Wood Stove Assembly and Set Up

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Pony, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I tried asking, and I tried searching, but I am totally stumped.

    HELP! (Please?)

    We picked up a 1930's style cream-n-green wood cook stove. Stamped on to the firebox plate is "Qualified Rge Co. Belleville, IL." I have NO other info on it, and absolutely NO clue as to how to set it up, make sure all the pieces are there, and use it.

    I've Google'd, I've searched wood cook stove web sites, but I need some directions for a TOTALLY IGNORANT NOVICE to follow.

    Any helpful information is most gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Pony!
     
  2. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    Here is the online version of the manual to my Todd stove-- probably not much help, but it does show how the grates and dampers are on this stove and most cook stoves basically have the same grate concept (shaker grates) I think. (p. 6-8 should be somewhat helpful) http://www.buffaloimport.com/manual.html

    It should have a lever or knob that directs the flame up the flue or around the oven -- that's how you regulate the temp. This stove has 2 dampers-- one on the top back of the stove and one on the side. Basically you need to look and make sure that the firebox isn't cracked, has the grates in place and they're not burnt through, make sure the burner plates fit well and there are no small cracks and check to make sure that the oven chamber itself is not cracked (don't want the flame inside the oven :) ) Wish I could be more help, but I'm not familiar with that stove-- is it on legs, square like an old porcelain sink/cabinet, have a water reservoir etc...? Tried to google it and didn't come up with anything-- have you seen any that look similar??
     

  3. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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  4. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    It's rather similar to this

    [​IMG]

    though not quite as ornate. The water reservoir is enclosed on mine (doesn't have the open space underneath like this picture), and where there are two doors on the left in the picture, mine has only one door which you open to get to what I assume are the firebox and ash pan.

    The Todd Stove manual is certainly a start, and I appreciate the link to Good Time Stoves. I've drooled over their website few times!

    Thanks so much for the input. If anyone comes across something more specific to the Qualified Stove, or has some more input for how I can figure out this cool blessing we have, I'm all ears ... er... eyes. ;)

    Pony!
     
  5. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    Pony, the link above does show FAQ for installation of wood cookstoves, I will see if I see anything on how to use one. Is that what you are looking for? I also didn't see any info on your particular stove, but that one in the pic certainly is pretty. You are blessed!!
     
  6. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    The installation info helps, in addition to the info on how to set it up and see if all the parts are there. And I just plain have NO idea how to make this work. DH tells me it uses coal as well as wood, but he can save the coal for his forge and I'm happy to use wood. (I'd love to find out how to use dried corn cobs, as I've read those were used for fuel during the Depression.)

    Wish mine were as purty as the one in the picture, but it's certainly not ugly -- DEFINITELY a blessing!! Probably a newer model; DH estimates around the 30's, from what the guy who sold it to us said.

    THANKS TO EVERYONE for the help!

    Pony!
     
  7. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    Here's a couple of things I read I how to load the stove and use the dampers. I have always thought using a wood cookstove would be wonderful (once you get the hang of it of course). I used to cook on top of our regular wood stove. I don't see anyone suggesting this, but you could get one of those magnetic wood stove temperature guages and put it on top of one burner so you can see what temp your stove is running at. I had one on my regular stove. Just an idea. Anyway, here is the article:

    All stoves have the same basics, although they may be in different areas on the stove.

    The Firebox: this is usually on the left upper corner, under the cooktop.
    Most, like mine, are loaded from the front, others may be loaded from the left side. To light a fire, place crumpled newspaper in the fire box with kindling over that. Fill the box tightly, but don't compact it so much that air can’t circulate.

    Dampers: There are 2 dampers that you use. They are in different spots on different stoves. The one you're concerned with now, opens the chimney. Mine are on the cooktop, others are a dial or slide on the left side of the stove, and others may be a handle that's turned in the chimney itself. No matter where it is, that must be opened to let the smoke out of the stove. Then somewhere in bottom -front or the bottom- left side of the stove will be an air intake. This can be adjusted to let air into the stove. The less air in, the cooler and slower the fire. Open all the way to start your fire.
    The other damper is to open the oven damper. Keep this closed while lighting your fire. Once the fire is going well, you can open this damper. For my stove, when the oven damper is opened, I can close the chimney damper. Your stove may be the same or you may need to keep both dampers open.

    Once you have your kindling burning well, you can add your log(s).

    Before starting a fire, be sure you know the size logs that fit inside your stove, and make sure that they are well seasoned.

