Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Convert Homestrand 209 to Dual Kerosene (Paraffin) Pressure stove!

There is a lot of ongoing discussion about what galley stove is cheapest, safest, easiest and so on for cruising aboard.  James Baldwin on his boat ATOM  atomvoyages.com thinks that kerosene (Paraffin) is the best all around fuel because it is available everywhere in the developing world outside marinas, is safe and not explosive and much hotter than anything except propane.

He has a project on his site to build a gimballed pressure stove based on the Optimus stove with a stainless steel welded basket.  
http://atomvoyages.com/cys/273-atom-kerosene-stove-installation-and-operating-instructions.html

Welding Plans are here
http://atomvoyages.com/articles/improvement-projects/137-potholder.html

Beautiful job but I wanted something simpler, much cheaper and easier to make.  I came across this very cool idea!

If your boat perhaps came with a Homestrand Alcohol Pressure stove like my boat did you may be in luck!

Here is how I easily in about half an hour, safely and cheaply converted my stainless gimballed Homestrand stove to a dual burner pressure kerosene stove.  One could easily leave one burner alcohol and make one kerosene at no extra cost.  I wanted 2 kerosene burners.

My Homestrand Stove is Model 209 so this is how I did it to my stove.  Your Homestrand will be similar.  This process may work as well with other Alcohol pressure stoves like the Princess stove.

The whole trick to this is in using Optimus pressure stoves or the Butterfly (Optimus clone) pressure stove equivalent!

 These stoves look like this

You can get the all brass Asian Clone Butterfly stove here  
http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/index.php?action=store&item=BrassPressureStove
they give a discount for buying 2 stoves and they have spare parts.

Step 1.  First you disassemble the burners from the Homestrand stove,  They are attached thru the under burner bowl by a single brass nut.  Another connects the burner fuel tube to the tank.. remove that too.  remove both burners if you want a dual burner kerosene stove like I did.

Step 2.  Set Aside the round top pot support and its three legs of the round brass pressure stoves.  This conversion will not ruin your Homestrand stove or these brass stoves and you can use them with these parts in the original fashion if this conversion does not work out for you.

Step 3.  Next unscrew the burner assembly from the Brass stove below the fuel primer cup.without losing the heatproof fiber washer.

Step 4.  Insert the burner down into the Homestrand burner bowl like the alcohol burner and attach to the tank below. Tighten firmly and align filler and pump toward the front.  The brass burner height is below the pot grate and offers no problem. You may find that you need to buy an additional heatproof fiber washer to go over the underside where it joins the tank.  Mine is working okay without it.  I have resources for Optimus and clone parts are available at that link above.

Step 5.  You may need to make access holes in the front of your galley counter to fill and pump the stoves.  Check that they have room to swing.  If your counter was cut for inserting a propane stove like mine was.. all I needed was to replace the counter top and leave that space open.  A Rubbermaid tub in the bottom holds my pots and pans nicely.

VOILA !  You can now have a gimballed 2 burner nice looking pressure kerosene stove!

Note:  The original alcohol tank will not obstruct the 2 brass stoves.  If you think you may want to convert back you can leave it.. or put all the Homestrand parts into a tight box and seal it up for future reversal of this process.

Another Note:  you can purchase just the burners, but I quickly learned  that the stove depends on heat from the burner to maintain pressure and vapor in the tank.  Enough heat gets down for it to work with Alcohol but not enough for the Kerosene in the Homestrand tank.  It does work with the integral Optimus type tank attached to the burner.

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