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Thread: Restoring rusty wood stove - advice

  1. #1

    Default Restoring rusty wood stove - advice

    I acquired a rusty Vogelzang box-type stove (a BX26E, to be exact) a while back:

    stove before.jpg

    It was a great deal. $43 and I got a couple of heat shields and a rusty Collins axe (which may or may not restore).

    Anyway, I took it apart, worked it all over with a couple of wire cup brushes and my trusty Chicago Electric 4-1/2" grinder (a Horrible Fright tool well worth purchasing). I'm going to do a final de-rust with vinegar followed by a baking soda dip before I put it back together. I have the "rope" gasket and hi-temp sealer.

    This is going in my shop/barn, not in the house. It's going to be in the middle of the barn, not near a wall, and the stove pipe will be going through a plain sheet metal roof. My current plan is to use a silicone boot on the outside of the roof to seal against rain, and a larger diameter piece of stove pipe on the inside of the roof as a heat shield. The only wood that is close are the two roof purlins on either side of the pipe, and they aren't that close. I might add a second pipe to give a "double wall" effect, and put some insulation on the purlins. Overkill can't hurt here.

    Any pointers/advice on re-assembling, installing, using the stove? This is my first experience with a wood stove, and you don't know what you don't know.
    Last edited by JohnLeePettimore; 10-03-2017 at 10:37 AM.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that those old stoves are not air tight and never were meant to be, so you may have a little smoke seepage from joints. No big deal. If it gets too bad buy some stove cement and seal it up.

    If you are going through a sheet metal roof with no rafters within a foot or so you should be OK without a double wall section. If you were going through a wall it would be different. I have used a big piece of sheet metal as a barrier when going through window openings with stove pipes many times.

    I like to put a floor barrier down and then put the stove on a thin concrete block under each leg as a heat barrier for the floor.

    I also like a damper in the stove pipe. The one right at the top of the stove does not usually work too well. One a couple of feet up the pipe gives better control.

    You can still buy stove black for polishing old stoves like that, or do it like my granny did, wipe it down with bacon grease. Makes things smell real good for a while too.

    I have one just like that on my screened in back porch. Real nice on crisp fall nights.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-03-2017 at 12:57 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I have had one in my garage for over 30 years....used a SS double wall "thimble" to go thru a back wall.....
    All black stove pipe..
    .
    Have to replace elbows, one on inside, one out side every once in a while....

    Mine was rusty when I got it...and is still rusty....I guess I don't worry about it?

    Had a friend weld me up a grate for the inside...helps with drafting.

    Wasn't a damper on the stove , so added one on the pipe...

    No, doesn't burn all night...nor do I want it too.....
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    Do you recommend the floor barrier / block setup even if the floor is concrete?

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeePettimore View Post
    Do you recommend the floor barrier / block setup even if the floor is concrete?
    The concrete floor will be enough.

    I have one that's similar. I got it at a garage sale for 25 bucks. I made a damper out of a #10 can lid and a coat hanger. If you put a couple of bends in the wire it keeps it from spinning on the damper. It's just past the first 2 foot section of black pipe. Works good. Nothing like a wood fire to warm the bones.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeePettimore View Post
    Do you recommend the floor barrier / block setup even if the floor is concrete?
    I stood mine up on 4 blocks....more to keep it in a '"not having to bend over that much" position......
    Also have 3 small blower fans from some thing my buddy made...with a temp "Button on/off" limit switch attached to the pipe with a spring.
    Pipe gets up to temp...blower turn on...
    Last edited by hunter63; 10-03-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeePettimore View Post
    Do you recommend the floor barrier / block setup even if the floor is concrete?
    What they said!

    Mine have always been installed on wood floors so a barrier was necessary.

    I never did trust those stove pads for the floor so I would put down a big piece of drywall and cover it with thin brick pavers as decoration, then sit the stove on taller bricks or blocks.

    The one on my back porch is on a platform of 4" blocks to protect the wood.

    In a barn with a concrete floor you can just skip all that.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Mine have always been installed on wood floors so a barrier was necessary.
    I thought that was the case, but better ask a stupid question than to screw something up.

    Okay, more stupid questions:

    I was just looking at the gasket, and Stove Cement, and Fireplace Mortar that I bought back when I first got the stove. Now that I actually have the stove apart, I'm questioning my understanding of things.

    Is the gasket only for putting around the door? I was planning on using it in all of the joints where the pieces fit together, but now I'm wondering if the pieces will fit together properly with the gasket in there. There seemed to be gasket material there when I took it apart, but there wasn't much compared to what the new stuff looks like.

    Now I'm thinking I should use the Fireplace Mortar in the grooves of the joints (prior to assembly) to seal it up. I originally got it just to seal up any small leaks remaining after assembly. I saw a few YouTube videos where people gobbed it on the outside of the joints, but that looks horrible. I assume they didn't take the stove apart, so they just took a short cut.

    I appreciate the advice.
    Last edited by JohnLeePettimore; 10-04-2017 at 09:52 PM.

