Optimus 48 - in our garage for 30+ years... =)

Discussion in 'Optimus No:48' started by wulf, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. wulf United States

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    Hello,

    Here is an Optimus No. 48 which I recently found in our garage. It must have been there at least thirty years. It is missing one trivet leg and the trivet itself is rusty. I washed the exterior with dishwashing liquid and hot water and had a vague attempt at polishing an area around the engraved name and the underside with Brasso. I haven't attempted more than that yet, as you can see.

    I'd love to know how to restore this. I think I'd prefer it not to be restored to a shiny condition as it wouldn't stay like that for long, since I intend to use it. To be honest I've never seen it working and I wouldn't even know how to light it or what fuel to use (kerosene?).

    It can be pumped up and seems to hold pressure just fine.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    20190623_142136.jpg
     
  2. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    G'day @wulf and welcome to CCS.
    That's a nice find and can be bought back to service.
    It runs on kerosene ( paraffin ).
    Good information in this post on restoration. Stove restoration. Parts 1 to 4
    A new leg can be made.
     
  3. wulf United States

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    Many thanks Martin, I'll start reading mate =)
     
  4. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    The Optimus 48 was manufactured over a very wide time period, from approximately 1915 to 1979.
    Becoming a subscribing member will let you look at all the Optimus catalogues in our library to try and give it a more precise date.
     
  5. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    Welcome @wulf. A nice discovery. You'll find the site search facility is very good for any questiins you may have and will provide quite a few hours of happy reading. :)

    You'll find operating instructions and as pointed out the excellent guide for general ownership and care.

    If you want to replace the leg quickly then tent pegs are excelent stand ins while you find the best source for longer term replacement.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  6. wulf United States

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    Hi all,

    Well I fired it up and it works just great. Ran for 2+ hours at full bore without a hitch. However now I find the pump has 'gone soft' and it feels like maybe the brass rod has become detached from something (the washer?) inside as it feels completely loose and disconnected, and pumping it meets with no resistance at all.

    Any ideas? If I need a new washer or whatever are spares available anywhere?

    I'll post flame pictures soon, I see everyone likes those!

    Thanks!
     
  7. wulf United States

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  8. Duck

    Duck United States Subscriber

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    Congrats on getting it fired up. Hopefully you just need a new pump leather.
     
  9. wulf United States

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    Didn't have any methylated spirit or denatured alcohol - got it started just fine with 91% isopropyl alcohol.
     
  10. wulf United States

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    I hope a new leather is all it is!
     
  11. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    I just knew that would fire right up!
     
  12. Duck

    Duck United States Subscriber

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    Just to make sure but have you closed the bleeder valve after you turned the stove off? I catch myself doing leaving it open and wondering why I can’t build air.
     
  13. wulf United States

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    Haha, yup, remembered to shut that off!
     
  14. wulf United States

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    There is the mystery of the little wick/tube thing the purpose if which I cannot fathom and which seems to be a bit optional as it unclips from the pipework under the burner assembly. It has a wick in the bottom of it which appears to drink from the 'starter bowl' and the top of the pipe ends up near the main burner. No idea what it does and it started fine without it.
     
  15. wulf United States

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  16. Frankarooney

    Frankarooney Fiji Subscriber

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    That’s where you pour your preheating liquid, directs it straight into the bowl.
     
  17. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    It's often referred to as an 'igniter'; not necessary at all, but what it does is keep a flame at the burner for a tad after the alcohol in the primer cup has been consumed.

    It helps avoid the common situation (which is not itself that troublesome) where you don't close the air screw and pump before the prime flame expires, whereupon you must apply match or lighter to the hot fume.

    Very old stoves often had a dimple in the primer cup, which created a little reservoir of flame for the same purpose after the main prime had burned out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  18. Duck

    Duck United States Subscriber

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    That has a wick in it. It soaks up some meth and a little flame comes out at the top. When the alcohol is burnt down you give the stove a few pumps and it lights the stove for you.
     
  19. Duck

    Duck United States Subscriber

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    Ed beat me to the post.
     
  20. wulf United States

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    That makes sense! Mystery solved, thanks Ed and Duck.