Brass Case Optimus 8R?

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by ggiff426, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. ggiff426

    ggiff426 Subscriber

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    Good Morning!
    I'm a new member here and relatively new to the stove community (started fettling/restoring my first one about 2 years back). I have currently 2 1/2 Optimus 8Rs although I'm trying to decide if I can now say 3 1/2 with a bizarre recent addition.

    I picked this guy up for 35 usd a few days ago. No markings as of yet. As you can see I have a lot of careful cleaning ahead of me. But I was too excited and had to share this and would like to pick your brains. Has anyone ever heard tell of a brass cased 8R or clone?

    The lighting is poor I know. I removed the heat shield in some photos just for color reference. The case is well manufactured, though it needs some love. I was tossing around the idea of making my own case out of brass (as I love the stuff) and modding an 8R, but I can't imagine this thing being custom made by an individual.

    I have scoured the Internet and done my best looking through CCS forum and can't find a blessed thing on this. As you can tell by my long winded novel (my apologies) I am very excited. I cannot wait to hear from you all.
    -Geoff

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  2. nmp

    nmp United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Geoff
    Welcome to CCS, what an entrance!

    It looks like a factory made case but brass!? Never seen one before is it a proto type maybe?

    Or maybe a special for a specific situation where steel was going to be a problem?

    It's going to look stunning once cleaned up.

    Congratulations on a great find you have every right to be excited.

    Cheers Nick
     
  3. ggiff426

    ggiff426 Subscriber

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    Thanks Nick, can't wait to start. She's gonna gleem!
     
  4. Robert Bruce

    Robert Bruce SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Welcome, just let me say I never seen a brass case on an 8r. It's a real find, you are so lucky . Let's see some pics finished and going.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  5. geeves

    geeves New Zealand Subscriber

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    no marking on the case and the heat shield looks different. Then the cap uses a hex key not penta. I think its a clone. Of course its still a clone we havnt seen before so still very collectable
     
  6. kaw550red

    kaw550red RIP

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    Have you tried a magnet on it to see if it is plated steel?

    Even if it was it would be very rare.

    It seems strange painting it if it is brass or brass plated steel

    Regards Bryan
     
  7. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    To me it looks like it is a clone, though I hope it is not.

    As for painting brass, just think about Tilley storm lanterns where all their brass tanks are painted.
     
  8. kaw550red

    kaw550red RIP

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    The tank lid looks like a later Optimus one. I think the stove is probably genuine Optimus.

    The case may be too. It would be a relatively simple job to strip the paint off the case, clean the case and then get it brass plated.

    It would make a very distinctive stove easily recognised if someone pinched it.

    It would be interesting seeing the case against a normal painted case from the same period. It would allow a more authorative view as to whether the case was Optimus made

    Regards Bryan
     
  9. Radler

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    The inner side of the hinges seems to be spot welded in picture #5. No brass. Brass is formed by spinning or by embossing (?). Make the magnet test.

    Regards
    Radler
     
  10. Robert Bruce

    Robert Bruce SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I agree the magnet test is good. Spot welding of brass or any other metal is possible. Brass you just have to have very clean and a lower heat, the process is the same. It is not very often done.

    Cheers
    Rob
     
  11. ggiff426

    ggiff426 Subscriber

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    In my excitement, it didn't even occur to me to check if it was plated or not. Unfortunately the results were positive, it is indeed plated. Still an interesting piece nonetheless. And this means I'll still have to fabricate that solid brass case at some point lol. Besides the hex cap and heat shield are there any other traits to check for to determine if it's a clone, material thickness or casting marks?
     
  12. kaw550red

    kaw550red RIP

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    I was never an expert on 8Rs but I would check the key against other known genuine 8Rs.

    Neither the tank lid or key are positive proof that it is genuine because both can be replacements however they are indicative that it is a genuine Optimus made stove

    Irrespective of this it is a very nice find and may be unique

    Regards Bryan
     
  13. itchy

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    Nice score. Usually you can spot a clone by the hinges; it looks Optimus to me. As others have said, factory or customized, either way it is a nice find.

