anyone ever work on an old wood stove?

luvinlife offthegrid

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I am very fortunate to have an old wood cook stove in my kitchen that came with the house. A "Jewel" range from Detroit Stove Works. It is currently not hooked up right now due to the chimney being taken down a few years ago. When we do hook it back up, we need to do some work. It is currently draftier than we would like and we can't "shut it down" properly. It's a wonderful old piece that I would love to bake some bread in, but would rather NOT have to worry about burning the house down. :/

The stove is similar to this one. http://bentley.umich.edu/research/guides/tradecatalogs/tradecat_search.php?collection=3

It doesn't have all the metal that this one has. There's none on the water reservoir, different nickel detailing on the oven- it's totally different as I'm sure it's a different model/year. But it does have the pot warmers (The two metal bits on either side of the stove pipe fold down to accomodate a pot for warming), and detail around the top warmer. I will have to get a pic of it sometime... edit- it's been added below.

It has quite a few vents, and the damper on the left side doesn't quite close as tightly as I'd wish. I could spend a fortune on new parts for it, or I could just buy a new stove that is similar, but I wouldn't really be happy with a reproduction. BUT if I can't use it safely, why have it?

I want to use this for heating and cooking the way it was intended, not just as a show piece.
 

Beekissed

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The old cast iron stoves didn't have the same airtight construction that they do now but this doesn't mean they will burn your house down. Wood cook stoves have a very small firebox that only accommodates so much wood and built up coals. One just has to learn how to use the dampers to facilitate even heating but you can rarely bank one up like you can a wood heating stove.

The one we used to cook on while I was growing up could be dampered down but not like the more airtight reproduction models they have today. Being older, their joints and fittings will have a little "slop" in them and won't close as tightly but is still adequate for cooking meals and even holding a small bed of coals all day with some feeding.

The firebox is encased in very thick cast iron on these older stoves, so the fear of overheating and burning down the house isn't warranted unless you have the stove too close to a wall or materials that could combust from overheating.
 

Joel_BC

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Beekissed said all the essentials very well. For three years and a bit, I lived in a cabin that had a wood cookstove (from the 1940s), Aladdin kerosene lamps for light, a small Scandinavian woodburner for winter heat, no electricity, and cold-only running water at the tap. I learned a lot. :)

What I'd say is that you might want to have a friend who has metal-working skills look closely into the firebox and ash drawer of the stove, sometime when the stove is cool and when your friend can get some strong light shed into the firebox. Also, the wall between the firebox and the oven is another area to inspect. One wall of the firebox will be the outer wall of the oven, on one side. If there are cracks or burnt-through or rusted-through holes, they can most probably be repaired in a durable way, so that everything is safe.
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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Beekissed said:
The old cast iron stoves didn't have the same airtight construction that they do now but this doesn't mean they will burn your house down. Wood cook stoves have a very small firebox that only accommodates so much wood and built up coals. One just has to learn how to use the dampers to facilitate even heating but you can rarely bank one up like you can a wood heating stove.

The one we used to cook on while I was growing up could be dampered down but not like the more airtight reproduction models they have today. Being older, their joints and fittings will have a little "slop" in them and won't close as tightly but is still adequate for cooking meals and even holding a small bed of coals all day with some feeding.

The firebox is encased in very thick cast iron on these older stoves, so the fear of overheating and burning down the house isn't warranted unless you have the stove too close to a wall or materials that could combust from overheating.
That is hopeful, maybe it's not as I bad as I think it is. Since it was only used seasonally most of the time, maybe it's still in pretty good shape metal-wize. *crosses fingers* :)


Joel_BC said:
Beekissed said all the essentials very well. For three years and a bit, I lived in a cabin that had a wood cookstove (from the 1940s), Aladdin kerosene lamps for light, a small Scandinavian woodburner for winter heat, no electricity, and cold-only running water at the tap. I learned a lot. :)

What I'd say is that you might want to have a friend who has metal-working skills look closely into the firebox and ash drawer of the stove, sometime when the stove is cool and when your friend can get some strong light shed into the firebox. Also, the wall between the firebox and the oven is another area to inspect. One wall of the firebox will be the outer wall of the oven, on one side. If there are cracks or burnt-through or rusted-through holes, they can most probably be repaired in a durable way, so that everything is safe.
That sounds like a fun time. :)

We do know a few people with welding and other metal working skills. When we're ready to work on it, we'll check that out. Thanks for the advice.
Here's a photo of the old cookstove. Not only do we have to polish/do any welding, but the chimney needs to be rebuilt as well.

 

Denim Deb

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And, I like the table too!
 

Joel_BC

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Brings back memories. :) It's very similar to the one I cooked on. Similar, except for two nice things about yours: mine had much less of that eye-candy nickel plating on the doors and fitments; also, mine didn't have that nice water-heating trough that yours has on the right side.
 

Beekissed

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Ours was much bigger with two warming closets instead of one, had the reservoir on the right side like yours and it stood up on a base that had the classic "feet" of the Victorian age...but was far, far less beautiful than yours. Basic gray and black, no pretty metal work at all.
 

luvinlife offthegrid

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Beekissed said:
Ours was much bigger with two warming closets instead of one, had the reservoir on the right side like yours and it stood up on a base that had the classic "feet" of the Victorian age...but was far, far less beautiful than yours. Basic gray and black, no pretty metal work at all.
I'd love to see a picture! My grandmother talks about her mom cooking on a monstrous stove for 15 people. Of course people didn't take pictures of their stoves, but I wonder about catalog entries. Got any idea what brand yours was?
 

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