Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

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Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#1

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Thanks, everyone. It will be a project, for sure. Anyone know how interchangable the bail was for these? My research tells me it's the same as a 236 - are there any other lanterns that used this same bail?

Original Post: Bought this one (photos below the quotes) for 10 bucks, sight unseen model and condition unknown, based on a long distance photo that only showed a green vent and very dirty nickel fount. No bail, and a pretty rough looking fount, but worth it for the globe alone!
Tgarner01 wrote: โ†‘Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:50 pm Nice find Kelly! If by chance the fount pinholes, I'd be interested in it for parts. Hopefully not!! Look forward to the lightup ๐Ÿ‘
Thanks, Toby. I would try to fix them if possible, but if I abandon this lantern, you're the first to ask!
holliswood wrote: โ†‘Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:12 pm Itโ€™s definitely hard to pass up a ten dollar lantern.
Hopefully the fount holds up ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
If not, you still made out like a bandit on that one.
Thanks - but as my OP notes, it was a leap of faith as I had no idea what I was buying! Wish I'd saved the original photo. For 10 bucks I figured I couldn't go too far wrong. Hard to say how bad the fount is - I've not looked inside yet or applied any pressure.
mksmth wrote: โ†‘Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:49 pm That globe will pay for that lantern 4 or 5 times over. Good pick up!
That's what I figured, and the globe cleaned up beautifully - there was everything from plastic bags to soot to insect guts and goo and wings plastered on it, but everything came off it and it looks like new!
trapper wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:04 am Great score. I've got a 237 with a bottom just like that. I just painted it chrome. Hopefully it's still solid.
Thanks, I thought I might evapo rust it and see what's under there, and then treat it with an anti-rust compound and see how that holds before I painted it.
74HARLEY wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:41 am Nice project, great price!
Kgam1020 wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:55 am Nice Kelly, I hope that Empire holds up for you. I looking forward to the finished product
kellyblues wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:59 am I'd snag that for $10 . Should be lots of fun
Thanks! It was a good surprise when I opened the box!
Paddywonka wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:51 am Wow 10$ is a super find! May want to pressurize as first part of restoration. Never know till you get some air in the fount to tell how that rust is. Nice deal !
Scenicruise wrote: โ†‘Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:46 am Hopefully that fount is ok!! ๐Ÿ‘
That will be my plan once I tackle the lantern - the first step was cleaning up the globe!
Cheers!
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Last edited by CoolPro on Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#2

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Nice find Kelly! If by chance the fount pinholes, I'd be interested in it for parts. Hopefully not!! Look forward to the lightup ๐Ÿ‘
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#3

Post by holliswood »

Itโ€™s definitely hard to pass up a ten dollar lantern.
Hopefully the fount holds up ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป
If not, you still made out like a bandit on that one.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#4

Post by mksmth »

That globe will pay for that lantern 4 or 5 times over. Good pick up!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#5

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Great score. I've got a 237 with a bottom just like that. I just painted it chrome. Hopefully it's still solid.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#6

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Nice project, great price!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#7

Post by Kgam1020 »

Nice Kelly, I hope that Empire holds up for you. I looking forward to the finished product
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#8

Post by Paddywonka »

Wow 10$ is a super find! May want to pressurize as first part of restoration. Never know till you get some air in the fount to tell how that rust is. Nice deal !
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#9

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Hopefully that fount is ok!! ๐Ÿ‘
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#10

Post by kellyblues »

I'd snag that for $10 . Should be lots of fun
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#11

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Moderators - this particular thread may end up better suited to the Tech Assistance section...and eventually (I hope) to the Collections B&A section!

The vent, despite the missing chunks of porcelain, cleaned up nicely, as did the globe.

The fount seems to hold pressure...but I've not actually done a dunk test yet, just an air pressure check. Check valve seems good upon removal and inspection. Pump tube is dirty but sound, and pulling the pump reveals that someone replaced it with modern parts.

Most of the rust on the fount bottom seems surficial, and the inside actually looks better than I had expected it to. Will subject the inside of the fount to a bb dance, and try to get all the black soot off the nickel outside. Much work to do here. The collar and burner assembly are similarly black as night.

