Tilley R1 heater Copper

Discussion in 'Pressure Lamp Discussion Forum' started by Woolbay, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Woolbay

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    Hi

    amongst my recently purchased 'Job lot' of heaters I have several Tilley heaters including one with a copper reflector (the others have chrome/nickel).
    I understand that this dates it about 1925-1950?

    It is very tarnished, what would be the general advice about cleaning and polishing with citric/vinegar and then Brasso to both the font and the reflector?

    Regards

    Paul
     
  2. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    You won't hurt the coper much whatever you do with acids or Brasso. However any chemical cleaners used on the brass will damage it and eventually cause the brass to stress crack. Trouble is most polishes and cleaners have chemicals in them that damge the structure of the alloy. If you use an acid such as citric or vinegar the surface goes an orange coppery colour, That colour tells you that the brass has been de zincified on the surface and that the brass is therefore weakened. Abrasive polishing is safer but because that always scratches the surface it must be protected with a surface treatement afterwards. Paint or lacquer for instance. ::Neil::
     
  3. Woolbay

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    Thank you for the prompt response.

    I think I will citrus clean the reflector and then brasso polish it to restore it to its former lustre. I would then hope to find a suitable lacquer to use that will delay any further tarnish.

    As to the font I may just 'buff" using my bench grinder/buffer and then lacquer as well.

    This will be a long term restoration as I hope to be able to make this a functioning heater that will be utilised in our courtyard garden when we have people over for drinks.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a suitable clear lacquer that I can utilise?

    regards
    Paul
     
  4. DaveD

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    fine brass wool works nice but takes time and effort

    Dave
     
  5. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I have tended to use a clear lacquer from an auto parts shop although this is not really suitable. There are specialist lacquers around for application to polished brass and these normally have to be brushed on but do offer better protection than the spray on stuff. Being a idle old git I use a spray type and give maybe four or five coats. ::Neil::
     
  6. James

    James Subscriber

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    Neil after you mechanically polish the brass do you need to remove the residue of polish before lacquering it? If so what do you use to get rid of it?
     
  7. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Meth is probably best although if you do it right you leave almost nothing of the soap and can polish the residues off with a cloth by hand. Probably best not to use kero although naphtha would be OK. Not that naphtha is readily available here except of course in my fuel store. ::Neil::
     
  8. Woolbay

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    Some photos
    The photos don't not really show it ... but

    I've cleaned the bowl with Copper/Stainless cleaner which is what I use to clean my copper based saucepans in the kitchen. It did a stirling job, a few minutes rubbing with a paste made from the powder using a nulon scouring pad and it became very clean. A quick polish with the brasso and it looked like a beautiful golden globe.

    Now to get a new mantle, de-rust the guard and draught protector, fix a leak in the font and then swap out the vapouriser and it should work

    Paul
    1298345676-DSC_0086.JPG 1298345691-DSC_0087.JPG 1298345705-DSC_0088.JPG
     

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