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DIY Dietz Comet Kit

Started by TelePlay, May 11, 2020, 04:52:22 PM

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After finding my black Comet on eBay for $72 including shipping (a 6 bidder 22 bids bidding war won with a snipe), I spotted this Comet kit on eBay in an open auction starting at $9.99 plus $16 shipping (a bit high but not an issue). No one bid on it so I got it for the listed price with a snipe.

Seller described it as "Up for bid is an original Dietz Comet lantern!  It has a unique red lens, it appears to be complete but I'm not certain.  Please examine the photos carefully for condition.  It is about 9-inches tall, the spot on the lens is not a hole or crack, just a flake of the red paint has come off.  I think this is from the 1940s or 1950s, I'm unsure though.  But it's cool!" and included it's actual condition in one of the eBay listing images, the second image below, all of the parts in the kit including the original "Comet" globe.

After I restored (removed the bits of remaining red paint from the metal parts and the glass globe and a bit of metal straightening) and assembled the lantern, I sent the after images to the seller. Seller got back to me saying those pieces has been in a box for decades - more than 20 or 30 years? - and as glad it found a good home.

The red paint was not factory applied but it was a lantern made after WW-II, post 1945, in that the manufacture date was not stamped in the air tubes. Seems someone long ago painted the lantern, and the globe, red and Citristrip took all the red off in one application. This may have been one used by a Boy Scout originally, painted by someone after that and taken apart by the last owner in a restoration attempt that was not completed.

Having taken a few lanterns apart in the past for massive restoration metal work, I could see all the parts were indeed there and after a bit of cleaning (never went into the molasses bath), went back together and looks great with only one coat of Boiled Linseed Oil. Good price for a Comet with most buyers being scared off by it being a kit.


WOW! That came out nice, almost looks new. Good buy.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"