HANDI an Australian Made Lantern – Fettle

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by AussiePete, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Preamble
    A week or two ago, whilst rummaging through an antique store in Toowoomba Queensland, I found this made in Brisbane HANDI lantern.
    The asking price was AU$78 however the proprietor was kind enough to let it go for AU$60. The proprietor didn’t know the history of the lantern other than it had been in her store for about 9 months.
    The lantern has been fitted with a glass globe marked “HANDI” and by all appearances its original to the lantern.
    IMG_1830.jpeg
    IMG_1831.jpeg

    The lantern was found in a dirty condition however, on a closer inspection the lantern's fount and burner air tubes are nickel plated, black enamelled hood and what appears to be the correct fuel cap marked with “HANDI” on one side and “Brisbane” on the other. The valve control wheel is black and is stamped “HANDI”.


    The Fettle
    The lantern was dismantled into its various components and cleaned. Excepting the glass globe and fount, all parts were immersed into vinegar bath for about 1 hour, removed, rinsed and brass brushed clean. The generator was dismantled and heat / quenched three times removing built up carbon deposits.

    The parts were then rinsed in clean water and put into a sonic cleaner to remove any rubbish and dirt from inside of the generator, jet, burner and other related parts.

    The Fount (Tank)
    To preserve the original finish, the brass nickel plated fount was carefully cleaned with a hand detergent using a soft brush and then polished with Mothers Mag & Aluminium Cleaner. The gentle cleaning exposed the original nickel-plating work in quite good condition with just a few blemishes caused by age and use.
    IMG_1833.jpeg
    IMG_1834.jpeg

    Paint

    The lantern’s nickel-plated frame was found to be in reasonably good condition, and I decided to retain the original finish with no paint touch-up or repair.


    NRV (Non-Return Valve)
    The sealing pip in the NRV was too hard and needed to be replaced. A new seal pip was punched out of 3mm thick Viton sheet and installed into the NRV.
    IMG_1506.jpeg

    Jet Pricker
    The jet’s pricker mechanism, although operational had the actual pricker wire missing.
    IMG_1842.jpeg

    I manufactured a new pricker from 1/16” brass tube threading one end with a M2.0 die.

    IMG_1286.jpeg

    The new 0.006” stainless steel pricker wire was crimped into the other end using my home-made for purpose crimping block.

    Pump Leather
    The original pump’s leather was very dry, however, it looked to be in good condition. I re-oiled it by soaking the leather in Neatsfoot oil.

    The various components were gathered together for final assembly.
    IMG_1832.jpeg

    Assembly
    The HANDI lantern’s parts were reassembled into a lantern.
    IMG_1845.jpeg

    The Money Shot
    The assembled HANDI lantern was preheated using methylated spirits in the preheat pan and lit.

    After the methylated spirits was almost consumed, about 12 or so pumps of air were applied until the mantle was lit and glowing.

    Pumping a further 60 strokes on a near full tank of kerosene, the lit lantern settled down and ran flawlessly for over an hour.
    IMG_1848.jpeg

    After the hour’s test run the lantern was turned off by closing the control valve.



    Further Information – The Differences Encountered
    I have a few HANDI Kero-Pet lanterns and this lantern has some parts that are different from the rest of my collection:
    IMG_1846.jpeg
    The left-hand black topped lantern, perhaps the older version, has the following differences:

    In the earlier fount, shown on the right, the air pump tube is mounted slightly angled and nearer the fount’s top edge than the later fount version.
    IMG_1850.jpeg

    The burner’s air tubes each have a threaded ferrule and nut to secure the tubes to the frame. The frame base has fewer air holes than the later versions.
    IMG_1840.jpeg

    The frame to fount collar has the earlier micro holes allowing air flow.
    IMG_1839.jpeg

    There is no hood locating pin on this lantern’s burner frame as in the later models.
    IMG_1841 2.jpeg

    The hood’s retaining nut, of a slightly larger diameter than the later versions, is nickel plated brass and is complete with a captured brass domed washer.
    IMG_1837.jpeg

    The black enamelled hood has different dimensions to the later models.
    IMG_1859.jpeg IMG_1860.jpeg


    QUESTION:
    What model is this HANDI lantern?


