Early 1970's Optimus SVEA 123

Discussion in 'Svea No: 123 & 123R' started by snwcmpr, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I just got this stove. The picture didn't show me much, I put in a fairly low bid, and didn't get beat. I haven't cleaned it up yet.
    I did put a new filler cap gasket in it, the old one broke easily with a small screwdriver and a mallet.
    I rinsed the tank, it was dry for shipping, and seemed to be very clean when I dumped the fluid back out of the tank after rinsing. I dump the fluid into a white container to look at what comes out.
    I put fuel in it, pricked the jet, and primed with alcohol. It lit and had a nice steady pulse, 1 inch flames with a small amount of yellow and some orange. I like these stoves.
    I let it cool, and took the riser/vaporizer off and was surprised by the brass cloth holding the wick. See the picture.
    Ok, I am new to stoves, and know a little about these and their history. I will make a guess, and hope someone can correct me and fill in the blanks.
    I think this is a transition stove or one cobbled together by parts.
    There aren't any rings on the riser which leads me to believe this dates prior to Optimus purchase. But, there aren't any markings on the flame plate, burner bell, valve key, or filler cap.
    The key looks old, I can't date them very well.

    That's all I can guess, I hope this discussion will help others learn more about this great stove.
    I will post flame shots after I wash it, but not remove the patina.

    Ken in NC
    1360968420-123__1_.jpg

    1360968432-123__2_.jpg

    1360968438-123__3_.jpg

    1360968445-123__4_.jpg

    1360968453-123__5_.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Dutch_Peter

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    Nice find! Do you have the wind screen as well?

    About the dating (hope it helps a bit):

    -It's the older non-R model without the cleaning needle (but you've probably figured that ... ), which dates it between 1955 to 1971 approx.

    -The chain is the later model and the parts like the fuel cap do not shown lettering, so likely it's not the very first model (compare to this 123)

    -See this thread for more info on dating a 123.
     
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  3. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Thank you.
    That is all I got with this one.
    The brass wrapping of the wick seems interesting to me.

    I was looking at an old post about the differences in early 123's but can't find it now.
    Little differences in the holes of the key, the type of chain, etc.

    Ken in NC
     
  4. Dutch_Peter

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    Hi Ken,
    Looking further in the aforementioned thread your key looks similar to the C-models here and your tank lid looks like type 4. According to this information your 123 has been made between 1970 (1969?) and before 1974.
    Peter
     
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  5. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    That's the post I was looking at last week.
    *****
    Yes, and looking further, if I understand you, it would be B5. The reason I say that is the lack of rings on the vaporizer, the key style and the lid style. Does that look right?

    This is way cool that people have taken the time to document such details.
    So, I can ascertain that this is in what I call the beginning of the end for the Svea 123. Not a Sievert, but not a 123R.
    Someone sent me an email off line that the vaporizer is the one used on Optimus 80 in the '70's.

    Thank you very much Peter,
    Ken in NC
     
  6. Dutch_Peter

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    My pleasure! I've enjoyed researching this.
    You've helped me too by adding this post. I have a Svea 123 in my cabinet and never dated it until now :)
     
  7. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    It will go nicely with the Sigg Tourist kit I got for 8 USD the other day.

    Ken in NC
     
  8. geneislucky

    geneislucky Subscriber

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    The Svea with Sigg Tourist was THE backpackper set up when I started backpacking. All the cool kids had them! 8 bucks for the Sigg set sounds like a wonderful deal. Enjoy your classic combo.
     
  9. CWilkins

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    Great find ! Any of the SVEA stoves of the 123 model that have a stem that slants are old. You scored a nice stove.

    Just incase you want to relace the wick, give it a second thought. The riser is secure and will snap if you try and take it off the tank.

    Chuck
     
  10. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Thank you, I was worried about that, but I already have the wick out. See the brass wrapping on the wick in the photos?
    I held the tank with a cheap strap wrench, and the riser with a 12 mm wrench. It came off easily. If it hadn't, I was going to evaporate all the fuel and heat it with a torch.

    Ken in NC
     
  11. CWilkins

    CWilkins Subscriber

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    Ken,
    I saw that wick and wondered if you had gotten it out or if you had gotten a spare. Either way good deal on getting off the riser.

    Chuck
     
  12. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I guess I should put the mouse down and go to the shed and put it back together. If you don't hear from me in a few days, just phone home.

    Ken
     
  13. Nordicthug

    Nordicthug R.I.P.

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    In my most non-humble opinion, manufacturers like Svea, Primus, Optimus et al who do not directly date mark products and parts tend to use up inventory regardless of parts manufacturing updates. If Svea found a stock of risers equipped with screens on the wicks on the back of a shelf, they would simply put them into current production. The same would occur with caps, burner bells, and keys. As stocks were used up, more currently manufactured parts would come on line. Attempting to date stoves or any other manufactured small item by part configuration is usually 99.999% SWAG (Scientific Wild A$$ Guessing) depending mostly on luck and experience.

    What a blessing it would be to find someone who worked assembling these stoves and pick his brain for some accurate information rather than conjecture.

    Of course, my opinion is also 99.999% SWAG too. As opposed to ordinary WAG. And that's half the fun.

    Gerry
     
  14. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    I put a new wick on, the old one was burned very badly right up at the top. Without any proof, the old wick looked like a synthetic or synthetic blend. Just the way it looked translucent.
    The wire inside had opposing bends at the top for the wick.
    1361151586-123-Assembly_003.jpg
    After putting the wick through, I pinched them closed on the wick.
    1361151619-123-Assembly_010.jpg
    Wrapping the brass cloth I wondered about the placement, but put it as far down to the ring on the wire as it would wrap. That left some brass cloth without wick at the top of the riser.
    I put the wick back in the stove, and tightened the riser to where the valve was just over the number '1' of 'SVEA 123'.
    Primed with alcohol a few times, and had to prick the jet a few times because the flame kept going out. When I did get it going the flame was lopsided. I pulled the burner bell and flame spreader off of the stove, and leveled the tabs on the spreader, and improved the level of the bell to the tank. I used a carpenter square on the rock and eye-balled it with my calibrated eye-ball, then put it back in the tool box.

    This is one view of the flame I got, after burning quite a few minutes.

    Thanks for reading,
    Ken in NC

    1361151629-123-Assembly_033.jpg
     
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  15. Rick b

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    Late on this one, but Good post Ken. The flame is perfect!
     
  16. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Thanks Rick.
    Never too late. This was a very enlightening thread. I got a lot of help here and off line from an eBay 'expert' friend. With that and the old posts by Exeter_Yak (sp?) we got it all sorted out with this fine specimen of a stove.
    I recently acquired a Sievert Svea 123 that I need to fettle, looking forward to that. And promised him I would post pictures here. But it is on my 'to do' list when I get a 'Round Tu-It'.

    Ken in NC
     
  17. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Great post Ken & a timely reminder that the linked thread re the 123 needs to be more readily accessible from the 123 section of the SRG for reference purposes.
     
  18. Mark Layman

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    I have one just like you described also the burner plate has the conical shape in the center.
    I don't know about mine having a brass gauze for the wick. Most likely does otherwise the same.