Tillite alternative

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Henry Plews, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    This recent topic X359 burner pre heater plus the fact that I have an example that works almost as well, got me thinking. Could the rapid pre-heater from say, an Optimus or Petromax or any of the numerous clones be adapted ?

    The keyword here is “simplicity”. Using a spare brass Tilley 777 control cock and the rapid pre-heater borrowed from an Anchor lantern, here’s my idea of a practical alternative to Tilley’s idea of a joke rapid pre-heater.

    The 777 control cock has the same thread as the Tillite – 0.5 inch B.S.B., so will screw directly into the boss on the X359 fount. :thumbup:
    IMG_2524CR.JPG

    Although the threads on the Anchor rapid pre-heater are more course than those of the gauze filter, the diameters are very similar and not too much brute force is needed to screw the two parts together but not yet ! The fuel riser tube of the Anchor pre-heater didn’t want to come out so I had to work around it. First, I dismantled the cock
    IMG_2493CR.JPG

    to make it easier to drill it out to 9mm.
    IMG_2497C.JPG

    Not only did this allow the fuel tube to pass through, it also left me with something I could hold firmly without damaging the all important 0.5 inch B.S.B. threads when I forcefully screwed the Anchor pre-heater into the filter end of the Tilley cock.
    IMG_2526CR.JPG IMG_2527CR.JPG

    The mismatched threads between the Anchor rapid and the Tilley control cock were worked in and out a few times until there was little resistance and then the threaded part of the cock was separated from the main body. The boss in the fount has only about 8mm of internal thread
    IMG_2519C2R.JPG

    so the threads on the adapter had to be adjusted. Note that if needed, I can use pliers without damaging the threads.
    IMG_2532CR.JPG

    I had intended to solder the two parts together, so the two parts were separated and cleaned in preparation but as the Anchor part was borrowed and not really spare, I used plumbers tape instead to ensure a good seal. With a washer punched from a sheet of Viton, the unit was screwed into the fount. (I found out later that a lead washer would be better).
    IMG_2501CR.JPG

    When testing the operation of the device, I found that the lever would not go over centre and hold itself in the open position because it was binding on the fount.
    IMG_2509CR.JPG

    Before making adjustments, I tried this lever from a Petromax. Hands free. :thumbup:
    IMG_2507CR.JPG

    Time for a test run
    IMG_2505CR1.JPG IMG_2510CR.JPG IMG_2512CR.JPG IMG_2513CR.JPG

    The Tillite alternative
    IMG_2486CR.JPG IMG_2487CR.JPG IMG_2482CR.JPG IMG_2483CR.JPG


    There’s still room for improvement, for example, I think it would be better if there was more clearance here img_2502 and 2503.
    IMG_2502CR.JPG IMG_2503CR.JPG

    Perhaps some glass cutting is in order.

    Henry.
     
  2. Alex Smith

    Alex Smith United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Very inventive!
     
  3. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Nice work, Henry!

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  4. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Henry,
    You acually did what I was thinking about.
    Only the rapid I had in mind would be a rotating version more like the original. But are there any around ?
    I once saw a picture of a stove pre heater that version.

    But you proofed it is possible.
     
  5. Norman

    Norman United States Subscriber

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    Well done Henry, well done indeed.

    Now this is what I call thinking outside of the box.

    Cheers,
    Norman
     
  6. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    @Henry Plews Another "Rube Goldberg Special"! I like it, Henry!:D/
    * (For you younger group: Rube Goldberg was an inventor who appeared on Sundays in the funny papers many years ago. Crazy inventions you would never believe.)
    :mrgreen:
     
  7. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A great bit of fettling Henry!:thumbup::clap::clap::thumbup:
     
  8. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    @Henry Plews
    Imaginative, inventive and a great result, well done and thank you for sharing.
    It has sparked my interest in do similar.
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  9. Matty

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    It was cool reading this topic Henry.

    Would it not be easier to crimp the brass tube slightly rather than cutting the glass?
     
  10. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    A very interesting post, Henry :thumbup:
    Well done :clap:
     
  11. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Thanks for the compliments.

    I need to do some more experimenting to find the best way to use the pre-heater. At first, I copied the Tilley instructions - 1.5 pints of kero, 20 pump strokes and light the pre-heater and pump slowly for one minute, about 30 or 40 pump strokes then turn the lantern on. Well, it seems that even with a rapid heater, Tilley lamps do not like a lot of pressure when starting because I had a lot of flame coming out of the mantle. Quickly turning the lamp off kept everything soot free. I let the rapid heater burn until pressure in the fount was reduced to the point where the flame from the heater was becoming weak and yellow, big enough to lick the bottom of the mantle but too small to cover everything with soot. Now when I turned the lamp on, it lit without drama so I turned off the heater and gradually increased pressure as normal until the lamp was burning brightly.
    I'm sure the problem with the heater is not serious, I just need to review my procedure i.e. number of pump strokes at start, number of additional pump strokes whist burning, burn time etc. I may also try a different nozzle on the pre-heater or even a complete unit but that's for tomorrow.
     
  12. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    @WimVe The Tillite is the only one of its type that I have ever seen. I wouldn't even know where to start looking for something that is similar. The nearest thing I can suggest is the rapid heater from an Optimus, at least the lever moves horizontally but Optimus spare parts usually cost a lot more than Anchor spares.

