Optimus 96 from late 1970s/late 80s.

Discussion in 'Optimus No:96' started by kerophile, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, I recently acquired this Optimus No.96 stove complete with folding windshield and spanner.

    It interested me because it appears to be one of the last No.96 stoves produced by Optimus, identified as Version 6 by Bryan Miller in his history of the Optimus No.96:

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/14455

    Here are some photos that I took this morning:

    1427549616-Op.96-9.jpg 1427549632-Op.96-10.jpg 1427549643-Op.96-11.jpg 1427549655-Op.96-12.jpg 1427549666-Op.96-13.jpg 1427549678-Op.96-14.jpg 1427549691-Op.96-15.jpg 1427549720-Op.96-16.jpg 1427549732-Op.96-17.jpg 1427549744-Op.96-18.jpg 1427549761-Op.96-19.jpg 1427549785-Op.96-20.jpg 1427549797-Op.96-21.jpg 1427549811-Op.96-22.jpg 1427549833-Op.96-23.jpg 1427549847-Op.96-24.jpg 1427549865-Op.96-25.jpg

    I have tried to capture some of the key features of this stove in the photos:


    1. The burner head has a captive brass burner plate.

    2. This stove is fitted with a one piece vapourising tube machined out of solid brass. The machining is not very good and turning marks can be seen on the lipstick section.

    3. Bryan Miller stated; "There seemed to be problems with the makers getting the taper on the vapourising tube and the taper in the tube of the burner head to match as many of the later brass vapourising tubes project into the burner head"

    This is certainly the case with this stove.

    4. My stove has diamond knurling on the pump tube cap, but straight knurling on the filler cap and air-release knob.

    5. The pump knob doubles up as the reserve cap when the stove is in storage or transit.

    6. This stove has a steel pump rod, fitted with a conventional leather pump washer.

    7. There are drainage holes at the base of the sockets which hold the stove legs/pan holders.

    As to dating of this particular Op.96, Bryan Miller states that:

    "The 1976 Optimus catalogue makes no mention of the 96 but at some time after that the stove was re-introduced in this form.I do not know when the model was dropped but it was in production in the 1980s"

    CCS member Snowgoose provided great images of a V6 Optimus 96 which came into his family in 1977:

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/15593

    My stove, shown in the images above, is very similar to Snowgoose's Op.96 so I have dated mine to the period Late 1970s/80s.

    Best Regards,

    Kerophile.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2015
  2. linux_author

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    very nice wrapup - now i know what to look for if i see one in the wild (would be rare for me, though) - thank you for taking the pics and writing up the details

    willie
    on the kero burnin' Gulf of Mexico
     
  3. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, @kerophile , George,

    Thank you, very much, for this thread, and for linking it to Rob's excellent thread, as well. I've just received a 96 very much like your's and Rob's, and mine has the diamond pattern on fuel cap lid, air screw, and pump rod keeper. Mine, like your's has a brass vaporizer, and the stove has definitely been used, but not worn out. The NRV was stuck, but after removing it, I popped it free quite easily, and as the pip seemed soft enough, I left it as is, and it does hold pressure. I will probably replace the pip soon, just to cover that base. Had a nasty problem with some white, crusty goop that had hardened in the pump rod cap, and I had to work via several methods to get that junk out of the threads, so that the tank plug/pump rod knob would actually screw into place.

    In any case, with your dating info from Bryan, and Rob's known date of when his brother bought the similar 96 he showed us, I'm fairly confident that mine dates to the same, late 1970's era. When I get it tested, I'll post it in this forum, with a tip 'o the cap to you, Bryan, and Rob!!! Thanks, very much, for once again, helping me find info that I needed to have!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark
     
  4. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Mark @Doc Mark Thanks for your kind remarks.
    It is great that we can all share information about our stoves and hobby.
    It also brings back to mind the kindness of Snowgoose and the late, great Bryan Miller.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, George, @kerophile

    You are most welcome, Sir! I agree with you, completely, about the sharing and kindness of both Rob, and Bryan! Every visit to CCS, reminds of me the wonderful Gentleman that Bryan was, and I miss his presence here, greatly!! I know that Rob is super busy, but he does seen to pay us a visit, now and then, and for that, I'm grateful. Cheers, and God Bless!

    Doc