Coleman 118 Slant - Fettle

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by AussiePete, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Hi all

    I acquired a Coleman 118 table lamp from a collector via eBay. This table lamp has the “Slant” valve generator assembly and was manufactured in Wichita US approximately 1928 to 1930. It had the original, although distressed, paint work being predominantly brown or black wrinkle type with a base of gold paint, called by Coleman “Brown Gold veined Colac”.

    6404C25C-95D2-4CF2-9A38-C650EE534580.jpeg
    (The eBay photo used)

    Coleman manufactured the “slant” version between 1928 and 1930. It’s short production run could be attributed to the difficulties encountered with the slant style valve assembly.

    The Fettle
    The lamp was inspected and the following issues were found:
    Bent burner assembly.
    Damaged valve shaft gland seal.
    Paint work is a poor condition.

    Bent Burner Assembly

    895B2A32-CD74-4FF1-B25B-60567A5749E6.jpeg
    (The eBay photo used)

    At some point in its long life the lamp had been subjected to some force resulting in bending the fuel delivery tube’s thread that screws into the valve manifold. Because of this bend, the valve control knob was prevented from being fully opened by its interference with the lamps wooden handle.
    The fuel delivery tube was removed from the tank and, whilst being held in a vice fitted with copper keepers, gentle heat was applied to the bent thread. With a coupling, screwed onto the bent thread, the heated thread was straightened using a wooden mallet and gentle percussive persuasion.

    Damaged Valve Shaft Gland Packing
    The control valve’s gland packing at some time had been replaced with a graphite impregnated fibre. Although this previously repair may have worked well, it was now not fit for service and had developed a dangerous leak.
    A new correct graphite gland seal was procured and installed. This valve shaft has the earlier steel pin retaining the gland packing steel ring and not the later steel wire clip.

    7CD18514-28EA-4951-8F55-AAE281745134.jpeg

    The valve shaft and the gland seal components can be seen in the above picture.
    The straightened fuel delivery tube can also be seen in the right field of the same picture.

    Paint Work
    The paint work was scratched and a worn, generally in poor condition. To do the lamp justice, the paint needed to be replaced.
    The dilemma. To replicate the original paint work or not. I do understand the need for keeping the lamp as original looking as possible, however in this instance I want to display the lamp for my pleasure and use. This lamp has the potential to be one of my favourites, however to my eye, it has to be pleasing to look at and blend into my home’s decor whilst being functional.
    It’s my opinion that the original brown gold wrinkled paint finish was at best, dowdy and unattractive.

    I stripped the original paint off both the fount and the wooden handle. Immediately, the fount’s brass patina was disclosed.

    D6C57331-3FDA-4FE6-A873-178ABA5EBE61.jpeg

    I fell in love with the brass patina look. Without removing any of the patina, I sprayed the fount with a clear acrylic automobile rattle can paint. The wooden handle, had its many layers of original paint removed and stained with walnut then finished with 3 coats of a Tung oil.

    The prepared parts gathered ready for assembly.

    7A214C40-A089-4A3B-8979-0AE4FF7E80D5.jpeg

    The parts were assembled.

    1F94DFB3-2ECD-4B4D-AB5D-1B4065CC2103.jpeg

    on the initial test light up I had problems with the Q99 generator blocking up. Originally the 118 Slant lamps were factory fitted with the T88 generator that provided a tip cleaning mechanism.
    I replaced the Q99 generator with the R55 roto type generator.

    Note: The 118A, dated 1930 to 1933 and using the standard Coleman burner assembly, had the R55 roto type generator factor fitted.

    Now the money shot.

    CF061A47-6E4E-46E3-ADCC-394544316108.jpeg

    The lamp lit very easily and once warm runs very well. I did notice on this and subsequent lite ups that this lamp needs 5 to 10 minutes to settle down.

    This lamp is one of my favourites, after warm up, it provides a steady reliable light. It now resides in my master bedroom.

    Thank you for looking.

    Cheers
    Pete
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  2. kero-scene Australia

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    Very nice :thumbup:
     
  3. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Well saved!:thumbup::clap::clap::thumbup:
     
  4. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    Damn Pete that is one very nice looking lamp.

    You also presented your fettle very well indeed.

    The money shot is the proof of a well done fettle.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  5. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Great work, Pete. That's a very good finish for the tank.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  6. JohanOptimus

    JohanOptimus South Africa Subscriber

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    Well done, a fetlle to be proud of!
     
  7. Alex Smith

    Alex Smith United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @AussiePete As ever, supreme engineering, logical layout, easy to understand descriptions and good photography make for a cracking read.

    She is lovely, you must be really pleased with the way she has turned out. P.S I am with you, the brass looks a far better finish than her original state.
     
  8. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    Congratulations Pete, you have done a wonderful job fettling a beautiful lamp back to life. :thumbup:
     
  9. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Hi All
    Thank you for your kind words and support. I appreciate it.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  10. James K

    James K Subscriber

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    A lovely lamp.
    a Coleman slant is still on my wish list
     
  11. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    That is a great result! I really like your lovely lamp! :thumbup:

    Are there still glass globes about for these older table lamps then?:-k

    Best wishes,
    pb

    p.s. that finish could be called 'Antique Gold' ? : )
     
  12. Matty

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    Thanks for creating a very interesting topic both in text and photos. Congratulations on a job well done.
     

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