Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Prop for a Campstove Propane Bottle

An acquaintance brought by an elderly Coleman propane camp stove the other day. The stove was in excellent working condition, but it was missing the prop to hold a propane bottle up at an angle. He asked if I could come up with a replacement prop.

The prop in the picture on the stove's cardboard box was formed from steel wire. Forming steel wire substantial enough for such a prop is a tricky business that's a lot more difficult to do well than it may look. I gave it some thought, and found a way to go about it that turned out nicely. A rummage through my stash of sheet metal turned up just the thing.

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The old parking spot sign pictured below is 1/8" thick aluminum, 4" wide by 16" long. Half of it would do for a prop.

(Back in the eighties, the big corporation I was working for went on a layoff binge. I snagged R. Gibbins' discarded parking spot sign before they turfed me out too.)

I've worked with this stuff before, and it's remarkably easy to cut and file. As a layout aid, I just apply masking tape wherever I need to mark lines. A black ballpoint pen gives highly visible lines with precision that's quite adequate for this sort of work.

Here's what I came up with after a bit of fairly easy work.

And here it is doing its job.

And it fits inside the stove for transport.

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