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Coleman #1 Early version

Discussion in 'Coleman No:1' started by seavandal, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. seavandal United States

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    About 10 years ago, I went Garage saling with my daughter (Cassandra, 11 at the time). We bumped into an estate sale and went into the garage. I completely missed the stove as we walked in but Cassandra gave me the "hey Dad, what's this?" line. It was absolutely covered in dust from years of sitting in the back of the bottom shelf if an old wooden workbench. The old lady at the sale gave it to me for $5 saying "why would you want something like that for?" I paid the lady and high fived Cassandra on an excellent garage find.

    I really didn't know what it was until we got home and researched it. I decided to just put some oil on the pump leather, check for leaks with soapy water, and give it a go. She started right up! Sweet! It stayed out long enough to go on a camping trip in my 1936 teardrop trailer and then slipped into the shed for another 10 years.

    I've been fettling some of my old lanterns and stoves lately, and decided to take out the #1 to see if it still runs. I did the same checks as before and fired it up. It came to life again! It took me awhile to figure out the side screw for pumping air into the tank. I opened the little finger screw just a little and pumped it up. I then closed the finger screw. Without opening the finger screw, the pump doesn't pump. I also noticed that the finger screw is on the bottom and not on the top as I have seen on the other tanks that I have seen on this site and on the web. Could this be original? What is the reason for the finger screw? I'm sure you guys know how this pump set up works. The burners have a different set up than the other #1's I see here. This #1 has big side holes and the others I have seen have little slits on top. Might these be an older replacement?

    This stove seems to be pretty complete and showing tell tale signs of the earliest version for the #1's. It is missing the stove rack inside (I'd love to find one!) but does have the detached stove top/front. Great stove for my teardrop. I think it will stay out awhile and get used again. Here are a few pictures.
    Chris

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  2. snwcmpr United States

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    Very nice. I will let those that know better answer the questions. I have a 2D and a Model 9.
     
  3. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

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    @seavandal ,

    Howdy! Very nice stove, and a bit perplexing, me thinks. I have two #1 stoves, and neither of them look exactly like yours. It looks like your tank was assembled upside-down, which may explain the air hole being beneath, rather then on the top of the pump rod. I've never seen a trivet strap like your stove has. Both of my #1's, and many later stoves, have the regular tab on the inside of each trivet, holding it in place. I do believe your burner caps are from a later Coleman stove. I have that type of cast-iron cap on my #3H, and also my #9, and have seen them on #2D stoves, as well. But, I have never seen any other burner cap on #1 stoves, except the slotted ones.

    In any case, your #1 looks to be in great shape, and the only thing I might suggest is to remove the generator, the cleaning needle (be VERY careful on this part!), and the steel roller bearings. I did that, and after cleaning the generator tube, and giving the roller bearings a good rubdown with steel wool, and then lubing and reassembling everything, my stove ran much better than before. I'm sure you love the "hot blast" priming, like most other early Coleman stove owners do!! Works a treat, and very handy, once you get the knack of doing it.

    I'm sure other #1 owners will chime in with their own thoughts and comments, and hope that @flivver is amongst them. I checked both of the Coleman books, and they seem to support my thoughts on the later burner caps, etc.. But, either way, you have a great Coleman stove, and one that works perfectly, no matter how many years it's been neglected!! Well done, and hearty congratulations, Sir!! Please give your daughter a huge "Atta-Girl" from all of us at CCS, for having spotted this wonderful stove!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  4. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    @seavandal
    You have a very fine old stove.
    I also have only ever seen the finger screw (check valve) at the top.

    Do you know its age? It looks to be an early version.
    Here is a Coleman advert from 1922.

    Colemn_1-1922.jpg


    Concerning the check valve, here is a diagram.

    Coleman Early Check Valve.jpg


    But
    there is an excellent taking apart of a similar Coleman No. 2 pump assembly by @idahostoveguy here.
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I'm glad you tracked down that post of Sam's Trevor. I'd read it when exploring Coleman No.1 threads some while ago but couldn't find it again when the connundrum Seavandal presented of an upside-down tank end cap arose.

    Just as Sam did (out of curiosity to check the pump/check valve arrangement in his case) my guess is that someone removed the end cap - reason unknown - and soldered it back upside-down.

    There'd be no good reason for Coleman to have installed it that way. Arranging it so that the check valve is located above the fuel level makes more sense. It would ensure that during pumping with the air screw loosened there'd only be a bit of spillage of air through the air valve and not a dribble of fuel fuel (which could happen with the check valve below the surface of the fuel).
     
  6. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    John, my thoughts were the same as yours.
    The logical place for the check valve screw is at the top.
    I also thought that a previous removal of the end cap must have occurred.
     
