Introduction: Coleman Stove (case) Refurbished

About: just a math teacher, working on fun projects to keep my sanity.

This is a Coleman 425. I love coleman products, and for a $10 find I wanted to add this stove to my camping gear. It needed a bit of TLC so I decided to do just that. In the steps to follow I'll try and show you my attempt to bring an old stove new life.
I think I may try to restore it in a couple parts, so this will be all about the case. I haven't seen to many instructables on this kind of topic so hopefully my project can help inspire others.

Step 1: Disassembly

The stove sat on a table next to a shed for quite some time and it had layers of both dirt and rust. So I figured my best bet would be to take the stove apart and clean all the parts separately.
This particular model has a removable grill so I took that out.
Then if you flip the stove up you will see two holes in the bottom of the stove which allow you access to the nuts holding the burners on. I took these off with an 11mm socket. Then put the stove back down and look at the back, you'll find one more screw you'll need to unscrew to completely free the burner assembly.
If you look at the third picture, there is a piece of metal in which the burners were actually attached to in the stove. To remove this there are two screws on the left and right side of the stove that needs to be removed.

At this point, all the innards have been removed and set aside. All that remains is the case body. Which is what we will focus on next.

Step 2: De-rusting the Case

I have had success removing rust in the past with just vinegar. Just soaking the object in vinegar. This however was a tricky task as I did not have a container large enough for the stove body. So I got a cardboard box that was just the perfect size and put a thick garbage bag inside. I also put the box inside a second bag as well incase the first one leaked.

I got six gallons of distilled white vinegar, just the cheap stuff, and soaked the case overnight. You'll notice in the pictures the pieces of cloth over the feet, I used those to keep the feet moist as there was barely enough vinegar to keep them covered. Probably a bit more vinegar was in order, but I dealt with what I had.

After soaking overnight I took it out and brushed the rust with a wire brush, which removed quite a bit of rust. I noticed it was also removing quite a bit of paint. Since I was going to be repainting it anyway I decided to leave it soak another night to try and get more paint and rust off.

Step 3: Scrubbing

I have learned that it is important to clean the metal well after soaking in vinegar. If you don't, it will start to rerust rather quickly. Baking soda is what you want to cancel the acidic process of the vinegar.

I took the stove out and first scrubbed it with the wire brush again to remove loose paint and rust. A toothbrush helped get into the nooks and crannies. Then I took a scrubby pad, water, and baking soda and cleaned off the surface of the case.

Just for good measure I cleaned the whole thing over again with some simple green.

Step 4: Priming

So at the store I wanted to buy two cans of the brown primer because it's supposed to be better at stopping rust. But they only had one so I bought it and a can of the white rust inhibitor from Rustoleum. A quarter way through the bottle of brown paint, it stopped spraying. So I only sprayed most of the stove box in brown and just went over all the parts with the white primer.
So if I had the chance I would have used that brown primer for everything, but alas I settled for using the white.

Step 5: Actually Painting

So I let the primer dry for a few hours, at least nice and dry to the touch. And I used a can and a quarter of the Rustoleum Hunter Green paint.
I started off on the table, but soon moved to hanging the box off the tree so I could get an even coat all around.

Step 6: The Decals

I'm sure you noticed that I took off the decals from the stove. Obviously so I didn't paint over them. I wanted to try and reuse them some how so this is what I came up with.

I stuck them both to a sheet of paper, and put it in my copy machine. I had some sticker paper left from another project, so I copied them to new sticker paper.

I used an ink jet (all I have) so I let the ink dry for about a half hour. Then I sprayed the whole thing with spar urethane (just something I happen to have on hand) hoping that it would help protect the ink. I don't really know how much it will help, but I wanted to try anyway.

I let the urethane dry for a few hours and cut them out.

Step 7: Put It Back Together

I put the lid back on, the burners back in. I also cleaned up the grill with some 0000 steal wool, it shined up nicely. And I put my new decals on. The placement may not be perfect, and they are a tad darker because of the urethane. But it's pretty cool to have the (kinda) original decals, weathering and all.

Step 8: Now for the Rest

This finishes my work on the case of the stove. I have begun working on the gas tank and valves, but I think I'll make that a separate instructable.

So this has been my attempt at refurbishing this old stove so far. I have left the stove open on the back porch in hopes that the paint continues to cure. I hope to post updates about how well the paint job holds up as well as keeping the rust off.

Thanks for taking the time to view my project. I hope this has helped to inspire others to try and bring back their own equipment from the depths of a rusty shelf. Coleman camping equipment can last a lifetime, just takes a bit of time and elbow grease. Happy camping!