A few observations and some related questions for the more experienced experts.

1. Generator teardown revealed coil packing and if you look closely at the photo below, the needle end is intact but slightly bent - anyone had success in straigtening these?
2. Pulling the burner tube revealed it has no screen on the mantle end - can the lantern burn safely and effectively if this screen is missing? I've never seen this before.
3. If the answer to 2. is no, does anyone out there have a replacement for a late 40s Canadian 237 burner tube with the screen still in place they're willing to sell?
4. As this lantern was missing the bail, does anyone have a spare bail that would fit they'd be willing to sell?

Thanks for any help you can provide - cheers!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#12

Post by LoganS54 »

Looking good Kelly. Someone who has a little more knowledge than me should be able to tell you about the burner screen. I would imagine you would be better off having one it it.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#13

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CoolPro wrote: โ†‘Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:05 pm Moderators - this particular thread may end up better suited to the Tech Assistance section...and eventually (I hope) to the Collections B&A section!

The vent, despite the missing chunks of porcelain, cleaned up nicely, as did the globe.

The fount seems to hold pressure...but I've not actually done a dunk test yet, just an air pressure check. Check valve seems good upon removal and inspection. Pump tube is dirty but sound, and pulling the pump reveals that someone replaced it with modern parts.

Most of the rust on the fount bottom seems surficial, and the inside actually looks better than I had expected it to. Will subject the inside of the fount to a bb dance, and try to get all the black soot off the nickel outside. Much work to do here. The collar and burner assembly are similarly black as night.

A few observations and some related questions for the more experienced experts.

1. Generator teardown revealed coil packing and if you look closely at the photo below, the needle end is intact but slightly bent - anyone had success in straigtening these?
2. Pulling the burner tube revealed it has no screen on the mantle end - can the lantern burn safely and effectively if this screen is missing? I've never seen this before.
3. If the answer to 2. is no, does anyone out there have a replacement for a late 40s Canadian 237 burner tube with the screen still in place they're willing to sell?
4. As this lantern was missing the bail, does anyone have a spare bail that would fit they'd be willing to sell?

Thanks for any help you can provide - cheers!
Wow...if I'd only just looked at our hosts product pages a little more closely, I would have found the answers to all four questions. Sorry all!

Cheers,
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#14

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Update on progress. Cleaned everything up the best I could (photos below) and attempted a test fire (video of the preheat below at the link). Had a short successful burn, but as I noted the generator internals were in rough shape, as I had inconsistent vapour due to too much kerosene coming through the genny. I'll attempt a cleanup and try again, but as a backup, I've ordered a replacement genny from our host at OCP.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GsZ3GPm8mRg1iJCi9

Cheers!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

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Post by Kgam1020 »

That's lookin good Kelly!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#16

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Great restoration. That's a nice looking 237.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#17

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Way to go, Kelly....That looks great!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#18

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Looking good.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#19

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as I had inconsistent vapour due to too much kerosene coming through the genny
That's sometimes known as lack of a good preheat.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#20

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Dmacp wrote: โ†‘Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:53 pm
as I had inconsistent vapour due to too much kerosene coming through the genny
That's sometimes known as lack of a good preheat.
I preheated it very well - 2 cups of 95% ethanol. Perhaps you didn't read my earlier comment and see the photo of the bent generator needle. I actually think it's flooding. Have attempted to straighten it, but once they're bent it's a challenge to straighten with out flattening the brass. I will keep trying, but as a backup I have a replacement genny coming from our host.

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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#21

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Hey Kelly sorry to jump all over you but even with a bent needle you should not get liquid out of the top of the generator. If it is plugged or nearly so you may not get good light. But not liquid kerosene. Either gas (gaseous kerosene) or nothing. That is assuming the gennie is not cracked or the gas tip loose.
Since you know the tip cleaner is bent, fix it. But try a hand held butane torch on the genny. Make sure it is good and hot and stays hot.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#22

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Dmacp wrote: โ†‘Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:30 pm Hey Kelly sorry to jump all over you but even with a bent needle you should not get liquid out of the top of the generator. If it is plugged or nearly so you may not get good light. But not liquid kerosene. Either gas (gaseous kerosene) or nothing. That is assuming the gennie is not cracked or the gas tip loose.
Since you know the tip cleaner is bent, fix it. But try a hand held butane torch on the genny. Make sure it is good and hot and stays hot.
Will do, Dan. I didn't think you were jumping all over me though. All is good. I'll try your suggestion!