    Summary
    In this fettled HANDI lantern, all the original parts excepting the seals and pricker, were reused, including the generator’s jet.

    The fettled HANDI lantern lit and ran flawlessly, with a pleasant hiss, for its 1-hour test.

    I had a lot of satisfaction resurrecting and seeing this old performer strutting its stuff again.

    Thank you for looking.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  2. Alex Smith

    Alex Smith United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Pete, as ever thank you for sharing. Great job, nice to read how you have done it. Regards, Alex
     
  3. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks @Alex Smith, I appreciate your interest.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  4. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    That's a nice looking KeroPet model 3 you have. Quite an early version as well. The only thing missing to give a good date is what the flame spreader looks like and if there is any stamping in the burner casting. I've got the details at home, so it will have to wait until tonight (DK time).
     
  5. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Hi @Nils Stephenson
    There are no stampings on the burner castings that I can determine.
    The flame spreader is a little unusual, the metal, steel?, mesh is recessed into the flame spreader’s housing about 6mm (1/4”).
    Hope this helps with identifying it’s appropriate age.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  6. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Well fettled and a well presented post!:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  7. Darryl Durdin

    Darryl Durdin Australia Subscriber

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    @AussiePete hi Pete, what you have there is the hood and collar are very close to the early swift lite handi, the air tube and burner are from a later date, before the fixed pressed in air tube attached to the frame plate, the older air tube attachments bolted through the frame plate, some had a mesh frame covering the bottom of the air tube.
    If the hood dose not have a hole for the little spigot to align the hood burner it would probably be an AGM burner hood. The spigot part of the tripod seems to be missing. The cage plate and the holes changed as cost measures came into play. The collar early handi's didnt have the distinct handi badge and when they did start to attach them they were rivited on and usually just brass no colour.The generator if kero has a curly steel flow restrictor, inside, if its a petrol it has fine brass mesh, the will be a stamp letter at the jet end.
    The ecentric block is from an older handi, the more later one have the rack and pinion on one side not all around.
    Dating is hard, they were all called type 3
    I can post pictures of what i think are v 1 and 2
    Early swift lite / AGM.
    Great fettle of your handi, good disply and narrative, i realy like the handi's they are a favorite Australian made lantern. The hoods came in common grey, red, black and blue
     
  8. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    @AussiePete
    Ok, now I have had a chance to look at my records. What you have is either a version 1 or version 2 KeroPet model 3. The biggest difference between the two is the flame spreader. Here are examples of a version 1 and version 2 flame spreader respectively.
    V1_flame_spreader.jpg V2_flame_spreader.jpg

    The version 1 had a ceramic flame spreader insert and the version 2 had a small diameter wire mesh insert. From your description I would guess it is version 2. Without going into details, some of the other features of yours points to a version 1 so this could be from the changeover period. V1 is from about 1940 to 1945 and V2 from 1945 to 1947. That would make your 1945.

    Edit: I've just had another look at your photos and can see there is a horizontal patent number in the burner casting. That confirms it is a version 2.

    BTW, the grey top one is probably a version 10 and from the mid 60s to mid 70s.
     
  9. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks @Nils Stephenson
    My burner is identical to the second or version 2 as shown in your pictures.
    Yes, I do now see the patent number on the burner manifold’s casting, I don’t know how I missed that, getting old I suppose.:shock:
    This would confirm that it’s a version 2 KeroPet model 3 built approximately 1945.
    Thank you for your research and information.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  10. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @Darryl Durdin
    Thanks for your information. With your and Nils’s information it’s apparent that it’s a version 2 KeroPet model 3 built approximately 1945.
    I too like these Aussie lanterns, they light easily and run very well, good dark killers.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  11. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    @AussiePete

    Your Handi looks fantastic and runs as it should.

