NRV Head Dimensions

Hi BD
I want to fix my old stove and I need to get the NRV out of the pump tube to replace the old rotten pip. I tried to buy one of those NRV wrenches from S. Korea and, then, from the UK, but those sellers don’t seem to be able to ship overseas due to COVID-19. Can you tell me the dimensions of the NRV head, please?
TIA, Old Stove Guy
Hi, Old Stove Guy
Sure. You bet. Here are some photos. All measurements in millimeters. This is a genuine Sweden-stamped and Swedish-made NRV. The dimensions are proper for the vast majority of NRVs in stoves out there. Be aware there are a few stove companies that vary from this style. Optimus, Primus, Radius, Svea/Sievert and Enders all use this style of NRV.
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Length
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Width
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Depth
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Head diameter (just for interest)
Iif you are a home hobby sort, it’s probably easiest to take a steel bolt just under the inside diameter of your pump tube, cut off the threads with a hacksaw, and then cut a slot just slightly undersized in the end of the cut-off bolt with the hacksaw. Clean the cut to exact dimensions with a file. The end will look like the end of this more polished out-of-production NRV wrench made by now-retired and out-of-sight tool maker Stu Burgess in England: (In other words, you can’t get these any more.)
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If you are more of a machinist, maybe have a vertical mill, you can use a 4mm end mill with two passes in your mill and make a closed end wrench like this:
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The closed-end wrench just above is an original Optimus wrench for marine stoves. The advantage of the closed end wrench is that it won’t do this in use:
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I tried to make this one up from a bolt recently to fit into a specialty off-brand stove whose NRV head is down inside a pocket in the end of the pump tube. That’s a rare stove and you don’t have that concern.
The failed example I show directly above is made from a too small diameter bolt. So, try to keep your bolt as large in diameter as you can to avoid the sides bending out like this. More material gives better support.
Lastly… here are some unsolicited pointers:
  1.  – the best way I’ve found to remove NRVs is to put the wrench upright in a vise, put the stove over the wrench, then use strong downward force on the tank to keep the wrench head on the NRV head so it doesn’t skip off the end of the wrench. I demonstrate the technique in this section of one of my YouTube videos: https://youtu.be/2LKsxIYCTko?t=226
  2.  – tighten the NRV just slightly/gently before trying to untighten. This may help to break the brass-to-brass bond if there is no NRV head washer present
  3.  – if you chose to use penetrants… it will do no good at all to put the penetrating oils down the pump tube. The NRV is air and liquid tight sealed inside that pump tube. Instead, use a small brush and reach inside the tank through the fuel filler to apply penetrant to the outsides of the pump tube where it will run down the tube and get into the exposed threads of the NRV that are hanging out at the end of the threaded pump tube end block. That is where you want penetrating oils to assist.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
BD

Stove Part Supplier Links

Here’s a list of stove part suppliers that I’ve used or know about. As I think on it, I may add more, so check back frequently. This list is current as of June 2019. These suppliers tend to come and go in many cases. If I’ve listed your outfit and you don’t want to be listed just let me know in an email. If you find a dead link or if you know of a link I should add, please let me know by emailing: berniedawgstove@comcast.net and I’ll try to add, update or remove it as required as soon as possible. Thanks!

USA:
Pittman Marine and Stove (Coleman and Amish stove and lantern parts): https://www.ebay.com/str/pitmanmarineandlantern
40varga (articulated nipple wrenches) – https://www.ebay.com/usr/40varga
hammondam (small amount of gaskets Optimus fuel cap gaskets): https://www.ebay.com/usr/hammondam/
intsource (mostly Britelyt lantern and stove parts) – https://www.ebay.com/usr/intsource/
Old Coleman Parts (Coleman parts for stoves, lanterns and other gear) – https://www.oldcolemanparts.com/home.php
A&H – former Optimus USA parts outlet for many years – run by Shirlene – may not be there any more??? – https://www.packstoves.net/default.html
spinnakerspar Made-In-The-USA parts from eBay seller (Optimus and Svea pips, gaskets, wicks, graphite packing ribbon, and other consumables for small stove repair) – https://www.ebay.com/usr/spinnakerspar/
EU
Sweden – Fogas – (some stock of old Optimus/Primus parts) – http://www.fogas.se
Tradera- Sweden – (the Swedish eBay where all the stoves and lanterns live) – https://www.tradera.com/
UK:
Base-Camp – (biggest Optimus/Primus parts house in the world with lots and lots of parts) – http://www.base-camp.co.uk
The FettleBox – (stove gasket supplier with very comprehensive stock of seals. Sadly, I’ve gotten lots of reports of slow, forgotten, and sketchy order fulfillment over the last year or so – be forewarned you may wait a while for your order!) – https://fettlebox.co.uk/index.php
eBay seller terrry123 in the uk – (thin graphite sheet for making spindle packings) – https://www.ebay.com/sch/terrry123/m.html
Australia:
hytec (green-colored burner gaskets and sheets of gasket material) – https://www.ebay.com/str/hytec1
South Korea:
kkn4602 (Korea silent caps and stove parts) – https://www.ebay.com/str/papepopotogether
lovelantern2014 (lantern and stove parts) –
gksk2146-3 (tons of great tools and stove and lantern parts) –
Taiwan:
philbeagle (British Military #12 Army Stove silent cap and other stove/lantern parts) – https://www.ebay.com/usr/philbeagle/
simonchantwus_gmail (PentaWrenches, stove and lantern parts) – https://www.ebay.com/str/supercorselantern
chi5972 (stove and lantern fabricated parts) –
kitelamp (sells remakes of various hard-to-find stove and lantern accessories) –
ama3736 eBay seller (sells a small number of parts and graphite packing for many stoves)

Stuck NRVs??

