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Thread: Sea Swing/Optimus Stove

  1. #1
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    Default Sea Swing/Optimus Stove

    I just picked up an older Sea Swing aluminum stove, and it has an Optimus Model 45 attached to it. Looks to be in good shape - in fact, I'll bet it hasn't seen much use.

    Anything I need to know about getting the Optimus up and running? Maybe try to find a rebuild kit and replace O rings, gaskets, etc.? Any other maintenance I should do? Everything seems to operate smoothly enough. And that brass will look good once I finish polishing it up ...

    Thanks.

    Ben

  2. #2
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    email these people: Packstoves@aol.com

    or call 714-258-2525

    They have kits and parts for Optimus stoves
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  3. #3
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    The 45 is a very simple stove - it runs on Kerosene NOT COLEMAN FUEL.

    Common problems:
    Lights OK but the flame dies away without continuous pumping - pressure leak either from the filler cap or from a dead NRV, if its the NRV the pump rod slowly extends...

    Burner keeps blocking -> cr@p in the burner head - blowtorch and bucket time (yes you will want the double jointed spanner thing).

    Fuel leaks from base of the burner - you forgot to tighten it up.

    Yellow-orange flame (it ought to be blue) -> over-sized or damaged jet -> replace.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  4. #4
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    Good information, P.I. (especially since I just got home from the store with a gallon of COLEMAN FUEL!!) Phew!

    What's an NRV?

  5. #5
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    You can buy a cleaning wire-thingie, made for cleaning the single jet on the burner head -- get one and use it.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  6. #6
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    Use the wire thingy that Thorne mentioned, but also make sure that the kerosene is clean. There used to be some stuff called kerosene helper on the market. May still be available.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    Good information, P.I. (especially since I just got home from the store with a gallon of COLEMAN FUEL!!) Phew!
    Wealth - over here that stuff is nearly $25 per litre - the thick end of $100 a gallon...


    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    What's an NRV?
    Sorry, shorthand, its a Non Return Valve - the one-way thingy at the end of the pump tube - you can extract it with the jet key for a primus #5, they are a fairly simple re-build.

    The commonest problem is the pressure leak from a filler-cap gasket gone hard (it should be a softish nitrile rubber) - you can use a nitrile rubber O-ring as a substitute - works really well.

    The other common problem is the pump leather going hard - an overnight soak in oil (olive or kero, or hypoid whatever) usually softens it enough to get going.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 09-15-2007 at 02:22 AM.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  8. #8
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    ealth - over here that stuff is nearly $25 per litre - the thick end of $100 a gallon...
    Coleman fuel is $7.99 USD per gallon here ... I'll be returning it today. I plan to use kerosene purchased from the local gas station, unless someone warns me off. I'll try to find the Keronsene Helper Basil mentioned.

    My stove has a needle that pops up (presumably cleaning the jet) when the knob is turned all the way left. Maybe that means I don't need the cleaning thingy?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    I'll try to find the Keronsene Helper Basil mentioned.
    I have a Force 10 kero heater with an Optimus/Primus style burner on my boat. They suggest adding 10% mineral spirits to K-1 kero for cleaner burning. It seems to help. I haven't had any carbon buildup problems.

  10. #10
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    Jeez Ben, that was almost a BIG mistake. Coleman fuel is similiar to gasoline, quite a bit more volatile than kerosene !!

  11. #11
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    Jeez Ben, that was almost a BIG mistake. Coleman fuel is similiar to gasoline, quite a bit more volatile than kerosene !!
    Another life saved by the WB Forum!

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    By the way, what exactly does "Primus" mean? First I thought it was a brand name for a stove, but then (I thought) I read that it was a brand name for a fuel (white gas), and that Optimus had purchased the name for use on their stoves. But that doesn't seem right since my Model 45 kerosene stove says "Optimus" and "Primus" on top of the burner ...

  13. #13
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    If you have a pop-up needle you don't need a wire thingy. As for
    kerosene, which used to be super cheap at one time, if you buy it in small amounts like litres or quarts it's quite expensive. What some
    boatshops do is buy it in bulk, (barrel) and sell it if you bring your own container. 20 litres ( divided by 3.785 ) = 5.28 U.S. gallons will
    keep your stove going long enough for a circumnavigation.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    By the way, what exactly does "Primus" mean? First I thought it was a brand name for a stove, but then (I thought) I read that it was a brand name for a fuel (white gas), and that Optimus had purchased the name for use on their stoves. But that doesn't seem right since my Model 45 kerosene stove says "Optimus" and "Primus" on top of the burner ...
    "Primus" was the stove brand, manufactured by B. A. Hjorth in Stockholm - they changed their name to BAHCO in 1955. in 1962 Bahco sold the right to manufacture liquid fueled stoves bearing the Primus trade mark to their rival Optimus.

