Neglected Vapalux 300 fettle.

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by ColinG, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    I was sent this poor neglected Vapalux 300 by a member to see if I could bring it back from the dead. Challenge accepted!

    IMG-20210224-WA0013.jpg

    This is as it was originally... and some close up photos...

    IMG_20210306_120854_9.jpg

    IMG_20210306_120904_7.jpg

    IMG_20210306_120912_3.jpg

    IMG_20210306_120932_7.jpg

    IMG_20210306_121015_4.jpg

    IMG_20210306_121456_3.jpg

    IMG_20210306_120904_7.jpg

    IMG_20210306_121556_0.jpg

    IMG_20210306_121605_6.jpg

    The first step was disassembly and stripping the paint followed by a long soak in Rust Destructor.


    IMG_20210311_154317_1.jpg

    IMG_20210311_154306_8.jpg

    IMG_20210311_154325_6.jpg

    IMG_20210311_154422_8.jpg

    IMG_20210313_215506_1.jpg

    Rust treatment alone wasn't going to shift all of the corrosion so between dunking sessions I used a brass rotary wire brush to get rid of every last trace - not something I'd do to brass but with steel you don't have a lot of choice unless you have an electrolysis set-up which I don't. This took some time!

    Next I used a spray filler/primer. This sealed the surface and showed where the worst of the pitting was. I determined that the frame didn't need as much work as the tank so it received a couple of initial coats ready be baked in the oven. I set it to 70c which seems to be the best trade off between speed of curing the paint and risking out-gassing of the solvent which can cause blistering and the dreaded crackle effect!

    IMG_20210320_183750_1.jpg

    IMG_20210320_183937_0.jpg

    IMG_20210320_183914_5.jpg

    Filling and rubbing down was next. This needed to be repeated a number of times until all the Pitting had been filled and rubbed down.

    IMG_20210321_154413_5.jpg

    IMG_20210321_154421_6.jpg

    IMG_20210405_173213_9.jpg

    IMG_20210405_173221_1.jpg

    IMG_20210405_173501_8.jpg

    IMG_20210405_173450_4.jpg

    Then it went back in the oven for a final long bake to cure everything thoroughly.

    The pump, filler cap, control valve and pre-heater cup were then stripped and polished ready for finalassembly.

    IMG-20210415-WA0004.jpeg

    l then protected the surface of the paint with fuel resistant lacquer...

    2021-04-17 12.57.33.jpg

    Then it went back in the oven again for a final cure at 70c. Once that was complete I wanted to assemble everything to see how it looked.

    IMG_20210417_112644_9.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112651_6.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112655_9.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112706_2.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112721_8.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112739_8.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112749_2.jpg

    IMG_20210417_112839_5.jpg

    This isn't quite the end however. I need to coat the inside of the tank with thinned epoxy sealant as a precaution. Given the level of corrosion I can't be sure there aren't any holes. I genuinely don't think there are any but once it's sealed I'll be happy and it'll be ready for a test.

    When it's ready I'll add a money shot or two.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  2. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    image_2021-04-17_132624.jpeg

    A before and after comparison. The paint looks red in daylight but it actually is brown. I used Rust-O-leum Chestnut as it has that slightly reddish appearance a little similar to the original.

    BTW when stripping the tank and frame I found some of the original colour which turned out to be the early Willis and Bates brown.

    PS. I usually try to leave the base of any lantern the original colour for future reference but there wasn't anything left so it got stripped, de-rusted and sprayed as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
  3. Rickylee United Kingdom

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2020
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Chesterfield
    This is a great example why I'd never buy a refurbished lamp especially with a steel tank as you never know what's underneath ie.. filled/built up with primer ect ect, yes it might look good but how deep are the pits and how thin is the steel.
     
  4. John

    John United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas; United States
    Neglected no more, excellent job.
     
  5. MYN

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    Messages:
    2,109
    Location:
    Malaysia
    It looks great. Sure plenty of work involved.
    I'd try pressurizing it at this stage.
     
  6. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    8,157
    Location:
    North-East England
    I'd have got it running first regardless of the condition, then dealt with any tank issues before sealing it inside and after that attended to the cosmetics. But it's horses for courses, naturally... :)
     
  7. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    I might not have bought this myself TBH and I would have asked for more detailed photos but it wasn't my call.

