I’m an electronics engineer in Colorado having lived here for over 20 years. I was born and raised in the “big city” of Chicago not far from Midway Airport. Some of my friends from back there couldn’t understand why I’d prefer to live in Colorado over Chicago, with all of the big city’s museums and variety of food, etc, but I tell them that Colorado just suits me.

My blog came to be named Sklcolorado because, I was previously at another blog, but when it shut down I needed to move fast and put it somewhere else. So, I just picked a name which is basically who I am (SKL) and where I live. Some of the older posts are missing slide shows which were lost during the transition. Maybe one day I’ll fix those.

I enjoy reading/learning politics, economics, history and religion. My favorite activities are playing music, woodworking, building kayaks and canoes, hunting, kayaking, backpacking and fishing.

I began playing guitar at age 9 and trumpet at age 13. Though I played guitar, trumpet and cello my first year in high school, the next years only involved trumpet. I enjoyed playing trumpet so much, yes . . . truely a joy, that I played about 4 hours a day my sophmore and junior years. Later in life I rekindled my music interest by writing songs. I bought some recording equipment and sang and played guitar, etc. After that I learned to play mandolin (which I also love), banjo (the weirdest instrument, sheesh), and concertina. I also built a harp and like to goof around with it. Oddly, perhaps, I don’t care to listen to music that much, but much prefer to play.

I started backpacking regularly when my second son was four years old and the oldest was six. When the youngest reached four I began taking him as well. With the right attitude and planning it can be a lot of fun backpacking with little kids. Over the years we’ve had a lot of memorable trips.

I think of my blog as part life history, and even use it as a reference when I need to remember something about a trip. And, as part informational to others who enjoy the same interests, and partially to motivate myself as I get older.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.


6 comments on “About

  1. Andrew Cole says:

    Hi Steve,

    This is Andrew; we met over our wooden boats on Twin Lakes a couple of weekends ago. Your Mill Creek kayak inspired me to start a new build. While I was initially going to build the Mill Creek double, I have shifted gears and will be building a new sailing dinghy to take the whole family out on Twin Lakes.

    I am wondering if you were able to find a marine plywood distributor in Colorado and if not, where you ordered your Okoume. I am also wondering if you could pass along the name of the place where you bought the cedar planks for your Mill Creek hybrid.

    I hope to see you and your beautiful boat gracing our home waters again sometime. Or perhaps we’ll meet on the Green in some not too distant spring.




  2. Myong Kang says:

    Hi, I read your article on M1950 stove. It seems you are an expert and engineer. I am a novice and just like hiking. Now I am completely at a loss. Could you help me?

    I bought a brand new M1950 Fiesta 1981 from ebay last week. What a disappointment! Just like you said, I “shut it off and discovered that the fuel kept coming out.” unless I opens pump valve. It’s getting dangerous.

    your remedy is get a O-ring. You said, “a fuel-resistant O-ring of the right size and inserted into the fuel needle will work.”

    Could you help me on the following?

    (1) size of o-ring
    (2) how to get a fuel-resistant O-ring; Any seller you know of.

    Are you referring this part: M1950 Fuel Tube Gasket

    I am sorry to bother you. I know I am a stranger but I desperately need a help from someone like you.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    my email address is myong.kang@gmail.com. I live in Virginia.


    • sklcolorado says:

      It’s no problem Myong, you can message me any time. I have helped out people whom I don’t from all over. Yes, the gasket you linked to in your message is the correct one. I’ve bought a handful of those from Old Coleman Parts, and used several of them already and they work well. They don’t cost very much, so shipping may be more expensive than the gasket. Depending on the age of the other gaskets on your stove (cap gasket and NRV gasket), you may want to buy those as well so you don’t pay the same shipping again for another small part. You can buy them as a set: http://www.oldcolemanparts.com/product.php?productid=3256&cat=&page=1 or individually, I believe. I’m not sure you need the others right now, since it sounds like you were able to generate good pressure with the pump/tank. I have tried actual Viton o-rings, but they don’t work as well as the specially cut gaskets from Old Coleman Parts. Let me know if you have more questions or need additional advice and, of course . . . on your progress.


