Q:

What can you do with a vintage cast-iron stove?

A:

Quick Answer

The best way to use a vintage cast-iron stove is to restore it for use in the kitchen or as a space heater. Inspecting the stove on the top, bottom, sides and insides ensures there are no weak points or cracks. Welding and re-trimming are options when there's minimal damage.

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Full Answer

Removing the nickel trim is the first step when restoring the stove. This may require loosening rusty bolts with a product such as Liquid Wrench, or by using a hammer and chisel. Bolts and rivets should be replaced with new brass pieces, so there is no need to keep the old ones. Once the trim is off, the stove body is polished with a product that removes rust and 0-gauge steel wool followed by polishing juice rubbed on with a soft cloth. If the trim is too far gone, a metal plater can replace the trim with the owner's choice of metals for $100 or less.

Next, the isinglass windows and frames are removed, while the rest of the stove is cleaned of all rust. Sandblasting with carborundum crystals is the fastest and easiest way to remove rust, but it can be costly, while removing rust by hand requires a wire brush or an electric drill with a sanding head. There are other options depending on what kind of trim is on the stove. When the rust is removed, a stainless steel paint is applied to the surface. Finally, the isinglass is replaced and the stove is polished with a soft cloth.

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