    You're absolutely right David. If I'd thought about it logically I should have stopped after the rust was removed and done a pressure test at this point but I got carried away with the aesthetics! Whatever happens I can make it work.
     
  8. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    Also, this was a commission for a friend so I wanted to go the extra mile!
     
  9. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,168
    Location:
    N E Scotland
    You certainly did that Colin, great looking job as usual. Mine still hasn’t been lit!
     
  10. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    12,149
    Location:
    Shetland Islands UK..
    It looks much better now!:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  11. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    As I type this I'm giving the inside of the tank one last de-rust treatment but having inspected the state inside the tank, it appears to be in surprisingly good condition. Although leaving fuel in steel tanks isn't recommended, I wondered if it had been left full or partially full, thus protecting the inner surface. There only seems to be surface flash rust as far as I can see. Anyhow, it'll all be gone tomorrow.

    Really? Are you keeping it as a shelf queen or have you been too busy collecting ultra-rare Tilleys?
     
  12. BigStevie

    BigStevie United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Messages:
    2,038
    Location:
    Scottish Highlands
    Neglected? More like dog rough and then some! Looks like it was painted with a woolly sock, or is it harling?
    You’ve certainly put some hours into that one, well saved!
     
  13. bp4willi

    bp4willi Germany Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    Niers, Germany
    Wow, what an incredible conversion ,
    From ugly duck, to beauty swan.
     
  14. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    Thanks guys, as you suspected it took a while to bring it back from the grave but it'll be worth it in the end.
     
  15. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    663
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Well done Colin well done indeed.
     
  16. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    3,368
    Location:
    Toowoomba Australia
    @ColinG
    Wow, what an excellent job you've done on the lantern's resurrection. I'd be tickled pink with this lantern if I was the recipient.
    Top job sir, top job!
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  17. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    Well, it's finished!

    The last elements to be fettled were... sealing the tank with thinned epoxy, replacing all the seals including the NRV, the filler cap and air bleed seals and a new pump leather as the original disintegrated!

    I borrowed a hood and vaporiser from my grey steel 300 and fired the old girl up... she's been running without incident now for about an hour and I'm pretty pleased!

    This was a long fettle but a rewarding one in the end considering the state of it when I got it!

    IMG_20210427_192735_1.jpg
    IMG_20210427_192739_6.jpg
    IMG_20210427_195444_6.jpg
    IMG_20210427_201531_6.jpg
    IMG_20210427_202029_7.jpg
     
  18. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    3,368
    Location:
    Toowoomba Australia
    Well done mate. The recipient will be astounded by its transformation, or should I say resurrection.
    Before you started this lantern had one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana skin ....... now it has many years of service to give.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  19. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Messages:
    2,582
    Location:
    Somersby, New South Wales, Australia
    Excellent result, Collin. Your friend should be very pleased to receive it. :clap::clap::clap:
     
  20. bp4willi

    bp4willi Germany Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    Niers, Germany
    Perfect result as usual .
    Colourful and bright.
     
  21. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    Thanks everyone!

    One thing I was surprised by was the excellent state inside the tank. There was a tiny bit of surface flash rust but no pitting or heavy corrosion. I sealed it anyway just in case but I found the excellent condition startling! I was wondering, if it was left full of kero would that have stopped the rust?
     
  22. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    663
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Well done Colin well done indeed.
     
  23. Fiona Farrell

    Fiona Farrell Ireland Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2020
    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Ireland
    Thanks so very much Colin for restoring this lamp you showed me on ebay.
    I bought it from Terry,the tilleyman on ebay a few months ago.
    You have done a super job for me.
    I won't forget all your hard work.
    Can't wait to get it home and put it's original hood on it and a new,old stock vapouriser and a mantle and light it.
    My military green Vapalux 300 lamp needs to have the leather pump cup changed and the NRV inside pip replaced and should also be fully serviced then too.
    Thanks again,
    Fiona
     
  24. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Messages:
    3,722
    Thanks, Norman.
     
  25. Scott D

    Scott D United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2020
    Messages:
    407
    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Great result! What a difference.
     

Share This Page