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Modify a Tilley X246 for Ocean use

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by thalassobiote, Nov 2, 2017.

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Is it possible to modify a Tilley X246 to deliver just heat?

  1. yes

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. no

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Unrecommended

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. too complicated

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. thalassobiote Italy

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    Hello,
    my name is Francesco Cappelletti and I am an entrant to the vintage round the World sailing race Golden Globe Race 2018. For the race we will sail 9 months alone, 4 of which in the cold Southern Ocean.

    Francesco Cappelletti - Golden Globe Race


    I have a couple of kero lamps in my garage and I recently came out with the idea of using one of the two for heating my cabin in the Southern Ocean.
    I remember having modified my Petromax-like Hipolito building a holed stainless steel can that was to be used instead of the mantle. With that modification the lamp was delivering more heat/less light and working ok.

    Now the point is that I prefer to bring my Tilley X246 at sea as it is far easier to fix than the Hipolito and, in my experience, more rugged and easy to run.

    Question: is there a way to install a similar modification to a Tilley?
    May I just use the same holed can??

    Thank you

    IMG_20171024_223213.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2017
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @thalassobiote

    Well, the Tilley R1 Radiator is a modified lantern:

    0E8AAC12-6128-4E0C-89CD-4C4DAC32E946.jpeg

    1950's - Tilley R1 Radiator


    If you wanted one for your journey I’d be happy to restore one I’ve got in the shed for you.

    The Southern Ocean is a very hard place!

    Best regards

    Tony
     
  3. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Very nice of you Tony :thumbup: ;)
     
  4. thalassobiote Italy

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    Tony, that's so nice!
    To be honest I feel that the R1 is a bit too bulky, with that big mushroom that will reach high temperatures and possibly become dangerous in the tiny space of my cabin...
    What about setting the same kind of metal mantle to a regular X246 and perhaps swapping the glass with a metal grid???

    I tried a similar experiment using a metal mantle in the Hipolito years ago (you see a portion of the 'mantle' in the photo, mounted in the hipolito)
    and it was working great...
     
  5. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    I saw a Petromax/Petromax clone lantern modified to produce heat rather than light at the recent Newark meet. It strikes me that if it can be done to a Petromax then it should be possible with a Tilley. If I recall correctly a gas fire radiant had been fitted to the burner in place of the spigot and mantle. I think it was Stu (loco7lamp) who had the modified lantern but I'm not 100% sure on that.

    Personally, I wouldn't have a clue where to start with the modification but I did pick up some NOS gas fire radiants recently and one of those may be suitable for your project. You'd be welcome to a few if you can get the rest sorted out. On the other hand, your idea of fitting a metal mesh mantle to an X246 seems reasonable (and easier!) - you could first try fitting a complete burner from an R1 and replacing the glass with a metal grid. Interesting... :-k
     
  6. thalassobiote Italy

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    Thank you David,
    how does a gas fire radiant looks like??

    Francesco
     
  7. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @thalassobiote

    Francesco,

    The alternative to modifying a Tilley is to put a Primus stove (kerosene) in a gimbal and fit it with a radiant heater fitting like this (this is jury rigged for the photo, but can be made permanent):

    7B1D1724-D2B7-4440-88A2-F6270356F03A.jpeg

    6B1F3F23-9CC4-4B07-9593-E6CF37E36244.jpeg

    The second photo is in daylight with the heater going. At night it would be red.

    Primus/Optimus gimbals come up on eBay from time to time or someone at CCS might have one.

    If you go down the modified X246 path keep us in touch.

    If you get belted in the Southern Ocean and get towed into Hobart, drop in and say hello :lol:.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  8. eiremax Ireland

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    In my opinion, using a lantern in a situation like yours would be an unnecessary risk due to the presence of fuel and methalyated spirits. Would you not be safer with a small gas canister heater which is far more controlleable, or even a camping cooker with a steel plate to radiat the heat.
     
  9. KAB United Kingdom

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    :-k If you have a leaking paraffin lamp you could have a puddle of paraffin, if you have a leaking gas lamp you could have an explosion........ just saying :)
     
  10. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 South Africa Subscriber

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    The boat I frequently sailed on had a diesel powered heater with a fan driven heat exchanger and electric pump/injector. It kept the cabin warm as toast. The same type of heater is frequently used in the cabins of long haul trucks so that the motor need not be kept running to heat the cabin at truck stops. They are quiet, clean, economical and are turned on just with a switch.
    In a small enclosed space like the cabin of a sailing boat one would have to be careful of carbon monoxide build-up when using a kerosene heater for hours at a time.
     
  11. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2017
  12. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Henry Plews

    You link above appears not to work.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  13. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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    Today, I played with an X246 and an R1 radiator. Here are some images of my X246 heater. The stainless steel reflector helps keep heat away from a wall.
    IMG_0775AA.JPG IMG_0776AA.JPG IMG_0779AA.JPG IMG_0780AA.JPG

    After 2 hours the tank was quite warm but not too hot to hold. I have no means of measuring heat output but there is no doubt that a stove conversion as posted by @Tony Press will give more heat but it will use much more fuel.

    Henry.
     
