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Thread: Kismet pumps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,443

    Kismet pumps

    Hello from Brisbane.

    Here's one for the veterans.

    Tooling around with old vehicles is well and good but the ancillaries are often overlooked. To that end I have been slowly accumulating a tool kit appropriate to the age of my own truck as well as a bit of a hat doff to my late Dad's tool assemblage. The origins of the latter started in the so-called olden days which would mean the mid-30s essentially.

    So, I was wondering if anyone had much experience with Kismet (or similar) air pumps? Thinking more specifically along the lines of restoring one to good working condition - main spring, leather washers and hose come to mind.

    There are a few places in the UK that specialise in these sorts of things, but I am a bit interested in local expertise to tap a bit of knowledge. Spare parts too I suppose.

    While on the topic does anyone happen to know whether there is much difference in size between the Baby and Popular models? Potential application to Land-Rover tyres underlies that question.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arcadia N.S.W.
    Posts
    1,641
    I've got a 'Master' which is still working. Great bit of gear. I just found the following on a English website, re making new washers for these things, apparently the instructions came from Australia.

    "Making and fitting leather washers

    The following method is suitable for producing replacement washers for air pumps , airguns , etc.
    Although some of the washers have just a retaining screw passing through the centre and some are much bigger and sit around a large brass piston end of about 3 inches diameter ( i.e., as in the Kismet Master , and Sequel ) the way of making them is much the same.
    What you have to find is some decent leather that is not too thick ( or too thin ) i.e., nice and manageable . Cut a disc that is approx. half an inch larger all round than the diameter of the pump barrel that it will be running in . This will be the same for the different washers in the multi-barrelled pumps.
    Make a central hole ? as neat a fit as possible ? for the securing screw to pass through ( or a large hole in the case of the Master / Sequel , etc. ).
    Leave this new washer to soak in tepid water for a good hour , or even overnight. Now here is the real trick : put the wet washer onto the rod , or large piston and fix it in place with its screw or brass ring , Tighten down firmly. Around the washer place a jubilee clip ( water hose clip ) and tighten it until it is the same diameter as the pump barrel . What you have to do at this stage is to push the edges of the washer with a screw driver against the inner edge of the clip to get rid of the creases as much as you can. Because I make washers fairly often for the same types of pump , I have collected a few small sections of brass tubing to do the job of the jubilee clips , but the method remains the same.
    Leave the new washer in place to dry naturally ? overnight if necessary , and when dry , pare away any excess bits of leather from around the rim of the clip. You will need a really sharp blade to do this , and try to keep the edge equal all the way round.
    Give the washer a good oiling after removing the clip , and insert the piston back into its barrel . Get straight into some serious pumping ? and Bob should be your uncle. With the Kismet range ? and others with a similar system ? make sure to oil often through the hole in the side of the large barrel. Good Luck!"

    Don.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,443

    Does size matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don 130 View Post
    I've got a 'Master' which is still working. Great bit of gear. I just found the following on a English website, re making new washers for these things, apparently the instructions came from Australia.

    "Making and fitting leather washers

    The following method is suitable for producing replacement washers for air pumps , airguns , etc............. the hole in the side of the large barrel. Good Luck!"

    Don.
    Don,

    Hello again and thanks. I had found that same post on a couple of UK chat sites and it provides some genuinely useful advice on the leathers.

    I see that you have a Master model which I am guessing is bigger than either the Popular or Baby. I don't know the relative sizes of any of these pumps other than guessing from web photos by the size of the piston barrel relative to the hose and valve fittings.

    There seem to be a few Baby pumps about but these are often described as bike pumps - hence the uncertainty over their capacity to pump up a Land Rover tyre. I did see a post on a vintage pump site where a fellow in the UK said he had restored the leathers in an old one with butter and it was good for 60psi whereas others reckoned they couldn't get more than around 20psi out of the same model. A few further responses to the poor performance complaints were suggestions that the hoses might have been stuffed internally.

    The compact size of the smaller pumps is attractive for storage but a bit pointless if they can't inflate a tyre to a good working pressure. For now a bit more research is in order as the Kismets seem to be the real deal for what I am after.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Last edited by S3ute; 9th September 2016 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Typo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,443

    Soon find out

    Hello again from Sherwood.

    Put in a successful bid on eBay for a Kismet Baby in supposedly near but not working condition. This one was from the UK, although I had been looking at one on Gumtree from Penrith - however, asking the seller of the latter if the price was negotiable (we are talking second hand goods here and the item supposedly didn't work) and receiving a spray about putting all this crap on the good fellow I opted to thank him politely for his time and looked further afar. I suspect his Mum had better put direction signs on his bedspread.....

    Anyway, once my UK purchase arrives I will have a better chance to evaluate its prospective application to an aging Land Rover. I suspect that the problem will be a dodgy hose rather than leathers - both easily solved with a visit to a hose shop and saddlers for neatfoots oil. Plus a lick of paint and some Brasso here and there.

    Hope so.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Last edited by S3ute; 26th September 2016 at 02:48 PM.

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