Aladdin Lamp Questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by veme, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi all!
    I bought my first Aladdin lamp over the week-end and I have a couple of questions.
    I over fired it last night and the mantle got a couple of black spots just like the instructions said would happen.
    This morning when I went to light it the black spots were still there and the flame burned higher on a part of the wick - one side of the mantle glowed - but the other side couldn’t because I couldn’t turn it up all the way without going outside of the mantle. Why does that happen?
    Tonight when I went to light the lamp, the black spots were gone. Why? The flame was a little more even, but still not level. What should I do to correct it?
    Also, I scared myself when I went to blow it out. The flame flared up! Why does that happen?
    Thanks for any help.

    veme
     
  2. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Probly because it is posessed. A little holy water pured over the whole thing will do it a world of good. :p
    My Aladdins are resigned to the storage shed..we went thru mantles at an amazing clip. I was really happy when the solar power was running and we had normal lights.
    Cabin Fever is the Aladdin Lamp genie...he loves 'em.
     
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  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    What you describe are the symptoms of an uneven wick. You will likely get black spots on the mantle just above the high areas on the wick. High areas on an uneven wick draw more kerosene than low areas on the same wick. The mantle cannot combust all of the volatile gases that are given off when too much kerosene is burned by the wick. Consequently, these volatile gases turn into a layer of carbon on the mantle and thus cause a black spot. The black spot will go away if your turn the wick down and allow the lamp time to burn it off.

    The high areas on the wick which create the possibility of creating black spots on the mantle are due to either a poor trimming job or a build up of carbon crust on the wick. To correct the problem, you need to properly trim the wick.

    To trim the wick, first remove the brass-colored, thimble-like gizmo that is in the center of the wick. Now, raise the wick about 1/8-inch or so above the collar of the burner. Use a new razor knife to cut the wick all the around using the burner collar as a guide. There may be some thread "stragglers" after you do the cutting. Cut the stragglers with a sharp cuticle scissors. Your objective in trimming is to end up with a fresh wick surface that is absolutely flat and level with no straggling threads.

    Once you get the hang of trimming an Aladdin wick in the way I describe, you may want to go to the next level of wick trimming. Aladdin masters, like myself (ahem), attempt to give the top of their wicks a "knife-edge" rather than the flat surface. The knife-edge is accomplished by trimming the wick in the way I described above and then followed by trimming the outside of the wick with the sharp cuticle scissors so the wick's outside edge has a diagonal taper.

    The flare up when you blow out your lamp has got me stumped. This has never happened to me and I've used Aladdins for many, many years. Do you turn the wick all the way down before you blow out the lamp?
     
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  4. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks CF!
    I 'll try trimming the wick.
    I'm not sure whether or not I had the wick turned all the way down. I'm such a newbie that anything is possible! :p
    Thanks again.
    veme
     
  5. vicker

    vicker Well-Known Member

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    When you go to blow it out, turn it way down, cup your hand over the TOP of the chimney and blow down in it. It won't flare up.
     
  6. chasmopolitan

    chasmopolitan New Member

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    Make sure the spacing between the wick and the flame spreader is even. It is easy for a piece of material to narrow or fill the gap. When that happens you will get a tongue of flame significantly higher than the neighboring flame. In turn, this limits how high you can turn the wick before you get soot spots on the mantle.

    I use a 4" piece of the metal strips used to support windshield wiper blades. It is the perfect size (about 0.032" x 0.096") to run around the inside between the wick and flame spreader.

    I've had my lamp since early 80s and I just recently discovered this aspect of wick trimming. I don't know why this isn't mentioned elsewhere. :huh:
     
  7. braggscowboy

    braggscowboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Aladdin made an Aladdin wick trimmer and I would think, just for that reason. I have or had one around here. Did you buy a new lamp or the older ones, if old, what color? I built a barn from the sale of Aladdin lamps about 15 years ago. The red ones are pretty high, all for that matter!
     
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  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    It is mentioned elsewhere. In fact, a part is commerically made. For instance, this is what is suggested at Jack's Country Store.

    Lehman's sells an "anti-flicker ring", but is out of stock. ==> https://www.lehmans.com/p-561-brass-anti-ndash-flicker-ring.aspx
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    It's not a wick "trimmer," it's a wick cleaner. You need an exacto knife or single edge razor blade to actually trim the wick.
     
  10. Hollowdweller

    Hollowdweller Well-Known Member

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    Cabin Fever,

    You rock! I have been wanting to find out about this for several months now since I inherited my grandmothers old Alladins! Thanks for such a great bunch of info.

    :bow:
     
  11. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had an Aladdin. I had a Rayo. For dependability, I liked the Rayo better
     
  12. chasmopolitan

    chasmopolitan New Member

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    Thank you, Cabin Fever, and all. Good information.

    The Brass Anti–Flicker Ring mentioned above appears to fit the wick's outer ring. Though this may still be part of the uneven flame height puzzle, my comment relates to the ring into which the flame spreader is inserted. It's that inner spacing that I've learned to keep clear. I suspect the air space (3/100") represents a sensitive spacing between the wick's fuel and the heat of the flame spreader.

    My experience with the wick cleaner is that it doesn't always clear the stray pieces from that inside ring. The lamp is a brass Model 23.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Chasmopolitan, in my experience the uneven flame height has always been due to an uneven surface at the very top of the wick. A flame spike often results in a black spot on the mantle. I will remember where the black spot occurred and, once the lamp is cool, will look at the wick's surface right below the black spot. I will always find slightly high surface, an errant wick string, or a crumb of carbon on the wick right where the flame spiked and thus caused the black spot on the wick. A little trimming or cleaning solves the problem.

    At least this has been my experience, not saying that your fix doesn't work as well. :)
     
  14. Hollowdweller

    Hollowdweller Well-Known Member

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    so you say razor blade to trim the wick?

    I'm going to do this because i'm having the problem.

    I trimmed the wick on one and it helped but I used clippers and I dont' think ti was even enough
     
  15. chasmopolitan

    chasmopolitan New Member

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    Thanks for your comments, Cabin Fever. I'm at the end of the life of my wick and I've been too cheap to put in a new wick and mantle. Per your comments I'm beginning to suspect that the carbon buildup on the rest of the wick is damping the flame. My trimming on the problem spot has actually cleaned *and* lowered the wick height relative to the uncleaned areas of the wick. Hm... Time to bite the bullet and swap out my old pieces. :ashamed:
     
  16. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Yes, razor blade or exacto knife with a new blade. Use the top of the outer wick tube as a cutting guide so you get a nice even cut. (Remove the thimble in the center of the wick before you cut) After cutting, use a sharp cuticle scissors to trim any errant strings.
     
  17. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I remember we bought a plastic ring thing that was round and seeimgly (after 40yrs, ive nearly forgotton) was supposed to trim the wick. Didnt see that it did a thing.
     
  18. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    That's because it was NOT a wick TRIMMER. What you had was a wick CLEANER. Its purpose is to remove carbon build-up from the surface of the wick. And, you're right, it doesn't do a very good job.

    Modern wick cleaner
    [​IMG]

    Vintage wick cleaner
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I am ever snowed inside a cabin with other people, I will make sure that everyone has a chance to trim the wick on a lantern. I will then watch the way the lantern burns after each has trimmed a wick.

    Then if I should have a sudden burst appendix, I will know who can handle a razor and scissors and who to select to perform my emergency appendectomy.

    After recovery, I want to be able to walk upright and evenly when the snow clears.
    I want to make sure too, that I don't have any black spots that development on my mantel that could prevent my volatile gases from burning off evenly.

    You can learn alot from looking into the light.
     
  20. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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