Refurbishing wood cook stoves

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tiffer, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. tiffer

    tiffer Member

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    hey bearkiller
    that answers a lot of questions! But when you say holds the fire well, are you referring to "not heating hour home in the summer" or does it refer to the fire lasting longer? And would a Pioneer Maid heat an 1800 sq.ft 2-story home? I think we've figured out where to put in our house, do you know exactly the clearance from the wall? Could I tile up the wall w/ the same ceramic tile as my floor and that would be "better fire-proof"? And do you think we could install the pipe etc. ourselves or do you suggest getting a professional?
     
  2. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    First of all I doubt any cookstove has a firebox big enough to heat a 1800sq ft home. That isn't what a range is designed to do. If you want to cook on it buy a range, if you want to heat with it buy a heating stove. To a point yes a welder can make parts. Cast parts are difficult to weld and the welds often don't hold. That's the bad news. The good news is there are stove salvage yards that buy broken stoves and then sell the good parts from them.

    A Google or altavista search should turn up lots of resources for you. Thanks to the internet buying old stuff and keeping it operational is no longer a difficult thing to do. I'm currently restoring a late 1800's vintage pot belly stove, and it will be used to heat my next home. It came from an old frieght shed that was accross the street from my current home. It even has "New York Central Rail Road" cast into it. If my next house is small, I'll probably restore another early 1900's vintage Magic Chef gas range to cook on. If it's a big house then I'll go with a wood gas combination.


    Here's a link to a place I've bought antique gas range parts from. They are good people and give good service.

    http://www.antiquestoves.com/


    I'll just sign this post;
    Woods, the semi obsolesant technologist
     

  3. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and let me add.

    I know where there is one range being used as a flower box.

    Also, last summer I missed an Home Comfort range in the ammount of time it took me to drive three block to get help loading it. By the time I got back, there was an antique dealer loading it onto his lift gate truck. Someone had actually put a usable stove on the curb as garbage.

    Patience is a real virtue when you have a heart for old technology, but, have a working stiffs wallet to work with.

    Maybe you should put an add in the paper that you'd like to have one.
     
  4. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    You can often find the newer stoves in the classified papers for less than half the Lehmans price. Most of these will not need any work, except for installation.

    Yes a GOOD welder can fabricate new parts if they have the old rusty, cracked part for a pattern. Not all welders can. I needed some cast iron welded and could not find anyone locally that was willing to try. My dad had my mom ship his welding stuff up so he could do it himself. Be sure you have a capable welder before you buy a stove needing this work.

    Fabricating missing parts is a bit more tricky. How are you supposed to know what it is if you don't have one? Even if you know through pictures what you need, it takes precise engineering skills, which I lack along with most of the population out here in Podunk.

    Cleaning and refurbishing on old stove....Complete dismantling. Removing bolts that don't want to be removed. Lots of scrubbing with steel wool to get the rust off. Taking inventory of what is missing or needs replacing. Fabricating and replacing those parts. Reassembly. If it is a damaged fancy one, you may want to rechrome parts. I like the polished surface, so a rusty pitted one would need to be machined.

    Engine paint can be used on stoves, but the colors are limited. There is also Stoveblack. What my grandmas used was bacon grease and seasoned their stoves just like their cast iron cookware.

    I was in the same dilemna as you last year. My choice was a rusted, corroded chipped antique POS or for $50 more, an eBay 15 year old Enterprise stove I could drive to Canada to pick up. I got the Enterprise. I paid a little over $300, stoves like that sell for about $1,000 from dealers. It was in perfect shape until my DH goosed the engine and dumped it on its face chipping the enamel. Now it is worth what I paid. After I brought it home, the classified ads had a 3 year old Pioneer Maid for $500. Patience is a virtue!

    Personally, I don't like airtight stoves. I really don't have a problem regulating heat or keeping a fire in a breathing stove with draft and 2 dampers. Maybe that is from years of practice and airtight is just a new-fangled concept or I don't really know what it means. I just know when I had airtight stoves, I left the doors ajar most of the time.

    A wood cookstove is a nice supplemental heat. Depending on your climate, housing insulation and location of the stove, it is doubtfull you can use it for the sole surce of heat. If you can, you need to learn how to draft your house for heat distribution. After making that statement, I will say that yes, I can heat my house with my wood cookstove. It is a 1200sq supergoodcents manufactured home in a mild climate. I can heat my house with a kero lamp or feed my kids sugar.
     
