Pmax Stresses

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by isfuzzy, Jul 15, 2020.

  1. isfuzzy

    isfuzzy Subscriber

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    Hi All
    I go around the house every few months to check on my lamps (I don't own that many anyways). Well, just to check on them to see if they're still alive and they haven't catch the flu bug. Also, due to this trying period, the pressure lamps don't get to see the outdoors like they used to. i've been lighting up the Aladdins and Gaudards.

    Back to the Petromax(s)... they caught some kind of a disease..

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    its worse on this other one
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    I've contacted Pmax USA, seems like they're out of biz? No stock for a very long time. This XL version does not take the current Pmax frame collars. its slightly larger and of a thicker gauge.
    I gave this a thought, well heck, its broken anyway. Just go on and fix it while waiting who knows how long.

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    I guess the area above the badge needs more work

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  2. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @isfuzzy Sorry to see you’ve had an outbreak of stress cracks on your lanterns.

    Neither did the British manufacturer of my Buflam Petroflam manage to form the collar without creating stress cracks. I’m supposing they appeared some time in its life after its original purchase date. Sadly, the font too suffered from them. Those I had to repair obviously.

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  3. JonD

    JonD Subscriber

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    Methods of stress crack repair would be a fine topic for a Fettlers Masterclass. I don't think there is one so far.
    Obviously for tanks @presscall (!) it needs to be fuel tight so POR15 and such comes to mind.

    I wonder if anyone has had success with brazing or silver soldering them? Does it work?
     
  4. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Google CPL and CCS and you can find methods of using standard solder (not silbrazing) to fix stress cracks.

    Tony
     
  5. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @presscall ..That's a lot of cracks!

    Funny old stuff, Brass...Stress relieving such as Annealing can alleviate a lot of it, but apparently it can re-occur ..

    Can also be caused by different gases acting upon it (not sure about liquids), but different alloys may cope better?
     
  6. MYN

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    I've repaired stress cracks on brass founts with just solder. Well, provided its only a couple of points, not extensive cracks all over the fount. If there are stress cracks all over the fount, there's no practical way of repairing them. That's because new cracks would tend to develop over time as well.
    For non-pressurized parts, you could either solder or silbraze.
     
  7. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Tank/fount/font
    I’ve done a fair amount of brazing/silver soldering/silbrazing (terminology again), including on stove fuel tanks where silbraze (etc.) was the original jointing medium.

    Where lead solder is the seam seal the issue becomes one of localised temperature control. Silbraze metal melts at temperatures well onto the red heat zone for brass. Heat is readily conducted away from the repair spot on a mass of metal and keeping the lead solder base seam cool enough - a 10mm depth of water would be the obvious way to do that - would leach heat away from the repair spot even more, inhibiting the silbraze process.
     
  8. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    There’s not, but THIS post of Stu’s (@loco7lamp) certainly merits inclusion as the best method in my opinion. POR15 was formulated for auto fuel tanks, not pressure vessels, so although it’ll seal a crack no doubt, I don’t expect the manufacturer would sanction its use for that. There’s the consideration that a crack could still ‘grow’ under the epoxy layer with a succession of pressurisation/depressurised cycles, breaking the bond.
     
  9. Pancholoco1911 United States

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  10. JonD

    JonD Subscriber

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    Yes Stu is a genius and we always liked his contributions.
    That deserves to be in the Masterclass for sure. I see I liked it ~2 years ago and I still do.
    I have reported it for hopefully being moved there. Maybe you should do likewise?

    @isfuzzy That lamp does look like it has experienced some bad atmosphere. No idea what has made it turn copper red on the surface. Are the cracks related? I sort of doubt it but where was it stored when it got like that?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  11. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    We’ve shared fettling/soldering duties at Newark, so yes, I rate his work highly. I’ve missed our chats.
     
  12. podbros

    podbros United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The red marks are fingerprints...

    The oil in our skin, when transferred onto certain objects, can over time oxidise the surface.

    In the Spring and Autumn, when the air is heating up and cooling down, you will find that metal objects will condensate...(things like machinery, and Anvils will 'Sweat'...water pours off them)

    A lamp or lantern (especially one with fuel in) can't heat up as quickly so if you had sweaty hands when you last picked up your polished pride and joy, you might find this happening?

    That's why the Museums don't like you touching stuff as your fingerprints can accelerate the aging of things..even furniture and stone/sculpture/carvings...

    As for whether it has helped stress the brass I couldn't say...
     
  13. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    That is no point. One report is sufficient.
    Duplicate reports on the same subject is just annoying on 'our side', so to speak.
     
  14. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Carlsson Thought not. Thanks Christer. Glad to have flagged it up and that Jon acted on it.
     
  15. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Absolutely. Will fix it in the morning when at a real computer.
    I wouldn't really call it masterclass, though. But it's absolutely a fairly decent tutorial to show the standard procedure for these things.
    Like stopping the crack to expand by drilling a hole at each end, etc.

    So probably better served there where it don't get drowned among all other topics in the regular fora.

    *edit: now moved.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  16. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    @isfuzzy
    You have done a nice job of fixing the cracks in the collar. :thumbup:
     
  17. isfuzzy

    isfuzzy Subscriber

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    Well, stress cracks can happen on any metal alloy. Some fare better than others. Which is why some process chambers are still made of carbon steel and not stainless or other non-ferrous.
    I'm rather intrigued with the 2 lamps. To date, I own 3 Pmax lamps, plus I sold 2 in the past and another 2 Asian steel body (Butterfly, Sea Anchor).. This is the first time I see young lamps with such a crack virus. The only lamp part I had a crack was on a Korean made stainless Vapalux shade, there was a small slit just before the folded edge.