Hi BernieDawg
I have this great old Primus 100 stove that I’m trying to fettle. I’ve got the NRV loosened up, but it seems to be stuck in the bottom of the pump tube and won’t drop out of the tube. It’s hung up somehow. It wiggles around and is loose down there at the bottom of the pump tube. I wonder if there’s some gunk in the tank that’s hanging it up?
What can I do to get it free?
Sincerely,
Stuck and perplexed
____________________________

Hi Stuck

Well… I think this might make a good blog topic actually, because I get this question and this issue fairly frequently. And, don’t feel bad – it’s common and it happens to me, too. Here’s how I handle it.
1. best thing is to buy a tool which can solve 75% of these sort of stuck NRV issues. What you want is an “ear forceps” aka an “alligator forceps”. They come out of Pakistan (for reasons I don’t understand) for pretty cheap. They are stainless steel. And they help you with other tank related stuff, say reaching into a tank to retrieve something, or at the end of the pump tube in case a rotted leather pump cup gets stuck down there. Check pricing on eBay, but here’s a screen shot of a pair I picked at random just so you can see what I’m talking about:
The larger one is about 6.5″ long and is a great size for pump tube and stove tank work. But, you can get them a lot longer, too. It was selling as a Buy-It-Now with free shipping for only $6.50.
2. next thing is to take your little flashlight and peer into the tank. Is it all black and gooey in there? If it is, then your idea about gooey stuff being on the end of the NRV barrel is probably right. Here’s how to fix that and clean your tank, too. Get a gallon of acetone at Home Depot, Lowes, or wherever. Fill the tank with it. Let it soak (plug the openings with some paper toweling to control evaporation). If you want to get really industrious, you can add some BB’s to the tank and shake it around. Pour out the acetone into a metal or glass container through a coffee filter for reuse – you can reuse it on many tanks. Shake out the BB’s, or use a magnetic pen tool to remove them. Rinse the tank with just a splash of acetone and you should be good to go. Acetone dissolves the black gooey crud (dried kerosene). It will dissolve the gooey crud on the end of the NRV barrel and then it should pop right out. This should take care of another 20% of the problems.
3. two other issues can cause the NRV to hang up in about 4% of cases.
a. there can be a little burr of brass where the vent hole in the side of the NRV barrel was punched in the barrel. You can use your alligator forceps gripping the NRV head with an unscrewing motion (like you are unthreading the NRV) to “unscrew” the burr past the opening in the pump tube end plate. Do it with the pump tube opening facing toward the floor to allow gravity to assist you. Use a little 400 grit wet dry sandpaper or a small file to remove the burr once you’ve got it out so it doesn’t give you problems again.
b. the other problem comes about from using lead NRV head washers. The lead will expand outward when the NRV head is tightened down, sometimes into the opening for the NRV head threads. This can hang up the NRV. Alligator forceps should help you to get it out, again with that unscrewing motion. Consider to switching to HDPE (#2 plastic) NRV head washers. You can punch them from the lids of food containers, so they are cheap to make and they almost never cause these hang-up problems. They last forever, too.
4. Lastly… for that final 1% of stubborn NRVs… if you have compressed air… set the air output to about 40 psi. Hold a rag in your hand over the pump tube opening to catch the NRV. Install the vent screw and apply a little compressed air into the burner mount opening with your thumb over the filler opening. Pop! Out shoots the NRV into the rag in your hand. These can shoot across the shop if you don’t use a rag to catch it and be difficult to fine otherwise.
Hope that helps!
Happy camping!
BD

A “Tool” for Burner Removal – Optimus 8

With some vintage Optimus 8 stoves, there is no nut cast into the fuel feed pipe.

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This makes disassembly to service the wick or unclog a fouled fuel line difficult. It is quite possible to break the fuel feed/vaporizer by trying to remove it through applying force to the spindle housing or the the small “stilt” that supports the burner. Then your stove is toast!

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Here’s a simple do-it-yourself tool you can make. To remove the fuel feed/vaporizer body from the tank, make a block of wood. Drill a hole through it just the size of the fuel feed tube.

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Then, cut it in half lengthwise. A thin-bladed saw such as a bandsaw works well for this so that you remove the least material. You could also use a Japanese pull saw if you don’t have machinery.

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Clamp the block around the fuel feed tube in your bench vise or with a big clamp. Turn the tank counter-clockwise by hand to unscrew the vaporizer from the tank.

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You can then service a clogged or charred wick, replace the wick or what have you. Enjoy the blue flames from your service work.

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