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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#23

Post by Paddywonka »

Nice clean up, looks great! A side note, have taken generators apart for a clean or to correct a problem. The hole in the tip can become enlarged over time (hard to diagnose with out trying another known good tip). Also on more then 2 occasions, had gens giving problems for no apparent reason. On close examination found, the spring like coils had a number of coil loops missing. The length was right, but not enough turns. Someone for what ever reason damaged and cut off several turns, then pulled the coils to the proper length. They will still work but not well, or properly.
Some of the tips from other generators will work on a 237 gen. The tips of gens are lettered and others will swap out in a pinch to keep your lantern working. Your gen may also have the wrong letter tip installed by a previous owner. The chart show which one you should have on your lantern, depending on where the generator was manufactured. The tips is usually, but not always a "V" or a "I". P9 & P10 gen tips work on 237 gens, others as well as long as it has the proper letter tip. Also some clean out rods will work with other gens. An example is 201 gen clean out rods will work in 249 generators, same length. OCP sells some reproduction tip cleaning needles & tips. Having a good or new spare generator on hand is always a good idea. Can quickly correct, eliminate or diagnose a problem. Good luck with your lantern. 237s one of Coleman's great lanterns, also a lot cheaper to operate. Finicky lanterns can sometimes also be coaxed to running good by operating on an Amish fuel blend of 80/20 or 75/25, Kerosene to Coleman fuel(White gas). Like to add a ounce of Sea Foam to a gallon of fuel too, when getting a lantern up & running. Cuts through the old gunk in the pick up tube, & valve body over time. The mix will also extend the time between generator maintenance.
Here is a link to generators.
http://light.papo-art.com/tech-n-info/C ... 202009.htm
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#24

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Paddywonka wrote: โ†‘Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:54 am Nice clean up, looks great! A side note, have taken generators apart for a clean or to correct a problem. The hole in the tip can become enlarged over time (hard to diagnose with out trying another known good tip). Also on more then 2 occasions, had gens giving problems for no apparent reason. On close examination found, the spring like coils had a number of coil loops missing. The length was right, but not enough turns. Someone for what ever reason damaged and cut off several turns, then pulled the coils to the proper length. They will still work but not well, or properly.
Some of the tips from other generators will work on a 237 gen. The tips of gens are lettered and others will swap out in a pinch to keep your lantern working. Your gen may also have the wrong letter tip installed by a previous owner. The chart show which one you should have on your lantern, depending on where the generator was manufactured. The tips is usually, but not always a "V" or a "I". P9 & P10 gen tips work on 237 gens, others as well as long as it has the proper letter tip. Also some clean out rods will work with other gens. An example is 201 gen clean out rods will work in 249 generators, same length. OCP sells some reproduction tip cleaning needles & tips. Having a good or new spare generator on hand is always a good idea. Can quickly correct, eliminate or diagnose a problem. Good luck with your lantern. 237s one of Coleman's great lanterns, also a lot cheaper to operate. Finicky lanterns can sometimes also be coaxed to running good by operating on an Amish fuel blend of 80/20 or 75/25, Kerosene to Coleman fuel(White gas). Like to add a ounce of Sea Foam to a gallon of fuel too, when getting a lantern up & running. Cuts through the old gunk in the pick up tube, & valve body over time. The mix will also extend the time between generator maintenance.
Here is a link to generators.
http://light.papo-art.com/tech-n-info/C ... 202009.htm
Wow - thanks for the kind words, and thanks as well for all the tips on the tips, etc. I will try Dan's suggestion above on using a torch rather than the preheat cup, as it's possible that at my elevation (4250 ft ASL) I'm having trouble generating enough heat with my 95% ethanol. Having said that, my other 237 Empire lights up just fine using the preheat cup - and I agree, it's a great runner and very bright. That's why I was thinking it might be a structural issue with this generator.

