The Craftmans Shop > New from Old

Re-Birth of an Oil Dispenser

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Some weeks ago  I was servicing the JCB and realised what a pain it was introducing oil to (for instance) the axles via a plug in a vertical face that you can barely see never mind balance a funnel in. This got me thinking that it wasn't only big plant with this issue. Even my humble lawn mower has an oil filler sited in a hard to get at place, and this is a common problem with other engines that I have on small generators, concrete mixers, vibrating rollers etc. So it was worth trying to find a solution.

Hunting about modern offerings are either extremely fragile being plastic, or seem to be made from re-cycled bean cans however there was a design originating in the 1950's many examples of which were being offered as 'man cave decorations' - could one of these possibly be got to work?

Well actually  I realised that I needed two - one for gear oil and one for engine oil. (All my equipment gets fed the same 'Universal Tractor Oil' which is suitable for petrol and diesel engines and wet brakes) So I selected a pair on offer - sight unseen - from opposite sides of the country. Both sold as decorative items - no guarantee.

Looking at the picture below the red one was fine, worked a treat, and had already been used to give my new stand by generator it's initial fill of engine oil.

However the green one leaked like a sieve. The lower part of the reservoir had been covered in tape and painted over to cover up perforating rust holes. This wasn't a recent repair but looked to have some age to it. The damage was extensive enough that I decided it wasn't worth repairing - I'd considered sand blasting and patching but came to the conclusion it wasn't worth bothering - make a new reservoir or re-purpose something else. A 4.5kg butane cylinder looked ideal until I realised that the oil pump body is 16" tall and the cylinder isn't !  OK next size up - 7 kg - tall enough but far too bulky.

So make something !

Now it just so happens that I have an 'off cut' over 6 metres long of 140 mm diameter 4 mm wall tube left over from making the replacement roller for the big flail mower - if the CNC plasma cutter can be persuaded to make me some ends and feet it just would need a bit of welding.

Ah - first snag - 140 mm isn't enough space on the top plate for the pump flange and a filler hole. OK weld a 2" elbow to the side and you are sorted !

Next snag - that long pipe is buried under lots of other heavy stock - how to get it to the band saw which is in another building. Solution - roughly hack off an over long bit and trim it on the band saw :clap: Not quite as easy as it sounds as access is difficult and rotating the pipe to cut with the torch was a pain using carver clamps to grip it.

So now we need two end caps, four feet, and a suitably hacked about 2" black iron elbow. Ebay provided the elbow and the CNC plasma table gave me the other bits - conveniently I already had a sheet of 1/4" mild steel already mounted from a previous job.

So now we need a  bit of weld preparation - plate bevelling etc - and glue it all together with the MIG welder

Now my welding isn't pretty enough to leave 'as is', and anyway the bottom plate would need it's welds dressing to fit the feet so I ground the whole lot back to 'smooth' before performing a leak test with hot water.

First leak test revealed a very slight imperfection which was soon fixed by grinding back and re-welding. Second leak test showed it to be fine allowing me to go ahead and fix the feet on.

(Blue workshop towel has the useful property of going a far darker blue if any water gets on it)

After welding the feet on I gave it one final leak test - all good  :thumbup:

So after a bit of a clean up it was ready for paint. Far too cold really in the welding shop so each coat got baked at 100 deg C in the potters kiln for several hours.

First coat was a rattle tin of zinc rich primer

Second and third coats were 'Tractor Enamel' in RAL 1007 JCB Yellow


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