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Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:17 am
by Deanofid
Hi all;
I've wrestled with this frame for a while. It is from Michael Hawks, or Michael in OR. He had sent it to me to braze up because one of the uprights that form the frame had cracked in half. This seems to be a common problem with the 202 "Professional" lanterns.

I had made it sound like "no big deal" to braze this piece, but I have never come across the kind of metal used in these things for the frame upright pieces. It is some kind of devil alloy, and I had made light of it, saying I could braze it easily. Well, well. I've since eaten a big plate of hot crow. That alloy, whatever it is, will not braze like the hundreds of different alloys I have brazed in the past. Never saw anything like. I brazed up the broken edges of the frame upright, and all seemed fine, just like I expected, and "knew" would happen. Then, while waiting for it to cool off, right before my eyes PING! My original brazing job held just fine, but it broke about 3/4" away from that braze, and it really popped loudly when it came apart at the second area. I'm going to say that my original braze did hold well, but nonetheless, it did break again in a new place.

Michael just told me to keep it as a souvenir of something that didn't work out, but that thing was staring at me from the shelf every day, mocking my skills. I've been doing this metal work thing for a looooong time! So, I took that frame off the shelf and went at it with great prejudiced!

Anyway, after that long introduction, here is how the job starts with a video, then a second video as the job progressed, and finally a bunch of pics to show how I finished her up.
Michael says he's pleased with it, which makes me happy as a dog eating fried chicken!

Okay, got the piece cut, and the next video is of me explaining or gabbing about what is next.
Because of the availability of certain alloys of stainless sheet, or small dimension sizes, this kind of thing can get expensive. That is why I bought a 1/16" thick by 1" piece and then used the slitting saw to cut a certain sized piece from it. The original is 5/16" wide and 1/16" thick. No problem getting 1/16" thick stainless, but i couldn't find it in 5/16" wide at a price that was sensible. That is the reason I cut my own piece to size. Under 1/2" wide stock sheet is just crazy in price. It's cheaper to buy a full square foot of 1/16" thick stainless and cut it yourself than it is to get a couple feet of 1/16"thick by 5/16 wide strip, which is what we needed for this little bit of metal. Weird how the dimension price points hit at certain very small or very heavy metal sections. I suppose it is a supply and demand thing. Not enough demand to make the specific dimension worth making.

So, here is the next video, just with me blabbing at yall. A little conversation-izing...

And, here are some pics to show the finishing of the job. Sorry I could not show how I peined the rivets, but that takes two hands and I didn't have an extra hand to hold the camera. :)
Here we go, my friends.

I drilled a little hole where the spot weld was placed on the original part. Just enough to take away the center of the melted metal "cone" that spot welding causes.


Now, you can see here where I've used a Dremel tool to grind carefully around that little hole until the melted (spot welded) parts of the metal and the metal outside the melt zone of the welded metal start to separate. Takes a little while, but trying to do a good job here.


Once I have the old upright piece of metal separated from the parent metal on the burner, it comes loose. After this I just smooth out the place where the spot weld had left a kind of "bump", so it will be flat.

And then another drilling of the top end spot weld to get the old piece of frame metal out. Same as the last step, really. Bigger weld, so a little bigger hole.


Time for the new piece of stainless metal.


Now I can clamp the new piece of stainless in the bench vise and start the bend with my fingers. After it is about bent half way, I use a hammer to make it a 90 deg bend.


Then the good ol' hack saw to cut off the extra metal. I measured this length many times. Like my wonderful Dad always said; "Measure 27 times, cut once".....


And now the tools and metal material to join this sweet thing together.
As you see in the pic, on the left side is a large drift punch, which will actually act as my anvil in this job, because I have such a small space to work on.
Behind the punch is a small ball-pein hammer, and then at the bottom of the frame upright piece you can see the brass rivet.

I happen to have a few of these rivets laying around from the last time I made a model steam engine boiler for someone, and the size was just so. Lucky me. However, you can make a rivet out of almost any type of malleable metal. Copper rod, brass rod or brass tubing, aluminum if that is what you have, and finally steel rod. You can make brass and copper rod soft by heating them to near red hot and then either letting them cool down naturally or dunking them in water. Either way will produce soft copper or brass. If you have some mild steel that you need for rivets that you will be hammering, you can soften them by heating to red hot and letting it cool naturally. This will not work with high carbon steels, usually. High carbon steels often get hard by being heated and cooled. Sometimes they will anneal by cooling them over a long time interval, but if they have more than about 1% carbon in them, they get too hard for cold working. Usually. Finally, aluminum can usually be used as it comes from the vendor, but sometimes aluminum is tricky to make soft if you pound it with a hammer. There are an awful lot of Aluminum alloys. Some soft, some crumbly.

Anyway, all that to bring it to a head by saying I used a brass rivet for one end of the upright stainless flat bar and I used copper for the other end because I had to drill that hole larger to get rid of the spot weld, and that is just how it worked out with the sizes of rivets I had.