Checked my stash of non-functional genny's and all I have are two old R55's of 50s era Canadian lamps with 0 (or is it an O) tips. As I mentioned above, I have a replacement 237 genny on the way from Mike at OCP. Still, I'd like to get this one working if possible.

I had no idea there was a specific number of twists required in the coils!?! What is the correct number of turns, and what is the correct length? If you scroll up in this post, I show the generator parts disassembled and before I cleaned them.

I've seen mixed opinions on here and elsewhere on using 'Amish fuel' and Sea Foam to coax these keros into running, though I totally understand what you're saying as a short term measure to get the gunk out. If I can't get this one to stop flaming out and flaring, i might just have to try one or both of these methods to get this one to clear it's throat and consistently burn.

Thanks as well for the genny link - I think I downloaded this a couple months ago, but it's good to have the link bookmarked as well!

Cheers,
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#25

Post by BillG »

"Having said that, my other 237 Empire lights up just fine using the preheat cup - and I agree, it's a great runner and very bright. That's why I was thinking it might be a structural issue with this generator."

Kelly, Have to ask...have you swapped out the gennys to see if performance improves since you have a known good genny/tip?
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#26

Post by Paddywonka »

Bill's tip is excellent.Just swap generators and try it. Did not know you had another running lantern.
Looking at your good generator, disassembled, simply lay down the outside & inside coils. Measure the length & count the coils on each. Write it down (keep the count for a future reference) and compare to your other problem lantern generator. Do not lay the 2 generators on the bench at the same time, something is bound to get mixed up. A normal 237 lantern in proper operating condition, started up in 40 F. degree or above temps, using good regular kerosene fuel, should only require a half of a spirit cup of alcohol to get running. Honestly all of mine start with even less. Generators are not that expensive, a spare is always good to keep any lantern running. Kind of like a good spare tire, if nothing else peace of mind for when you might need it.
Amish blend is NOT needed to run any 237 lantern. They will run just fine on good kerosene. Just some people, like the Amish who use theirs 247/365, prefer the long & short term advantages. Good luck.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#27

Post by CoolPro »

BillG wrote: โ†‘Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:21 pm "Having said that, my other 237 Empire lights up just fine using the preheat cup - and I agree, it's a great runner and very bright. That's why I was thinking it might be a structural issue with this generator."

Kelly, Have to ask...have you swapped out the gennys to see if performance improves since you have a known good genny/tip?
Paddywonka wrote: โ†‘Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:07 am Bill's tip is excellent.Just swap generators and try it. Did not know you had another running lantern.
Looking at your good generator, disassembled, simply lay down the outside & inside coils. Measure the length & count the coils on each. Write it down (keep the count for a future reference) and compare to your other problem lantern generator. Do not lay the 2 generators on the bench at the same time, something is bound to get mixed up. A normal 237 lantern in proper operating condition, started up in 40 F. degree or above temps, using good regular kerosene fuel, should only require a half of a spirit cup of alcohol to get running. Honestly all of mine start with even less. Generators are not that expensive, a spare is always good to keep any lantern running. Kind of like a good spare tire, if nothing else peace of mind for when you might need it.
Amish blend is NOT needed to run any 237 lantern. They will run just fine on good kerosene. Just some people, like the Amish who use theirs 247/365, prefer the long & short term advantages. Good luck.
To answer Bill's question...no, I have not swapped out genny's on my 237s, and I have no idea why I didn't think of that :? as it's the obvious way to answer many of my questions. Paddywonka, you're also correct that another obvious solution is to compare the coil count and length on both generators. I will employ both, and continue to wonder why I didn't just do that in the first place. The answers are literally sitting there on my shelf.

As for the spare generator, which I ordered from OCP last week - it's sitting in my PO Box in Montana, waiting for an American friend to bring it across into Alberta sometime next week. Assuming he can get across into Canada at all. Troubled times up here in the Diseased Dominion...

