Oil Can Information

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  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 253 posts
Oil Can Information
Posted by seppburgh2 on Thursday, April 05, 2018 9:05 PM

Just completed my long neck oil can collection (DLW and NYC.)  Can anyone direct me to a web site/facebook/blog that covers RR oiling can collecting?  The NYC has pretenia from being used for oiling, looks like it just came off duty! There is still some kind of oil in it.  The DLW has old rust like its been sitting in barn for 50 years; pump and stopper frozen.   Want to clean both up.  So need any information on how I can get these to level of family/RR room presentable.

As well as how they were used.  Know back in the wood burner days one really had to 'oil around' as the tech was not there for lubication delivery.  But, by the modern steam era (1940's)  was oiling around a tradition more than a necessary maintenance item for the Engineer?  Was the oil can assigned to a specific locomotive or personally own by the Engineer and carried along with his grip?

These and other questions like to find the answer.  For myself, I now have something physical that links back to the time of my HO model 4-6-4s, 4-8-2 (NYC/DLW.) Kinda of neat to think these cans would have pulled duty on a Pocono or Mohawk.

Thanks folks!

Tags: oil can
  • Member since
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  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, April 06, 2018 6:27 PM

For railroadiana information, and your oilcans certainly qualify as railroadiana, try the following...

http://www.railroadiana.org  It's a collectors website, click on "tinware" for can information.

And there's and organization called "Key Lock and Lantern."  The website's http://klnl.org  I didn't see anything there about oil cans but it's a big site!  There's lots of "nooks and crannys" there to be explored.

It's a safe bet to say the use of the traditional engineer's and fireman's oil cans died out with the steam era, but there's an exception spoken of in the latest "Classic Trains".  There's an article by Chris Burger where he mentions a New Haven engineer oiling around the brake-cylinder pistons with his old oil can.  Mr. Burger says you weren't supposed to do that but the engineer was an old steam era veteran who believed "if it moves, oil it."

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Posted by Deggesty on Friday, April 06, 2018 8:06 PM

It was not just humans who cared for their engines with oil cans; Mickey Mouse also had the touch. When I was five years old, I somehow was able to read about his day's work as an engineer--the comic book ended with his saying, "My oil can tuck me home."

Now, back to serious discussion.

Johnny

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Posted by bobbygreg on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:33 AM

On the Railroadiana.Org site be sure to check  the lantern restoration page. I have used the lye method on lanterns with very good results.  As it states don't use on any aluminum, it will destroy it.  I am not sure what it would do to any rubber parts such as in the stopper or pump if there are any.  When clean I use Maas Metal Polish.

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:18 AM

Thanks everyone!

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 4:28 PM

You're welcome!  And aren't those sites interesting?

Per bobbygreg's comment, I don't think I'd want lye anywhere near those rubber parts.  I'd try freeing them up by putting some fresh oil on them, maybe non-petroleum mineral oil, and just let time do the rest.  Of course, if they're old natural rubber they may be beyond help, but I don't see any harm in trying. 

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