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Source recommendations for acetylene generator parts?

Started by Tim OConnor, 25 Aug 2022 at 13:45

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Tim OConnor

Hello everyone!

I live in the USA and P&H and Lucus acetylene generator and lamp parts are very difficult to get. We have all kinds of miner lamps but not so much for motorcycles.

I purchased a good P&H generator from Simons Old Motorcycle parts, they seem to have the best collection I can find. However, it is missing the water cap. They don't have a spare water cap to sell me. It seems my only option would be to buy another generator that has one.

I tried posting here in the parts wanted section a few days ago and weeks ago on the FaceBook page for Douglas owners and so far no response.

Can anyone give me some other sources I might try to find this part?

Thank you!

1920 2 3/4 W-20

Hutch

Hi Tim,

They come up on ebay fairly regularly. You may be able to buy a basket case one cheap that has the filler cap and chain with it. Just search for using combinations of "acetylene generator" , "Powell and Hanmer" , "carbide", "P&H" etc.

I find that using country specific ebay sites can sometimes gain better search results i.e. www.ebay.co.uk,  rather than www.ebay.com, for example. Although quite a few vendors don't specify overseas postage in their adverts, they nearly always will provide it when requested so don't let that put you off. Having said this, overseas postage can be expensive and sometimes exceeds the purchase cost of the item!

(In this old bike game much patience and persistence is required - quite often just when I thought a rare part was never going to turn up - even after many years of searching - it does, and quite often for a good price or swap deal! :-) )

Best of luck,

cheers

Hutch

EW-Ron

Indeed, some persistent searching will likely find one.
Beaten up candidates are fairly numerous, when you keep tabs on them.

And at a pinch, you could make one - or something to do the job ?
The thread is likely the same as a petrol tap (??), and someone with a lathe and chunk of brass could carve one out for you.
Getting the chain authentic may be a bit more tricky. Although with some care would not really be needed.

https://i.postimg.cc/nL5ph10c/Water-cap-acetylene-genny.jpg


Tim OConnor

Thank you!

I will press on.

Ron, great photo thanks!
1920 2 3/4 W-20

cardan

Hi Tim,
They come in different shapes and sizes - what is the thread on your generator? The smaller P&H size seems to be about 0.430" (defs smaller than 7/16") and 28 tpi.
Leon

cardan

The larger P&H caps are interesting, and beautifully made from no less that eight pieces!

The nickel-plated-brass body is threaded 1/2-28 and has an air vent drilled on axis. A small brass dome is swaged into the lower end of the body. This has two holes: one on axis holds the head of a brass "nail" which is bent to form a hook for a four-link chain, and another off axis which allows air in on top of the water. The chain has four links which are stamped in spectacle-shaped pieces from shim brass and folded to link together. Finally a piece of brass wire is looped through the last link to form the "anchor".

An item from the true "vintage" period.

Leon

Tim OConnor

Wow! That is great thank you for the info!

I don't have a pitch gauge that can fit in the top. It is a fine thread.

Here are my measurements and some photos of a cap on the same make/model.

1920 2 3/4 W-20

Hutch

Hi Tim,

I think this P&H generator is the same as yours and has an original cap and chain still attached. the thread on this cap looks like 1/2" - 26 tpi. I measured it twice and it appears to fit 26tpi thread gauge slightly better than 28? (BSB??) I will have another look at it to be sure as the thread was a little worn and only has 4 turns. I agree Leon - it is made out of many parts! :-)  (...Nice collection Leon! now we know where all the missing caps went  :)  :)  :) )

BTW The chain is known as Chandelier, (European) sash or flat link chain (... I looked it up on the web to remind myself what it was called as it is well over 30 years since I last bought some from a hardware store!). The chain in the generator appears to be close to the smallest size one can buy (12 x 4.5mm), maybe a little narrower. but it wouldn't matter as it is normally hidden inside the generator.   I still have some of the (larger size) sash chain on a roll.......doesn't get used for much these days! :-).

cheers

Hutch

EW-Ron

I also juggled a thread gauge against a cap, and concluded it seemed to be 26 tpi.
A quik-n-dirty test would be if you can find a suitable cycle thread bolt to try in it. ?

Yes, it seems Cardan has a (considerable !?) surplus of spare caps. !
Maybe a deal could be struck ?