I have the guts of what I think is an early Optimus 181.

Discussion in 'Optimus No:181' started by Doc Mark, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    Greetings, All,

    Many years ago, I found an old Optimus burner (#207), and fuel tank, which was obviously designed to be a part of a cooking Range. I've always planned to so something fun with it, but ended up putting it down in a large cabinet, down in the Hobbit Hole, and... well, forgot about it. Until recently....

    @gideon posted a great thread about making an steel stand for his Radius #10, and a bang-up job he did of it, too!!

    Radius-10 and self-made stand

    Besides enjoying his post on it's own, it also reminded me that I had the old Optimus tank and burner down in the HH, "someplace". Today, I dug it out, and have looked in the Stove Reference Gallery, and Reference Library, trying to find out, exactly, what it is, and when it was made. After doing some reading, and perusing here, I "think" that it's the left-hand burner/fuel tank of an early Optimus 181 Range. I would guess it was made sometime between 1935, and 1939. Here's what I have:

    1.jpg


    3.jpg

    4.jpg

    5.jpg
    Nice to have the original priming setup, still insitu.

    6.jpg

    Some of the sharp-eyed amongst you may see the prominent casting on the regulating valve, into which the stuffing box nut is screwed, "OPT. 207"

    7.jpg

    Here's another shot of it, in case you did not see it in the photo above.

    8.jpg

    Back when first receiving this stove, I replaced the missing inner and outer caps with what I had on hand. The outer cap may be right, but the inner is obviously not. Though it should work with either cap, and I will replace it with what I think is it's proper inner, without the 3 sets of holes around it's top edge

    9.jpg

    10.jpg

    My first clue that the drilled cap above, was not used on this stove, originally.

    11.jpg

    You can see the small, brass keeper nut, underneath the burner, which, originally, was used to keep the stoves centered and supported in a single, or double 181 stove. I am guessing this is the left-hand burner of a double 181. Sound right?

    12.jpg

    13.jpg

    14.jpg

    Besides replacing the missing flame spreader caps, I also replaced the rock-hard pump bucket leather. I think this one was made by our wonderful Brother, Sefa, in Turkey!

    15.jpg

    Now, as you look, again, at the burner and tank, doesn't it look like a left-hand side attachment to a double 181 stand?

    2.jpg

    So, what do you think, Fellow Stovies? Take a look at the following Reference Library photos, compliments of @optipri , and see if you agree that this is part of an early Optimus 181, dating 1935-1939.

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/1935-optimus-no-181-182-range.28674/

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/optimus-kero-gas-range-1939.39193/

    Now, all I need to get is a proper stand for this setup, or like Gideon, make, or modify, something, myself! Much to consider, for sure!

    I welcome all comments, suggestions, or information, if you have such to share, my friends!! Thanks, very much, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - I do have the original regulating wheel and spindle, but removed it and bagged it, with a bunch of others, for safe-keeping. When I begin working on this project, I will retrieve said accouterment, from said bag, and install it in it's rightful place. Sorry, I forgot to get it before I posted this! OOps!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    Addendum: Since I don't have time to dig out my bag of spindle regulators, here's a post from the Gallery in which the wheel I have is illustrated very well. This is from a Gentleman who called himself, "Thor", a long time back. Thor doesn't seem to be a member any more, it appears, though I could be wrong.

    Optimus no.11

    His first photo shows the type of regulating wheel that came with my stove.

    Doc
     
  3. gideon

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    269
    @Doc Mark , i hope you'll make a potstand as strong as mine. can you weld it?
     
  4. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,347
    Location:
    I'm on the way....
    You need to get creative with the stand Mark. Thinking those cheap garden tables with cast legs you could cut down as a starter for 10. They must be giving them away your thrift stores.

    The problem is what colour for the polka dots. :D
     
  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    Hi, @gideon , @Simes ,

    Gideon, welding is something I've never done, though I have good friends who are excellent welders. Rather than put this on them, I'll come up with something else, and I seriously doubt that whatever I end up using it will NOT be as strong as your stand, Sir!! In fact, in the case of a Nuclear explosion, you'd better take safe refuge underneath your stand, as it's made like Fort Knox!!! ;) :lol:

    Simes, good idea on the cast leg small garden tables. I'll look into it. I'll also ask around to see if anyone has the frame of an Optimus 181 of which they have no need. We'll see now it ends up, when finished.

    Here is something I picked up along the side of our small mountain Highway, many years ago. It's actually a router table, but I have always planned on using it as a cook stand for an Optimus 510, or my old 1935 Primus 744, marked "Z" over the number "11". By the way, I didn't see any #744's represented in the Reference Gallery, but did finally find one in the Reference Library in this Primus catalog from 1937. I'll have to get mine photographed and posted in the proper spot, here in the Reference Gallery. Click here for the page with the 744 included:

    1937-01-01 Primus Keittiölaitteiden ja juotinlamppujen lue..., s. 46

    And, here is the old router table, ne' stove stand in waiting(?):

    16.jpg

    Kind of large for this project, and probably better saved for the 510, or 744, mentioned above.

