Vintage Brass Blowlamp Restoration
Max Sievert APH Blowtorch
The subject of our latest video came to me via Ebay, it looked so interesting and full of history that I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have it, so instead of making an offer I paid the full asking price, I think you’ll agree it was £24 well spent, although, when I received it I could vaguely make out the feint felt-tip price of £4 written on the side, looks like we both got a bargain.
I have to say that this restoration was tricky to start, when you’re making a Youtube video of a restoration project, clearly, we have to film and photograph each step of the process, what I found was that with every close up photograph the blow lamp looked more and more attractive, the patina set off the embossed words beautifully and the general ageing suited it down to the ground.
This particular blowtorch dates back to between 1925 and 1950 and is the Max Sievert model APH which is a 0.5 litre petrol blow lamp. Now, while some people love the sound of their own voices, the young Mr Sievert, it seems, loved the sight of his own name, it appears printed on this particular model no less than 7 times, Sweden and Stockholm also feature prominently as well, this chap was truly ahead of his time when it came to branding.
This restoration started, as they all do, with a strip down, all the parts came apart easily, as though they had either been maintained well or been separated recently. The only area of any concern were the nuts which would retain the leather washer in the pump handle, they were very badly perished and proved impossible to replace in the time available to film the restoration, they were placed with all my other rare and precious things.
With all the parts separated they were placed in a bath of distilled malt vinegar, this was to eat away some of the engrained dirt and tarnish which had accumulated over the decades.
After a couple of hours in the vinegar, which contains acetic acid at a strength of no less than 4%, the parts were placed in an ultrasonic bath with cleaning solution. After a few cycles they were starting to look a whole lot better and ready for polishing.
Next for polishing, first the metal polish Brasso was used, this works really well as a final stage polish and for topping up the shine of already polished items. It became apparent fairly quickly that it was going to take more to achieve a decent finish than elbow grease alone. I then remembered a trick taught to me by Aladdin and hey presto I managed to summon up a genie😊
After quite a few more procedures, including the making of some new leather and fibre washers, it was time to re-assemble this lovely vintage brass blowtorch.
It turned out to be a great project and a beautiful antique that was a pleasure to restore. If you would like to watch the whole restoration process please follow the link to the video on Youtube.