Loc: Portland, OR
Which ads where?
That description seems misleading or inaccurate. Unless they've added a pump to the tank, in which case it isn't really a 123 anymore, but a new model.
I do recall the first backpack I ever took, where my hiking partner brought along a brand new Svea 123 and the instructions for lighting it. (He'd never lit it before - ever!) If I recall correctly, the instructions insisted that the tank could be warmed between your hands to pressurize it, and warned against using white gas to do this, as this was dangerous! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
As you may guess, we spent a long time futilely warming it in our cold hands and cursing it a blue streak. Later, we learned that no one, but no one ever used this insane method.
Sounds like advertising hype to me. "Our stove uses a pump to pressurize the fuel." (The pressure moves the fuel down the line from the remote bottle to fill the priming cup; you still have to prime the vaporizing tube, though.) "Our stove is self-pressurizing." (You fill the priming cup manually, and the heat from priming the vaporizing tube also pressurizes the attached tank below the priming cup.)
If you don't want to change the product, change the claim. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
(By the way, if I ever need another white gas stove, it will be a Svea. They're like Oreos: once you get it right, there's no reason to mess with it. Ever. But they will anyhow.)
Loc: Yumbo, Valle Dept. Colombia
Wasn´t it Colin Fletcher who said some thing about urinating on it? Anyway thanks for the responses. I thought maybe I was missing something. As to the advertising it was one of the first that came up on a google search, Marine something I think. That advertising must be based on either Colin´s or the warm hands approach.
Actually, I think Colin said someone wrote to him claiming to have warmed it sufficiently by urinating on it. (I seem to recall some advice from my Dad about not using the kitchen as a toilet.) Fletcher said his preferred method was to light a tea bag wrapper underneath it to warm the fuel tank enough that he could open the valve and let the priming cup fill. He also mentioned carrying a small eyedropper; you unscrewed the lid to the fuel tank (breaking any vapor lock from the last use), got a dropper full out, screwed the lid back on (very important!), squirted the fuel into the priming cup, and lit it. I've done it (15 or 20 years ago, when I had a then-state-of-the-art Svea in my 40 pound weekend pack) - it was a lot simpler to do than to describe.
Next time I see the Scout I gave mine to, I may have to mug him and get it back. (Oh, my wife just reminded me: he grew up to become a Navy SEAL and, as she so delicately put it, "he can break you.")
Lots of ways to prime a Svea. Crack the valve, then close it, warm the base with your hands or a lighter, then re-open the valve. Fuel will dribble down the valve body into the priming indention. I carry a nose spray bottle full of alcohol or camp gas for priming sometimes in hot weather. You can also blow in the fuel filler hole to make fuel come out the valve in a pinch. I've also used a plastic soda straw with my thumb over one end to pull fuel from the tank. The original intent was to use warm hands. The stove can be warmed inside your jacket or parka too. Any temperature differential to get the fuel to expand will work. hand/body warming doesn't work in hot weather or when the tank is low.
I think the "self-pressurizing" description is accurate. Once the stove is primed, heat and vapor back pressure do pressurise the stove tank, much the same way a Coleman Peak I continues to pressurize after you pump it the first time. With the Svea you never had to pump it up....it 'self pressurizes". Otherwise, the Svea wouldn't continue to burn hotter and hotter as pressure builds.
Yeah Dryer knows... You just hold it in your hands to warm the tank and some fuel comes up which you then light. The heat from burning warms the brass valve assemblt and passes he heat into the tank which drives the fuel up into the burner.
Don't knock it till ya try it. Jim P.S. some people made little aftermarket pumps for those who felt the need, but the stoves then overpressurise and don't work as well.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
The little pump (which also came with a replacement cap for the Svea) worked well, but it was only for adding enough pressure to get it primed. You had to remove the Svea's windscreen to get the pump on, so it was less handy than on the Optimus 8R. The 8R was a good stove, too. I remember buying an MSR spark lighter and installing it on the 8R...pretty high-tech!
While we're waxing nostalgic about the Svea (and the 8R), let's not forget the pressure relief valve in the cap, which has been known to shoot a 6-foot flame directly at the user. It never happened to me, but...
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
There have been some discussions of this stove on Trailspace. The description of the stove as "self-pressurising" isn't hype. That is an accurate description of how it works.
I have a Svea 123 I bought in the mid 80's (at least I think that's when I got it, could have been earlier). In any event, mine is the bare stove, without the windshield/pot support.
I primed mine by using fuel, not paste. I also have the pump, which I think was a Svea accessory. The pump was supposed to be for high altitude use, but I used it a couple of times to see how it worked. There's really no need for it unless you are at altitude as far as I could tell.
