Newly Aquired & well used.

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Alannah Jaden Stone, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Alannah Jaden Stone United States

    Sep 13, 2019
    Portland, Oregon
    Just acquired a vintage Vulcan Safety Chef. It’s a little rusty from obvious use and wear but still in great condition other than the rust. I have no idea where to look to find out about the year. Any guidance on that one would be awesomely appreciated.

    Two questions...One, any recommendations on the bet way to revitalize the metal without compromising use and make her look new again? Two, where do I look to find out about fuel cans? I’m not finding anything in the local stores that actually fits in her.
  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

    Dec 12, 2004
    Good Morning, @Alannah Jaden Stone ,

    Welcome to CCS! Sadly, the Vulcan Safety Chef hasn't been made for many, many years, and aside from looking in Army/Navy Surplus stores for the fuel cans, you may well have to make your own. Spend some time searching here at CCS, for info on the Vulcan. Some here did come up with ways to fuel it, that seems to work very well, if memory serves. I bought one, eons ago, that had been stored in a coffee tin, and that tin filled with rainwater, and rusted up my Vulcan quite a bit. I used emery paper to take most of the rust off the outside, the then painted it with high temp black paint. Not perfect, but hey, not bad, either. I'd recommend you do something similar. Look in the Stove Reference Gallery for info on the Safety Chef. Good luck, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,

    PS - take a peek here, and see if you find some good info:

    Vulcan Safety Chef
  3. itchy

    Feb 10, 2009
    @Alannah Jaden Stone

    I also have a couple of these -- one badly rusted. Although it seemed to me that they would have burned some form of gelled alcohol, that apparently is not the case. The fuel is called "Sa-fuel" and is described as a petroleum product. I managed to find a few cans a while back; one was dried up and I never got around to opening the others.

    Burning alcohol in them (in a cut-off can of some sort) kind of works but best do it outside to avoid the stench of partial combustion products. The stove absorbs a lot of heat but eventually gets hot and the inner parts of the burner start to glow nicely. At that point, unfortunately, the alcohol then boils off faster than it can be burned. I never tried a gelled alcohol or watered-down alcohol; either one might be worth a shot.

    De-rusting? Lots of hard to reach inner parts and no easy way to disassemble, if I remember correctly. Perhaps electrolysis or dipping/soaking in a phosphoric acid bath would be a way to start.
  4. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

    Aug 20, 2004
    Tacoma, Washinghton, USA
    The apparent first step would be to try it with a can of Sterno.

    I actually think I have one of these from early days down amongst the disorder somewhere....

    Another lesson in the long-term non-viability of proprietary-fuel stoves. [Tom hyphenated...]
  5. Jim Lukowski United States

    Jul 13, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    Late to the party, but I just picked up one of these stoves at a flea market over the weekend. For a stove not made in around ~60 years, I'm going to go out on a limb and state that they're probably not very desirable because you can still buy a leftover new one.

    I saw a video of one being used with an original fuel tin made for it. It quickly started burning out of control, so I've no desire for one of the original fuel tins. I was thinking that a penny alcohol stove would work and it does. I can't state that this is a very practical stove if you have 'real' stoves, but is a kind of neat novelty.

    Here's the penny stove. I hadn't used one in many years and lighting it improperly, it would explode with the top flying off. Fortunately the bottom with the burning alcohol stayed in place. Anyway, that's why the muffler paste is there, to hold it together and to seal it. The next one I make will be a bit taller so the shoulders of the can fit against the asbestos ring.

    I don't know how to correct my images loading sideways here. I'm not on an Apple product.
    Penny stove.jpg

    It took a while to reach this point, but at least it did.
    Burning 3.jpg