    I was paranoid that day I found those cracks, I went around the house to see all the other brass lamps. Especially the Santrax 150CP... One crack her too...
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    I don't have condensate issue here in Singapore but the humidity is high, roughly 70%.. However, that didn't affect the x300 Bialaddins, E41 Vapalux, 23 Maxbrite Aladdins and Gaudards I have sitting on the shelves. The 2 sick Pmaxs were kept in their Pmax wooden boxes. If that caused the cracks, the tank and the hood would have suffered too.

    What I realized when fettling with my 150CP Santrax was that the frame collar, no doubt made of brass, behaves more like a clock spring. I resists any form of bending from bare hands, so much just for very thin gauge extruded/pressed brass.

    I chose to braze the Britelyt collar rather than to use plumber solder because braze joints can hold up more forces when compared to solder. There were serious cracks on that thing such that they allow light to pass through them. Solder could seal but will creep with constant tensile forces between the crack surfaces.
     
  18. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    Have these brass lamps been polished with Brasso or some other polish with ammonia in it? That could cause stress cracking.
     
  19. isfuzzy

    isfuzzy Subscriber

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    Hi @Nils Stephenson, i did polish off the hoods and reflectors of Britelyt and Pmax. nowhere else. As for the 150cp, yes polish the hood and frame.
    Anyways I brazed over lunchtime

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  20. phaedrus42

    phaedrus42 Subscriber

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    Very neat brazing! And hopefully the heat will have annealed the surrounding brass to prevent further cracking.
     
  21. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    That is the only way to go: annealing.
    So getting rid of the internal stress.
    I must point out that these lanterns are made in the Petromax style. Not by the original company. So I fear that quality control is an issue here.
     
  22. isfuzzy

    isfuzzy Subscriber

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    I think for the Pmax 500 frame, I would heat the part for some time to hopefully anneal it first. Shape the cracks to meet each other getting the proper angle and then only braze. It is very tricky to braze round cracks especially when the metal still has got the springiness in it :roll:

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    What I hate so much about the bronze rod is that it turns to a whitish silvery color when done.. Similar to the new out from the box vaporizer joints.. Now the frames looks like reversed Kintsugi artwork (Japanese method art for repairing earthenware)

    Petromax got back to me informing that there will be no shipping to Korea this period and refunded my replacement frame order. Don't know what does Korea have to do with the shipping to Singapore.
    @Pancholoco1911 I cant seem to add the frame to cart. The page tells me to 'select an option' but i don't see any.
     
  23. MYN

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    Nice brazing there @isfuzzy ,
    A lot of alloy brazing rods would melt and give a lighter or silvery appearance instead of yellow-brassy colour. The shade would depend on the specific alloys, with differing amounts of copper, zinc, cadmium in some cases and of course, silver.
    Some would turn dark or even blackish (purely phosphorus-bronze without any silver) after some use, particularly if its used to braze a leaky vaporizer. These don't last very long on highly heated parts. Others are brighter and might even be a little 'pinkish' after awhile, depending on the copper and silver contents.
    What brazing alloy did you use on that?
    Sometimes the lantern collars had 'work-hardened' too much after stamping or forming on the production rollers. These are usually highly stressed and 'springy'. They might have skipped the annealing step before it goes into the plating bath. Annealing is an energy-intensive step in addition of being time-consuming. Skipping that would significantly reduce production costs. I won't be surprised if that's the case.
    Yes, ammonia or ammoniated chemicals do cause the brass to develop stress cracks later on. It might seemed to have been thoroughly washed-off but ammonia has a peculiar property in that it slowly and gradually penetrates into the brass below the surface, attacking mainly the zinc, leaving the copper behind. That'll create some porosity in the brass, and eventually heightening its chances of developing stress cracks as time passes by.
     
  24. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    :-k That's a strange kind of Petromax, if you don't mind me saying... :-s :?
     
  25. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    Britelyt "clone". They say they're made in the USA but I doubt it. Assembled here maybe with "foreigh" parts but made here, no way. There's just not enough market to justify that.
    My two cents worth...
     
  26. Pancholoco1911 United States

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    @isfuzzy that's very strange, e-mail them and ask for that option. I've tried too and won't let me because it keeps telling me that I need to select an option. Sorry

    @george Very true, even here in the states there is no many people that want to mess with fettling them. I have done two, an Aida and my most recently acquired Hipolito. Love them as my Coleman too
     
  27. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    BriteLyt say lots of things I don't believe. YMMV...

    I wish I could find that BriteLyt clip on YouTube where the owner is sitting in the back of a boat, extolling the virtues of their lanterns. Then he fills it from the boat tank, sloshing gasoline all over the place before he strikes up a light. On the strength of that, I nominated him for a Darwin award... ;) :lol:
     
  28. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    Right, David! Gene pool reduction! :whistle:
    I remember that video. Village idiot... What would a village be without one?!
    [-o<
     
  29. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    When I said 'owner', I meant the owner of the BriteLyt company - although he may have also owned the lantern and the boat. Either way, how it all didn't go up in flames is beyond me!

    Are BriteLyt still maintaining that their lanterns run safely on any fuel? - even though they're based on kerosene technology... =;
     
  30. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    Oh yeah! Even horse pi$$ if you can get it to ignite! How they have managed to stay alive is beyond me! God watches over dogs and drunks so I guess we need to include "the man in the boat", too! :mrgreen:[-o<
     

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