This is the last rivet. You may note that one is brass and one is red copper. That's only because the metals I had to use for rivets happened to be in the right size for the drilled holes, one being 1/8" (copper) and one being 3/32" (brass).

Hope this shows some fun stuff for all you hammer swingers and drilling type of folk. All for our Coleman family, hope you enjoy.
You all are the best!

Thank you,


Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:26 am
by Whitegas Extraordinaire
Well done Deano.
I should have mentioned this thought before.
The last time you posted about these tribulations I was wondering if you could steal a upright from a reproduction frame?
My 202 is at work and my repro frame is here at home. So I haven’t compared them

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:29 am
by Whitegas Extraordinaire
Here’s the repro.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 1:31 am
by 1hpycmpr
It is always interesting to see the things you can do with metal, Dean. I may not understand everything but the pictures helped!

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:05 am
by Chucker
Good on you for putting the effort into it Deano.

Some of these brazing jobs on frames have frustrated me as well. Glad you have figured it out.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:09 am
by REJ2
“happy as a dog eating fried chicken” , well as a dog lover that is off the charts! My dog gives two thumbs up also!

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:43 am
by gpaguy
Dean. I know stainless is your favorite metal to work with. LOL

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:17 am
by Gunhippie
You've gotta cruise over to the other side of the gulch sometime and raid my boneyard. While it ain't what it used to be, I still have a LOT of salvaged SS, mostly 316 and 304L. Be happy to share.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 6:40 am
by Deanofid
Kevin, I can't really tell if that one is spot welded or brazed in place. The spot welded ones have a telltale roundish discolored "dot" where the frame member meets the top and bottom of the upper and lower round discs that make up the frame unit. Hope that makes sense. I don't know what Coleman called them. They probably just said "202 part", which does us a lot of good! :(

Mark, thank you for being an encourager! It means a lot to me!

Kevin, I think that anyone with a good 202 frame would not want to share parts from it with anyone else. I wouldn't. They are unobtainium, after all. Even a repro is kind of expensive. It's one of the Coleman secrets. Just my opinion, naturally. I have lots of opinions. :)

Chucker, I don't know what they used to make these frame parts, but they have me stumped. I would think (in all humility) that I can braze, weld or solder anything, but I got my comeuppance with this job. I could not make a good joint without creating another crack in the 202 frame. Color me dumb!

Bob, my dog loves me. I pick out all the bones before I give her the chicken goodies!

John, oh yeah, stainless is my favorite metal. Ohhhhh.... sorry. NOT. But you know what I mean. We do what we do and try to make the best of it!

Timm, I would love to come and see you some time. Stainless steel or not. Just to have a good palaver and maybe a sniff of that second rate Oregon air. (First rate air is only found in Idaho, brother!)

Thank you all for the replies and kind words!


Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 11:39 am
by Kgam1020
Wow Dean what nice work!

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 2:42 pm
by Ridge Runner
Well done, sir! I have no doubts, you will prevail over the defiant lantern.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:37 pm
by Vintageish
Heck yes.
Great skills. Knowledge.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:33 am
by OregonMichael
Everyone, this was a complete surprise. As Dean said, we'd just chalked this up to a learning experience, but Dean's determination had other plans. One day last week, a box showed up in the mail with this incredible piece of work inside. I was floored, and the finished product looks amazing. It'll be going back on that 202 this weekend and going back to work.

Dean, I'm really glad you took the time for the videos and then made this thread. It's so cool for us to get a peek at how some of this magic happens in your shop. As I've said before (but it can't be stressed enough), your contributions to this hobby have been a game changer. Thanks again, my friend.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 4:19 am
by outlawmws
Ditto what everyone else said; - Incredible work Dean!

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2021 6:23 am
by Gasman64
Dean, that is some very nice work; you definitely have more patience than I do.
Thanks for all the pictures and the video.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:06 pm
by Dmacp
I finally stopped burning my original 202. I could see the frame struts adjacent to the mantle start to glow, gradually becoming brighter, almost white hot. Looks very much like metal someone has taken a cutting torch to. Very obvious there is a flaw of some sort in the metal. I'd imagine all of them would fail if burned long enough.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2021 8:04 pm
by Deanofid
Steve, glad you liked the videos. I was just glad this worked so I could show them to you all.

Dan, I think there is definitely something wrong with the alloy melt (what comes out of the foundry) and I wonder how many other stainless items on non-Coleman products failed, too.
When you can heat a metal alloy and then let it cool down slowly, and it still pops apart, there's a bad booger in the mix, IMO.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:26 am
by Weirdnerd
Check on East Coast aviation supply, they have monel, stainless and titanium rivets, a pound is cheap and lasts a long time.

I may have some in my tool box...will find them and send them to you.

Re: Fixing a pesky 202 lantern frame

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:34 am
by Deanofid
Thanks for the nice offer, Werner.
I don't know if I will need any more, but we'll see. I think I will have to stick to brass or copper rivets though, because they are soft enough for me to get tight without having to beat the heck out of the lantern frame.
Maybe I'll just paint the copper ones with silver fingernail polish.. ;)