    Complicating the matter, most of the optimus stoves were essentially copies of the earlier Primus ones - the Optimus 45 is a direct rip-off of a primus 51 and almost identical to a Hipolito #1 , and most of the parts are directly interchangeable - the thread forms are usually (wtf) english rather than metric. I suspect that you have a replacement burner - this is not unusual.

    You will need a "pricking needle" to clean the jet - the standard substitute is made from a small piece of aluminium beer tin and a little bit of a 0.009" (9 thou) guitar string.

    You will need some alcohol for priming - this comes from loads of different sources - in the UK you would look for "Meths" which is 98% ethanol and 2% poisonous cr@p to stop you drinking it.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodbasil View Post
    If you have a pop-up needle you don't need a wire thingy. As for
    kerosene, which used to be super cheap at one time, if you buy it in small amounts like litres or quarts it's quite expensive. What some
    boatshops do is buy it in bulk, (barrel) and sell it if you bring your own container. 20 litres ( divided by 3.785 ) = 5.28 U.S. gallons will
    keep your stove going long enough for a circumnavigation.
    Around here, there is, or was as of a couple of years ago, a gas station that sold Kerosene from a gas pump. I don't remember exactly what it cost, but it was pretty darn cheap. I'd imagine that if you can find such a place you'll probably be able to get Kerosene cheap. Such places may be more common in areas where a fair number of people use Kerosene space heaters.

  16. #16
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    There's a lot of resources for the old camping stoves on the web. Also, Ebay regularly has stoves.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark View Post
    ...
    My stove has a needle that pops up (presumably cleaning the jet) when the knob is turned all the way left. Maybe that means I don't need the cleaning thingy?
    That's not a standard feature of a 45, It must have been fitted with a regulating self-cleaning burner (A type 207) - with this set-up you turn the knob clockwise to shut the stove down, and hard anti-clockwise to clean the jet.
    Bad news, 207 burners are really hard to find - the good news is that the standard non-regulating burners are easy to find and relatively cheap (unbelieveably so if you have contacts in the phillipines).


    Basic instructions
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Hooke View Post
    Around here, there is, or was as of a couple of years ago, a gas station that sold Kerosene from a gas pump. I don't remember exactly what it cost, but it was pretty darn cheap. I'd imagine that if you can find such a place you'll probably be able to get Kerosene cheap.
    Many gas stations here have kerosene pumps. Cost is usually a bit more than diesel fuel. That brings up another point. The pump should be marked K-1 Kerosene and it should be water clear. If it's red or yellow it's diesel and will plug up a kero stove. Some less than honest dealers will sometimes try to pass off less expensive (for them) diesel or fuel oil as kerosene.

  19. #19
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    Sorry, showing my age with the cleaning wire-thingie ... I guess all modern stoves have the built-in popup cleaner-thingie.

    But back in the day they were needed, really!

    ;0 )
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  20. #20
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    Is this the kind of Sea-Swing you have?:



    Ours was meant for using Sterno but we modified it to use a little backpacking stove that uses butane/propane cartridges and has built-in electronic ignition.






    "
    Our most compact stove, designed for solo backpackers, saves space and weight and is easy to use. Packed up, it fits in the palm of your hand. Unpacked and set up, it provides stable support for pots and pans. Push-button igniter needs no pumping, priming – or matches. The stove puts out 10,000 BTUs, works well in cold temperatures and provides great simmer control. Uses Snow Peak or MSR isobutane cartridges or Primus butane/propane screw-on canisters. 3.75 oz. Stove 2 5/8"H x 4 1/8" diam. open; case 3 1/2"H x 1 1/2"W x 2"D. Imported."
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 09-16-2007 at 08:58 PM.

  21. #21
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    The Stove Collector
    Keeper of the blue flame!

    http://stovecollector.tripod.com/

  22. #22
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    Here she is in all her glory ...



  23. #23
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    Oooh, that's purdy.


    Steven

  24. #24
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    Yeah, I think it turned out pretty well. Works great, too - strong blue flame. Spent a nice Saturday afternoon cleaning, polishing, and listening to the Sooner game over the internet ...

  25. #25
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    Nice - have you gor the reserve cap?

    On foldable Optimus stoves this screws onto the end of the pump rod and makes life more comfortable - but it often goes missing.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  26. #26
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    Reserve cap, huh? What does it do? I guess I don't have it, though the end of the pump rod looks to be complete (i.e. it has a finished knob on the end).

  27. #27
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    Here is a picture of its cousin.


    These were designed as camping stoves and the burner unscrews so that they pack down flat - so it needs a screw on lid to stop the fuel getting out - this is the reserve lid.
    On an Optimus, the pump rod knob usually has an external thread (where the hipo is knurled), and when the stove is assembled the reserve lid screws onto the knob... clever.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  28. #28
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    Ah, clever indeed. The pump rod knob on mine looks a lot like the one you have pictured, though. No external thread.

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