  7. flivver

    flivver United States Subscriber

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    Hi; Most likely the end cap has been removed and replaced upside down after a repair as stated above. I have had the ends off a #1 several times, for pump air tube reattaching and for knocking dents out of the tank. Do not remove the end cap unless required, as a neat and leak-less solder job can be a challenge. The burners are of a later model, however Coleman did do a lot of installing whatever was handy at the time. Your #1 may be a late run using both early and late parts or as you stated the burners may have been a later repair. My #1 is my main camping stove now days. I have been using #1's for about 50 yrs.. Great find, to my mind Coleman's best stove was the first one. If the generator works don't fix it. Your burner grill tabs have been replaced. Mike...
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  8. seavandal United States

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    Fantastic info you guys! Muchas gracias! Idahostoveguy's pump photo essay is exactly what I wanted to see. The pump assembly mystery has been revealed! When I pumped up the tank, a little gas dripped out of the check valve. I guess that is because this ball check valve sits in the fuel and has a split second to let gas pass by as the ball travels back and forth. I imagine that it is ok to leave the valve as it is since no fuel leaks when the finger screw is closed and the stove is in use. Any thoughts on safety issues here? The only time I can see that there would be an issue is when I pump up the stove in mid use as the tank loses pressure whilst cooking. What advice can you give me for using the pump as is? I hope the answer is "just leave it" as this option is a no brainer!
    I just checked the tank end to see if someone had repaired it. The solder seam on the pump end of the tank doesn't appear to be perfect. I think a repair was made long ago. I had to laugh out loud when thought about it. Some guy made the repair and eventually set up the stove to use. As he looked at it, he finally noticed that he had made the repair upside down! THAT was the Oooh S*#@T! moment that we have all experienced in our tinkering lives. Love, love , love it! Great history right there guys. There would be no way to know that if it weren't for you old stovies! Every time I use that stove with friends from now on, I must point out that lovely piece of history.
    tank solder.jpg tank 1.jpg
    Also, I looked at shagratork's advertisement and noticed that the oven has legs that support it when it is tipped back. I never noticed the legs as they were sort of hidden. Nice shelf!
    My plan is to leave this stove as is but I am worried about rust getting to the tank. I want to leave it looking rustic but protected. I have read threads regarding painting the stove, but I have decided to leave this one alone for now. A detailed cleaning is in order. Someone suggested using gun oil to slow rusting?
    I would also love to fog in a stenciled Coleman logo on the tank to make it look old and used but having a badge to let people know who made it. Does anyone have a copy of the stencil that they could forward to me so that I can cut it out with an Exacto knife, lightly glue it in place, and spray the name on the tank? Maybe you guys have a better method of stenciling the name on the tank. I checked several websites for stencils but they seem to be non existent.
    Ok fellas, thanks again for all of the tips, tricks, info, and photos that you have provided. Great stuff! Chris
     
  9. flivver

    flivver United States Subscriber

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    Hi; There is a ball in the air/check valve, a little gas spurt is fine if it stops quickly. It might tend to spurt a little more as your valve is upside down. I pump mine when in use with no problems, if not careful it could be quite dangerous. While cooking the tank should hold pressure for some time. It needs about 35-40 pumps. Mike...
     
  10. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I agree Chris. Whether any slight momentary trickle, or the vapour from it more likely, could ignite is the issue but it presents a risk.

    As I recall, the purpose of the later Coleman feature of a check valve wholly segregated from fuel and discharging pumped air from a tube routed to the airspace in the top of the fuel tank was to wholly remove that prospect. Check valve screws can be nudged unscrewed and check valves can fail to seal. Both happening together might well be an unlikely event but the Coleman commitment to safety commendably created a third degree of safety.

    The Coleman #1 lacks a check valve encased to seal it from the fuel as in later versions, but did at least place the check valve in the airspace above the fuel. Leaving it dis-orientated and dunked in fuel isn't something I'd endorse, personally - on safety grounds rather more than maintaining a classic stove's authenticity.

    John
     
  11. flivver

    flivver United States Subscriber

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    Hi, John, It works the same as the later Coleman pump-screw check valve because the fuel pickup is in the same relation to the later model check valve, just in a different local. Mike...
     
  12. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

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    Hi, @seavandal ,

    I would err on the side of caution, and have the stove returned to it's original form, which places the air screw above the pump rod. If you would feel better letting someone else do this task, there are several VERY accomplished folks here on CCS who might be able to help you. You could send them your fuel tank, which they could repair, and return to you, and of course, you would pay Postage in both directions. I would offer to do this, but do not really have the skills to do a bang-up job of it, and will leave it to someone else, should anyone be inclined to jump on on this repair. Where, in the US, do you live? Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  13. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi Mike

    I had in mind the encased check valve, pump outlet tube to the top of the pump.

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    John
     
  14. flivver

    flivver United States Subscriber

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    • John, the pump fuel pickup is between the shutoff needle/ nob and the check valve just as in the later models. The only difference is it is not located in the pump tube, but functions the same. Mike..
     

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