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View Full Version : Help With A Tilley Stormlight



CherryPie
09-12-2009, 09:45 AM
Hey all,

I've recently inherited an X246B Tilley Stormlight, it looks to be in good condition however I have never used one before so I really wouldn't know :(

Can anybody give me an idea of what I need to do to make sure it's all in working order, how to keep it maintained, etc?

Thanks,
Jo

Triassic
09-12-2009, 10:06 AM
http://www.tilleylamp.co.uk/

You may be able to get parts and instructions there.

Bushfella
09-12-2009, 10:40 AM
First...

Take the gallery, chimney and mantle off the lamp.

Put some paraffin in the tank.

If the tank leaks - dump it.

Leave the tank overnight to establish whether it is sound or not. DO NOT pressurise it at this stage.

Once you are happy that the tank does not leak.

Try pumping it up with a few strokes, with the **** tap CLOSED - just a few though.

The pump should be firm and even. Not loose, gritty or clunky. If it is loose, gritty or clunky, strip the pump down and identify why. It may just need a new cup washer, it may need a new assembly.

If the pump is good, then after just a few strokes with the **** tap closed, as few as five, inspect the seal around the valve at the top of the tank - this is where they usually leak.

If it leaks, release the pressure and replace the seal.

If it doesn't leak, open the **** and when you have pressure in the tank, there should be a seepage of fuel from the top of the feed pipe. This seepage should vary as you turn the stop ****.

There isn't a great deal that can go wrong with the gallery, just keep it clean. Refit the gallery, a new mantle and the chimney.

If you do strip the lamp down, it is worth checking that the "cleaning needle" and spring inside the fuel tube are working and not gunged up.

You set the mantle exactly as you would for a gas lamp, - tying it in place and then letting it burn without any fuel flowing.

To light...

You need the lighting wick, which you soak in meths, light and clamp onto the fuel tube to pre-heat the fuel to turn it from a liquid to a vapour.

Once the meths has almost burned out you start pumping to build pressure, and when you turn the stop **** on, so long as your pre-heater is still burning, you will have a brilliant white light.

Parts are readily available on Ebay or from http://www.base-camp.co.uk

If it leaks, don't use it till you repair the leak.

CherryPie
09-12-2009, 10:59 AM
Wow, thanks! :D

The lamp was given to me with a bit of fuel in although I figured it's probably best to empty it and fill it with new as I don't know how long it's been sitting (although we are definitely talking years). I'd hopefully have realised by now if it was leaking, so I think I'm set with that, I've just ordered a mantle and a meths clippy thingy (I believe that is the technical term :tong:).

Fuel-wise, are there different kinds of paraffin and if so, which should I use and where would I buy it? (Now I just feel really, really dense!)

Thanks,
Jo

Prodigal Son
09-12-2009, 11:36 AM
You don't want to bother yourself with dirty old paraffin lamps ...

Send it to me I'll dispose of it safely :D

Garages sell paraffin, anything will do.

Andy

astwood7
09-12-2009, 11:59 AM
You don't want to bother yourself with dirty old paraffin lamps ...

Send it to me I'll dispose of it safely :D



oh no you wont .......:bigsmiley

CherryPie
09-12-2009, 12:24 PM
You don't want to bother yourself with dirty old paraffin lamps ...

Send it to me I'll dispose of it safely :D


Well... I suppose a Scout is to be trusted so I'm sure you're right, I'll send it straight to you :tong:

To be honest, I'm fairly suprised it's in such good shape. I'm pretty sure it's been left to gather dust after a local group disbanded about 5 years ago but it's still in the original box with all the bits for it. Hopefully I won't break it now :D

Do they give off a lot of light?

Neil Williams
09-12-2009, 12:32 PM
Do they give off a lot of light?

Yes, if in good order they are far better than any gas lamp I've encountered. I've got two - one is pretty bright, one is more knackered so is dimmer, but both are better than gas lamps of a similar size.

Though I admit I've been using rechargeable LED lanterns more of late - but these don't have the same calming hiss and don't give off any heat to warm a freezing cold mess tent.

Neil

Prodigal Son
09-12-2009, 01:12 PM
They are a fantastic bit of kit...

I know I'm a bit old school when it comes down to things like paraffin lamps and primus stoves and stuff, but in my opinion you can't beat them (as long as you dont have to carry them far!!)

The light is a lovely warming light that you certainly don't get from gas or indeed battery. They also give off a fair amount of heat too - so be careful when handling them after use.

The inside of the globe can get quite dirty without you realising and that affects the amount of light, a quick wipe over with kitchen paper will get them sorted.

The mantle is prone to disintegrating if you are too rough once they are burnt in. They are worth getting a few off evilbay just in case.

DuncanHill
09-12-2009, 01:25 PM
I like Tilley lamps - better light than gas, keep your mess-tent warm, cheaper to run (in the long run) than gas, sturdily built, and Tilley lamps don't go bang! as easily as gas lamps do.

