A few months ago I purchased an old Optimus 8r stove to use for winter backpacking trips. Its a white gas stove which should’ve meant better cold weather performance. Unfortunately the one I bought off eBay was in pretty rough shape. The case was badly dinged up, there was quite a bit of soot and gunk on the stove jet and burner and it was difficult to light and didnt seem to run well at full capacity. I would get more yellow orange flames and flame tips than a good hot blue burn.
Here is what it looked like when I first received it.
Based on the case of the stove, the sticker, the key to the burner and a few other details I think this is an Optimus from roughly the 1970s-80s sometime.
The first thing I did was to take the stove apart and soak all of the brass parts and the heat shield in vinegar for about 20 minutes. The acid in the vinegar eats away at all of the grime and gunk. Once it was done soaking I went to work scrubbing it with a stiff nylon brush to clean everything up. Then I re-assembled the stove piece by piece. There are some great resources for these stoves online. The two worth mentioning are www.classiccampstoves.com/forums and BernieDawgs YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/h2ojnky .
Once I had the stove reassembled it was down to the case. I tried to do this myself, the paint came off easy in some parts but still had some bad pitting in spots and I wasnt satisfied with my crappy attempt at paint job. So I took it in to someone who had a small powder coat and sandblasting setup. I then purchased a replica decal for the stove, one thats not actually period appropriate for the piece on eBay and reassembled everything. This is what the final product looked like.