Earlier this Fall season I posted a three-part video series on repairing the Optimus 111B at my YouTube stove channel. The videos cover all the steps you need to take to refurbish a vintage 111B stove back to full operation. There are tons of tricks and tips, and practical knowhow included in these videos which will help you working with the 111B, other members of the 111 family, and stove work in general. The videos are free to watch and require no admission or registration fees to watch them.
Check ’em out!
OR… watch them imbedded right here, right now. You can see a lot more detail if you watch full screen.
These are copyrighted videos and are found exclusively here at my stove blog and at my YouTube stove channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-HRgttvZQQtg7_G0_T6Sqw/
If you see these videos at some other website, they have been stolen and the website moderators/owners are thieves and are in violation of copyright law. Please let me know if you see someone ripping off my hard work for their own benefit – those people who do that sort of stuff are the lowest form of self-serving scum. (Not to be too harsh, or anything.) 😉 Report scumbag thieves to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it possible to “heat and air clean” the carbon and other crud from a regulated burner using compressed air and a torch?
Hi Burner Guy
Thanks for your question! Yes! Absolutely, you can clean regulated burners using the manufacturer approved heat and air cleaning method. Like all burners, you’ll want to disassemble the burner, removing the jet, the spindle and the spindle nut.
But, you’ll need to close off the spindle opening.
So how to block the opening at the spindle? What I did was take a spare spindle nut and silver braze a cap on the open end. I just used a slip of brass sheet over the open end and machined it round after the brazing. But, you could leave it rough and all and it would still do the job.
Once threaded into the spindle housing, the modified spindle nut will direct the air through all parts of the burner and out the jet.
Hope this helps!
(PS – Before anyone asks… yes, this is a very odd burner and is somewhat rare. It was close to hand from a long-term stove project I’m working on. So, yeah, it looks a little different from your everyday standard regulated but the idea is still the same.)
I bought a Swedish Svea 123R factory brand new about four years ago. It’s always had a small candle flame at the jet whenever I turn off the spindle. Do you have any tips you can share about how to fix this? Thanks!
Bert in MO
Thanks for your question. One thing though…
If you bought your Svea 123R new about “four years ago” then it was not made in Sweden. Svea is a brand owned by Optimus since the early 1960’s after the Svea company in Sweden sold their company to Optimus. Optimus (now also just a brand and one cog of the big Swiss-based Katadyn corporate conglomerate) has not been making stoves in Sweden since the late 1980’s or early 1990s, if I recall correctly.
So, yeah, yours is an Asian-made version of the Svea. Even though it says “Sweden” on it. (It doesn’t say “Made in Sweden”.) Just my opinion, but, I’d suggest getting one of the Swedish-made models as the quality and performance of the originals is much higher in those better-made stoves.
Here’s the lowdown on candle flames on the SVEA 123R.
Make sure the cleaning needle timing is not the issue. Remove the needle and try the stove without it. If there is still a candle flame without the cleaning needle in the stove, go to #2. If the candle flame goes away… reset the cleaning needle a click deeper into the valve body.
Remove the spindle nut and the spindle. Check the condition of the cone-shaped end of the spindle. It should be a smooth cone.
Good condition spindle
It should not have a ring worn into it and it should not have a step or steps worn into it. If it does, then someone has been closing the spindle valve too hard and has damaged the spindle tip. If there is enough material still there (if the damage isn’t too bad), you can chuck the spindle into some sort of spinning tool. A cordless or corded drill will do the trick. A drill press or a lathe is even better. Reshape the cone on the end of the spindle with a fine file and sandpaper while the spindle is spinning in your spinning tool of choice. If you can’t get it fixed because there is not enough material left or the damage is too great, you’ll need to replace the spindle.
While the spindle is out… examine your spindle graphite. Brand new, spindle graphites should be about6mm long. If the graphite is less than 3mm long or if it is not shiny and grey, but instead has grey-colored pulpy, woody, or hairy looking material (asbestos?), change it out for a new graphite. The pulpy ones fall apart faster than the solid grey graphites and the pulpy stuff gets in the spindle valve seat so they leak.
