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darryl
05-27-2014, 12:10 AM
We had a Coleman propane stove with us on our camping trip. It worked well- too well- couldn't turn it down enough to simmer something, or it would go out. Came to mind that if I could block about half of the burner ring, the rest would have enough flame to remain lit, but with about half the flame in total. The valve seems able to regulate a smaller amount of propane, so my thinking is it should work.

Optionally, I would just build my own stove. I'd make up two burner rings, one inside the other. The small one would be for low heat, the larger for high heat. They would be separately adjustable. They might both have a minimum setting on their valves so you wouldn't be able to set them so low that they'd go out, unless you clicked them off. You'd light the small one, which on its low setting would be little more than a pilot light, and you could adjust it up to say medium heat. For more heat you'd add the larger one, which you could turn on or off at will without having to deal with a finicky low setting, or lighting it each time it's turned on.

I've made burners a couple of times now, so I'm aware of orifices, venturi effect air induction, getting a proper mixture, etc.

Optionally again, I could just look for a single burner propane stove that does actually have a good range of adjustment of heat output. Personally, I seldom need more than one burner, so that might be a good option. Pretty hard to try them out without buying first, though-

Just fishing for ideas.

While I'm at it, I did bring out one of my portable propane catalytic heater 'heads' with an eye to setting it up horizontally. I did a test and it will certainly boil a pot of water in short order, but there's really no such thing as a low heat setting. A smaller version of this might be useful, and I've considered trying to 'downsize' it- maybe even segregate it into two working areas so it can have both a small heat spot and a larger one.

camdigger
05-27-2014, 03:00 AM
Unusual problem! My Coleman stove is very weak. Takes forever to boil water. It gets dragged along as back up only.

I replaced it with a camp chef Tahoe triple burner stove with industrial/restaurant style burners. IIRC, it puts out 90,000 BTU. I can cook a pound of bacon at a time on the grill, and have a kg of hash browns sizzling on the third burner.

Typical breakfast crowd for our group ranges from 15 to 25 people.

CarlByrns
05-27-2014, 07:44 AM
Best field stove I ever saw was made of angle iron and used water heater burners controlled by stove valves.

Jon Heron
05-27-2014, 08:06 AM
Here is my 2 cents:
Forget the propane and bottles that go with it and get yourself a Dragonfly stove (http://www.mec.ca/product/5001-339/msr-dragonfly-stove/), it will boil a gallon of water in minutes, in fact I think you could weld with it :) and it will simmer down to finite control for cooking bread etc.
I have used one for years and they are incredible.
Cheers,
Jon

camdigger
05-27-2014, 08:13 AM
Here is my 2 cents:
Forget the propane and bottles that go with it and get yourself a Dragonfly stove (http://www.mec.ca/product/5001-339/msr-dragonfly-stove/), it will boil a gallon of water in minutes, in fact I think you could weld with it :) and it will simmer down to finite control for cooking bread etc.
I have used one for years and they are incredible.
Cheers,
Jon

136$ for 1 burner stove ain't cheap. In addition it uses liquid fuel. Not my favorite. Pass.

Mike Nash
05-27-2014, 09:02 AM
I see Coleman has switched to the punched hole burners - fail. The old style work fabulously. Yes this a Coleman white gas stove piece, but my Coleman 2 burner propane stove has one built the same way. They also don't blow out very easily in a breeze (or wind for that matter.)

http://www.globalsoftware-inc.com/coolerman/coleman/campstove/CampStove/IMG_3309.jpg

metalmagpie
05-27-2014, 11:06 AM
We have a propane 2-burner fold-up camp stove. We use it on long road trips as our primary cooking source. We typically go out for 8-10 weeks at a time. When we bought it, I specifically did not consider Coleman. I think that brand is just built too cheaply. We wound up with one by Century and we just love it. To do simmering, we use a heat diffuser on the smaller burner.

Maybe you can just get an inexpensive heat diffuser and keep using your Coleman. I doubt you will succeed at modifying your burner to burn stably at a lower gas flow.

metalmagpie

Weston Bye
05-27-2014, 11:25 AM
How about...
...a spacer or riser or replacement grate to lift the pot or pan higher above the burner. this would allow some surrounding air to dilute the hot gases before they reach the bottom of the pot. No permanent alteration (with possible unintended consequences) made to the stove.

Jon Heron
05-27-2014, 02:33 PM
136$ for 1 burner stove ain't cheap. In addition it uses liquid fuel. Not my favorite. Pass.

You get what you pay for :)
It depends on what kind of camping your doing too I guess, LPG is NFG for any kind of remote camping where you have to carry your gear...
In any event those Dragonflys are the best bang for your buck IMO and no steel bottles of propane are needed, One aluminum bottle (which can be used for the lifetime of the stove) full of gas, diesel, kerosene or white gas will last you a good number of days cooking for 2 people.
It sounds like your running a restaurant camdigger! :)
Cheers,
Jon

jlevie
05-27-2014, 03:28 PM
I've had experience with several Coleman two burner stoves over the years. None of the propane units worked nearly as well as the old school liquid fuel stoves that I've had or still have. My Coleman lanterns are also all liquid fuel. It is awful nice just to be able to top up the tank instead of having to get new cylinders. As far as I can tell, Coleman fuel seems to have an infinite storage life.

