Author Topic: Cleaning a Switch Lantern  (Read 1051 times)

ns9957

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Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« on: March 11, 2012, 10:13:42 AM »
I inherited a Dressel switch lantern in completely original condition from my step-grandpa, and I've been cleaning it for the past couple weeks. One big problem I've had is the whole inside is covered in some extreme soot. I've tried blowing compressed air, using steel wool, and also wet paper towel on the inside, but it seems that it's not getting me anywhere.

Anybody have any soot removal methods for an old switch lantern?

ns9957

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Re: Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 10:17:40 AM »
Here's what the whole thing looks like after my first cleaning. I cleaned off the lenses, the disks, and the main body off.

As you can see above, the inside of the lantern is a different story.

SemperVaporo

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Re: Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 12:36:57 PM »
Nice lantern!

If you have even watched the PBS program "Antiques Roadshow" you would hear the expert apraisers say that cleaning the patina off of an artifact ruins the value of it to collectors. Dust and dirt removal is one thing but taking steelwool to it is another.

From the photos, I can't really tell how bad the soot is on the inside, but I know it can be very stubborn about removal.

At anyrate, I think if I were cleaning it so that it does not make someone else dirty when handling it, I'd stop now.  Stuff on the inside won't get you dirty when looking at it, so leave it alone.  Dirt on the outside that can be washed off via hand rubbing with a soft bristle brush or soft rags (mild soap and water only, no high abrasives that would remove paint or patina) can take care of the stuff that might brush off on something else.

Semper Vaporo
Charles T. McCullough
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IU_Tower

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Re: Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 07:17:26 PM »
Are you cleaning SOOT or SUET? Sorry...couldn't resist. I saw the suet cakes in the first pic... :P

CIOR

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Re: Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 05:10:00 PM »
soaking in a a degreasing agent will help.  I'd avoid steelwool as it will dig in. 

torgy1962

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Re: Cleaning a Switch Lantern
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 06:25:10 PM »
At anyrate, I think if I were cleaning it so that it does not make someone else dirty when handling it, I'd stop now.  Stuff on the inside won't get you dirty when looking at it, so leave it alone. 

I agree. Why worry about it, if it doesn't matter for your intended use?











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