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VL1 tank

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Ian Bingham, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Ian Bingham

    Ian Bingham Subscriber

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    This proved to be quite straightforward, but not knowing how it would go, I took some photographs along the way.


    I found a bare vase in the most common colour – old gold - a while back. It has no major damage but there is some light crazing.

    180530 Tilley VL1 (7).JPG

    There have been a couple of tanks appear on e-bay, but not having managed to acquire one, I set about recreating. The Tilley AL15 has the same pressing/spinning to close the top of and bottom of its tank, Slightly annoyingly, a few years ago, I did have an AL15 without the cowling and burner, but I made the cowl (the burner was kindly provided by a CPL member) - before giving it so my brother . So at some further expense a complete AL15 was acquired.

    180530 Tilley VL1 (5).JPG

    180530 Tilley VL1 (6).JPG

    This was then unsoldered top and bottom. I used a small hand cannister blowlamp throughout to avoid too much heat getting to other fittings etc. It worked fine. I attacked the top end first – which needed some slight persuasion to come off. It is quite congested inside the tank and the pressure indicator was removed to make room for my special stick of wood to pass through the tank to drive the bottom out.

    180530 Tilley VL1 (9).JPG

    180530 Tilley VL1 (8).JPG

    180530 Tilley VL1 (10).JPG

    The riser on the VL1 is much the same as other table lamps, but as far as I know, not to be found in the same length on any other Tilley. I sold my lathe a few years back when moving on to a boat, so had to have the riser made.

    A loose nut on the bottom end runs up the thread to provide some mechanical fixing, with a compression joint to the copper fuel feed. The lower end of the stem is slightly undercut in an attempt to meet the slight dome on the tank end.

    180530 Tilley VL1 (1).JPG

    180530 Tilley VL1 (4).JPG

    180605 Tilley VL1 (2).JPG

    Some careful marking up using my school compass indicated that a centrally positioned riser would clash with the pump fitting by a few mm. The tank top flares slightly to take the fitting. Maybe Tilley put the pump fitting more off-centre on the VL1 than the AL15?

    180605 Tilley VL1 (4).JPG

    Anyway, I drilled the hole as close the centre as I dared, and then filed both parts until they sat together comfortably


    180605 Tilley VL1 (8).JPG

    180605 Tilley VL1 (10).JPG

    Putting it together showed that the off centre hole had not resulted in it being too far off vertical – and nothing a bit of brute force could not remedy.


    180605 Tilley VL1 (13).JPG

    Even with the slightly off-centre hole, the knurled ring of the pump is perilously close to the riser, which I hadn’t previously considered

    180612 Tilley VL1 (10).JPG

    No decision had been made whether or not to fit a pressure indicator; I had been told it was a very tight fit. But feeling as though all was going well, I gave it a go. The two I had to hand were similar, but with some variation in the diameter of the stems below the collar.


    180612 Tilley VL1 (3).JPG

    On a VL1, the indicator emerges at a jaunty angle. The issue is that there isn’t much room! In the image, the indicator would not clear the tube, for example. Clearly there is a more space for the diaphragm nearer the tank cap.

    180605 Tilley VL1 (5).JPG

    By shortening the stem of the indicator (or removing its shoulder) it clears the pump cylinder and tank wall – but comes closer to the bottom of the riser where the fuel feed needs to join. I cut back the threaded end of the riser and put as sharp a turn on the fuel feed as I could. The shorter tube of the old AL15 was reasonably useful whilst fiddling around, as you can’t reach through the long VL1 tank to any real effect. In the end (and it was a long one coming), I came to the reluctant conclusion that I couldn’t do it. Now having a hole to fill in the cap, I took the easy way and soldered in the top end of the indicator that I had previously cut off in one of my failed attempts

    180612 Tilley VL1 (4).JPG

    The AL15 and VL1 tank is made from 3” brass tube. But the 3” brass tube I had bought (at yet more expense..._ was a little smaller than the original both ID and OD, so it wasn’t just a matter of gauge. Consequently the tube would not readily accept the AL15 bottom cap. It was close though. So I cleaned off the residual solder, heated the tube to expand it a little and manged to drive the cap home. A little solder was added.