    Cooking area: This is the top of the stove. Those round lids are not burners, like on a conventional stove. Those circles are lids that can be lifted off so that you have access to the inside if the stove enabling you to brush away the accumulation of ash. You cook on the entire stovetop. The hottest area is over the fire (left side) to the coolest (right side). So instead of turning a dial to "lower the heat", you move your pots and pans around.
    On many stoves, like mine, you can now close or partially close the chimney damper and/or air intake, once your fire is going good. You have to play around with them to see which works best for your stove. You want a slow, steady fire.

    The Oven: My oven has a temperature gauge on it. Some models may not, so you may want to use an oven thermometer, bought from a store. Open the oven damper, and close the chimney damper (if you do that on your stove). It will more than likely take about 1 hour for the oven to heat up to proper temperature. You may also need to open the air intake, and/or add more wood or kindling. The oven is used like any other oven, although I find that baking or roasting may take a little longer.
    Now you are ready to cook.

    I like cast iron pans, but steel works well also. Thinner materials will work also, but if the fire is too hot, your food can scorch. Keep the pan more to the right side of the cook top. Again, knowing where to place your pans requires practice, because, obviously, there is no high, medium, and low settings. I also use a metal trivet on the right back corner so I can raise a pan off the stove completely if I want to just keep something warm.

    Remember that the oven is a box (the oven) within a box (the stove). The principal is to get the smoke to circle around the inner box. To keep things working properly, take off those lids on the cooktop. (WHEN NOT IN USE) and brush and scrape around the sides of the oven. Any accumulation of ash will act as insulation to the oven. Under the oven there should be a little door that you scrape and put out the loose ash.

    There will also be a door or drawer under the firebox. This too, will need to be emptied periodically of ash. How often will depend on how much you use the stove, but empty it at least weekly.

    It is not normal for smoke to come out of the stove. If it does smoke, then something is wrong with the draft in the chimney or a crack somewhere in the stove, or if it's around a door, the stove could be warped. You need to watch for this in buying a used stove.

    Those are the basics of cooking on a wood cookstove. I was not brought up cooking like this, so I can tellyou that it just takes practice, trial and error. Cook something really simple the first time. Get that down pat before using the oven.

    As I mentioned, cooking this way slows you down, and the warmth in the area draws people to the stove. We have chairs round the stove so I can be with friends and family while cooking, and I always keep a teakettle is on the back of the stove

    Tips for new Users
    King says that one of the best things new cookstove owners can do is to invest some time in learning how to use the oven bypass damper. “It took us a long time to learn how to use it,” he says. “Make sure you know the controls.”

    When open, the bypass damper allows the exhaust to pass directly from the firebox into the flue when starting and loading the stove. When closed, it forces the hot exhaust across the top of the oven, down the far side and then under the oven into the flue. Smoke-free operation and successful baking both depend on the correct use of the damper.

    Most traditional designs of cookstoves have a lever to lift the plate over the firebox so wood can be loaded from the top. This may be convenient but it often results in smoke leaking into the room. The reason is no mystery: Hot smoke not only wants to rise, it always takes the path of least resistance. By lifting the top plate, an opening more than a square foot in area is created, while the entrance to the flue where the smoke should go is far smaller.

    Even in systems of perfect design, with the chimney running straight up and no elbows in the flue pipe, top loading is likely to produce spillage. Although both the Tettemer-Keetch and Faris households have excellent venting systems, they both recommend against top loading because of the problem of leaking smoke


    I did see a stove on ebay that sounds kind of like yours, but it didn't give a model. I'll see if I can find that again.
     
  8. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    A hundred thousand thanks!!! :dance:

    I may have this assembled this week! ;)

    Pony!
     
  9. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    Have fun Pony, tell us how it goes when you get it fired up! :)
     
  10. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We have had the most exciting success with repairing our cookstove. Our cookstove is just a joy.

    Garage Sale
    We got her in Vancouver for $125 CDN (about $109 USD) at a garage sale, and she has a warming oven, just like yours -- is that ever nice -- warm plates -- hot biscuts -- mmmm . . . .

    "Get it [the woman meant Katie] out of my garage", the woman said.

    "OK," we said.

    And we did.

    Y. Franks
    We spent another $125 CDN fixing her. We have a great shop in Vancouver, Y. Franks Ltd, which has a huge stock of cookstove parts -- grates, lifting levers, top pieces. They had all the parts she needed. Katie now works great. Once you learn to cook on one, they are the best.

    We sealed Katie-the-cookstove with new gaskets, and got a new grate and handle to lift the top to put wood in from the top instead of the front - much easier and bigger wood can be used. She is so nice to start in the morning. She is a 1934 Fawcett.

    [​IMG]
    Katie-II-the-Cooksotve

    Good luck and good cooking!

    Alex