  9. #9

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    Here are some "before" pics (I already cleaned one of the circular lids before I took the pictures):

    20170907_115232.jpg
    20170907_115301.jpg
    20170907_115317.jpg
    20170907_115331.jpg


    ETA: I guess the uploader automatically rotates the pics to "landscape" format. Oh well, the rust looks the same either way.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JohnLeePettimore; 10-07-2017 at 07:34 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    You can still buy stove black for polishing old stoves like that, or do it like my granny did, wipe it down with bacon grease. Makes things smell real good for a while too.
    I searched for "seasoning" a stove like a cast iron skillet, but all I found were things about the polish, or stuff about "breaking in" a new stove. Actually, I'm glad I found the "breaking in" stuff, because I'll need to do that after I re-assemble it. Will the bacon grease/lard/oil actually season the stove like a cast iron skillet, or will just burn off and have to be re-done periodically? What I found about polishing is that you have to do it every few weeks to prevent rust.

    This is going to be an occasional use stove, not daily. I would love the look of a seasoned cast iron pan, but it looks like painting it would be way less maintenance. Of course, when it needs re-painting, that would be a hassle.

    On the one hand, XXX, but on the other hand, YYY, but on the other hand ZZZ... Jeez, reality is so inconvenient.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    An old stove like this in the application you are describing is not going to remain rust free without an excessive amount of attention.

    Anything you apply to the stove is going to burn off eventually due to the high and uneven heat produced by the stove.

    A seasoned cast iron skillet or pot is a polished and cared for item, not usually allowed to rust and if it does it is brushed, scrubbed and re-seasoned with each use. A stove you fire up, let it burn as hot as it needs to be, and then you walk away from it for a day or week or month.

    It's a barn stove, you paid barely the price of a good Lodge skillet for it. Quit worrying so much about it. I probably would not even brush the rust off, just hook it up and build a fire.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-05-2017 at 11:13 AM.
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  12. #12

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    Too late on the de-rust advice. I already used up a couple of cup brushes on it.

    Yeah, I'm overdoing it, but it's the first thing that I'm "restoring", so I'm enjoying the whole process.

    Also, I want it to look good. I lead a Saturday morning men's group, and we meet in my shop/barn. I used a propane heater last winter, and I'm readying this stove for the upcoming winter. There's a little pride in workmanship involved, but also showing value to my "Band of Brothers" by putting in something that is pleasing to the eye.

    I'm also gradually organizing the place, so it look good as well as be easier to work in. I'm not as OCD as Wranglerstar, but I'm there. I agree with the comments he has made on quite a few of his videos about how you judge a contractor (or some other craftsman), by how well-tended their truck or shop is. It's not a good sign when it's chaos. I have to admit that I was shamed. I've let a lot of things go in my life, but I turned a corner a few years back (still turning, actually) and doing things "properly" has been part of it.

    Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I do really appreciate the pointers. Thanks again.

    BTW, I just remembered the Carhartt pants that I got to make homemade "tin pants" with. I'm going to use your tin cloth recipe, ky. That post is how I found this board in the first place.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Don't get that tincloth too close to the hot stove, you will melt and start leaking!

    If you are leading a Sunday men's group you need a big coffee pot to sit on that stove!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035GYMO6...a-304995850070
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-05-2017 at 01:13 PM.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    If you want a pretty stove...buy an enameled or soapstone stove.....
    Cast iron with need all sorts of attention....
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    If you want a pretty stove...buy an enameled or soapstone stove.....
    Cast iron with need all sorts of attention....
    To late, and too cheap.

    ;o)
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Jim Kirk

  16. #16
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLeePettimore View Post
    To late, and too cheap.

    ;o)
    Hey ...go for it..... it is a worthy project.
    .....pic's are not not showing up for me.
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  17. #17
    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    I painted mine with high heat stove paint after brushing off the rust. It gets a little touch up here and there about once a year.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Don't get that tincloth too close to the hot stove, you will melt and start leaking!

    If you are leading a Sunday men's group you need a big coffee pot to sit on that stove!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035GYMO6...a-304995850070
    You're right! I thought about just that kind of coffee pot. I used to have one, but it was black and speckled.

    Maybe I still have it buried somewhere.
    "The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." Jim Kirk

  19. #19

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    Black and speckled means enamelware. I've had those "melt" or the enamel "pop" off if placed directly on top of a really hot woodstove.
    The one we use now has a bare metal base where the enamel doesn't go all the way to the bottom, it stops at a ring about an 1/8" above the bottom. Cast iron pots rust and have to be reseasoned constantly. The stainless steel perker works good tho.

    Nice little project.
    I vaguely remember building a little Reginald 101 back in the 70s. Came in a flat box, just like from IKEA...LOL.
    I don't remember gasketing the plates together. Just cementing them. It could have had fiberglass in there, but I've forgotten that part. No manuals around for that thing either. I looked. Highly suggest you firebrick the floor of the stove if it's made for that.
    Last edited by LowKey; 10-07-2017 at 09:14 AM.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Black and speckled means enamelware. I've had those "melt" or the enamel "pop" off if placed directly on top of a really hot woodstove.
    The one we use now has a bare metal base where the enamel doesn't go all the way to the bottom, it stops at a ring about an 1/8" above the bottom. Cast iron pots rust and have to be reseasoned constantly. The stainless steel perker works good tho.........
    Hummm....That is interesting?.....the specks popped off?....That the first time I ever heard of that.

    I have used a lot of pots, pans, cups, and coffee pots....the enamel chips once in awhile, from banging them around.... but never melted off?
    That used on gas stoves, (flame directly on the bottom.... electric stoves, wood stoves and open fires..... for many, many years.......No problem.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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