Cookstove! The Middle

It took a while, but with a great deal of grunting and swearing (and wishing my strength was a little better; I haven’t been firing on all cylinders lately) I managed to get the job done. I repositioned the stove, cleaned it out, and reassembled it.

That last part is a miracle! How often do you leave a bunch of parts in a box for the better part of a decade… and then find them all when you want them?

I don’t know the age of the stove. I’m guessing it’s from 1939 but that’s just a guess. I looked up the make and model on the internet and found nothing. Funny thing, grab the serial number of a 1940’s tractor and someone somewhere has a web page explaining who made it and what they had for lunch. Not so with kitchen stoves.

It’s not a pristine antique but I’m very happy with it’s condition. It’s just new enough that it’s probably not a valuable antique. It’s just old enough to be cool.

Also it looks to be fully functional. It has a damper that works. There is a wood dumping grate lever thing (that’s a technical term?) and after some reassembly and a few “taps” with a mallet I got that working. There’s a flue adjustment lever over the oven and that works. The oven door spring is weak but looks fixable (and I don’t plan on baking a pie in my garage anyway). The oven door thermometer is probably toast but who cares? Everything else opens, closes, fits, seems straight, isn’t cracked etc…

A few details remain. I’m fabricating one small part. Nothing too big. I plan to install that before the “test firing”. Also I need to noodle around with black pipe and it’s junction with the existing insulated chimney (probably Metalbestos… it looks old but solid). Also I put the stove far enough away from the wall that I can slap up some paint. (And yes, the wall is “fire resistant” drywall; old and dingy but in good repair.

All told I’m not far away from having the cutest little kitchen stove in my garage. It’s like Christmas came early. I have plans to brew coffee on the cooktop, park my ass in a chair nearby, and hang out in my garage this winter. Ostensibly I’ll be working on a project. More likely I’ll be enjoying the space… something about wooden cookstoves really appeals to me.

Pics or it didn’t happen? Here goes:

I began with entropy and parts.

I began with entropy and parts.

End result: Isn’t that the cutest little stove ever? I’m going to name her Betsy and use her to brew coffee (and maybe make bacon and eggs). Oh yeah, it might heat my garage too.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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23 Responses to Cookstove! The Middle

  1. davefreer says:

    I’ve been offered something similar – but not in as good condition. Thinking about it. Hoping this strength thing recovers soon. The thought of the curmudgeon not wielding his chainsaw with abandon fills me with cauld grue. Take care of yourself. Eat bacon.

    • Once they’re shot I’m not sure they can be repaired without heroics but if the burn area is safe who cares about scratches and rust? If it’s usable I’d add it to the junk pile in your garage? There’s a fine line between “scrounging good stuff” and “heaping shit all over the lawn”. Good luck figuring it out because I never know which side I’m on. Maybe pick up the stove and dump off some other junk; like one of the old dead lawnmowers you’ve got. (Doesn’t everyone have a stockpile of dead lawnmowers?) 🙂

      Thanks for the good vibes toward my health. The strength thing is pissing me off. I need my chainsaw like a dog needs a walk and by now I can barely lift a coffee pot. Lucky for me it’s nothing exciting or complex (it’s just taking forever to heal) and winter is coming. At some point it’s January and freezing. Then I can legitimately accept that doing most physical stuff is impossible and I’ll just sit by the fire “recuperating”.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Sure you ain’t gonna roast a duck in that oven, bro?

  3. Ruth says:

    Ashes grate?

    Very very cool! That is a sweet looking stove.

  4. Timbotoo says:

    Heavens to Betsy! That is standard issue around these parts. Usually in all black with brass furniture. My mother in law has a high tech one with a ceramic top. You were lucky to find an old one in good condition as they tend to rot out. First to go the oven box then the hob top….

    • Most of the old ones here were ditched the minute propane or rural electrification made them unnecessary. Beyond that the pretty ones all seem like planters and decorations in “quaint” businesses like bed and breakfasts. I’d love a modern one for the house but the new ones are well out of my price range. (Actually this one would be to if I tried to buy it somewhere.)

  5. Joel says:

    Cool! Er, I mean warm!

  6. Cranky Old Dude says:

    Used to have one in my basement garage. It took a while to get warmed up enough to put out any real heat but you have wood heat so you know that.

    We now have a small wood stove in our house and use it to cook meals on in cold weather. Why not take advantage of that nice hot surface you’ve created. Start a pot of soup in the AM and by lunch: hot meal! Its magic! Who knew? My wife has even baked a couple of cakes on top of the woodstove (cover with a roasting pan and be patient).

    • Well this one has an oven so baking seems within it’s design. Mrs. Curmudgeon seems to have no desire to dink around with wood cooking but maybe I’ll try baking a cake someday too.

      Compared to the modern woodstove we use in the house, the cookstove has a dinky burn box. I presume it’s not a super heat machine.

    • Jesus that’s a high price! $900 and it has a cat on it? How much can these silly things really be worth?

      I’ve seen other photos with a similar design; apparently there was some similarities between brands. I’m going to post the make & model tomorrow and see what turns up.

  7. very interesting that this came able to burn coal or wood. I spent one winter in upstate NY in 1973, lived in a 200 year old farmhouse with no central heating (or plumbing for that matter), the stove was very much like this one and it was kept going 24/7. Stoked at night, then under the down covers for all residents. In the morning, if we were lucky, embers remained to start the new day fire and cook. If not we froze until it was up and running again. And yes, the house had a single pump handle to bring up water from a well under the kitchen floor, and an outhouse about 50′ away somewhat downslope. Young, foolish and able back then.

    • Wow that’s cool. It looks a lot like mine but I think mine is a little smaller and a different manufacturer. I’d love coal/wood capacity but I think mine is wood only. (Also I have no idea where I’d get coal these days.)

      I’ve spent winter in upstate NY and that place has some seriously “uky” weather. You did well to survive on wood/coal without becoming an ice cube. Everyone hears NY and thinks Manhattan but the Adirondacks is pretty backwoods. (Also real nice canoe territory.)

  8. P2 says:

    Dude, that kicks ass!

  9. Hank Curmudgeon says:

    Let me try my googlefu…whats the make, manufacturer and s/n.

  10. 19Jackson80 says:

    That’s nifty, that is! far too good for the garage. You’ll have to persuade Mrs Curmudgeon to do a swap.

    Either that or sell it to a hipster that wants to look cool by buying something like that …

  11. ASM826 says:

    That looks too close to the wall. They make stand off metal panels that allow the pipe to be closer than 36 inches.

  12. Robert says:

    “no idea where I’d get coal these days”
    Not practical for you, I suspect, (particularly considering your reduced state) but, I used to pick up coal dropped by the trains on the tracks behind the house. Much later I discovered our wood stove was not suitable for coal. The aftermath was… unsettling.

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