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Antique oil can

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Chris Parsons28/04/2014 20:39:58
118 forum posts
37 photos

I was given this oil can many years ago, and it was missing the cap?

I thought it might be nice to make a new one, preferably looking like the original if possible?

Anyone got one or can point me at an image anywhere? Not sure what the thread is, measures 0.1240 inches across

Although it is marked 'valve spout' the spout doesn't move, not sure if it is supposed to?






Speedy Builder528/04/2014 20:53:20
2653 forum posts
219 photos

This doesn't help, but we had one of these oilers with the family's 9.5mm Pathe Cine projector circa 1930s.

Chris Parsons28/04/2014 20:59:06
118 forum posts
37 photos

Interesting - the only thing I can find on the web refers to Rolls Royce/Bentley - a precision oiler - but they all show an angled spout and mine is straight. It could be that old, I have had it since I was a boy.

I am now wondering if the 'valve' referred to is the missing cap, open a turn or so to allow the flow and close it to stop leaks?


WALLACE28/04/2014 21:00:09
304 forum posts
17 photos
H Chris.

It looks very similar to one I've got - although currently at my Dad's house at the moment so can't confirm ( he uses it to occasionally oil his electric razor ! ).

The spout indeed doesn't move, the oil is released by repeatedly pressing on the thin end of the can at the opposite end. It only works when held near vertical and with thin oil.


Chris Parsons28/04/2014 21:06:00
118 forum posts
37 photos

Thanks, this one is the same - the base is sprung like a diaphragm. If you are able to get a picture of the cap sometime this would be a great help?

Looks like something you would use on a sewing machine or similar

I could just bodge a plastic cap but thought it was worth making some effort...


WALLACE28/04/2014 21:19:53
304 forum posts
17 photos
Will do - going up on Sunday so I can do one then. It's nothing fancy, just a cone with a knurl at the end to tighten it up if memory serves me right !

David Colwill28/04/2014 21:20:18
779 forum posts
40 photos

A friend of mine has one similar. I have been on the lookout for one. They are nice things smiley.


Phil Whitley28/04/2014 21:27:13
1449 forum posts
147 photos

Hi, The Valve spout is the cap on the end of the spout which when tightened on to the spout, stops the flow of oil. when released it opens again. small brass knurled spout. Like this one!


Neil Wyatt28/04/2014 21:28:43
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

I was given this one ina box of random tools. Alas! i left it behind at Derby SMEE and it has not been seen since

Easy come, easy go.

The bit on top unscrews to allow oil to be dispensed by clicking the base. I am sure that in the past I have seen one or more with a thin extension pipe fitted.

<edit> I am now wondering if the 'valve' referred to is the missing cap, open a turn or so to allow the flow and close it to stop leaks? - that is exactly how it works.</edit>


Edited By Neil Wyatt on 28/04/2014 21:30:04

Michael Gilligan28/04/2014 22:33:09
20289 forum posts
1064 photos

There's a great old advert here


stevetee29/04/2014 00:10:32
145 forum posts
14 photos

Size 0.124" looks like a fairly course sinusoidal profile............. probably/ possibly 1/8 whitworth.

Swarf, Mostly!29/04/2014 09:19:23
682 forum posts
78 photos

Hi there, all,

Back in the late 1940s, when I was going through my aeromodelling phase, the Valvespout can was popular as a container for the ether/castor oil fuel used for the compression/ignition ('Diesel' ) engines.

I seem to remember that beside the conical model there was also a version with a flattish square body.

The ones I remember had a brass spout - the one in the OP's photos look more like steel. Maybe it's plated?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!


Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 29/04/2014 09:19:51

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 29/04/2014 09:20:33

Chris Parsons29/04/2014 09:49:51
118 forum posts
37 photos

What a knowledgeable and helpful lot you are!

I think the can I have IS plated brass - and I thought the 'artisan' poster was great I now have an idea of the original shape potentially

Not sure how the valve would work, if there is a hole in the cap closing it would not close the hole in the spout?? Must be something cunning inside...

That is of course if I can work out what the thread is, think it is 1/8 but I'll have to beg borrow (or buy!) some imperial thread gauges - thought it might be UNF/UNC but had not considered Whitworths (I am mostly metric)

I can see the material cost being 20p and the tooling 20 quid <g>

This has been a great help. thank you all


CHRIS WOODS 129/04/2014 10:15:37
38 forum posts
3 photos

valvespout 1.jpg

CHRIS WOODS 129/04/2014 10:31:41
38 forum posts
3 photos

This is the one I have, identical to yours, which I bought at a model engineering show a few years ago.

Looks like someone has forced off the valve (it doesn't just screw off) and this would have to be remade, preferably in stainless to match the plated remainder. Without wrecking this or a similar Valvespout oil can the inside is something of a mystery. As there are plenty of different types of Valvespout oil cans around with the same type of valve (usually in plain brass finish) you might find a 'beaten up' old one, remove the whole spout and with the aid of a simply-turned adaptor piece on the stem fit it to your incomplete can. Don't bother with solder because of the plating -bond it instead.

Ian S C29/04/2014 11:49:45
7468 forum posts
230 photos

It almost looks as though the tip is made in two bits, the knurled bit looks as if it is fitted over the forward conical bit. My guess is that you may find an O-ring, and a ball for a valve, and the two parts screwed together.

Ian S C

Chris Parsons29/04/2014 12:14:37
118 forum posts
37 photos

Thank you Chris - and nuts, I had a feeling that the cap had something clever inside and it had been forcibly removed Think you are correct Ian, if only I had a diagram!

I can still make a plain cap (no hole) but perhaps will look around for another to see if I can swap the valve spout over, I'll have a look through the 'junk' boxes at the next few shows to see what turns up.

Would have been nice to have given it a new lease in life, I already have a few plastic dropper oil cans but it's not the same


Michael Gilligan29/04/2014 14:10:52
20289 forum posts
1064 photos


At the risk of stating the obvious ... they appear to still be marketing Valvespout. So the easy [boring] answer would be to have a look at one of the new ones.

... Probably gone Metric by now; but the basic design of the valve is likely the same.


Michael Gilligan29/04/2014 14:36:12
20289 forum posts
1064 photos

thumbs up

Got it !!

Here is the Patent


Roderick Jenkins29/04/2014 15:02:15
2201 forum posts
616 photos

Nice one MichaelG. Here's a picture from my R/C model aircraft fueling container bought in the 1980s. I assume the "ribs" at 13 and 20 on the patent drawing are swaged in on assembly, you can see  depressions on the photo that could be made by a swageing wheel.


I agree about the thread probably being 1/8" BSW



Edited By Roderick Jenkins on 29/04/2014 15:07:35

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