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Water Gauge Lamp Oil ?

Discussion in 'Locomotive M.I.C.' started by ROD 3030, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. ROD 3030

    ROD 3030 New Member

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    Hi All, is it worth searching for Rape oil for the Water gauge lamp ? Mixing a drop of lube oil with parafin will tend to smoke things up a bit.
     
  2. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    I just use parrafin in mine, but to prevent smoke, you need to turn the wick down till there is a slight concave curve at the top of the flame. if your reflector is clean, you still get more than enough light.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I've never known anyone use anything other than paraffin in gauge glass lamps. I suppose you should use colzalene (lamp oil) if you can get it but I don't know who can supply it. It is used in safety lamps in coal mines.
     
  4. loco cleaner

    loco cleaner New Member

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    Why would you want to mix lube oil with parafin when parafin burns clean?
     
  5. Sugar Palm 60526

    Sugar Palm 60526 Member

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    Why would you want to mix lube oil with parafin when parafin burns clean?[/quote:8e16pqae]

    As I understand it, paraffin has flashpoint such that there is a risk of a lamp, close to the firebox, overheating and becoming a hazard. I have actually seen (can't remember where or when) a gauge glass lamp start to boil and burst into flames on a loco.

    Adding lube oil is meant to raise the boiling point and flash point to reduce the risk.
     
  6. stallis

    stallis New Member

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    Technically speaking adding two oils together does not generally increase the initial boiling point of the oil mixture - the "light ends" in the parafin will still boil start to boil at the same temperature whether they are in the parafin on its own, or in the oil mixture. It is related to why petrol can fizz a bit on a hot day, especially if it is a "winter" blend.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Why would you want to mix lube oil with parafin when parafin burns clean?[/quote:3aryo1gs]

    As I understand it, paraffin has flashpoint such that there is a risk of a lamp, close to the firebox, overheating and becoming a hazard. I have actually seen (can't remember where or when) a gauge glass lamp start to boil and burst into flames on a loco.

    Adding lube oil is meant to raise the boiling point and flash point to reduce the risk.[/quote:3aryo1gs]
    I believe that's why colzalene is preferred for such things. Anybody any idea where to get it?
     
  8. toplink

    toplink New Member Friend

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  9. yorksireenginegroup

    yorksireenginegroup Well-Known Member

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    just use lamp oil i do i buy it for 99p per litre
     
  10. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    Why would you want to mix lube oil with parafin when parafin burns clean?[/quote:22rqkj77]

    As I understand it, paraffin has flashpoint such that there is a risk of a lamp, close to the firebox, overheating and becoming a hazard. I have actually seen (can't remember where or when) a gauge glass lamp start to boil and burst into flames on a loco.

    Adding lube oil is meant to raise the boiling point and flash point to reduce the risk.[/quote:22rqkj77]

    Yes, I'd heard about this potential hazard and, at one time, I used to use rape oil in mine. I have used paraffin for many years now, without problems. As olly5764 says, you have to adjust the flame properly to burn cleanly, as with any other oil lamp.
     
  11. twr12

    twr12 Well-Known Member

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    Alternatively (literally 800Hz!) use a loco that has electric lighting.
     
  12. shoveller73129

    shoveller73129 New Member

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    Is this thread still active?


    So far as I can discover colzalene oil is a low flash point petrol-like fluid used in miners lamps and can be lit with a spark (flints were used in the miners lamps). It is similar to Coleman fuel. This would be lethal in a gauge glass lamp owing to its very low flashpoint.

    Premium paraffin as in Esso blue, Aladdin pink etc. has a higher boiling point and flash point than kerosene and seems to be OK. Rapeseed oil was added to kerosene to raise its flash point in about 5% quantity, but it can clog the wicks. If you really want to use traditional rapeseed oil, a visit to Asda or Tesco and a bottle of the cheapest vegetable cooking oil will give you rapeseed oil for about 60p / litre.

    (You can use the other 59 pence worth to cook your healthy shovel bacon breakfast with!)

    I was searching for info on the correct oil as I just bought a nice looking BR (E) region gauge glass lamp. I was told that rapeseed oil was the stuff to use in it.

    When I got it home, I took it apart and found that the brass plug on the burner had rotted away and the bottom section of the burner had cracked away from the rest of the top. Obviously someone had been tugging at it when it was stuck!

    After some headscratching, I made a new brass sleeve by rolling and silver soldering some shim brass about 0.5mm thick. This was to replace the plug bit which was originally just an interference fit and centere popped a couple of times to keep it in place.

    Next I silver soldered the cracked burner back together then used lead-free solder to fill any pits. A couple of hours with a file resulted in everything fitting quite well, and the new sleeve was then soft soldered in place, and it now is back together and working.

    It must have had some use, but very little as the case is near perfect. I suspect that using rape seed oil is the cause of the rot as this oil has some organic acids in it. It was probably left with some residue in when the units became disused and the rot set in (literally).

    If anyone has a better fuel that is safe for these lamps, let us know please.

    LEDs are too bright and just don't have that ambience (or smell).
     
  13. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    Rape oil will be fine, but it needs a different burner to ones designed for paraffin. You can get rape oil dirt cheap from supermarkets
     
  14. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    P. S. I have been using paraffin in my gauge lamp for 30 years, without problems.

    Regards,
     
  15. shoveller73129

    shoveller73129 New Member

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    Thanks jtx,

    I shall find out next weekend on my first try with the lamp (and first shot alone as a passed cleaner!). The burner is not quite the same as the signalmans' lamps. There is no cut out in the centre of the ceramic, and the winder has a compression lock. It seems to not give the curved flame of the signal lamps, more like a normal small lantern. Will it work? There is not much to go wrong.

    Thanks again.
     
  16. 8-10 Brass Cleaner

    8-10 Brass Cleaner Member

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    Morris of Shrewsbury still blend and sell proper lamp oil to Network Rail for signal lamps.

    I use it in the oil lamps on my traction engine.

    Its viscosity seems a touch oilier than your run of the mill paraffin/kerosene or the 'lamp oil' you can buy in most shops. I guess this will mean the flash point is higher and there is less chance of a fireball as described.

    Morris Lubricants though I couldn't find it on the website I know they do it as they were blending some when I have a tour a couple of weeks ago.
     
  17. jtx

    jtx Well-Known Member

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    It sounds OK. The flame on my lamps is a perfect triangle when the wick is properly adjusted, steady and with no smoke. Best of luck with your turn.

    Regards,

    jtx
     

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