Bob Fisher
05-27-2014, 09:04 PM
I've had Coleman fuel since the great blackout. When was that again? The fuel seems to be OK, but I have doubts about the can.As an aside, during the blackout our little local hardware store, a family owned Ture Value franchise, kept on functioning with flashlights and notepads and a cash only basis. Bought 3 gallon cans. Still have two. Bob.

kendall
05-27-2014, 09:26 PM
136$ for 1 burner stove ain't cheap. In addition it uses liquid fuel. Not my favorite. Pass.

Liquid fuel is usually number one requirement for me. I have an optimus 8r I bought used in 1976, it's never failed me. Gasoline or other liquid fuel is available nearly anywhere, propane etc isn't, and unless you buy the regulator and hose to use a 20lb tank, you'll easily spend well over $50 a week to cook with the one pounders.


Holy smokin' puppy poop!, just looked up the price on a a new one,now called the hiker instead of the 8r, still almost identical though $179 on sale from $200!!

dp
05-27-2014, 11:00 PM
Here's a couple hard core collector's sites:

http://tgmarsh.faculty.noctrl.edu/ (Terry sent me a nice little repair kit for my Optimus)
http://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/ <-- These people are serious about Coleman!
http://lampguild.org/ (I host this site)

And a quick little project I did with my Optimus stove.
http://metalworkingathome.com/?p=241

darryl
05-28-2014, 01:22 AM
I've been looking over this whole issue of portable stoves again, and wanted to review the fuel types, pros and cons. I came back to propane again as my choice, so this is just a confirmation that for me it's the right way to go. I have backpacked with a commercially made propane stove and didn't have a problem carrying the supposedly 'heavy' tanks- I actually carried two on a one week trek and didn't regret it. The stove itself was a sort of clumsy affair, and if I do embark on building one it will be more compact and easier to use.

Several years ago I built a backpack which had a stove and a tent heater built in. I quit using it because of the liability issues regarding transporting it in a vehicle (usually someone else's) . All the hardware was homemade- the tanks themselves, all the valves, a regulator, the burners, even the flexible hoses connecting the tanks to the regulator. I pulled it out of the closet tonite to re-aquaint myself with the details of it, thinking that maybe I'd scrounge the burner to use in the new project, or at least see if I could improve on the design for the new iteration of it. The first design item will be dispensing with the idea of home made tanks, and simply going with the 'fat boy' standard 16 oz tank.

I think what I'm going to do is choose the three main things that I'd be putting on the stove- a pot, a frying pan, and a coffee pot, then build the stove to mate well with only this trio of cookware. It should end up more compact and probably more efficient as well. The entire burner assembly would fit inside the pot, then the frying pan goes in, then the coffee pot, the required utensils, then the lid- one compact package. A custom strap would keep it together and allow for it to attach to a backpack conveniently. Could I also keep one propane bottle inside it- hmm, I think it would then get too large.

I like the idea of the plug n play, like the electric frying pan or electric coffee pot- maybe there could be a propane version. Hook up a hose to the appliance and the propane bottle, deploy some feet so it doesn't set directly on the picnic table, fire it up and use. No separate stove. Hmm

jim davies
06-17-2014, 02:17 AM
I've given up on Coleman whether gas or propane. Now I use the butane burner found in every asian food store. High quality and cheap, especially when on sale. About $26 and the fuel is cheap and usually on sale at the same asian food stores. 1 can lasts a long time. Bring along something for a wind screen when using outside.

gcude
06-17-2014, 02:51 AM
As far as I can tell, Coleman fuel seems to have an infinite storage life.

When I checked a couple years ago, Coleman rated it at 5 years in sealed can for best use.

alanganes
06-17-2014, 06:49 AM
I've been looking over this whole issue of portable stoves again, and wanted to review the fuel types, pros and cons. I came back to propane again as my choice, so this is just a confirmation that for me it's the right way to go. I have backpacked with a commercially made propane stove and didn't have a problem carrying the supposedly 'heavy' tanks- I actually carried two on a one week trek and didn't regret it. The stove itself was a sort of clumsy affair, and if I do embark on building one it will be more compact and easier to use.

Several years ago I built a backpack which had a stove and a tent heater built in. I quit using it because of the liability issues regarding transporting it in a vehicle (usually someone else's) . All the hardware was homemade- the tanks themselves, all the valves, a regulator, the burners, even the flexible hoses connecting the tanks to the regulator. I pulled it out of the closet tonite to re-aquaint myself with the details of it, thinking that maybe I'd scrounge the burner to use in the new project, or at least see if I could improve on the design for the new iteration of it. The first design item will be dispensing with the idea of home made tanks, and simply going with the 'fat boy' standard 16 oz tank.

I think what I'm going to do is choose the three main things that I'd be putting on the stove- a pot, a frying pan, and a coffee pot, then build the stove to mate well with only this trio of cookware. It should end up more compact and probably more efficient as well. The entire burner assembly would fit inside the pot, then the frying pan goes in, then the coffee pot, the required utensils, then the lid- one compact package. A custom strap would keep it together and allow for it to attach to a backpack conveniently. Could I also keep one propane bottle inside it- hmm, I think it would then get too large.

I like the idea of the plug n play, like the electric frying pan or electric coffee pot- maybe there could be a propane version. Hook up a hose to the appliance and the propane bottle, deploy some feet so it doesn't set directly on the picnic table, fire it up and use. No separate stove. Hmm

Do you have any pictures of your home built stove? It'd be cool to see it. I've toyed with this idea as well, there are so many possibilities. I'm always looking for ideas!