, no mantle, first successful burn after me trying a couple of times without reading the instructions properly :evil:.

    What am I looking at here? Is this good, or bad? Do I need to go to finer burner mesh or is this what I should expect to see without a mantle?

    The glass is installed, so the circle of blue underneath the flame is a reflection of the little tiny blue flames poking out of the mesh.

    Thanks for your comments in advance.


    austramax alive.jpg
     
  21. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Pauly

    Looking with the naked eye, are those blur flamelets about 1/8th to 1/4" long?

    I would try a mantle (but I've got plenty of "test" mantles).



    Cheers

    Tony
     
  22. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    Hi Tony,

    I didn't pay too much attention when I had it fired up but I think they had to be at least 2-3mm so close on 1/8th".

    Thinking next step is to try a mantle and see how we go, but it is looking pretty good to me 8]

    What do you mean by "test mantles" Tony - I have a few genuine Austramax ones ready to go.

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  23. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Pauly

    I think you're looking good.

    "Test" mantles are cheap ones that I've picked up over the years that I don't mind getting damaged. I use them when I first light a lantern.

    Mind you, some of my long running lanterns still have my test mantle on them!

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  24. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    OK, mantle initial burn done. First pressure lantern. Finding my way as I go 8]

    austramax first mantle.jpg
     
  25. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    So, it burned and kept on burning after the metho went away, but then it kind of went dim and the sound changed at the same time... and it stayed dim - the sound got like more gas was coming through but the was dimmer and there was yellow flame blasting out underneath the centre of the mantle. Any ideas on what is wrong? Is the mesh on my burner letting too much through once it is warmed up maybe?
     
  26. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    By the way, it has a new pricker needle in it. I didn't replace the jet but the new pricker needles goes through no problems.
     
  27. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 South Africa Subscriber

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    Did you let it get hot enough before pumping more pressure? Is the jet screwed in tight enough so that it does not leak when the generator gets hot? (dont't tighten it so much that it breaks off, though). Yellow flame tends to mean too much fuel and/or too little air. Or too little pre-heat and liquid fuel coming out the jet. Not likely to be the mesh. A back-burn into the burner tube would make a louder throaty raspy sound.
     
  28. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Australia Subscriber

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    G'day @Pauly , my money is on not enough heat. Having said that Phil has given some good points to also check.
    A bad start can leave soot in the jet so make sure the jet is clear and try preheating twice.
     
  29. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    I'll give it another go tomorrow - I'll check and tighten the jet as I've re-tightened the generator nut and the eccentric nut after the first couple of burns as I don't think I'd given them enough pressure. I didn't give the jet much pressure when I tightened it down to the generator and have not touched it after the first couple of burns. But also it was making a raspy popping sound at intervals now that you mention it...

    Thanks guys.
     
  30. Pauly

    Pauly Australia Subscriber

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    So the plot thickens. Today after wiping off and tightening the jet I only managed to get this lit once and it went straight out. Before lighting I let one metho cup go all the way out and then only on the second cup did I close the fuel valve and then start pumping. I have filled the metho cup probably half a dozen times so I don't think it is a problem of not enough heat.

    I have noticed today that the pump has become really firm to operate - my thumb is sore. It seems to be very tight to pump even with the fuel cap off. I'm beginning to think last night's issue of it going dim might have been because although I'm pumping it is not pressurizing properly.

    After it cooled down this morning I took the pump out, and with the fuel cap off I held my mouth over the pump tube and I can't blow air through the pump tube by mouth. Should that NRV let air through easily so that I should be able to just blow through this by mouth when the fuel cap is off?
     

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