Cheers!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#28

Post by BillG »

Good luck with it....I'm sure that you'll figure it out, Kelly.......and yes, these are definitely troubled times (and I'm in Toronto :roll: ) stay safe...
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#29

Post by Paddywonka »

Kelly, Almost everything I know is from help I have found here at the forum. Been completely stumped & someone bailed me out. Just curious what year is your other 237 Empire? Your problem with the border never crossed my mind, hope all goes well for you. Be sure to let us know when you get it up and running.
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#30

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

CoolPro wrote: โ†‘Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:21 pm
As for the spare generator, which I ordered from OCP last week - it's sitting in my PO Box in Montana, waiting for an American friend to bring it across into Alberta sometime next week. Assuming he can get across into Canada at all. Troubled times up here in the Diseased Dominion...

Cheers!
Kelly

Is the border supposed to open? I think there may be GPA sitting just south of the border waiting to be picked up for close to a year now.

Thank you!
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Re: Friday Find #3 - October 1948 Model 237 'Empire'

#31

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BillG wrote: โ†‘Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:52 pm Good luck with it....I'm sure that you'll figure it out, Kelly.......and yes, these are definitely troubled times (and I'm in Toronto :roll: ) stay safe...
Bill - same to you - we are not much better here in Alberta, and much of our population is at the breaking point.
Paddywonka wrote: โ†‘Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:55 am Kelly, Almost everything I know is from help I have found here at the forum. Been completely stumped & someone bailed me out. Just curious what year is your other 237 Empire? Your problem with the border never crossed my mind, hope all goes well for you. Be sure to let us know when you get it up and running.
Agreed, the folks here at the CCF are so helpful. My other Empire is a 6-49. Interestingly, the Coleman stamp on the side of the fount is in a different spot on the '49 - moreso left of the pump than right of the fill cap, whereas the '48 has the fount stamp directly under the fill cap. My Canadian Coleman counterparts informed me that a switch was made right around the end of '48 / beginning of '49 on the stamping - no idea why.

I actually did swap the generators on the two lanterns, and it seemed to work better, though still not satisfactory. I then put the known to work generator back onto the '49 and lit it up - which it did right away - and was happily enjoying it's hearty hiss and bright light - when I realized it was surrounded by a puddle of kerosene. It seems my working 237 Empire now has a leak, which seems to be either from the generator itself or perhaps at the fount interface - I couldn't tell for sure, and it was late. Hopefully not a serious problem, but I have not had time since to disassemble it and figure out what's going on. At least I didn't have a fire! Both Empires would appear to be in decline - but hopefully with some time and patience I can fettle them back to safe and effective function.

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Kelly

Is the border supposed to open? I think there may be GPA sitting just south of the border waiting to be picked up for close to a year now.
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The border is not supposed to open. I have a lot of stuff across the line waiting to be picked up in various locations. The fellow who will be picking up some of them for me is a dual US-Canadian citizen, and thus was able to travel back and forth by land legitimately (or at least, thats what he told me). He went down about two weeks ago (he has property in Montana), and was going to come back this week or next, but as I alluded to in a previous post, that was before the latest restrictions were imposed here in Alberta. No idea what the story is with Canadian Border Services. If I were him, I think I'd stay in Montana, as Alberta is not the place to be right now - we are not quite as locked down as Ontario, but pretty close.

As for the border reopening, I wouldn't think it will be any time before mid to late summer - early fall. That's assuming the vaccines are effective against all the new COVID variants. There is some doubt of that, and besides that Canada's slow vaccine rollout (actually from the failure of the federal government to secure enough vaccines) means even if they do work against the new variants, we are still losing the race against them: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavi ... -1.5978394

I realize I'm veering far off topic for this Empire 237 thread, but I don't think most of my American CCF friends realize how far behind Canada is on vaccinating our population compared to the US. I'm 52 with no underlying health conditions, and here in Alberta the earliest I can hope to get vaccine shot #1 is (right now) forecasted for late May. Right across the border in Montana, work colleagues of mine in their 20s have already had both shots.

Our sad pace of Canadian vaccination is being tracked by some enterprising students in Saskatchewan here: https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html

Cheers,
CoolPro - Kelly In Alberta
Novice Fettler
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