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Paint for Oil Hand Lamps

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by sem34090, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    Afternoon all,

    This week I have acquired the following oil lamps:
    - 1x BR Pattern Tail Lamp (Empty Case)
    - 1x Early SR (LBSCR Pattern) Hand Lamp. Burner complete and usable but red filter shattered and soldering at base gone.
    - 1x LSWR Hand Lamp (Empty Case)
    - 1x BR(S) (SR Pattern) Four Aspect Hand Lamp. Burner probably unusable, all filters intact and structurally sound.

    Now, the first three of those I don't intend using currently though I will probably swap the burners of the BR(S) and LBSCR-Pattern ones to create one usable lamp. I have almost stripped the BR(S) one to bare metal ready for a repaint, and this is where I could use some advice. For the Tail Lamp I simply used some standard white paint, for the LBSCR-Pattern Hand Lamp (which I intended to use until I dropped the blasted thing on the footbridge at Alton) I painted on a layer of black hammerite followed by a layer of black gloss, but this doesn't seem to have worked terribly well.

    Is there anyone on here who might be able to offer some guidance as to how to best paint one of these lamps, and what paint is best to use? I can't imagine that any random type of paint can be used due to the heat involved when the lamp is lit. I'd like to get a decent finish on all of these, the LSWR one also preferably being able to have a burner put in it at some point.
     
  2. K14

    K14 Member

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    How long did you leave before applying the gloss? Hammerite (and Smoothrite) is odd stuff & you need to follow their instructions. IIRC it needs something like 6 weeks to cure properly before overcoating.

    I doubt that the Big Railway used anything 'special', any damage was probably taken care of by anyone on 'light duties' with whatever came to hand.

    Some years ago now I painted Pannier 3738 at Didcot in Wartime Black. The brass safety valve bonnet got the following treatment:

    A rough clean/degrease (scotchbrite pad, white spirit) & allowed to dry;
    1 coat Finnegan's Special Metals Primer
    1 coat Crown Trade Grey undercoat
    1 coat Black Gloss.

    Not a bit of it shifted, despite the hostile environment, & when 3738 got a repaint after some out-of-the-frames boiler work a few years later, the bonnet was just keyed up & given another gloss.

    Finnegan's SPM is amazing stuff. I have yet to find a substrate to which it won't stick like the proverbial. Aluminium, Brass, Gunmetal, Galvanise, & Steel. It'll stick to wood as well. Only things I haven't tried it on (& wouldn't expect it to work) are Glass & Synthetics (e.g. Formica). It's water-based so needs a pretty scrupulously clean surface, & it's hard to avoid brushmarks - but it can be thinned & airbrushed very easily.

    Pete S.
     
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  3. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    An old fashion paint ,dont know if you can still get it, is Japan black enamel. Painted my BR lamp with it over 20 years ago andstill fairly tidy
     
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  4. K14

    K14 Member

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    Simoniz Engine Enamel sounds like it could be worth a spin.

    Hammerite do a high temp Matt Black rattle can, up to 600°C.
     
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  5. sem34090

    sem34090 New Member

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    Thanks to all of you so far. Sorry about having not yet replied, I've simply been storing away your suggestions until such a time as I can hopefully buy some of this stuff and crack on with the restorations.

    A slightly related question - Where might I find a standard (Hah!) small-variety SR Hand Lamp burner? I require just the burner, a push-fit (as opposed to screw-fit) one, to fit the BR(S) Lamp. The lamp in question looks like this (middle one) -
    upload_2019-11-6_22-38-13.png
    As I say, I think that's the standard SR 'small' lamp case.
    I have a tank and reflector in there, but the burner in there is a BR tail lamp one and therefore isn't really suitable for a hand lamp.
    I had hoped to use the working burner and tank from the LBSCR-pattern lamp (left), but as you can see that is substantially larger than the SR-pattern one. Additionally, the burner in it is a screw-fit so can't be transplanted onto the other tank. I might see if I can get the larger tank into the LSWR lamp case (right) though.
     

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