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Pifco Camper petrol stove

Discussion in 'Other Brands' started by presscall, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Very pleased to find a clean and complete example of this model, best of all with its box, which establishes it's a Pifco Camper. There's no Pifco catalogue on CCS featuring the model and no other evidence I know of that identifies the Pifco as a 'Camper'.

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    The examples of the Pifco already in the Stove Reference Gallery leave no doubt that it's well-designed and of excellent quality. The billy-can/stove container with meths priming fluid container for a lid is ingenious, provided the warning is heeded.

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    The stove stows in the billy-can once the removable pot rest components are reversed.

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    The box is a glorious survivor.

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    The stove pictured on the box (looks like a photograph of an actual stove rather than a drawing) has some detail differences from the stove it contains - control knob and lettering on the tank sides rather than the top. The top of the tank is more rounded in the production model. Billy-can pictured has a more angular bail/handle than the one in the outfit.

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    Stove in use in scout camp.

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    The Pifco logo pennant flies proudly on the tent, Union Jack on the flag pole.

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    The stove in use in the lounge.

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    That's a 1930's face I would judge, complete with plucked and pencilled eyebrows.

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    A 1930's room setting too surely. The stove has taken on gigantic proportions (the stove itself is small). Questionable safety running it indoors, but in front of an open fire too?!!

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    Stove details.

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    Fuelled up with Aspen (Coleman fuel equivalent), primed with alcohol.

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    Powerful on maximum setting.

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    Easily controllable simmer.

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    Perfect for brewing up with kettle ...

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    ... or billy-can.

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    John
     
  2. Rangie

    Rangie Subscriber

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    Oh wow, I think I'm in love! :thumbup: :mrgreen:

    Alec.
     
  3. snwcmpr United States

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    Wow John. Nice!!
     
  4. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Excellent! :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:.

    I've never seen one around these parts...

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  5. cooter303

    cooter303 Canada Subscriber

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    Thats a neat little stove. Never seen one before.
     
  6. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner United Kingdom Admin Subscriber

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    That really is the icing on the cake & fantastic graphics. Great find John. Made my stovie day!
     
  7. Big Si

    Big Si Subscriber

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    Very nice John, will it be going out on Sundays "Bimble" with you?

    Si
     
  8. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Cheers all!
    I'd to look up 'bimble', Si - 'a leisurely walk or journey'. Vaguely familiar, I feel I should have known that.

    Indeed yes to a Bimble with the Pifco, it deserves a trip out. Marketed by PIFCO (Provincial Incandecent Fittings Co.) founded in Manchester just up the road from me, so a homecoming of sorts. Probably not manufactured by PIFCO however, who tended to contract manufacturing out.

    I meant to include this comparison photo. The Svea 123 weighs 100 grammes less at around 500g fuelled up.

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  9. plumberted

    plumberted United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi John, Great find.I found one a while ago and posted it on the site.It had the complete instruction sheet and spares list with it and the original primer.Would you like a copy to complete your find.?
     
  10. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @plumberted
    Yes please! That would be brilliant, most kind of you. Let me reimburse you for any expenses. I'll send you my address.

    John
     
  11. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi John @ Presscall. Beautiful stove and great presentation, and yes, like Alexander, I am envious.
    A couple of observations:

    British stoves, and the Swedes too with the Optimus 111b, used brazed joints when fabricating petrol (gasoline) stoves, rather than the lead-based solders they used for paraffin (kerosene) stoves. I noticed that the tank of your delectable Pifco appears to be hard brazed construction.

    I too had heard that Pifco contacted out the manufacture of their stoves. I recognised the distictive filler cap of your recent offering. I had seen one of those before....

    http://classiccampstoves.com/threads/monitor-minor-from-early-1930s.12544/

    And my Monitor Minor petrol/gasoline stove had a hard-brazed tank.

    I reckon we may know who Manufactured your PIFCO Camper petrol-fuelled stove!

    Best Regards,
    George.
     
  12. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi George @kerophile
    You genius!