  3. Myong Kang says:

    Dear sklcolorado,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I’ll do my best not to impinge on your time. I bought a new M1950 because I was inspired by your blog, which I tell below.

    So is it true that the valve wheel will completely shut off if a new M1950 Fuel Tube Gasket is installed? Sorry for asking one more time because I dread embarking on something I don’t know well.

    Two questions:
    Again I’m ignorant. Many comments on the Web say buy a Vitron ring because it is more fuel and temperature resistant. But I’ll follow your advice. Is the part from Old Coleman Parts good enough?
    Is there any pitfall you want me to avoid when I dismantle the stove? A thick sealant was pasted on the connection (thread) between the pipe and tank.

    Here is a little story. I was enamored with the M1950 a guy used on Shenandoah hiking trails. So I bought a used M1950 made by Coleman in 1951 two years ago. It did not work. I think it had the pump problem. The fuel (flare) came out of the pump and the plastic wheel got charred. So I said to myself that someday I’ll fix it. Only recently I came across your blog that inspired me again to go back to M1950. I thought I would not have any headache if I bought a better M1950. Now I have 2 non-working M1950s. I am wondering whether my liking old stuff gets me into a mess and I should have bought a MSR stove. But to me the old stoves are charming!

    Thank you again.

    Best regards,



    • sklcolorado says:

      Hi Myong. Yes. With a new gasket the stove will completely turn off. Removing the entire valve assembly is not a pleasant task, at first, but if fuel leaks when the stove is turned off, then it needs to be done. When the stove was first developed in 1951, I do not believe that Viton was invented, yet (1957 I think). So which material was used? Probably Buna-N, but I don’t know for sure. In any case, when I asked Mike at Old Coleman Parts, he believed that the gasket in our discussion was made from Viton. While many people like Viton, it does have one drawback. It doesn’t seal as well in cold temperatures as other materials. I will eventually perform another write-up on the dual set of O-rings used on newer Coleman stoves. I believe that one is Viton and the other is an O-ring which seals well at cold temperatures. The one from Old Coleman Parts is a good one. Concerning the sealant, I asked a Coleman Repairman in California about this. He told me that Coleman told him to use Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket Sealant Liquid, which I bought at the local NAPA Auto Parts store. Concerning disassembly, I suggest using tools shown in my blog. The rubber strap wrench can be found at Sears and maybe a hardware store. I did this once without a strap wrench, on a 1941, 520 stove with my son, so maybe you could have a friend hold the tank instead of buying the strap wrench. Before you remove the valve, take a photo (actually many photos of everything) of the threads so you can have a good idea when the valve is in the same place when re-installing. Be sure not to remove the valve stem from the valve assembly. If you do, you could damage the valve when applying force with the wrench on the valve body. I agree. There is something about some of these older stoves that are charming and worth the effort to make work once again. Once you remove the valve we can talk again. Also, we can talk about the 1951 Coleman pump when you are ready.


  4. Myong Kang says:

    Dear Sklcolorado,

    Whoa, you are so knowledgeable! Thank you again.

    Yesterday (before your reply), I tried to disassemble the valve assembly from the tank after rereading your M-1950 Cooking Stove page multiple times.

    I have already met an obstacle: I could not turn the valve assembly with a wrench because of the thick brownish thread sealant applied. And I’m already discouraged.

    Three quick questions

    Right now my biggest problem is how to disengage the valve assembly from the fuel tank. Any idea on how to remove the thread sealant?

    You recommended I should not remove the valve stem. Is the valve stem the piece that is connected to the plastic valve wheel while meeting the vertical valve body with 90 deg angle? (I tried to remove it but I couldn’t. I’m glad I stopped.)

    Is the Sealant Liquid you mentioned for sealing the thread when the valve is re-attached to the fuel tank? How about copper grease which my auto-mechanic used for a new oxygen sensor?

    Your advice is greatly appreciated. (I really want to save my two M1950 stoves.)

    Thank you.


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