Optimus No:8 - custom modified

Discussion in 'Optimus No:8 (version prior to the 8R)' started by Spiritburner, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin Subscriber

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    A lamp collector I know contacted me recently to ask about this stove & although not uncommon it was such an interesting stove I took the chance when it was offered for sale.

    A past owner has gone to great lengths to modify this stove, possibly needing better cold weather performance. The work has been done with great skill.

    First the stove - a No:8 circa mid 1950's from when the 8 moved into the rounder edged tin more familiar on the 8R's that came later.

    1366574873-opti8_000.jpg



    Open it up & spot the differences!

    1366574885-opti8_001.jpg


    The safety release valve has been removed from the original filler cap & moved to the tank in it's own right. Instead of the filler cap there is a integral pump. The pump cap locks down. The pump is really effective in boosting output.

    1366574893-opti8_002.jpg

    1366574903-opti8_003.jpg

    1366574903-opti8_003.jpg


    Pump detail

    1366574911-opti8_005.jpg

    1366574924-opti8_006.jpg



    The key has been replaced by a knob, possibly Bakelite. There is a neat notch cut into it to indicate the off position.

    1366574934-opti8_007.jpg


    It comes with a custom made fuel can with closable filler nozzle. This sits neatly in the case as can be seen above. The filler cap of the can is cylindrical & holds the stoves control knob when in transit.

    1366574946-opti8_008.jpg

    1366574957-opti8_009.jpg

    1366575393-opti8_010.jpg


    On firing the stove up the flame was really weak & it soon went out. I stripped the burner of the tank to check the wick etc. The wick was made of old flat shoe laces & would not come out of the burner. I prised & charred as much out as I could but had to resort to drilling the rest out. After a short time in the ultra-sonic cleaner I reassembled with a conventional wick set up.

    The stove fired up & worked like a champ! It roared with a reassuring warble & quickly passed the tea test. Where's the flame pics? I took pics of three stoves today but this & one other set got lost to some rapid but cack-handed mousework on the computer so I had to retake them all again. It's too late to go back down the workshop & refuel etc & the daylight has gone so you'll have to put up with these indoor shots!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hi, Ross,

    VERY cool mod on that stove, and nicely designed! I would guess that, with the internal pump, like the external add-on type, you would use more fuel. Seem right? In any case, a fun and interesting modification. Thanks for sharing! God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    That's excellent, Ross, and an expert conversion as you say.

    The same arrangment on an Optimus 199 would make sense rather than having a minipump to misplace or lose, particularly since pressurising the fuel by pump and not self-pressurising it is isn't an option on a 199.

    Whether that would push the value of a modified 199 even more into the stratosphere or whether the ones who pay those prices would turn their noses up at it as not 'stock' is a moot point.

    You must be tickled pink with it Ross, because you've elevated it above the calibre of 'Frankie, Mod or Hybrid' Forum tinkering!

    John
     
  4. Rick b

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    Excellent!
     
  5. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin Subscriber

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    Found a couple of pics from earlier.

    1366582805-opt8_011.jpg

    1366582822-opt8_012.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  6. theyellowdog

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    This looks cool but what a lot of trouble to go to when air can easily be blown through the jet.



    Hi John.

    199's self pressurise quite well, obviously they are better with a pump.
     
  7. alnl1996

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    Very interesting stove. Those modifications really do transform that little stove into an elite collectors piece.
    I for one am all about originality, but I can can still appreciate the level of skill it took to do this.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Pinky

    Pinky Subscriber

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    Wow!!!

    There's A LOT of love and effort in that little stove! That fuel can is too cool!!! :thumbup:

    I would've bought that thing in a heartbeat too!

    Thanks for sharing such a fun little stove, and I'm sure whoever fabricated all the modifications would be happy to know it ended up with such a good steward.
     
  9. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    That's one I'll never see in my collection. Burning nicely.
    Duane
     
  10. idahostoveguy

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    That's one I'd like to see in my collection.

    There was a lot of ingenuity put into that one!

    sam
     
  11. SNOWGOOSE

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    What a great pity we never got to correspond via CCs to the fellow that put so much thought into that 8.

    One thing is sure, he knew that an 8 is a worthless stove in the real world (UK conditions) where wind and cold make boiling a kettle for a brew more like looking at a calendar than a stopwatch.

    Because of my frustration of the 8’s lack of performance in winter conditions I sold all of mine, the Ni plated one went to Japan, others elsewhere. I now wish I had kept one as it would have been worth asking one of our master fettlers to attempt a similar conversion job!

    Lovely to have a unique 8 like this Ross. I think it would be a fitting salute to the guy for you to take this stove on one of your backpacks into the fells. It deserves to be used often.

    Hopefully this unique stove will encourage the innovative juices of our master fettlers to sacrifice an 8 and do something similar.
     
  12. pysen78

    pysen78 Subscriber

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    Liked this mod a lot!

    Question: You said the pump locks down, is that in the fashion of coleman stoves making it safe?

    Otherwise that'd be the only design flaw. The risk of a faulty NRV letting fuel up the pump tube.
     
  13. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    That's some nice design & machine work.
    Very fitting unique addition to any collection.

    Ken in NC
     
  14. Rick b

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    Hi pysen. I think from looking a the photos of the pump detail, the under side of the pump knob has a small cutout so when you press down and then turn it a bit it locks itself to the lower section. ... at least thats what it looks like to me.
     
  15. Sparky

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    Brilliant!
     
  16. Big Si

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    That is a really nice stove Ross, I'm very jelous!

    Si
     
  17. Jeopardy

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    Ross, that looks like a fascinating addition to any collection. And the workmanship looks first rate.

    Pysen, it looks to me as if the pump handle has to be locked down simply to keep it clear of the bottom of any largish pans that might be set on the stove. In the pictures where the pump is at the top of its range it seems higher than the pot rests.

    Regards
    John
     
  18. itchy

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    That is pretty special. I'd guess that the person that made it has left a number of equally interesting gadgets around. Hopefully they will likewise fall into the hands of an appreciative caretaker.
     
  19. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner Admin Subscriber

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    It's amazing the lengths some folk will go to for the perfect stove & if you have the skills & tools why not! Today I guess it manifests itself with the soda can alky stoves.

    Re the pump - the lock down is a bayonet fit on the cap which can be seen on the pictures. IOt's quite tight but I don't think it would stop fuel coming out if the NRV failed.
     
  20. vma1racer

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    That is a wonderful bunch of well crafted modifications...I just can't see anyone here trying that these days with a pre-R 8. I have a pile of 8R's from back in the $10 on ebay days. Hmmm.

    :whistle:

    Wow, I have been hanging around here since the beginning, lurking and just recently actually joined. Has it really been since 2000?

    I'll gather together "The Family" for some snaps and post a "Hi, it's me" in the general forum soon.

    Love this place!