Monday, August 27, 2012

Rainy Day and Rust

The so called hurricane, for my neck of the woods, has proven to be a wuss. Thank the Good Lord. Most of the day we've had a nice steady rain with a periods of gusty wind. Nice day to spend my time with the garage door open at work on one of my current projects.

I recently purchased a sad and rusty Coleman 413G stove and two lanterns off Craigslist, cheap. I've always wanted to try and restore a Coleman stove. But, I'm not a mechanical minded kinda guy. It was the mechanical part of the stove rebuild that held me back.  

Then I remembered one of my best friends is a marine mechanic and has the ability to rebuild any carburetor in his sleep but failed miserably when he tried to can beans and peaches. With him in mind I thought how hard could it be to try my hand at restoration. After all, I can at least can a green bean.

 She's a mess, isn't she...notice the top where the latch is located....awful rust. I begin with disassembly.

Top, my two lanterns. The blue one is a Coleman model sold by Sears. I believe she's dated 1963. The green one is a 1968. They'll be restored after the stove is finished.

Above, I've taken out the burner assemblies. Notice the drip plate. It should be silver but is covered in grease, rust, and baked on carbon. About thirty years worth.

Drip plate and gas assembly removed. I was having my doubts.

I began with the lid. I removed every trace of rust. If you decide to use your Dermal tool make sure you purchase several of those little wire wheels. I wore out two. They work well for the latch and handle and tiny hard to reach areas of the stove body.

The lid finished, I next tackled the drip pan. First, all grease must be removed. I used an old litter box filled with hot water and Dawn liquid. Not sure if you can see the difference between the left side and the right of the pan but it worked like a charm. I then took the dry degreased part over to my bench grinder and used my wire wheel to remove the stubborn carbon deposits and surface rust.

Above, nice. A clean grease and rust free drip pan. Make sure to pay special attention to the folds, edges and underside. Then again I'm kinda anal...

Above, now it's time to begin the hard part...the body of the stove. I first applied a good dose of Simply (or Simple, can't remember) Green. As a matter of fact I sprayed it two hours prior. Let it soak. The grease and any oils must be removed before you use sand paper otherwise it'll just gum the pours of the paper. I used my palm sander and 80 grit black zirconium paper. If you think you'll only need two packs, buy four.

Above, notice the date stamp. 2 - 73, or as you well know, February 1973. If the date isn't stamped on the body look under the gas tank tabs. The tabs are those little ears you slide into the slots on the front of the stove case. The date will always be stamped on both ears.


An hour later and she looks much better. The latch and handle required special attention from my Dremil. Please, wear eye protection. I lost count of the number of little wires that struck me on my face.


Next I tackled the gas assembly. When I first removed it from the case it was covered in rust.

I next cleaned the gas tank after I first disassembled the gas generator and cleaned the needle and tube. Next I degreased the body with an application of Simply Green. Be gentle. The paint will come off easily and if you do not plan to replant you will remove most of the paint. Notice its pink instead of red. I will paint the tank. Take note of the tube. It was black with carbon before I took it over to my wire wheel.

I love the 'made in the U. S. A.' stamp. I failed to mention these stoves are no longer manufactured. Coleman has been sold. Any item you see with the Coleman logo is now made in China. The man that sold me this stove said, "You know, they use kerosene." I smiled. They actually burn white gas or Coleman fuel. 

With the exception of the grill, which I have soaking in my mixture of Simple Green and Dawn, the stove is ready for paint. You've just experienced about five hours of labor....and fun.