    @george on this side of the pond, we have Heath Robinson.

    @Matty to be honest, I'm not sure that crimping the tube would be any easier. It would have to be split vertically so that the diameter could be reduced by overlapping. The Tillite tube is split in such a way and I did try to crimp it but without success. Alternatively, the tube could be flattened a little which would take it away from the glass but I don't think by much, also the flame would be broader and more of it would pass either side of the vapouriser which is inefficient.

    Edit. Were you thinking of just nipping the tube where it passes the glass ? This would leave a circular opening thus concentrating the heat on the vapouriser.

    Henry.
     
  13. Matty

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    Henry, yes, exactly that. Not the entire tube, just the problematic area next to the glass.

    Henry, if by cutting the glass and having the exposed cut area in proximity to high heat, would that cause the glass to break? Perhaps it doesn't put the glass at risk but I think if a high heats hits an area that is chipped or cracked a little it can cause failure. I might be over reaching but I thought I'd ask.
     
  14. WimVe

    WimVe Subscriber

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    Just an idea: what is the influence of shortening the rapid tube ?
    So that only the flame will get under the globe.
     
  15. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    Matty, it could be tricky. The problem area is between around 8 and 20mm from the end of the
    tube. I think it would deform rather than reshape.

    Having had another look, with the Petromax type preheater installed, simply cutting the bottom lip off the glass will not improve the situation. @WimVe I may be wrong but I think that shortening the tube would actually increase the risk of damaging the glass, so it is probably best to leave well alone. At least there is some clearance, albeit minimal.

    The Tillite is a different matter. As far as I can determine, the fount on myX359 is as symmetrical as it was on the day it left the factory yet the glass rests on the flame tube and the flame tube prevents the glass from sitting correctly in the frame. My mind may be stuck in a rut but as far as I can see, the only remedy is to design either a new glass or a new lantern.

    These two images are the best you’re going to get at this time of night.
    IMG_2478CR.JPG IMG_2480CR.JPG


    Now with the Petromax preheater installed. In these two images plus the last two in my original post, you can see that the glass is clear of the flame tube and sits correctly. To be fair, this flame tube is 2mm narrower than that of the Tillite and because it is a separate entity, it can be leant over a little without affecting the function of the preheater. IMG_2538CR.JPG IMG_2539CR.JPG

    At the end of the day, my experiments have been just that.

    Did Tilley buy in a few Petromax or Optimus preheaters and experiment as I have done before deciding to go with their own design ?

    If Tilley had used a preheater that was proven; would the X359 have been as big a success as the failure it turned to be ? I guess we’ll never know the answer to those questions.

    Yes, there is room for some fine tuning but I think I’ve demonstrated that it’s possible to have a working rapid preheater on a Tilley X359 and my efforts have kept me out of mischief for a couple of days. However, the X359, especially one which still has its Tillite preheater (whether it works or not) is not a common lantern, so when I get tired of playing with my new toy, I’ll reinstall the non
    working Tillite and it will go back on the shelf. If I want to light a lamp or two, I have plenty of
    users to choose from.

    Henry.
     
  16. Matty

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    @Henry Plews

    Henry, your topic has been a great read. I can almost picture you fiddling around with the lamps and pre-heater.

    Isn't it amazing how 2mm is a massive difference in a lot of applications. 2mm difference in some lamp operations mean the difference between a working lamp and a glowing piece of junk. If you have a 2mm hole in your mantle or your jet is oversized by 2mm etc, kaput.

    I think I have a couple of patents for pre-heaters. I did have a crisis a few days ago where I accidentally deleted a couple of lists of patents I had discovered. There is a chance that the pre-heaters were in one of the lists that was used to dump patents for regulators, valves and - preheaters. I think, I'm too scared to look. I've been too scared to think of my mistake in case I jump.

    Actually, it wasn't so much my mistake. I deleted some emails because my gmail account was 99% full. I did not know that by deleting sent mail, it would also delete mail from my primary inbox of received mail. Bastards.
     
  17. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    @Matty

    Matty, thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the read. There certainly was a lot of 'fiddling around' along the way but I enjoyed the journey.

    Henry.
     
  18. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    After much experimenting, which included changing the preheater nipple, I found the following method gave the best, drama free results.

    1) With 1.5 pints of paraffin in the fount and all controls turned 'off', give 60 full pump strokes.
    2) Light the preheater and allow to burn for one minute (by which time the flame is weak and yellow.)
    3) Turn the control cock 'on'.
    4) Turn preheater 'off'.
    5) Pump in additional air until lantern burns brightly.

    Caveat. Although this method worked well for me, I do not consider it to be definitive. I used second hand parts of undetermined wear. Anyone who copies my experiment will be using parts of a different quality which could affect the results.

    Henry.
     
  19. Buggerlugs

    Buggerlugs Australia Subscriber

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    @Henry Plews
    Wow that amazing how your brain works, well done you deserve a big pat on the back for that job.
    I would love to be able to do that for my X359 i have 3, but only 1 with the pre-burner, but it has a broken pin and the seal melted, so she is a shelf queen now.
     
  20. george

    george United States Subscriber

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    I use the same technique for lighting the Petromax and Aida rapid lighters. It works for me too.
    O:)
     

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