I also have the Sigg Tourist cookkit that holds the stove. The other version of the stove works for one person; mine is good for a group because the cookkit is so big.
Edited by TomD (09/07/0711:52 PM)
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
We're all talking 'past tense' regarding the Svea 123. You can still buy it brand new and the little pump is an Optimus accessory for the Svea and R-8. I've got a pre 1965 Svea (no self cleaning valve, but came with a "pricker"), a Svea 123 (123 has the self cleaning valve), and an R-8 Hunter. The R-8 has exactly the same burner/valve assembly as the 123. The old Svea (not the 123) puts out a third more heat than the 123, probably because there is no self cleaning needle in the generator chamber. If you ever want a Svea, look for the older one...Ebay is a good place. I've never payed more than $30 for a Svea....the R-8 was $5 at a garage sale, in perfect condition! I've reconditioned all these stoves to new, with all accessories, except the booster pumps. They are by far the most dependable stoves in my collection....and I have a pile, old and new.
Regarding the pressure relief valve/factory flame thrower....yes that happens, but usually due to people putting the stove behind a wind shield or by baffling the stove to force more heat output (it doesn't need more!!! The things roar like freight trains). Two things happen, either the pressure relief valve does it's job and shoots out a fire ball, or, the stove base/tank expands into a 'football' shape and the stove springs off the ground! The place I use for parts has stories of all kind of interesting mishaps, involving all makes of stoves.
The only things I know you don't want to do with a Svea is 1. don't shield/baffle it for more heat. 2. Don't let the tank run completely dry...you'll carbonize the cotton mop/wick inside. 3. Don't use it for 2 gallon, chili cook off pots....really heavy pots will break the pot support. (i machined tiny brass rivets for one of mine...you could park a car on it)
My stove is from about 1969 or 70. It never operated correctly with the pump, so I have rarely used it. A few years ago I tried it out and couldn't find the pump thingy and it worked perfectly - go figure. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Portland, OR
The description of the stove as "self-pressurising" isn't hype. That is an accurate description of how it works.
Sure, the stove eventually is self-pressurizing. You needn't tend it constantly to maintain its pressure. Hoever, I still think this description is somewhat misleading. One cannot simply tell the stove "pressurize yourself", it requires your assistance, IOW, priming.
A less misleading description would be "self-maintaining pressure". But that is awkward and does not make very snappy ad copy.
My first 123 was bought in 1976. It did not have the jet cleaner. It just came with a multi tool that had a pricker on it. My gosh that brings back memories. I always poured a little fuel in the cup at the base and lit it. I did have the pump- but it never worked well. My second one had the jet cleaner and think I got it in 1990. It worked great until the jet cleaner jammed. I just tossed it and got a coleman peak 1. I sure did love that peak 1. It never failed. I think I abused it on purpose just to see how much it could take. Finally the bottom rusted real bad and I got scared to use it. Whisperlight led to Sierra Zip led to Alcohol. I got a Snow Peak gigapower just to be like everyone else and I take it on short trips because it is easy to use. I have also done my fair share of fire cooking. I even went through a phase where I carried foil instead of a stove and cooked some fantastic, but heavy stuff like fresh vegetables in butter and herb. Yummy! I love baked beans done in the coals (in foil).
Your first Svea was a...Svea. Your second one was a 123. The jet cleaner was the improvement. My Peak 1 finally failed me early this year after 22 years. The pump finally gave up. So, I pulled out the Svea! Trying to find Peak I parts as I write this.
My SVEA is the original that required me to use the included manual cleaning "needle". That's why I could get it to simmer somewhat. The later models W/ the built in cleaning needle didn't simmer at all.
I have used both the "Mautz Fire Ribbon" paste and white gas to prime my SVEA 123. Lousy way to get 'em pressurized, especially in the winter.
The aluminum pump works well but ya gotta lubricate the innards W Neats Foot Oil onect in awhile to keep the leather gasket soft so it keeps an air seal.
I'd never go back to a paste or gas. Just order a new pump from Campmor. I'll bet they have them.
Eric Oh yeah, Ya gotta have the companion fill cap for the pressurizing pump. Don't over pump it. A full tank requires only about 4 pumps to get it to put gas up against the bottom of the burner plate and back down into the priming indentation in the top of the fuel tank.
Edited by 300winmag (09/08/0707:27 PM)
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Dryer, I think the newer ones are actually the 123R model. Mine is the old style, no self-cleaning jet and is definitely a 123 because it has an elaborate "SVEA 123" name stamped or engraved on the top of the fuel tank along with "Made in Sweden." MIne also has the downward pointing valve stem. The later ones have a horizontal valve stem.