  5. goodlifefarmer

    goodlifefarmer Member

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    Try barnstable stove shop in barnstable mass. If he don't have it you don't need it. # 508-362-9913
     
  6. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    tiffer,

    What I mean by "holding the fire well" is that I can set the draft controls for a 350 F oven and the firebox is big enough to hold plenty of wood in one load and the draft controls effective enough that the fire burns at that stable temp for long periods of time. Summers here are way too hot to cook with the cookstove indoors. I switch to an old Gaffers and Sattler gas stove (with two burners wood) that I converted to propane.


    As far as heating your home, mine is 1350 SF on two floors and I often have to keep windows open. Mind you winter temps here are not very cold (20's and 30's.) But the manufacturer claims it is adequet for 2000 SF and they build the Pioneer Maid in Aylmer Ontario, so that should give you some idea. When cooking and using the oven I keep the oven door closed, but when done cooking and it is cold I'll open the oven door.

    The other trick to getting the most out of the stove is to use the Stirling Cycle stovetop fan. That little gem is pretty amazing.

    As for tiling walls for heat control, that goes back to the issue of the substrate. If you want to tile on sheetrock nailed to wood studs, then the answer is NO, not adequet. If you build an airgap firewall and tile that, the answer is it is so effective there is no need to tile other than esthetics.

    In point of fact that sheetrocked wall gets very warm and the studs in the wall also get very warm. It gets warm enough that building inspection will red tag it, but in truth I've never seen any real problems. But you ARE increasing the risk of a fire by heating up the wood. Considering the potential catastrophic loss, I'd opt for the safer airgap firewall. Besides it is quick and easy to build.

    And lastly, if you are talking about plumbing in the heat exchanger, it is not hard to do, but if you know nothing about plumbing... I can explain what you need to do if you want.

    bearkiller
     
  7. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    hey, how do they clean cast iron engine blocks, a hot dip into chemicals!(if you can find a HOTtank big enough, you could dip the stove, then it will come out sqeaky clean! litteraly!)
     
  8. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    I know you've seen this, but not the discussion about fixing it up,

    From another post, with updated image, showing veggies grilling on griddle, beans and veggie dogs in the pot. We love our cookstove.

    Alex

     
  9. tiffer

    tiffer Member

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    Thanks again everyone!

    I must admit, I'm still not sure what to do. We have a kitchen, dining, living combo and it seems impossible to find a place to put the stove (much less decide which one to get). If we put it inbetween kitchen and dining (like Alex), the pipe would go up into my boys' room---obviously not feasible. So we could put it on a wall (only after we take our pantry cabinet out), but we'd have to build a fire wall and I'm not sure if it would b.e in the way of our table. (I have a 3 and 1 yo and I don't want them to get burned) So then there's a space in my laundry room (after we completely tear out half of a wall-long counter) but it would sit right under our fuse box...so not able to build fire wall.

    Thanks again everyone. I guess if I can't find a place to put it....it won't matter which one I get.

    I think, like most of you have said, is patience is a virtue.

    tiffer
     
  10. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    If you use the proper 'A' vent then you only need one inch to combustibles. We just put in a Selkirk A vent chimney for our new Blaze King, the Selkirk chimney we used has one-and-one-half-inch thick insulation. These chimneys are stainless steel inside and out.

    [​IMG]
    Thimble at Second Floor and Hidden 'A' Vent Support Attached to Floor Joist -- in Master Bedroom -- This is our New Flue for our Blaze King.

    [​IMG]
    This Is the New 'A' Vent Outside, The Old 'A' Vent on the Other Side of the Cabin Roof is Similar -- the Other One (not shown) is for Katie II. It doesn't look like it here, but it does extend two feet above the peak of the roof -- according to Code, and the manufacture's installation instructions.

    btw Nancy made me put up a scaffold AND hire two young men to help me get this in place. You know, I could have done it fine, she said something about me not being 25 anymore -- I didn't know that -- and something about not enough insurance. Oh well, really, I could have done it fine . . . well, at least they did speed things along.

    Good Luck, and I guess whoever puts it up should be careful.

    Alex
     
  11. Abe R Crombie

    Abe R Crombie Well-Known Member

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    Tiles work great,but you need to have at least 1 inch air space behind the tiles and from the floor,allows air flow and cooling.I used a piece 4x5 foot duro-rock which is basically concrete sheet(most hardware places should have it in various sizes) mounted it to the wall with pieces of 1/2 inch copper pipe cut 1 inch long (used 1/2 inch copper because I had a bunch of pieces around)set perpendicular to the wall and washer on both ends to keep it from going through the wall,screw nailed through the duro-rock into the copper spacers(pipe) and into the wall studs.I used six spacers 3 top 3 bottom,and applied the tiles.Could do tiles first allowing for the spacers and screws to go through at the grout lines.Hope this helps,
    ARC
     
  12. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Have you seen a "Baker's Choice" stove? They're pretty compact. Cheap too for a new one compared to others...