David
09-12-2009, 03:04 PM
I agree with the above points, but try and find someone that is able to light them successfully. We have about 4 people in our group.

Doug in Canada
09-12-2009, 03:14 PM
Might be obvious but to err on the side of safety, make sure you follow the above procedure outside! My secondary school was built on the site of a house that burned to the ground after they tried lighting one inside!

Neil Williams
09-12-2009, 03:27 PM
Might be obvious but to err on the side of safety, make sure you follow the above procedure outside! My secondary school was built on the site of a house that burned to the ground after they tried lighting one inside!

Valid point. If you mess up slightly when lighting (e.g. try to turn on the paraffin flow before it's hot enough), they can flare quite nicely - fine if you're outside (but don't light one with your face above it!) but not if something flammable e.g. a tent is above.

Neil

Howslo
09-12-2009, 04:47 PM
Tilleys are great!

<<<<<<


The only gas lamp I've found which gives comparable light is a Bullfinch.

I've got three of my own - one I bought new 15 years ago (see avatar pic), a much older one I bought for £2 (just needed a mantle), which has given about 5 or 6 years good service but now needs attention, and a third that I was given, which had been in someone's shed for years. This one also needs attention.

Additionally, the group has a few Tilleys and three Bi-Aladins (same principal, different manufacturer), none of which have been used for years, and which I'd like to revive at some point in the future.

For convenience, we've also got a couple of Piezzo ignition gas lamps, but nothing beats a Tilley!

Bushfella
09-12-2009, 08:30 PM
I have a range of Tilleys, some working, some being restored when Scouting allows, I also have Bialladin/ Vapalux, Coleman, and a brand spanking new petromax that will probably never see fuel its so smart.

In the piezo ignition, I have a Coleman petrol lantern which gives off a fantastic light, when it doesn't blow away the mantle on ignition!

(I also have a range of pressure and atmospheric stoves I just need somewhere to display them as SWMBO won't allow them in the house!)

roger-uk
09-12-2009, 08:39 PM
I have a range of Tilleys, some working, some being restored when Scouting allows, I also have Bialladin/ Vapalux, Coleman, and a brand spanking new petromax that will probably never see fuel its so smart.

In the piezo ignition, I have a Coleman petrol lantern which gives off a fantastic light, when it doesn't blow away the mantle on ignition!

(I also have a range of pressure and atmospheric stoves I just need somewhere to display them as SWMBO won't allow them in the house!)

I'll display them for you Ewan :thup:

Howslo
09-12-2009, 08:53 PM
I've got photos of a huge collection of Tilleys and other pressure lamps - all working - on display at an event at one of our local museums. I'd post a pic, but I don't have a re-sizing tool at present.

[Must find one]

MikeJ
09-12-2009, 09:01 PM
I've got photos of a huge collection of Tilleys and other pressure lamps - all working - on display at an event at one of our local museums. I'd post a pic, but I don't have a re-sizing tool at present.

[Must find one]

Some of the online photo hosting sites (like photobucket/flikr) will resize them for you. If that's any help.

CherryPie
10-12-2009, 07:23 AM
Now I'm getting really excited about trying it out! I ordered the parts yesterday, that was nearly 24 hours ago, why aren't they here yet, I want them noooooooow! :D

chris@8th
10-12-2009, 08:07 AM
I'd agree with everything that has been said above. I have a 36 year old tilley which works perfectly and looks great in nice shiney chrome. There is not much that can go wrong if the seals are kept in use (i.e. lubricated) and even if they do need changing a full seals parts pack is only a few pounds.
My advice would be that when lighting with meths clippy thing (tech term) ican't be left too late to light, but it can be too early, so to avoid flare up let the meths almost burn out. The wait is similar to that Christmas Eve feeling when you were a child :bigsmiley

And then... Enjoy

Howslo
11-12-2009, 09:34 AM
My rule of thumb for lighting is to leave the meths torch on 2 to 3 minutes, depending on ambient temperature. If the flames from the torch don't reach the mantle, you've left it too late.

As with most things, you get better at it with practice.

AkelaNeil
11-12-2009, 10:25 AM
Well... I suppose a Scout is to be trusted so I'm sure you're right, I'll send it straight to you :tong:

To be honest, I'm fairly suprised it's in such good shape. I'm pretty sure it's been left to gather dust after a local group disbanded about 5 years ago but it's still in the original box with all the bits for it. Hopefully I won't break it now :D
Is anyone else jealous?! That's the equivalent of finding a box full of solid gold coins on the beach in tilley terms. The fantastic thing about Tilleys is that they're completely serviceable and you can obtain spares for every part except the fuel tank. More to the point you can get a fully working and perfectly conditioned one on ebay for about £35-£40 that's as good as a new one that'll cost you £110.


Do they give off a lot of light?
An amazing amount of bright white light that's warm, cosy and welcoming. A full tank will give you a good 12 hours of this.