DH and I have come into possession (yipee!!) of an old woodstove. It used to be in my grandparents' cottage, and is quite old. It sat in family garages for about 15 years and was totally rusted. Tonight DH sandblasted it at work, and she's looking good. Now she needs some makeup. Dad says to use stove black when it's hooked up and hot. I've read elsewhere to use lard. Opinions anyone? Also, she has a crack about a 1/16 of an inch in the top plate from the round part you lift out, to the edge where it curves down to the lip around the top. Can we use it like this, or must we have it repaired? Also, the "hourglass" piece between the two removable circles on top has a small hole in the dip where you place the lifter. Must this be repaired for use, and how? Hope someone can adivse us. We're just itching to heat our house with this, and be able to cook without electricity, if necessary. She's a beauty, scrolls and swirls on her everywhere. Probably more than 60 years old.