    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  12. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @Norman
    Thanks mate, she’s a dark thief.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  13. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    @AussiePete

    A good find and a great post, Pete. Congratulations :thumbup:

    Now it's been identified you need to post it in the reference gallery.
     
  14. Darryl Durdin

    Darryl Durdin Australia Subscriber

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    @AussiePete , hi there ive taken som pictures of some of mine, it may help id a abit more. I think @Nils Stephenson is on the money, i see ceramic mesh burners in my oldest sw 20200825_065233.jpg
    Swiftlight /agm v1 left to right, v2, type 3 handi
    20200825_065257.jpg 20200825_065340.jpg
    Agm burner and hood, rectangular slot, keeper bolt screws into burner.
    20200825_065600.jpg 20200825_065659.jpg
    Left is kero, right is shellite
    20200825_065719.jpg 20200825_065926.jpg 20200825_065952.jpg 20200825_070005.jpg 20200825_070015.jpg ift lites.other air tube feet arragements
     
  15. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks @Darryl Durdin for taking the time to share your info. I'm confident that Nils is "on the money" in identifying mine as a version 2 KeroPet model 3 manufactured approx 1945.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  16. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    @AussiePete
    Not a problem. It's always nice to confirm things are original.

    The first label used turns up on the version 2 and is riveted to the collar as Darryl has shown. I have seen them with the remains of red paint, so they were painted originally.

    @Darryl Durdin
    If you ever need a hand identifying the different Handi versions, just send me a PM.
     
  17. Gazngoz United Kingdom

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    @AussiePete brilliant work and what a great looking lamp. Truly in awe of your meal working / engineering skills
     
  18. Sedgman

    Sedgman Subscriber

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    @AussiePete
    Very thorough fettle. Well done. Great photos.

    I also reckon the original globe alone was just about worth the money.
     
  19. Gazngoz United Kingdom

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  20. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Thank you all for your encouragement, and thank you Nils and Darryl for the extra information on this lantern, I've learnt a lot.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  21. Nicholas Aslanides Australia

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    Hi AussiePete,

    That is an excellent restoration job of a handi lamp.
    Could you provide some info on making the prickers? Do you still a fine hole in the end of the brass rod then crimp?
    I need to make a few up for my handi's. How did you get the gear mechanism out?
    I have one mechanism that is not working.
    Regards,

    Nicholas
     
  22. Fireexit1

    Fireexit1 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Great fettle and a piece of history preserved. Also demonstrated in this thread is the depth of knowledge on this board and willingness to share the same. Wonderful ! Thanks all for your efforts.
     
  23. Walkop Australia

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    Handi's are a well made lantern, I have one and it runs well. Very bright. The globe on mine is marked Handi Phoenix, made in England.

    The globe appears to be original to the lantern.

    Rarely run it to be truthful as the globes are hard to come by and do not know if there are any replacements.
     
  24. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Walkop

    There are reproduction Handi globes available on the Australian Bay of Evil.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  25. Walkop Australia

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    @Tony Press : thanks for letting me know and will get one. The Handi is a nice lantern and would be more happy running it with a repo globe.
     
  26. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @AussiePete

    I think this Handi of yours would make a good addition to the Reference Gallery.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  27. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    @Nicholas Aslanides in this post @AussiePete has used 2mm brass tube so no need to drill. He then crimped the pricker wire into the end of the tube.

    To remove the cleaning spindle,
    Unscrew the leaver from the spindle
    Unscrew the gland cap
    Unscrew the rest of the assembly from the control block and the entire piece should pull out.

    6_opt.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  28. Nicholas Aslanides Australia

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    Thanks you Robbo for that. It's amazing intricate these lamps are.
    I am have trawling Google trying to find the 0.006" pricker wire to no avail at all.
     
  29. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @Nicholas Aslanides
    I’ll search my computer to see if I still have the Ebay pricier wire vendor’s sight.
    If I do I’ll send you the link.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  30. Nicholas Aslanides Australia

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