Montagnino coil stove, Italian, 1960's?

Discussion in 'Other Countries' started by SMolson, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

    Feb 24, 2009
    Montagnino coil stove, brass, and I'm guessing 1960-ish date of birth. Fair condition and seems complete other than paper instructions/box (assuming she came with both). I've seen these advertised as being from WW2, but I've also seen Optimus Hikers advertised as such....

    She came with a cork for plugging the coil/output fuel hole when not in use. Unfortunately it fragmented into 10 pieces when removed from the coil, so it was replaced with another I had. Two VICTOR-labelled prickers (needles broken off), storage tin, funnel and pot stand/frame. Pricker 4122 from Primus 96/97 fits the hole.

    Inside can with some surface rust (removed with 00-wool + WD 40) and the tin itself had a puncture close to the lid frame. Stove and all components neatly fit inside the tin. The tin is NOT used as a cook pot.

    Nice scaled printing with the Montagnino logo on front.

    Back panel with instructions (Italian).

    Another set of instructions(?).

    Small aluminum(?) pot support fits snuggly around the base of stove's fuel tank. Has 3 little tear-drop pot rests.

    No under fount markings on the stove.

    Unmarked funnel and 2 VICTOR labelled prickers (needles gone). The little funnel is needed as the neck opening is very narrow, and even with the funnel there was some leakage, so poor SLOWLY. Funnel also works great with the Primus 70.

    Filler neck was off (apparently a common trait with this model from excessive heat) and needed to be resoldered (with large flat-iron).

    Neck was resoldered by a friend of mine with the proper equipment. Flat-topped, bolt-faced brass fuel cap had a cork gasket, no longer held pressure and was replaced with viton 1/16th".

    Used a small viton 'shim' set between coil hole on lower tube and the cork for storage to help prevent fuel leakage (cork itself was not sufficient). The wire acts to keep the coils from spreading apart and also operates as a burner plate.

    No blemishes or verdigris present so no need to polish her up. Fount unlabelled other than 'Montagnino' in cursive with the shooting star.

    Thick cotton wick in the fuel tank leading up to the tubes - feeds the fuel that way. I partly filled with (60 ml) coleman fuel, left the filler cap untightened, put alcohol in little spirit dimple between the coil base, tighten the fuel cap and quickly lite the thing. Watch the fireworks ensue as the coleman fuel comes dripping out of the hole into the flame and the entire upper part of stove engulfed in fire for a few seconds before calming down and eventually a consistent burn.

    Flame settling down as coil is heated and fuel becomes vaporized.

    A subtle HSSSSSS sound is emitted when running - not too loud though.

    Burning properly.

    Had her running about 15 minutes to boil up some water for green tea in small kettle - the fount was still cool enough to touch comfortably (luke-warm) but no wind-shield was deployed.

    The flame patterns creates 2 concentrated heat points.

    Not the best for uniform heat dispersion or radius coverage

    To extinguish you have to blow the flame out with your breath, then quickly untighten the fuel cap to releave pressure and prevent further fuel leakage.

    Good for boiling up water for tea and any other basic 'boiling/heating' duties, but not something that can be used for any simmering requirements without a lot of hands-on management. The flame spread is also a little uneven and inefficient compared to the 'modern' roarer types with jets, but a precise control stove she is not. She boiled it up faster than I thought she would, so not too bad. Modern equivalents do such a better job and safer to boot, but she's a cute stove nonetheless and harkens to simplex design.

    Interesting that these 'simple' (and one of the oldest concept) stoves were marketed to boy scouts and other groups with young, inexperienced campers. These can be messy to light and dangerous with the large volcano-type flame and speed of the fuel seepage. Not to mention packing them up and the risk there too of fuel spillage if the cork is not positioned properly (or is too dry/rough and not using a viton shim or equivalent). They can also be tricky to blow out forcing the user to put their face in close proximity to the source of the fuel and combustion. Pot stand is also a little rickety, but sufficient for most ~1/2 liter sized pots she's designed to support. IMO, for a starting stove, the Optimus 111 would be a good choice (safe, consistent, regulated (easy on/off), strong cased, good pot support, etc). Not these types.

    It would be an interesting challenge on a trip to only use coil stoves for all one's cooking needs (in addition to a fire), but that would necessitate a lot more work and some pretty basic menus.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. mugwump

    Nov 15, 2013
    What a great little stove. I'm learning something every day.
  3. Jan-Willem

    May 7, 2006
    I have a very similar coil stove, but the lighting procedure is very different.
    It runs on coleman fuel.
    No preheating is required at all. I leave the lid closed, and put a match in the coil. (just like in the picture on the tin) The heat from the match makes the air in the coil/tank expand, and forces the fuel out of the nozzle. Before the match is fully burned the stove is running fine.
    I have never seen any yellow flames on this stove.

    I tried the same procedure with a gas lighter, and it doesnt seem to work as well. Maybe a match burns hotter....
  4. SMolson

    SMolson Subscriber

    Feb 24, 2009
    Hi Jan,

    The issue I found when lighting is that as soon as the cork/viton shim are removed and the stove handled and warmed by your hand (or ambient temp), fuel instantaneously begins streaming out of the hole and pools in the dimpled well. I don't think it matters how much fuel is in the tank, just as long as the wicks are moist. The yellow flame is on account of the burning coleman fuel yet vaporized. I did have a little meth in the well but it was quickly diluted to at least 50/50 before lighting. It didn't take long though before the flame turned a nice blue, only a 4-5 seconds. I don't have any other coil stoves to compare lighting procedure and other attributes, but if I see one at a decent price (< $15) I may pick her up.