111 Spirit Pan Removal

Dear BernieDawg,
I have (another) stove question for you – at the risk of asking you to divulge all your professional secrets:
One of my 111 burners has a spirit cup held onto the screw post with a round nut… How on earth do you remove that ‘nut’ ( ? )
“Pan Guy”

Hi Pan-Guy

On the 111 spirit pan… I’m thinking from your description that you just have the standard spirit pan on there.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.04.09 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.02.30 AM
These have a threaded rivet “thingy” that’s been pressed into the center of the pan. (I’m sorry, but my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet this morning and I’m really drawing a blank on what to call that fitting other than a “thingy” so please bear with me on that.) Anyway, there’s no slot or anything on that center fitting thingy to remove it. (Kinda dumb of the makers, actually.) When they were new and fresh the spirit pan is gripped tightly by the rivet fitting thingy and you can just install or remove the pan by spinning the pan on or off.

But after many cycles of heating and cooling and generally being bashed about, the center threaded rivet thingy loses it’s grip on the pan part and the pan will spin freely so you can’t get the thingy to unthread. When this happens, you are sorta screwed. It’s not really the best design. This has happened to me a lot. I try things like levering the pan part while spinning it counter-clockwise to remove it – that can sometimes get you a better grip in the thingy-to-pan connection. I have a pair of pliers that I filed the teeth off of in the jaws so the teeth won’t mar stuff. I sometimes get in there on the thingy with those pliers, sometimes I use some rubber inner tubing or some masking tape to pad the jaws even a bit more so I don’t do damage. ‘Course you already know you can add some penetrating oil to the threaded part of the fitting to help it break loose.

But, sad to say, that’s about all I’ve got for you on this. It’s just a pain in the butt – bad design, like I say. If you totally screw up the pan getting it off, and that happens sometimes, you can still get a new one from Shirlene at A&H.

Oh! One other thing. A lot of folks don’t realize there is supposed to be a little heat-proof washer installed on the pan where it contacts the burner. It keeps the preheat fuel from leaking out through the threads of the “thingy” and under the spirit pan and into the stove case. Leaky spirit pans are a big reason why so many 111s have burnt paint on the bottom half of the case. They might possibly still have those at Base-Camp in England. You can see that pictured in this diagram I swiped from their website. But, no part number is given. You might have to ask after it, or, you can make one yourself from some auto engine head gasket material you can get from an auto parts place.
Optimus 111 Exploded View  <— click me for large version

No “professional secrets” here. I’m always happy to share as long as I’ve got the time to do so.