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Converting an M1937 Fire Unit to Propane
Supplies and Tools (Part 4)

By David Jarvela

Click on the thumbnail for a larger view of each photograph.

The converted M1937 fire unit in operation at Hockey Booster's Golf Tournament
The converted M1937 fire unit in operation at a Hockey Booster's Golf Tournament.

You need the following items to proceed with the conversion (see bellow for standard abbreviations): 

  • One 3/8" fem. thd. npt AGA certified needle valve

  • One 3/8"x1/4" blk. reducing coupling

  • One 3/8"x1-1/4" long blk. nipple

  • One-1/4" blk. close nipple

  • One-1/4" blk. coupling

  • One-1/4" blk. plug

  • One piece-1/2" type M copper tubing cut to the length of the 1/4" coupling (one of mine was 13/16" and the other was 7/8" long)

  • Four 1" outside diameter flat washers (two to slide over the 1/4" close nipple, and two to slide over the threads on the orifice)

  • One-1/4" npt male thd. brass gas orifice with hole sized to a #57 numbered drill bit

  • Small can or tube of pipe thread compound such as La-Co Slic-tite or Rector Seal (my personal preference is Slic-tite)

  • One high pressure L.P. regulator with P.O.L. fitting (this will be described later on)

  • One-hose from regulator to needle valve

  • One-3/8" npt. male thd. x1/4" inverted flare adapter to attach hose to needle valve. 

You may purchase these items from your local hardware store, plumbing supplier and propane dealer. You may have to use a combination of vendors depending on what they stock. To do the work you will need:

  • Two 6" or 8" adjustable wrenches

  • Large slotted screwdriver

  • 6" or 10" pipe wrench

  • Small vise

Abbreviations used in this article

Abbreviation Meaning
fem. female
thd. thread
npt. national pipe thread
AGA. American Gas Association
blk. black (this is standard black pipe and fittings as opposed to galvanized. Code generally does not allow galvanized pipe or fittings on gas systems.)
type M copper standard copper tubing. The M signifies the thickness of the tubing wall.
L.P. liquefied petroleum gas (in other words, propane)

<<= Previous | Next =>>


  1. Converting an M1937 Fire Unit to Propane

  2. Fire Unit Conversion

  3. BTU Rating of the Burners

  4. Supplies and Tools

  5. Conversion Procedure

  6. Flame and Pressure Control

  7. Safety Tests

  8. Cooking with the propane burners

David Jarvela is a native of White Pine, Mich. He currently lives in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. Questions or comments? E-mail him at:

Copyright 2000 by David Jarvela. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

October 2000

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