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Unused Coleman 417B - WWII issue USAMD

Discussion in 'Other Models' started by presscall, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    An older Coleman suitcase stove with a cast iron burner has been on my wish-list for a good while but even one with a lot of restoration to do on it becomes an expensive indulgence once the cost of shipping from the USA or Canada has been added.

    With just the price of carriage from France to factor in and with it obviously being a clean example, I was ready to go a bit further in the auction for this but got it for well under triple figures.

    Turns out it wasn't just a good example, it hadn't been used since issue to the United States Army Medical Department.

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    Paperwork with it was an instruction leaflet dated 1942, a maroon-coloured tie-on tag giving lighting and shutting-down instructions and a label which reads,
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    Those wartime economies of materials and 74 years' lack of use combined to result in the steel lighting lever having immovably bonded to the steel packing nut. Neither would the graphite packing budge, so much so that it was only possible to remove the lever and packing nut by pulling the eccentric 'elbow' through the steel spacer, still held fast in the valve by the graphite.

    The lever was scrap, but although I'd unsuccessfully applied a pencil-flame torch to the packing nut with the valve in place in the fuel tank - careful not to scorch the paintwork - it really needed to be brought up to red heat. When done so once removed from the valve, the stub of the lever could be freed from the packing nut.

    A contemporary lighting lever assembly wasn't available (as yet) and until I can locate one I could have used a modern equivalent. Problem I had with that was that the packing nut is brass, as is the lever itself, so not authentic.

    Solution was to cut the lever portion off the new assembly, slide on the original steel packing nut and silbraze a short piece of steel rod onto the brass shaft, which is barely visible in the finished item. The graphite packing disintegrated with the heat of the brazing torch as I thought it might and the packing in place now is rolled graphite tape (source CCS 'Trojandog').

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    I took a look at the pump leather, which was still pliable and was not torn. It just needed oiling after these photos were taken and was perfectly usable.

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    I took a close-up look at the burner.

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    Numbered castings.

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    Fuel tank is sound and once I'd replaced the restored lighting lever assembly and had replaced the fuel cap sealing washer (which was as hard as bakelite) it held pressure. The non-return valve works perfectly so I had no reason to remove it. I removed the gas tip and was pleased that the generator spring slid out just by tipping it out.

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    Looks like I'm still on the lookout for a 'cast iron burner' suitcase stove that I can actually fire up!

    John
     
  2. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States Subscriber

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    @presscall I'm so glad that you purchased this stove. I was watching that auction. The stove looked unused which I don't collect so I thought about posting it in "Auction Watch." Now I'm glad I didn't! It's a real beauty, the graphics are perfect, and with all the paperwork nothing short of amazing. Congratulations!

    Ben
     
  3. logen

    logen Norway Subscriber

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    Wow! That is a museum condition piece. :clap:
    Wonderful presentation, John!

    Regards,
    Vidar
     
  4. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  5. HercL4D2

    HercL4D2 United States Subscriber

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  6. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

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    Good Evening, John,

    This is a flat-out fantastic old Coleman 417B!! I very much appreciate that it has remained unfired all these years, and that you have now shared it with us here at CCS!! I have one of those neat 417B stoves, too, but mine has been ridden hard, and put away wet...... OK, not quite that bad, but nothing near as nice as yours!! I suspected that my fuel tank had been painted, and that red is not the proper color for it. Now that I've seen yours, I know exactly what to do to my own 417B. So, once again, you've helped me with one of my own stoves, through your excellent photos and reports!!! Thank you for posting this, and very hearty congratulations for now being the happy caretaker of this wonderful 417B!!! Well done!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark
     
  7. snwcmpr United States

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    Beeee-Uuuuu-Teeeee-Ful!
     
  8. Wim

    Wim Belgium Subscriber

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    Hi John, if you don't want to light this stove, I'll gladly volunteer to do it for you! ;)

    Great find, makes me jealous! (only slightly you know...:whistle::mrgreen:)

    All the best,

    Wim
     
  9. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The photos I took of the whole stove were in dwindling light.

    Some better definition pics for the record.

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  10. itchy United States

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    Amazing.

    Got to wonder how this "fell" off a truck, and remained unused all these years. It is in the right place now.
     
  11. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @itchy
    Seller couldn't enlighten me on where it's been all these years. I hope to be a worthy custodian, certainly.
     
  12. alnl1996 Canada

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    Amazing photos! You sir set the standard for detailed photography. Thanks for sharing.
    These HEAVY cast burner stoves have quite a bit of character compared to the rest. I especially like the flame pattern.
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  13. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @alnl1996
    Thanks, you're very kind, not least for adding in that excellent flame shot in a thread sadly lacking in one up to that point - more's the pity.

    John
     
  14. snwcmpr United States

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    John, a flame shot of your stove is not required.
    @alnl1996 filed that slot.

    Ken in NC
     
  15. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    John, that is a wonderful example of the old Coleman Model 417B stove.

    Here are two adverts, the first from 1939 and the second from 1940.
    It is interesting to note the change in specifications.

    Coleman 417B 1939.jpg

    Coleman 417B 1940.jpg
     
  16. snwcmpr United States

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    @presscall @shagratork
    Trevor, the second ad has (4F) after the No 417B. I thought, what if...

    On Terry Marsh's site:
    LINK
     
  17. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator Subscriber

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    It will be interesting to know the dimensions of the stove in this thread.
     
  18. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

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    I'm onto it Trevor, when I get back home later this evening.

    John
     
  19. idahostoveguy

    idahostoveguy Subscriber

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    Very, very good find and acquisition John!

    It's a beauty all right and in superb condition.


    sam
     
  20. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

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    Greetings, John, and All,

    Do any of you Guys know a proper paint that would allow me to repaint my 417B fuel tank, and thereby, it's original color? That's something I'd very much like to do. Thanks, again, to John, for so clearly illustrating how the tank should be painted. Thanks, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark