Tilley AL9A

Discussion in 'AL9-AL9A' started by Phil Harris, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    C4DBB4E7-B7E7-4758-8A44-FB84EF25495D.jpeg

    I got this lamp from a friend. It was missing its heat shield, the handle was split and fitted back-to-front, and the vapouriser was a 5” not a 7” type, but it was otherwise complete and definitely worth restoring. Six coats of Plastikote ‘Metallic Brass’ on the fount, two coats of smooth black Hammerite on the frame, and three coats of clear varnish on the handle brought it up nicely. A friend fabricated a new one-piece heat shield out of a single offcut of 1mm thick galvanised steel.

    I’m intrigued by the hanging loop at the top of the handle, as I’ve not seen this on any other photos of the AL9A. The loop enables the lamp to be hung up for storage on a hook or screw in the wall. The loop’s shape - square at one end and rounded at the other - shows that some thought has gone into its design, and its construction is fire-welded like a link of chain. Was this a Tilley original part, or a later addition by one of this lamp’s previous owners?

    The lamp is fittingly now in use at an oil-lit station on a preserved steam railway.

    Phil
     
  2. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A beautiful restoration. It would be good if you could locate a brass control cock to finish it off completely.

    Regards Jeremy
     
  3. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hello Phil, the lamp looks much better now, so well fettled? :thumbup::clap::D/:D/:clap::thumbup:

    The other AL-9 lamps which are shown in the gallery do not have that loop and neither do the AL-8 Lamps, so it's most likely that the loop on your example is an after market modification.

    AL9-AL9A

    AL8-AL8A-AL88-OH574
     
  4. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks very much, Jeremy and Jeff! Yes, I tend to think the loop is an after-market modification. Jeremy, the tank has a shallow socket so I believe it to be from the late 1950s when the aluminium control cock would have been fitted as standard. Brass would look better I agree, but the aluminium has polished up quite well and is authentic.

    Phil
     
  5. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The aluminium control cock was introduced in the 1960's.
     
  6. george United States

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    Beautiful restoration, Phil. As you say, "top drawer"!! :D/:thumbup::content:
     
  7. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks again everyone for your kind comments. Jeff, many thanks for the advice about the aluminium control cock, which I had previously thought started in the 1950s. I have some spare brass ones, so I’ll swap it out next week. Cheers!

    Phil
     
  8. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Very nice, well done.
     
  9. KAB

    KAB Subscriber

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    Another fine example, continuing with the tradition of “its missing a...... so one was made from some scrap” :clap:
     
  10. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thank you very much, both!

    Regarding the “missing” heat shield: when I stripped the thick layer of ancient cloth insulating tape off the handle, it became obvious that the lamp had been burned for some considerable time without the heat shield in place, as the end of the wooden handle was badly scorched. That bit fortunately doesn’t show too badly when suitably positioned.

    Someone, somewhere must have found an AL9A heat shield and probably thought ‘what the heck is this?’ before lobbing it into the trash!
     
  11. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  12. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thank you Tony, nice of you to comment, much appreciated.
     
  13. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Founder Member

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    Yes, sadly, if it can be unscrewed, it probably will be and then not replaced. Base-Camp had a few for sale some years ago and I took advantage of that at the time... :D
     
  14. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    It's cleaned up nicely Phil. Congratulations :thumbup:
     
  15. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thank you, Martin! Coincidentally, we held a post-Xmas party at the station this afternoon and the lamp was in operation for several hours after dark. Annoyingly, its onion globe developed a hairline crack during pre-heating, so I'll need to source another. This lamp's portability and convenience means that it'll get plenty of use during the winter months.
     
  16. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    10667EB3-B4B6-41E7-97C4-CCD8C67C919E.jpeg Here is the AL9A again, this time with polished brass control cock and a new Veritas-branded mantle which gives a brighter, whiter light than the Tilley mantle I fitted initially.

    Phil

    CE57A997-CD21-40F4-A7EE-AD72627F11C0.jpeg
     
  17. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  18. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Yes, Tony! You won’t find me going off the rails... though sometimes I see the signals and think “what’s the point?”

    Sorry. I’ll get me coat...
     
  19. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    I think you’re on the right track with that lovely refurb Phil.
     
  20. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It looks much better with the brass control cock!:thumbup:
     
  21. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Thanks, Jeff. You’re absolutely right :clap:

    Phil
     
  22. Ian Bingham

    Ian Bingham Subscriber

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    Very nice.

    But if its an AL9A, shouldn't it have the later R1A style tank (similar to the X246B tank - but with the stud for the handle)? Or if it's an AL9, a type 449 hood?

    On the other hand, it may well have been in this combination for may more years than an earlier incarnation, so it is part of the history.
     
  23. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Nice lamp maybe original but I would knock of the edges of the heat shield.
    The square shape doesn't match with the overall round shapes of a Tilley girl.
     
  24. Phil Harris

    Phil Harris United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi both and thanks for the comments.

    As this lamp came to me from a long-time lamp collector, I can well imagine that it may be a mixture of parts! It did have the wrong vapouriser and control cock. I only claim that it’s an AL9A because it most closely resembles the image of the AL9A in Jim Dick’s book. It’s quite possibly a hybrid though. The tank does have a threaded boss or socket on the top of the tank, unused in this lamp, but I think the same tank was used in some Tilley reflector inspection lamps of the same era and the reflector was secured by a bolt into this socket.

    I haven’t seen an original heat shield, so this one was made, again based on illustrations. I know it’s different, but it’s perfectly functional, and I actually think it’s better, being formed from a single piece of steel rather than the ‘plate and bracket’ fabrication.

    My lamps are mainly functional rather than display pieces. This one gets used every single week at the railway!

    Phil
     
  25. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Phil Harris

    Regardless of its history and pedigree it looks good and I wish I had one.

    Regards Jeremy
     

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