    17.jpg


    In any case, none of this brings me any closer to deciding on a cook stand for the stove in question, the Optimus 181 in this thread!!

    @optipri , @kerophile , @presscall , @Spiritburner , @shagratork , can any of your Gentlemen shed any more informational light on what I actually have here. IS it an early 181, and if so, what cook stand would I need in order to complete my stove? Thank you, all, for your help in this, in advance, and talk to you all soon. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - I was wrong about changing the pump bucket, as I found an old thread from back when I first got the 744, and it clearly states that the original pump bucket just needed oil!! Sorry about that, Mates! But, if you take a look at this thread, you can see my 744, and a few other "4-banger" stoves, too, including my Optimus 510, in action!! (Thank you, @dsk, for your generosity, and kindness for that stellar stove!!)!

    Primus and Optimus, 4-bangers!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  6. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,741
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Hi Doc, I think you should consider a lightweight but strong support structure for your Optimus stove. Pressed steel sections screwed together offer strength without excess weight and are within the capability of a home workshop.

    Use the tank to take half the weight of any kettle or pan and you then only need to make two legs:

    See what RM achieved with this approach:

    upload_2019-4-13_21-22-26.jpeg

    RM "Range" 320 *

    Or how about a Comet Triangle approach:

    upload_2019-4-13_21-29-51.jpeg

    Comet Triangle No. 5

    Best Regards,
    Lerophile.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  7. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    @kerophile , or as you typed it, George, "Lerophile", ;);):lol::lol:

    Many thanks for your suggestion, and comments, I'm far more attracted to something lighter, and more manageable, than the super heavy stuff, anyway. Both of the approaches you shared, is more like it, to me! I first tried the 181 in a Sigg Tourist set, but it didn't work very well. Too tall, if I recall. But, after your suggestion, I grabbed a SIGG kit that had been modified by it's original owner, from whom I bought it for $12 at a Backpacker's Swap Meet, down in San Diego. Here's how it looks:

    18.jpg

    It came with the Optimus SVEA 123, and the kit, and for only $12, I could not help but buy it!

    Here is the modification:

    19.jpg

    And, with the 181 gingerly placed inside it, which took lots of twisting and turning to get the angles right!

    20.jpg

    Fits fairly well, but not going to be easy to modify it for the regulating spindle/wheel of the 181 setup, me thinks.

    21.jpg

    23.jpg

    24.jpg

    I wonder if this setup would damage the Sigg set, which looks like that very thing might have caused a meltdown in the heat shield in this kit originally, possibly when used with a more powerful stove than the SVEA 123. Interesting, though, for sure!

    Thanks, again, George, and whilst I'm at it, do you think my theory on this being a left-hand burner for the Optimus 181 is correct? Surely does look like it, to me, but I will defer to folks more experienced in this sort of stove than I. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Dork (Sorry, "Lerophile", didn't you to be the only fumble-fingered one in this thread!!) :lol::lol:
     
  8. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,347
    Location:
    I'm on the way....
    @Doc Mark, or a pair of suitable boxes and you have a 199 on steroids.
     
  9. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    Morning, @Simes ,

    Now, THAT would be an interesting concept, for sure!! Into who's backpack would it go, though? Something like that, whilst interesting and novel, would be a behemoth of a stove!! YIKES!!! :shock::shock: Interesting idea, though! Thanks for making me smile, before I get ready for church!! Always a good thing, in my book! Take care, and God Bless!

    Doc
     
  10. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,347
    Location:
    I'm on the way....
    Methinks another 'little old lady' would come in handy. :) It would certainly warm the DO the other was carrying. :D
     
  11. Mark Layman

    Mark Layman Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    426
    Location:
    USA West Virginia
    I think the router table would work great. You could also mount a small cutting board off to one side.
    Just get some perforated angle steel and screw it to it. No pun intended.
     
  12. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,741
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
  13. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,347
    Location:
    I'm on the way....
    Definately an option. Not sure I remember the original thread.
     
  14. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    16,388
    Good Morning, @kerophile, and All,

    Thanks, George! I had already been considering doing something like that, most for storage purposes. But, IF I can find a proper tin, that fit the stove, AND allowed the modification of working ala a "Baby Enders" (on steroids!), I'd certainly go that route. Of course, I'd have to come up with a proper pot support/windscreen setup in order to make it all work. Tony's Enders already had the pot support insitu, and his tin fits the stove, perfectly!! Yes, indeed, a very proper and effective job he has done on that old Enders. I hope I can do something similar with my old Optimus. Thanks, George, to tipping this idea my way, as it is allowing me to think slightly further than I had been doing so far!! Much appreciated, Mate!!

    Happy Easter, to all my Christian friends, and God Bless to one and all!!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc