Optimus 350

Discussion in 'Pressure Lamp Discussion Forum' started by daesm, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Hi,

    I recently acquired my first ever Optimus lantern, a 350. Reading around on here I think it dates to the 1970's? It looks very similar to a Petromax HK500 without the pressure gauge so I was wondering when I come to light it do I light it as I would with a tilley/vapalux or like a Petromax and build up the pressure first? Also, will a petromax mantle fit although I realise the HK500 mantle is 500cp, not 350.

    The lantern needs a good clean but I was wondering how best to approach this. Normally I use autosol and a cloth but this crud seems to be fairly well ingrained on the base so can I use fine wire wool and autosol or would that damage it?


    Optimus.jpg
     
  2. MarkC

    MarkC Subscriber

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    This sounds a bit weird, but have you tried Toilet cleaner Harpic 10x?

    I used some on a very greasy old thing and it came up sparkling.
     
  3. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Safe to say that I've never heard of that before! Thansk for the tip :)
     
  4. paparazi

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    Harpic 10x black bottle, is well known in motorcycle circles for cleaning exhaust downpipes.. Used in conjunction with a scowering pad.
     
  5. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Happy fettling!:thumbup:
     
  6. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Thanks for the tip with the Harpic, it worked a treat with a quick polish of autosol afterwards. It's come up a treat!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2019
  7. MarkC

    MarkC Subscriber

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    Looking good! Let's see it lit up too
     
  8. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    I've done nothing other than swill out the tank, stick a Petromax HK500 mantle on it and it fired up first time! No idea if you are meant to use this mantle or not!


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  9. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    The mantle works well, by the looks of it.

    When you need to replace it, try a 350cp mantle and see how well that works.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  10. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    I did have a slight problem after taking the phot. I re-pressurised it, went inside and then noticed some small flames around the mantle and the tube was glowing red hod so was wondering what caused it. Did I over pressurise it?
     
  11. Jones the lamp

    Jones the lamp Subscriber

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    I have had a similar problem, burning inside the "J" tube. If there is a flame outside the mantle, due to a hole, in the mantle and the flame is towards the vaporiser it will ignite the fuel/air inside the tube. The mantle will start to carbonise as well. Fix it by replacing the mantle.
     
  12. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Lovely, gives me the excuse to buy some 350cp mantles :)
     
  13. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Actually, can anyone advise which 350cp mantle I should buy?
     
  14. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @daesm That cleaned up very well, good job on the fettle. I’m keen to know more about the Harpic 10X black bottle toilet cleaner.
    For you Aussies, is this available in Australia, and has anyone in Australia tried it?
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  15. daesm

    daesm Subscriber

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    Sorry to ressurect this thread - I changed the mantle as advised since I had flames appearing outside the mantle and replaced it with another (Peerless I think from memory) and I'm still having the same problem and the mantle is itself a nice shade of black! Anyone any ideas of what I can try next to try and resolve the issue? Thanks a lot.
     
  16. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    A couple of things to check. Is the ceramic flame spreader (what the mantle ties to) loose? Is the gap between the jet and the mixing tube correct (14 - 15 mm)? Is the jet tight?

    A possible cause could be a worn jet. An outside chance could also be the vapouriser is coked up, especially the loop.

    With these lamps you should be able to pump them until your thumb hurts without any problems.
     
  17. italiastar United Kingdom

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    Hi, I saw an Optimus 500/500CP for sale today for £15 - it's complete with original glass intact. The metal work looks the same as the one in original picture above so its good to see how they polish up. I assume by Harpic 10x you mean toilet cleaner - how should i apply it and how long should i leave it on for, please.

    I guess it's a good price - any idea how much these would normally cost please. Hope it's still there tomorrow morning
     
  18. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Generally valuations are not given here but it's safe to say that £15 is an absolute bargain! When you get it, make a new post to show us - it sounds like you (hopefully) found yourself a really nice lamp!
     
  19. Matti Kucer

    Matti Kucer Sweden Subscriber

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    It's a bargain!

    Regards from Sweden, home of Optimus
     
  20. italiastar United Kingdom

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    Thank you for your responses - here it is in it's raw state. I'm not home at the moment but looking forward to polishing it. I normally would use Autosol. I'm interested in those who recommend harp as that is a harsh toilet cleaner if it's the product I'm thinking about. Is that correct and if so how do i use it, please?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2020 at 5:14 AM
  21. MarkC

    MarkC Subscriber

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    What I did was put the lamp in the kitchen sink. Squirted on some Harpic scrubbed a bit with the washing up brush and then rinsed off.
    All the black sticky residue was gone and the plating was clean. Don't put it on enamel as it will remove the gloss finish.

    Try on a greasy old pot first if you are not sure.
     
  22. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Seriously @italiastar you really lucked out there! With a bit of care and attention you'll have a great lantern. I'm green with envy!
     
  23. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    That's a nice find there. As you can work out, the glass is for a Primus lantern and they are not as common as the original Optimus ones. Spare glasses in this size are easy to find.

    As for cleaning, you have been given some good tips. I havn't tried Harpic myself, but it sounds feasible. I would pull the lamp apart into it's major parts first. I would also remove the label from the collar as it probably wouldn't like the harsh chemicals either (like the enamel top cap). If polishing is needed then autosol is commonly used. The nickel on the tank probably won't polish up to a mirror finish anymore, but it can certainly be improved. Looking forward to seeing the results.

    Performance wise these are a very good lamp. The only drawback I can think of is that the pre-heat dish is too low on these, being part of the cage base plate. This usually means you have to pre-heat twice.
     

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