  14. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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  15. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  16. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    I think this is entirely sensible advice - get something that's designed to do the job safely and reliably rather than cobbling something together. Just because something is possible, technically and practically, doesn't mean it's a good idea, particularly in arduous conditions or where lives are put at risk (or both!).

    That's wot I finks, anyway...
     
  17. thalassobiote Italy

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    I've used a Primus in the past. I found it dirtier and more 'rusty' to use than a Tilley lamp!

    I've sailed a lot with a Tilley as a primary source of light. Ok, it was in the Med, not Southern Ocean but it was on while rolling and everything was fine

    Thanks for the advice...
    As fuel supply cannot be infinite and my permanence in cold weather can be up to three months (or more) my idea is to use the lamp just to defrost me when I come out from some work on deck and I am freezing... something like clamping it close to my working chair and having it close to me to deliver heat directly...
    I am even thinking about the HUGE task of warming up the whole cabin!!!

    Henry... I was thinking exactly at something like that!
     
  18. thalassobiote Italy

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    I found the drawing for this modification years ago and I honestly don't remember where I found it.
    It was meant to be installed on a Petromax (or Petromax derived) and it worked great on my Hipolito.
    I will shortly try to fit it in the Tilley.

    Reason is:
    I much prefer the operation of the Tilley compared to my Hipolito (don't know about the original Petromax).
    My feeling is that the Tilley is more rugged. The evidence tells that the Tilley can be serviced with a pair of pliers. it always works.
    The Hipolito (Petromax) in the other hand is a finer piece of engineering, beautifully designed but more complicated and more sensible to adjustments... my experience was that just some dirt in the system was bringing it to a fail...

    IMG_20171102_090907.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2017
  19. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Maybe a variation of one of these......



    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    They were made for Tilley heaters but I'm sure would be easily tailored to your needs
     
  20. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @longilily

    ... and they are excellent...

    Tony
     
  21. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 South Africa Subscriber

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    Perhaps if we examine this subject from first principles:

    A pressure lamp outputs virtually all the energy of its fuel as heat. A miniscule amount of that heat is used to excite visible light from the mantle. Using a mesh mantle will not cause the lamp to generate any more heat, only less (almost no) visible light. I strongly suspect that putting a parabolic reflector behind a normal lamp mantle will reflect just as much infra-red as does a steel mesh mantle. So unless the light is undesirable, all we should need is a reflector.

    Am I making any sense here?
     
  22. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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    @phaedrus42 What you say makes perfect sense, however, there are other things to be taken into consideration.
    A wire mesh mantle is much more robust than a normal lamp mantle - not easy to tie-on a new mantle when your fingers are numb with cold.
    When @Tony Press suggested a Tilley R1, @thalassobiote relpied:
    Perhaps a modified reflector no wider than the tank may be a suitable compromise ?


    Henry.
     
  23. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Or like your earlier pic Henry, a piece of shim inside the cage
     
  24. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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    That piece of stainless steel just happened to be be within easy reach, I took it out of a Petromax clone (which I fettled for someone else) because it was too tight and caused the glass to break.
    It's a full semi-circle - 180 degrees - which is O.K. on a lantern but probably too directional for a heater. On reflection, perhaps something which covers from say, 90 to 135 degrees may be better, thus distributing the heat more evenly but still protecting stuff, for e.g. a wall, in what will be cramped conditions.

    Henry.
     
  25. longilily

    longilily United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Sounds like a plan :thumbup:
     
  26. thalassobiote Italy

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    It makes perfectly sense phisically phaedrus42
    About light please note: I don't want the bright light of a Tilley in my cabin.
    Just to be clear: I LOVE IT! But it is too bright and very often you'd prefere a low light when sailing in the dark.




    That is very interesting Henry...
    Can you give picture-examples of this design?

    For the moment I am orderning material (gaskets, valve, polveriser) to refurbish the Tilley!
     
  27. thalassobiote Italy

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    WOOOOWWWW
    Simply WOW
    This is basically what I was thinking to do!
     
  28. thalassobiote Italy

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    Henry, which specific parts do I have to buy in order to make the same conversion?

    Thanks

    Francesco
     
  29. Henry Plews United Kingdom

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    Hi Francesco,

    In order to fit the wire mantle (#1126) you will need: Insulating tube (#165), mantle nut (#167) and mantle support (#1231). If you look here Tilley lamp spares you will see that you can buy the insulating tube and mantle nut as individual items but not the mantle support tube. In the image, you can see that the mantle support for a heater is almost twice as long as one for a lantern (lantern = 30mm, heater =58 mm) If you cannot make one yourself, you may have to go for item SP4 instead but this includes a burner grid (#1230) which you will not need.

    IMG_0782AA.JPG

    Here are some more images:
    IMG_0797AA.JPG IMG_0798AA.JPG IMG_0803AA.JPG

    Without the hood, you will need to hold down the burner with some wire.
    IMG_0809AA.JPG

    As I mentioned earlier, the reflector is just something I already had, perhaps you could use aluminium kitchen foil to experiment with size, shape and how far round it comes to give the best heat distribution in your cabin. Or see if you can adapt something like a small shallow dish or the lid from a small pan.

    Henry.
     
  30. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Australia Subscriber

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