There is a store in Tustin, CA that carries parts for all kinds of stoves. They sell the 123R, self-cleaning, with the pot stand/windscreen and little pot that fits over the top for $96. I think this is what is known as the Climber 123R because it has the pot and windscreen with it.
Mine fits into the Sigg Tourist cookkit which has a big windscreen and pots that stack on top of it. If anyone is all that interested, I will post some pictures. I had some up at one time, but can't find them and the link is broken, so no idea what happened there.
Totally old school, but it is a proven design from the late 1800's and except for the self-cleaning feature, pretty much the same as it was back then. You can be lighter and fancier, but if I was to be stuck somewhere for a long time, this is what I would want.
Back in the 80's, all the huts (at least all the ones I was in) in NZ had a couple of the Primus kerosene versions of these in them-same principle as the white gas versions and just about idiot-proof.
A&H Packstoves 1562 Parkway Loop, Suite A, Tustin, California. 92780 Phone 714-258-2525 Fax 714-258-7077 A&H
I think you are right. I'm wondering if the "R" is the self cleaning identifier. However, my old one (downward angled valve) doesn't say 123 on it. Nicely engraved "Svea" and "Made in Sweden" is there. Somewhere I've got a printed history of these things. Looked for it online yesterday and couldn't find it.
Your Sigg kit is pretty rare. There's a version of it for sale on Ebay right now.
What's really 'cool' is to use some 'Tarn-X' on them and keep them proudly displayed! They look like nautical hardware, all shiny and brassy.
A&H is the place I referenced in an earlier post. When I reconditioned my stoves, the nice lady there knew every last detail and was a great help. I've now got a stash of parts that should keep these stoves going for a couple more generations.
For car camping, these old things are priceless....and as you say, idiot proof. I've backpacked them before but my Nova took over a few year ago when I need big heat and cookfires aren't allowed. These days I do everything possible NOT to need 'big heat'. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I think you are right, the R must be for the newer ones. Apparently when they made that change, they also changed the angle on the valve so it sticks straight out.
Yours must be older than mine if it doesn't have the 123 on it. I looked for other marks and the only other thing on it is "made in Sweden" in tiny letters on the valve stem.
I tried to find more on them online and didn't have any luck either. I did see a few on eBay-a couple had the cookkit. One sold a while back for about $160.
Thanks for the tip on the cleaner; mine could use a polishing.
Here are some more reviews on another site, including some users' tips on starting and maintaining it. Many of them are from people who've owned one of these for 20 or 30 years, so it shows how much people like them.
Tom, I noticed the valves on the 123R and the R-8 Hunter are identical. My R-8 is about the same age as my older model Svea 123 (not R). It appears they simply started putting the R-8 self cleaning valves on the 123's and called them "123R's". Interestingly, "R" -8 and 123 "R" both have self cleaning valves. The only difference I can see in the plumbing is that the R-8 feeds from the side the the Svea 123R from the bottom. Maybe the Swedish word for "self cleaning" begins with "R". <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
What's really slick is that if you take one of the valves apart, the only part that is "consumable" is a carbon valve packing (which is probably a life time part if you leave it alone...I didn't). Everything else is made for cleaning and reassembly. Nothing to wear out....and the packing is good for decades of re-tightening. I replaced all of mine because it was cheap. The filler cap gaskets too. No 'o' rings anywhere.
Tom, reading the review of your link, I'd say folks like their Sveas! I understand. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
As some of you may have noted in prior posts I occasionally lament my decision in boy scouts to sell my old svea many years ago for a "newer cooler" (and long since dead) stove... I've used a whisperlite when not using alcohol for a long time now. I happened by a garage sale in the west end, and there one was. After contemplating it for about 10 seconds, thinking about cleaning out my whisperlite before winter again.... $15 canadian dollars later I own a svea for the first time in 30 years.. Figured I'd have to take it apart too and it'd be a mess.. nope. pour in a little coleman fuel from the whisperlite's fuel bottle, prime it like I remember and away it goes.. she's definately not shiny, but she works perfectly, right down to that roar when warmed up that sounds exactly like a C130 Hercules taxiiing... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Now my question. it came with everything but the jet pricker. since this is a 123 without the self cleaning valve I know waay back in scouts I used to use a jet pricker once in a while to clear the jet. any suggestions on an improvised substititute? I'm contemplating a bit of thin monofiliment if the stove is cold...
Now if only I could find some garage sale Tele boots...
Hey, good for you Phat!! You beat the ebay market by about 300%.
My older Svea has the original pricker but I've chosen to never use it. Reason is, the jet is soft brass and the pricker is hardened piano wire. So, instead I use mono-filament or a little piece of 28ga. copper wire. Both work fine....however, I can only remember doing this once. The things don't get all that dirty. Have fun with your new/old classic stove! I love the C-130 analogy...yer right!