    I picked up an 8R with a chrome-plated case years back. While not common, it appears a few were made for some reason, so it might be original.
     
  14. kaw550red

    kaw550red RIP

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    I am not certain whether Optimus did it but I used to get special items from Blacks

    It is possible that someone put a special order in for a batch of brass plated cased 8R stoves.

    At the end of production they may have been willing to do anything to get sales

    Regards Bryan
     
  15. OMC

    OMC United States Subscriber

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    Congrats Geoff,
    The 8Rs (including good copies imo) are all excellent stoves, congrats on your nice score and I too lean toward Optimus. +1 w/Bryan btw: tank lid matches later Optimus.
    Now that you found it is *steel, sorry but then I also wonder if it might be a nice brass color paint? *A brass case on cold ground would create problems for self-pressurizing stoves btw.
    Re your "...traits to check for to determine if it's a clone...?
    The obvious checks already say it is Optimus: location of tank seam, case, tank lid, valve knob/key/chain. You don't show key... you knew it was an Optimus key I presume. Threads are another easy check BUT your complete burner assembly "appears" to be Optimus and the thread to tank should be Optimus size... you could take quick caliper measurement of major diameter of threads where they enter tank vs another 8R, this should be same size. All Optimus 8R tank lids (and burner heads) are swappable you've probably checked that w/your other 8Rs.
    Your stove did get me looking at others (our thanks again !! to itchy for that post), i'll tell you why. The tank seam correct location but the seam itself, for me, resembles Precise Phoenix as much as 8R. Although seam did give me pause, it may be that image of stove and I'm still thinking it's a Optimus with plated/repainted case. thx omc
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  16. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Geoff,

    Welcome to CCS! Your stove looks like it will respond nicely to some fettling, and TLC. I've just checked several of my Optimus 8R's, and also one branded by Primus, which was Optimus-made. I also checked a NOS 8R burner, which came to me in a trade with a store owner who wanted to get rid of all his old parts. Then, I compared them to my two 8R clones, both made in Taiwan, but by different companies. Here are my thoughts about your stove:

    - On the back side of your burner, is a very prominent seam, with runs horizontally along the burners spindle area. None of my Optimus burners show this same prominent seam. Both of my Taiwanese clones, again, made by different companies, have that same seam. Also, the fuel cap on one of those clones looks just like yours, with the 6-sided SRV cap, and the same flat top edge and knurling. I also compared burner bells with two Optimus stoves, and yours. There is a difference. The fit of your cap on an Optimus is a tad sloppy on one, and on the other 8R, it would not fit at all. The Opti bells did not want to thread onto your burner easily, but one eventually did "sort of" go, though the other did not. The case looks more like what Optimus would have made, but the burner, tank and fuel cap, look like they may be from a clone. Be it known that 8R clones of all stripes are nice stoves, after some fettling. So, either way, you have a great little stove! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  17. OMC

    OMC United States Subscriber

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    Geoff, FWIW re the "prominent seam": I did consider that w/my above comment and I just double checked (my stovie input) on six of my Optimus 8Rs (w/same vintage case as OP), the seam is clearly there on all 6 and prominent/crude similar to OP on 2 of them. I checked a few older 8Rs w/ "Optimus" stamped cases, seam was there, it may be it is less prominent (ground smooth / better casting) on some older 8Rs. I didn't check my 8R copies.

    I agree tank lid also resembled tank lid of a copy (don't recall Y/N if it was also on an "8R look alike" tank? many tanks are obviously not Optimus) but there is an Optimus tank lid like it as well (swap those lids you may find something yourself to help solve this). If they don't swap your tank lid (and tank) is an 8R copy. If they do swap we learn nothing/little as there are copies w/compatible lids/parts. thx again, Optimus leaning omc
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016