    180612 Tilley VL1 (5).JPG

    The top was a loose fit and the trick here was to ensure it was square on the tube. I had trimmed the tube with a hacksaw – and had to spend some time with the file squaring it up. But it looks to be about right

    180612 Tilley VL1 (6).JPG

    Pressurising proved the pump clamp washer needed replacing. But after this, dunking in water showed no leaks. So, I treated it to a new old stock 169 vapouriser and an XN clock, found a gallery from somewhere and lit it up.

    180612 Tilley VL1 (7).JPG

    180612 Tilley VL1 (9).JPG

    Before placing it here


    180612 Tilley VL1 (12).JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  2. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON Subscriber

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    Well fettled!:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  3. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    An excellent project and well documented Ian. :thumbup:
     
  4. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    Excellent work, thanks for sharing it. That should help with my project, interesting how the pump sits closer on this, I would have thought the top cap was identical to the Vl tank, but I guess I will find all these little bits out for myself when I get around to it.[-o<
     
  5. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    Looking forward to seeing the line up of VLs Matt.
     
  6. Tony Press

    Tony Press Subscriber

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  7. pete sav

    pete sav Founder Member

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    Really good job that Ian nice to see you got it finished ok
    Pete
     
  8. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    What’s the thread for the control cock socket? I need to see if I can get a tap, or if I’m going to need to brush up on my internal threading on the lathe.
     
  9. Mackburner

    Mackburner Founder Member Subscriber

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    1/2" x 26 BSB

    ::Neil::
     
  10. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    Thanks Neil, I’ll make a list of everything else I need, then get ordering stuff. Looks like I’ll need an 11.5mm drill as well, unless I’ve got something close to hand.

    Looking at an original Vl tank, the boss where the pump screws in is right down on the shoulder, I wonder why Tilley made them differently to the Al15 top caps. Surely it would have been more of a cost saving to make all the parts identical and just use them for the different lamp.

    I did price up a solid piece of brass, 3 1/2” round and 2” long which I could have turned a top piece out of, but it was about £35 + vat and I’m not sure if I could have made a good enough job. Then I’d have to machine the boss for the pump and it just seems like a lot more work and potential for things to go wrong.

    image.jpg
     
  11. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    Don’t need an 11.5mm drill anymore, according to the bsb chart I found the correct tapping drill is 29/64 which I have in stock.:thumbup::D/

    Right, full set of 1/2” bsb taps ordered. Quick question though for anyone who knows threads, might be a good one for @longilily what’s the difference between

    1/2” 26tpi bsb
    1/2” 26tpi bsc cycle
    1/2” 26tpi whit form

    I assume there is some difference in the shape of the thread? Like the bottoms of the threads are rounded (Whitworth), sharp pointed, square etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018 at 6:05 PM
  12. Mackburner

    Mackburner Founder Member Subscriber

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    BSB is 55 degree Whitworth thread profile and Cycle is 60 degrees. ::Neil::
     
  13. Ian Bingham

    Ian Bingham Subscriber

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    That's interesting. Not having another VL1 to hand, I was unable to closely compare the top with the AL15, but it did seem to me as if the pump fitting was nearer the rim (on a VL1) it would allow the riser to be centrally positioned, clear the pump itself and give you a half-chance of squeezing a standard pressure indicator-


    I thought about this too. Naturally the external profile would have to be achieved - but would not the tricky bit be making the rim thin enough to look right? More meat could remain elsewhere. Someone did look at seeing if a top could be spun - but nothing came of that in the end.

    Does any know if the tops of AL15/VL1s would have been made by spinning? Or would they have been pressed? I imagine the boss for the pump would have been die-formed.
     
  14. Pauly

    Pauly Subscriber

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    Wow that looks great!!
     
  15. Matthew92

    Matthew92 Subscriber

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    With the smaller 2 3/4” tube I bought, machining a top was the only option. It would have had to have a thicker rim to fill in the gap at the top of the vase. I was thinking something a little more plain, along the lines of Neil’s reproduction red one, with just a slope down to the outside edge, easier to machine and perhaps wouldn’t look so out of place. Might still be an option if I can’t get my hands on an Al15.

    I’d guess the tops are pressed rather than spun, I don’t know if spinning could produce the sharp step at the outer rim. If I can get one, I’ll have a close look, it should be visible on the inside I would think.:-k

    The set of taps plus a die turned up today, ordered Sunday night from Tracy’s Tools. Still no sign of the tube yet though, I ordered that end of last week but I see on the website they are closed today due to a funeral so hopefully I’ll see that before the end of the week.[-o<
     

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