    You know I've admired your Monitor Minor in return visits to your excellent post many times yet didn't make that connection. It really does cry out 'Monitor' I agree. Of course! (slaps forehead)

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    Very well observed in respect of the brazed joints.

    I'm most grateful for your contribution George.

    John
     
  13. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi John, @presscall

    Monitor Minor tank + attached legs = PIFCO Camper Petrol.

    The 1930s date ties up too.

    I enjoy your posts too.

    Best Regards,
    George.
     
  14. plumberted

    plumberted United Kingdom Subscriber

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    It will be a pleasure. email me your address to t.rawson2@btinternet.com and I will have it in the post to you Monday.
     
  15. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I said "Yes please!" and true to his word and gent that he is @plumberted sent me a copy.

    It's a wonderful and charming relic, much like the box, with beautifully detailed drawings and verbal gems such as
    I reproduce it here to complete the Stove Reference Gallery entry for this stove, especially since it resolves a couple of connundrums to do with spirit priming. One was the shallowness of the spirit cup, which on an otherwise really well designed stove seemed impractically shallow for a decent priming fill - it's proved to be enough, but it doesn't take much to fill it to excess. The second puzzle was how to transfer priming alcohol from the container/billy-can lid to the priming cup without spillage. Again, on a well-thought out stove it seemed odd that the issue wasn't addressed. I was thinking a funnel or pipette as a possible accessory.

    Thanks to Ted's instructions, the answer to both those questions is resolved. A priming torch (pictured on the instruction sheet) was packed with the stove - I'll be constructing a reproduction of one - which was to be dipped in the filler neck of the priming alcohol container then placed in the stove's shallow spirit cup.

    Spare parts list and prices on the reverse of the sheet.

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    Thanks again Ted!

    John
     
  16. kerry460

    kerry460 Australia Subscriber

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    John ,
    i love it .
    what more can i say .

    kerry
     
  17. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Footnote

    I looked for something more representative of the Pifco product range (electrical) to add as a footnote, contemporary to the stove so 1930's.

    This caught my eye because it's also survived with its box intact and the box shares the same colour scheme and printing inks of red/black/yellow on a white base as the Camper stove box.

    It's a multimeter, or as Pifco called it an 'All-In-One Radiometer', or more grandly THE SHERLOCK HOLMES OF YOUR RADIO SET. At twelve shillings and sixpence it cost four shillings more than the Pifco Camper stove.

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    With a new battery installed - something I need to pick your brains about in the CCS Lounge - the circuit tester function works.

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    John
     
  18. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Back on topic after that diversion on the Pifco meter box graphics, I constructed a lighting torch for the stove on the pattern illustrated in the instructions. Length of stainless steel wire, fibreglass rope, binding of fine brass wire to keep it in place.

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    It hooks around the burner stem. (Windshield and upper pot rests removed for clarity.)

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    Charging it with alcohol is as the instructions describe, by dipping the tip in the filler neck of the priming spirit can, tipping the can to get fuel to pool at the neck when it's part empty.

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    Priming illustrated in the instruction sheet.

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    Priming.

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    The instructions recommend removing the lighting torch just before it burns out and using the residual flame to ignite the stove when the control knob is opened. Works well.

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    Once again, my thanks to Ted for those instructions. I'd be none the wiser about the use of the lighting torch otherwise.

    John
     
  19. snwcmpr United States

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    @presscall That is so cool. A wick, as suggested here in multiple places, by no less than @kerophile, but to add the handle for carrying the flame to the top.... Ingenious.
     
  20. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @snwcmpr
    Hi Ken.

    I'm guessing that the manufacturer's design innovation of making the priming fluid container as a billy-can and stove container lid prompted their thoughts about how to transfer spirit from can to spirit cup. The lighting torch is certainly an elegant solution to get a priming charge into the cramped location, windshield in place, with no spillage.

    It's a bonus that it can serve as a hand-held match when applied to the burner head, although in the draught-free conditions I've been trying it out in I found that the burner would light on the flames arising from the torch hooked around the burner stem.
     

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