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Safety Lamps

(Speding Flint wheel) - Emails on the subject

Fuel Oil **

I think we might be able to fuel our safety lamps with B&Q outdoor torch and lantern oil. I have tried it in my own flame safety lamp and it burns very much like naphtha, smokeless, no fumes and it lasts as long as naphtha about 10hrs for every filling.
You need to start by putting a drop of lighter fluid on the wick initially then light the lamp with the striker it will burn ok; this must be done when you light the lamp.
Regards Beamish Deputy

Fuel Oil **

From: WylieCayote (Bill)

Just been having a look at your pages regarding protector lamps and the type of fuel to use.
I have a Type 6 and a GR6S. These two lamps run very well on Methylated Spirit. They both light first time with the built in striker as well, so no need to dismantle and soak the wick in lighter petrol as suggested. There is also the benefit of having no fumes or smoke as can sometimes happen with paraffin.

Meths is only £1.99ukp for 500mls at our local hardware store.

Maybe this information will be of assistance to others ?


Protector Lamps

Protector Lamp Ltd, Lansdowne Road, Eccles, Manchester. M30 9PH. England
Email David Mather:-
Blog :-
Tel; +44 161 789 3013 fax; +44 161 789 5294


From: WylieCayote (Bill)
Sent: 07 August 2007

Hi again Fionn
I have some more information which I think will be of great use to those of us who are having difficulty in finding a suitable magnet to open the magnetic locks on the Type6, GR6 etc safety lamps

I found a company who sell super strong magnets (I've never seen a magnet so strong!!). Their address is:-

Power Magnet Store
56 East Clere
Langley Park
County Durham
DH7 - 9XZ

Web Address:

There is also an Ebay Store:

The magnet which I bought is Order Code: MB033 and cost me £7.75 + £2.05 Postage, and is one hell of a strong magnet, it opens the lamps as easy as pie, just hold the magnet at the bottom of the lock and it opens, no messing about.

The magnets sold by this seller are of the 'rare earth' type which has previously been mentioned on the site.


Type 6

a.. If its a straight type 6, it should not have a magnetic lock holding the base on (where the fuel goes in), unscrew this.

b.. around the glass where the bars are, there are 2 bars close together, one is a locking bar, you should now be able to slide one down through a hole below the glass, this then unlocks the bonnet (top portion)

c.. once the bar is down, grasp around the glass portion with one hand, bonnet with other hand, and screw anti clockwise until the bonnet comes off.

d.. there should be 2 gauzes in the bonnet, a washer on top of the glass (be careful, these washers are asbestos), and simply take the glass upwards.

e.. The flint is in the protrusion, this is a screw cap with a spring in it. Unscrew the cap, take out the spring, flint in, spring in, screw cap back on, and reverse the procedure.

f.. allow around 2 hours after putting fuel in before trying to light it, Ronson lighter fuel is fine.

If you have any problem just email me again and I'll do pictures to help.

Brian Robinson. Breathing Apparatus and Rescue Consultant

From Ross Currie

Good to hear from you again. Regarding wicks for flame safety lamps, it depends on the size and also whether it is a round or flat wick. Flat wicks about 1/2" wide are easily enough obtained from small independent hardware stores I find but I have never tried to obtain round wicks.

The best recommendations I can come up with for places to try are: hardware stores, camping/outdoor stores, marine stores/ships chandlers, although since most things outdoor and marine tend to be gas now even this may be a long shot!

As a long stop procedure, you could try JMW Limited in Harlow, Essex as they supply and service the type of flame safety lamp which I have and use, a GPO/BT Lamp Safety 1A. However again this is a flat wick.

The Calibration House
Perry Road
CM18 7NR
United Kingdom

Hope the above is of some use - give me a shout if you need any more info.
Ross Currie

More Emails

Some Tips
From Brain Robinson **


Paraffin can be used BUT only in imitation or ornamental lamps that are designed for it, they normally have no gauzes and it should say on the bottom of these lamps that they are only to be run on paraffin.
Paraffin is obviously more available, but gives a less luminous flame, and can be smoky (unless you use Esso Blue, remember the old TV ad?).
On a full vessel, a lamp should last around 10 hours on a medium flame, or maybe 20 hours on a low flame.

For a Protector lamp Colzaline is the official stuff, more timely they use a solvent based stuff, called Sovent 40. I will try to get more details to you later, but you should be able to order through your local oil central heating supplier, you should get a gallon (lasts long, long time) for about £25. A gallon in small lighter fuel tins = £150 or more.
Lighter fuel is very similar to lamp spirit, that's why countless miners used to fill their cigarette lighters in the lamproom!!! (It must have cost the colliery a fortune).
Southern Refining were the manufacturers of the Solvent 20 modern equivalent, at the time they were supplying small mines in Wales.
I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamp oil now.
Colzaline is a slightly heavier oil than the solvent, and as such could be a little more difficult to light with re-lighter.
On a gallon tin, the label is;
SAFSOL 2 (contains heptane)
UN 1206
EC 205 - 563 - 8
There is always the chance they may have closed down but if not Protectors phone & fax numbers are 0161 789 3013 fax, 787 8257, ask for David Mather, I was kind of an unofficial dealer for them about 5 years ago, but not many folk want lamps nowor the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.

From Bill Parker **

A) The magnetic reservoir opener can get a bit sticky if it hasn't been used for some time. I found that (not very) gently banging the lamp whilst wriggling a magnet around eventually got it to give.

B) Talking of magnets, the strongest and cheapest I could find came from some beat up old computer disk drives - they each contain two very powerful rare earth magnets - it's well worth attending a boot sale to pick up some ancient 10Gb HDD drives or similar ancient stuff from the nearest computer geek. Be warned however, they are a bit brittle (it's only the chrome covering that keeps 'em together) and they are slippery little brutes. Once stuck to a flat sheet of metal, they're prob'ly going to stay there! :-)

C) Fuel in France pretty much all the DIY stores (bricolages) over here sell "Essence C", as a de-greaser and/or general purpose cleaning solvent. It is napthpha by any other name - see for more info. It is pretty cheap as well. I dunno how UK residents would get it across the channel however _ I should think that the ferry companies wouldn't like it too much.

D) GR6S :- Type 6 Lamp with a (c. 1964) gas tester. The S is a further modification indicating a stainless steel wick holder, the original brass one not being resistant enough to burn-erosion.

Bill Parker

Davey 3