Old lights - Moderator restoring - pag 4-4

New live for an old moderator lamp.

After I have found two old moderator lamps I stated to rebuild at least one to working order. Because I didn't know exactly what was inside and where to seperate the main parts of the lamp, I had a lot of contact with other collectors and will give a short report.
This type of lamp was in use in France for a long time. It is an early type of lamp that uses a rather thick oil. Olive oil is nowadays the oil that works the best.
Due to the internal mechanics of the lamp a electrocuted lamp is very hard to rebuild to working order. Also many of these lamps are rebuild for the use of kerosene by placing a kosmos burner on the recevoir and later rebuild to work with gas.

Done so the amount of oil is almost the same regardless the force of the spring.
Mod_00 An internal spring pushes the thick oil up to the burner, along a small metal rod, the moderator, that regulates the flow of the oil in combination with the force of the spring.
A complete moderator lamp exsist of the following main parts;

  • Glas chimney
  • Burner with wick adjustment
  • Piston with feedingtube and moderator
  • Oil recevoir with spring
  • The outer fancy looking pot
Most of the found lamps are empty and not used for years. This makes that the oils "plastifies". It gives a hard plastic looking substance. Lucky for us collectors this proces is reverseable with warmth.
Start with filling the recevoir with hot water, because of the warmth it now is possible to slowly screw the burner part of outer pot and the recevoir. While turning the burner head the internal parts must turn also.
On the burnerpart you will find two tooth-racks, one for the wick adjustment and one for "pulling up" the spring.
With the help of warmth (water) and some soap it is possible to clean out all of the parts.
To clean the piston (leather), feedingtube and moderator I unsoldered the bottum of the oilrecevoir. pay attention on the load on the spring, it will posible "pop" out with some force.
Also the heat of the soldering device can easily ignite the old oil.
Mod_03 Mod_05
Now after cleaning all the parts, the lamp can put together in reverse direction.
As a replacement chimney one can use a KOSMOS chimney. Of coarse a original chimney fits the best ;-) but is hard to get.
All we have to do now is finding a proper wick, fill the recevoir with (cold pressed) oliv oil and enjoying a fine old lamp.
Special thanks goes to: Anton Kaim en Mr. Ara Kebapcioglu