Primus 54 in mystery box

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Ite, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Ite Netherlands

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    Hi, My name is Ite and I'm new to this forum,

    I signed in because I bought a Primus 54 in a box on Marktplaats (dutch Ebay). and have some questions about it. It is still filled with petroleum. The burner head is a bit twisted, probably because they didn't use a spanner in the past.

    1: Does someone recognize the box ? I could not find any markings on it. I can see that the green paint is not original. The yellow spirit bottle is to big for the holder.
    2: There are 2 silent burner caps with small and big holes. Is this original Primus?
    3: what age is it ? (there was a 1963 newspaper at the bottom of the box) is "Z7" a date mark ?

    I will probably leave it as is, because I like it this way.

    I hope someone on this forum can clear things.

    Ite

    PS: In the 80's I used my Optimus 99 a lot. I still have it.

    P1160379.JPG P1160389.JPG P1160381.JPG P1160388.JPG
     
  2. Wim

    Wim Subscriber

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    Hi Ite,

    welcome on board!

    Your stove was made in 1935 (that is what the 'Z' tells us, we still don't know what the number stands for).

    I am a little bit puzzled by the different size of the holes in the outer caps, maybe you should simply try which one works best on your stove! The plastic spirit bottle is a later addition, the original ones are mostly plagued by pinholes because alcohol attracts water, and water caused the rusting of the bottles. You found yourself a very fine stove, the 'discus' shape is one of the nicest around! Before trying to light the stove it is best to replace all rubber seals as mostly these are hardened through age (don't forget the pip in the non-return valve at the bottom of the pump tube!).

    Best regards,

    groetjes,

    Wim
     
  3. Lennart F Norway

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    Yes - it is the date stamp, Z=1935 and the burner looks like Primus and the box is the style often found with 1930's discus stoves, they were cheaper than the old style tank and used to have a single colour painted box.
     
  4. Radler Switzerland

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    @Ite
    This stove has a tapered thread. If the burner is bent, somebody has maybe misused it to tighten, because the tapered thread leaked. The instructions say, not to use a spanner for tightening the connection, because these threads can easily be destroyed. The spanner is to unloose only. If the thread is damaged, you can try to use a very thin layer of Teflon tape, as used for water pipes. These stoves are very pleasant, I own two of them.

    PS. The wire brush is not to be used for anything connected with brass stoves.

    Radler
     
  5. ajvuik

    ajvuik Subscriber

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    Hello lte,

    I also got most of my stoves from marktplaats :) although I have to say that the quality has dwindled a bit now a days...

    As for your stove, it is an interesting piece, to bad of the twisted head, but if it works, leave it like that and only use a spanner to loosen the head. The head doesn't need to be any more tighter than hand tight.

    As for the tin, it seems like it belongs, but maybe some one of the other guys know more.

    If your burner does develop a fault look here at my story:
    111 burner repair

    Or try to get a new burner here on the forum. As a matter of fact, I might have one on spare. ;)

    Regards,

    Arjan
     
  6. Ite Netherlands

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    hello guys,

    Thanks for giving the year of production.

    The tapered thread is luckily in good shape. Good to know to tighten the head only hand-tight, and not to use a spanner.

    If you look at the direction of the twist, it must have been caused by unscrewing the burner.

    Ite
     
  7. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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  8. Lennart F Norway

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    It seems quite common that people have used other things than a spanner to unscrew burners from those bigger portable stoves.
     
  9. Radler Switzerland

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    @Ite
    You wrote: "If you look at the direction of the twist, it must have been caused by unscrewing the burner."
    This a very good approach: See the facts and draw conclusions!

    Some words about the different holes in the two outer caps:

    The gas stream at high temperatures is corroding the metal. The upper rows of holes will be larger than the lower holes after a long time of use. Some outer caps are made of steel, others are made of special brass alloys (Primus Metal).

    If you are cooking, not only heating water, you need a long time of low heath for simmering and this will bring higher temperatures to the outer cap. (Slower Gas stream, less cooling, flamelets are nearer to the holes). At some point the enlarged holes are so large, that the gas stream is getting slower than the ignition speed. You will have sudden underburn (fire between inner and outer cap) when cooking a while. The outer cap is no longer good and must be replaced.

    A kerosene stove from 1935 has lived in hard times in Europe. It has seen the hunger winters 1946 and 1947 when people starved and died of cold. I think your stove has been used to cook a daily meal for many years. (see the pump-lid) When the outer cap was worn out, at that time Europeans would not have thrown it away. It still could be used to cook water. Spare parts were not available in that time. Even when he found a new outer cap, the owner kept the old one.

    The history of stoves is a part of their value. Respect it!

    Best Regards
    Radler
     
  10. Ite Netherlands

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    Today I made my first pot of tea on the 54!

    At first, the pump was not working because the leather was verry brittle.
    I got it working by winding sewing yarn around it and a little petroleum jelly.
    P1160399.JPG
    I am going to try to make a new leather for the pump with help of instructions I saw on this forum.
    (My grandfather was a shoemaker, I inherited his hand-tools and some leather. Mostly for soles, so way to thick for the pump,
    but luckily I found also a tiny piece to make hopefully a pair of pump leathers)

    The burnerhead was screwed in hand tight, no leaks as predicted by Arjan and Kerophile.

    The stove burned very nice with the old (40-50+ year ?) parafin inside.

    I investigated the burnercaps a little more and found text stamped in it.
    The one with the small holes is a PRIMUS METAL SWEDEN No4206
    The one with the bigger holes is a PRIMUS METAL SWEDEN No4205

    @Radler

    Thanks for explaining the meganism about the holes!
    So small holes are for simmering, and big holes for boiling water.

    On the picture you can see the wear on the pump-lid. The hole is oval-shaped. must be the result of many thousand pumpstrokes.
    P1160397.JPG
    Apart from fixing the pump. I will leave it as is. I am fully aware that it is a time capsule with a lot of history in it.

    Ite
     
  11. Radler Switzerland

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    I am not surprised to see this worn out pump lid. It is proof, how important and of vital interest such a stove was for a long time. I am glad to see it is in good hands now.

    Best Regards
    Radler
     
  12. Lennart F Norway

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    4205 is the cap for the regular burner on Primus 5, 5 S:or etc. and 4206 is correct cap for Primus 4, 5 J:or and other stoves with the smaller silent burner.