My grandfather's Phoebus 625

Discussion in 'Phoebus' started by Yannick, May 1, 2021.

  1. Yannick Netherlands

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    Hello all.

    A while ago I found a conspicuous yellow-and-green tin in the loft of my father's house, and it contained my grandfathers camping, covered in rust and grime after what must amount to more than fifty years of neglect. I am not sure when my grandfather bought it, but I've read somewhere here that they have been manufactured since 1948-ish. My father remembers using it on camping trips in the mid-fifties, so that should give it an approximate date (the unreliability of eye witness statements pertaining the rather distant past aside) of somewhere between 1948 and 1955.

    I took the tin home with me and had a look inside. The original paperwork was still inside, as is a small tin with a kerosine burner wotsit. I am not a collector of camp stoves (or any other things), but I like old things that work, so I decided to see if I could restore it back into a state where I can use it to make coffee during fieldwork (I'm an archaeologist). I went online to find some information on the stove and well, I was more or less immediately directed here.

    I've taken everything apart, cleaned everything op and removed the rust from most parts except for the windbreak with steel wool and a lot of elbow grease. That is very, very stubborn, and I will probably have a go at it with a polishing wheel. I have also ordered replacement washers, and when they arrive, I can reassemble everything properly.

    My only concern is the nozzle. It is supposed to have a little cross piece in the form of a split pen, for the knob to catch on. That has snapped off, but I can drill that out and replace it. A bigger problem is that it is stuck in the nut through which it runs. When I tighten that nut, the nozzle is fixed solidly in place. I also can't get it out of the burner, so i'm not sure what's going on there. Any tips on that front would be of great help.

    The paint on the tank is rather knackered, but I don't want to clean it off an repaint it completely. I'd like to stabilize it in its current condition. I was going to spray clear varnish on it, until I learned that fire is applied to the outside when priming it. So I am also somewhat at a loss about how to prevent it from rusting up again, without applying anything which cannot sustain the heat. That would also be an area where your expertise would be greatly valued.

    Long story short: I hope you enjoy my discovery and I would on my part be grateful to learn form you.

    Yannick
     

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  2. burny pyromaniac Netherlands

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    Wow, nice find! Gave vondst!
     
  3. Yannick Netherlands

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    Thanks! :-)
     
  4. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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  5. Yannick Netherlands

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    Thanks Kerophile!

    With a bit of luck, that's all my questions answered and problems solved. The washer set arrived after I posted my original message, so that's all been fitted. With the spirit cup I can just paint the whole tank in one go.

    Also thanks for the link to the labels, but I'm going to wait and see if I'm going to use those.

    Cheers,

    Yannick
     
  6. Yannick Netherlands

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    P.S.

    I'll post the results as soon as I have it up and running!
     
  7. Radler

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    Hello Yannick

    Congratulations for your grandfather's heritage! This will be a very suitable stove for an archaeologist's field tea break.

    The constructors of the Phoebus Nº 625 and Nº 725, and many other German gasoline stoves, had good reasons why they did not mount a spirit cup between fount and burner. Of course they knew well that de lacquer would not support the heath and the fuel in the spirit mould on the fount. There was no paint at that time, which could resist this. The fount gets very hot after a while!
    Spirit cups are omnipresent on classic brass stoves, but they are a a weak point as well: They often leak. This is not a big problem and does not create a danger. If you see kerosene-fuel leaking, you just release the pressure in the tank and leak or flames stop.

    But with a gasoline stove it's not the same. You create a unnecessary danger, if you mount a spirit-cup in the way as seen at classic brass stoves. If there is a leak, -- and there will be one in the worst moment--, the escaping fuel will create a fireball and you will have no possibility to stop it: The regulator valve does not help and you have no possibility to release pressure in the fount.

    I think, the best approach is to see this stove as a thing, which should be used. Just keep it clean, use it and store it dry. The naked steel of the fount is very resistant (old fashion German engineering). If you store it for a longer time, you can grease it with a corrosion protecting liquid.
    Did a black smith paint his hammers and his blacksmith's tongs? Did grandmother lacquer her steel frying pan? Certainly not! They just used and used and used it a lifetime. The Phoebus Nº 625 was designed as a stove for hard use under military and civil conditions. One of the best stoves ever made.

    I own and use several Phoebus Nº 625 and Nº 725 of the same age as yours. The only thing, which had to be replaced, was the gasket at the filler. Don't take out the shaft of the regulator valve! The stuffing box will last forever if untouched. When the stove is hot and filled, you can regulate the stuffing box. The shaft should not be turned, when cold.

    Best regards
    Radler
     
  8. Toad of the Cape

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    Radler's advise is very sound,enjoy that stove I have one myself and well designed.

    warm regards Alex
     
  9. Yannick Netherlands

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    Thank you very much for your nice words and advice Radler! I agree with youy that it is a tool, and that it does not matter that it shows signs of use. That's the exact reason that I only cleaned off ant grime and rust, I'm not going to polish the brass parts or repaint the fuel tank. I'll clean the rust off the windbreak, but that's about it.

    I just need to drill out the hole for the split pen in the nozzle, and then it should be good to go (fingers crossed).

    Very excited about that! I just hope it works.
     
  10. Yannick Netherlands

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    You have no idea how ridiculously pleased I am with this! It must be well over fifty years since it was last used.

    I am, in fact, so pleased, that the bits I have been chuffed into are now themselves in the process of being chuffed into smaller bits.

    They have very likely entered into a feedback loop of progressive chuffmentation into ever smaller and smaller bits, until the size of the bits eventually approaches the atomic stage.

    At this point I wil probably go into some sort of nuclear chuffdown. 20210505_173123.jpg
     
  11. Yannick Netherlands

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    Before I forget:

    Thanks all, for your help!
     
  12. Radler

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    Hello Yannick

    Your grandfather is looking down from his cloud at you and is murmuring proudly: "Good boy, he's got it!" :-))

    Radler
     
  13. Yannick Netherlands

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    He could be a cranky old codger at times, but I rather hope so! :content:
     
  14. JP2

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    Welcome to CCS