While the spindle is out… clean out the threads of the spindle nut, and the threads in the valve body they mate with, of any graphite residue so it doesn’t end up causing leakage by getting in the your spindle valve. Dental tools work good for thread cleaning. Use some Qtips and clean the spindle valve seat with some solvent or Coleman fuel so the Qtips come out clean. Do a visual inspection of the spindle valve seat inside the valve body using a flashlight. You should see a circle of bright brass with a little hole in the middle. The bright brass is the metal surface your cone-shaped spindle tip seats against. Make sure there’s no debris or goo in there.
Reassemble everything, with new parts if you are using them, and give it a try without the cleaning needle. No candle flame? Great! Now add in the cleaning needle set to between 3 and 5 clicks into the valve body and top off with the jet. Test again. Should be working fine now.
I was asked to make an adapter for the SIGG FireJet stove so that the stove could connect to a Primus Omnifuel Ergopump hose. You can see the full story at my YouTube page right here: https://youtu.be/MH9CWeeqfOs
I’ve also posted the full SIGG FireJet manual as a PDF here at my site (16.4MB). Click the highlighted words below to see it. Click the “Download” button below here (not the image) to download it to your computer.
Here’s the US Military manual for the folks who are digging these old military stoves. Big thanks to a happy BernieDawg cap purchaser who was kind enough to share this file with me, and with permission, the world! BD
Here’s a stove I imported from Europe. It came in its original packaging. I include some photos of the packaging for those who are interested in packaging history. I reckon this stove was made somewhere in the 1940-1955 range? Click on any image for a bigger view of that image. Please don’t steal images.
The Campus 5 came in two flavors a model with a pump and a self-pressurizing model. This would be one of the pump-equipped models, the 5. I believe the self-pressurizing models were termed the “5B” and usually had a tank-mounted SRV (safety release valve”, absent on this 5. The stove came equipped with an attractive spirit tin, a spindle control knob, a yellow rag/cloth and a pot stand.
The pot stand rests cleverly on the edge of the sheet metal case.
The stove shipped overseas complete with an unknown variety of fuels liquid which had leaked out over some of the stove.
A bit of cleanup and a flush of the tank interior, and things were much better.
The Campus 5 is a multi-fueled stove, meaning it can burn kerosene or white gas (aka naphtha or Coleman fuel). Below the stove is burning white gas on a first fire. There are lots of streaks to the flame caused by debris escaping from the tank and burner after a long period of inactivity.
Here’s a Svea 175 that I restored. It’s a great old marine stove that came jetted for alcohol but which I converted to kerosene. The stove appears in an old 1958 Svea catalog. The marine trivets seem to be a special option. Gotta love those excellent Svea #1915 regulated burners.
These slide out cups deliver the correct amount of preheating alcohol to the spirit cups under the burners via a long metal tube. The curved end inside the slide out cups automatically siphons the alcohol when the slide out cups are filled. Pretty slick!
The galvanized steel trivets were pretty well oxidized. I chose to gently glass bead blast the oxidation, but not the plating, off of the trivets. The one on the left is finished, the one on the right yet to go.
The cork fuel gauge floats on both of the tanks was perished. I turned new floats on the lathe from old wine corks.
Here is an Optimus 111T that I “restored” for a client a few years ago. The client specifically requested the polished copper windshield and floor pan.
The embossed case was stripped, derusted, and repainted. The left hinge on the case was separated – the spot weld had failed. I silver brazed the hinge back in place before prepping and repainting.
Here are the beauty shots.
Sadly… the client was better at buying old stoves than actually operating them. Within three months of this restore the inept client had set the stove on fire, destroyed the paint, and melted part of the copper windshield surround. Sigh. :-(((
These surplus Swiss Army two-burner gasoline stoves turn up on the popular auction sites from time to time.
You can watch a three-minute video of the one I have on it’s virgin burn one cold January night. The video was shot about four years ago and you can find it at my YouTube channel, BernieDawg Cinema, right here:
Several years ago I translated the three-language (French – German – Italian) manual into English. I made a big effort to format it so that it closely resembled the original manual. You can download it at the link below as a PDF file