Filling procedure for classic brass discus stoves

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Macaroon, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Macaroon

    Macaroon United Kingdom Subscriber

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    A last-minute plan to meal at the beach last Saturday in temperatures of below 10 degrees centigrade meant that my Primus 210 was definitely going to be needed for a round or two of hot drinks :lol:

    The only problem was that I had no idea what the fuel level of the tank was! I tried every way I could think of to see it, from holding it up to the sunlight, to shining a torch in and even tipping it up very very slowly until it began to drip out of the filler hole so I could make a rough estimate :shock:

    Finally I got pouring through a fuel funnel. This time I remembered to ensure air could escape from the centre (burner) hole by removing the travel cap. Sadly this didn't seem to work, as the moment I started pouring into the funnel, fuel came out of the centre hole. I finally realised that by raising the funnel slightly with one hand, so that it didn't seal the filling hole, the problem was solved - I am not sure why??

    However I still couldn't tell where the fuel level was so I just had to guess!

    Does anyone have a good solution to this problem? All I can think of is the laborious process of empting the exisiting fuel out into a measuring jug then topping it up to 1 pint with new fuel, then pouring the whole lot back in. (Remembering to not let the funnel seat onto the filling hole!) I am sure there must be a better way, and if so I am equally sure that folks here will know it / them!

    Replies gratefully received, and maybe they will help others who struggle with these problems. ;)
     
  2. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Cam

    If I suspect that I'll have to fill lamp or lantern in the dark, I will have the correct amount of fuel in a marked Nalgene bottle, and have an empty fuel bottle also:

    First empty any fuel from the object to be filled into the empty bottle; then fill that object with the correct amount of fuel. Appropriate adjustments can then be made in daylight the following day.

    Tony
     
  3. itchy

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    If the funnel spout is perfectly round and forms a seal, air cannot escape at the fill port, the pressure from added fuel will force fuel up the pick-up tube. If the fuel level in the funnel is higher than top of fount (without the burner or cap) that where it will escape. Try to avoid letting fuel accumulate in the cone portion faster than it can drain into the stove. Or fill only with the burner attached so that the level of fuel in the funnel is always lower the highest exit hole (if that makes sense).

    As to estimating how much to add -- I over estimate about half the time, so it averages out.:content:
     
  4. Four Smokes Wallup

    Four Smokes Wallup Subscriber

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    I like @Tony Press’ approach and have been using it with all of my brassies and other camp stoves. I see an added benefit of regularly filtering out any crud that settles to the bottom of fuel tanks.
     
  5. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Try lifting an empty one and then a full one. Wave the full one about about and you should be able to estimate fill level pretty accurately
    You can normally get where your fill level is to within an 1/8thu of a tank.
     
  6. Macaroon

    Macaroon United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Helpful replies everyone, many thanks! Sounds like it isn't meant to be a job for the novice! I think @itchy has solved my mystery too :)
     
  7. Laitch

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    A Svea 123 gets filled to 2/3 of its tank's capacity. That's ~120 ml. I emptied then filled the tank with a measured 120ml of fuel then used my magnesium fire stick as a dipstick. Knowing where the 120ml level should be on the fire stick, I can determine how much fuel remains or how much I'm able to add. A pan support leg of the Primus could be marked for the same purpose.
     
  8. Macaroon

    Macaroon United Kingdom Subscriber

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    +1 on that @Laitch - good tip, thank you!
     
  9. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    When I add fuel I just add enough to use. I am not concerned if I fill it, only that I do not over fill it.
     
  10. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    I tip the whole works until fuel is licking at the filler port and gauge by how far I need to tip. If less than half, I'll add a few glugs of fuel. My goal is enough fuel to brew up without running out, not to achieve a full tank. Anywhere in that range is perfectly fine, no exact measurement needed.
     
  11. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    I sometimes use a match (unlit!) as a dipstick. Other than that, I have the nasty habit of overfilling tanks...:roll: Messy!!! ](*,)

    Best regards,

    Wim
     
  12. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    I'm always pleasantly suprised how long even a 00 will actually run for on a full tank.

    If doing extended car camping I'll top up as necessary with a slosh test.
     
  13. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    I just look at it through the filler hole, maybe give a bit of a shake so I get the reflection, and consider it sufficient if below the low rim of the aperture. Easy enough.

    Holding the tank up to the sun will definitely not work, inasmuch as the thing is made of opaque brass.
     
  14. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Thanks @Ed Winskill, I'm off to hunt down a level gauge for a neat 00 project I have in the to do box. Cheers for the prompt.

    You only do the sun test once after pouring kero down your shirt. :D
     
  15. Tron

    Tron Subscriber

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    When I get a new stove, or a new fuel bottle for a remote tank stove, I make sure the stove is empty and then I weigh the stove and make a note of the weight. Then I fill it with the correct amount of fuel, weigh again and make a note of the weight when filled to the correct level. Then I can always quickly check the fuel level by weighing the stove, and fill it quickly to the correct level using the scale.

    This is a picture of an Optimus 0.6l bottle, you can see the sticker I have made and attached to the bottle, with the weights of the bottle empty and full, and the weight of the cap and the fuel pump. makes it very easy to check.

    P1040447.JPG
    This is not practical in the field, of course. On a hike or out camping, if I need to refuel I use a Coleman funnel with an air-tube, poor slowly and when the level inside the funnel starts to rise you're done.



    When backpacking I usually use a remote tank stove (Optimus Polaris or Nova) and simply switch fuel bottles, if I ever need to refill my SVEA in such circumstances I would poor slowly from a Trangia bottle (with the "safety" cap) until fuel reaches the bottom of the spout.

    Kind regards
    Tron
     
  16. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    I just fill them till they overflow, when it's too dark to see. Then I light a match so I can see to pour some back into the container. I have a good friend who works in the burn ward. Brad
     
  17. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    You make friends quickly in your local A&E @BradB?
     
  18. Macaroon

    Macaroon United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Excellent new tips coming in, thanks! @Ed Winskill Indeed - the sunlight was for seeing into the dark interior of the tank rather than trying to transform brass into a transparent material :lol: To see the reflection in fact. The problem I find is that on the Primus 210 it's very hard to see the level clearly and therefore to ascertain the distance to full.

    Seems like a lot of people here work on the principle of starting with an empty tank rather than the topping up principle, so as to allow a measured amount to be added. This is failsafe of course and allows for filtering the fuel. On the other hand, when rushing out the door, grabbing the stove on the way and realising you have no idea how many minutes / hours burntime you have, the dipstick method described by @Laitch and @Wim seems pretty effective and simple. Currently I tend to use the tipping method described by @Marc which works fairly well but can be messy and a bit laborious...

    @Simes also makes an interesting point about how long the 210 / 00 size stoves seem to run for - I fully agree it is most impressive. Never had mine run out on me yet, even when using it for cooking a meal, 2 rounds of hot drinks and all that on a tank that wasn't full! Great stoves and thanks everyone here for the advice and guidance that has enabled me to fettle and use them, and to Ross & others for providing and running (including moderating) the forum. :clap:
     
  19. redspeedster

    redspeedster Subscriber

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    Don't over think it and enjoy the flame.
    If I thought stoving was this complicated I'd pack it in. ;)
     
  20. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Just add fuel and light.