Tilley L.D. 2 'Mark I'

Discussion in 'Other Tilley Pressure Product' started by Sedgman, Jun 1, 2023.

  1. Sedgman

    Sedgman Subscriber

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    I have seen an ad for one in the late 1950s.

    Tilley manufactured two leak detectors for refrigerant gases. The models were L.D. 1 and L.D. 2 (aka LD 1 and LD 2), both of which later had an updated ‘Mark II’ version, involving more standard founts.

    The LD 1 model is more like an upright blowtorch and the LD 2 is more like a conventional blowtorch. However, the LD 2 runs on methylated spirits (alcohol) and is apparently the only Tilley product to use ‘metho’ as the main fuel source.

    The LD 2 had a variation, the LD 2 Mark II which came out later on, and thus the earlier tank was then referred to by many as the ‘LD 2 Mark I’, but I will refer to it by its original name; the LD 2. The LD 2 will act as a small blowtorch or as a leak detector. The idea was to use it to find leaks in refrigeration equipment and then to be able to repair them with the blowtorch component. Leaks were detected by changes in the flame color.

    I obtained this unit in Victoria, where it was the only item sitting on some second-hand cupboards for sale. I recognised the Tilley name, not the unit, and I cheekily asked ‘how much’ for this ‘thing’ and got it for $5.

    Repairing it was straightforward, with seals and cleaning but I had significant generous help from a UK member without which I would not have completed it. I am so grateful for that assistance. Many CPL members are like that and I am positive that I am not alone in acknowledging that supportive assistance which is oft provided behind the scenes.

    I removed the decal that was on it and may replace that in due course. Lighting the blowtorch was as easy as pre-heating with metho by filling the well in the centre. I also dabbed some metho on the far end of the wick under the copper burner element. Then after about 90 seconds closing the pump/filler cap and waiting a further 30 seconds and then pumping it and opening the Control Knob fully whence a rush of air was drawn in via the detector air line tube. The flame is about 50 mm long and hard to photograph as the flame is different to a kerosene flame.

    I have not tried to see if the flame color changes with the various gases as the four that I randomly investigated from a list Tilley made of detected gases seemed quite dangerous to one’s health. The unit does constantly draw in air from the detector air line tube.

    The LD 2 has a 5 mm asbestos, (presumed), wick under the main aluminium burner. I intend to replace this with a fiberglass wick when it arrives. The vapouriser is a special size and the pump unit is smaller than normal. The air line tube is not original but simply a car radiator hose of 3/8” ID. Incidentally it did not melt during the ten minutes I ran the unit for.

    The LD 2 made by Tilley has imperial sized fittings. The larger retention brass nuts on the vapouriser are worked by 5/8” spanners and the fuel feed pipe pickup bolt (vapouriser bolt & filter) is managed by a 3/8” spanner. Two small washers also fit this bolt and are 32 thou thick and I found that 11 mm OD and 6 mm ID work fine. These are probably part no. 1491. The vapouriser is also not a standard Tilley size and is part number 2575.

    I was very happy to find this unusual Tilley lamp.

    View LS.jpg

    View RS.jpg

    View Top.jpg

    Flame.jpg
    The flame from the metho blowtorch part.

    Copper Element.jpg
    The copper element nozzle.

    Unfettled Vaporiser.jpg
    The L.D. 2 as it came.

    View Control Knob.jpg
    Control Knob.

    View Fuel Pickup.jpg
    Fuel pickup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2023
  2. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    Congratulations Iain, an interesting find and it's cleaned up nicely :thumbup: Thanks for the additional information.
     
  3. Sedgman

    Sedgman Subscriber

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    Forgot to mention it is a steel tank and possibly heavily tinned or the like.
    LD2 Paint Stripped - Copy.jpg

    Lastly, the pump tube is 3.33” long and the wick assembly is held in place along with the burner shield by a 1/8” bolt with a ¼” brass nut on it.
     

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