Asked on Jan 20, 2014

How to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove?

Cor32419347Myrl GarnerLinda
+92

Answered

The story of this stove started in a small town in Mexico. It was in my mother's family and was used to cook on and heat the kitchen when she was a kid. When the home was upgraded and a conventional stove was installed, it was kicked to the curb and was put outside for around 30 years. My mom brought the stove back to AZ a couple years ago and she ended up giving to me (I'm going to lie, that was an emotional day for me. I was a little fearful of the project but also felt honored that she trusted I could do it). It sat in a box in my garage near Nashville, TN with plans on restoring it to look like it did originally.
As you can see by the pictures, I'm was committed once it was all taken apart. Getting it sandblasted and painted shouldn't be a problem but I know very little about the manufacturer, where to get parts (specifically the long rods that hold it together) and how to weld/repair cast iron. Hopefully the pictures will show what I did?
I was actually easy to dissemble but I did have parts break and the long rods that hold the whole thing together fell apart.
Strip Masters in Nashville, TN sandblasted it welded some of the pieces (They had experience welding cast iron). Next step was applying the hi-temp flat black paint.
I laid out all the pieces like I did when I originally took it apart because I only had a general idea for how to put it back together.
I remember my dad having me take stuff apart as a kid. I would ask, "How do I put it back together". He would say, "Boy, just like you took it apart"...
If you look on the bottom left, you will see how I solved the problem of holding it back together. I went to Fastenal and they provided the long threaded rod, couplers, flat head screws, and nuts.
I guess his lessons worked. For the most part, I reassembled it upside down and when it was all back together, I cut the threaded rod to fit.
I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty proud of this restoration and I couldn't wait for my mom to take a look at it.
I used several coats of vegetable oil and some summer sun to get the sheen.
My dad took this picture over Thanksgiving, 2015. It felt really good to see the look on my parents faces. I even threw some orange LED lights in the for decoration. Maybe someday I'll actually be able to use it, but not in the house.
60 answers
  • Elizabeth Dwyer Simpson
    Elizabeth Dwyer Simpson
    on Jan 20, 2014

    Walk proudly young man. I admire your sense of tradition and family. I do not have any recommendations for your Labor of Love. The size is just amazing and what ability one would have to have to prepare meals, and I'm sure they were wholesome and definitely not fast. My parent's were born in Ireland in 1893 and '94, my mom 1894, in 1944 had to use a big old black coal stove till a gas stove could be installed. She went back to preparing meals for the 14 of us, 8 boys, 4 girls, Daddy and herself, without even batting an eyelash. As I remember she did so for quite a while. The meals always were delicious, nutrictious and very satisfying. Wishing you great success and many happy hours of honoring those who came before us and REALLY worked hard.

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Elizabeth Dwyer Simpson Thank you for the kind words. I'll be posting updates as it's coming along.

  • Pati Waggoner-Gulat
    Pati Waggoner-Gulat
    on Jan 20, 2014

    I JUST gave my mom one of these almost EXACTLY like it for this past Christmas ! Also looking for parts for hers as it's in about the same shape as yours. If you find a place FOr parts, would mind emailing me ? Thank you so much...patigulat@yahoo.com

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Pati Waggoner-Gulat Not a problem. I'll let you know what I find.

  • Gail lichtsinn
    Gail lichtsinn
    on Jan 21, 2014

    HelpEventually your going to have to remove the rust or it will have holes and weak spots..Id use naval jelly etch to remove the rust and Id use old fashioned stove black on it...They still sell it so look on the internet... answer this question...

  • Chris aka monkey
    Chris aka monkey
    on Jan 21, 2014

    if you put the time in to clean her up you maybe could find a welder to weld the cracks if you still have one of the bolts start at home depot or lowes they might be able to send you somewhere for them.....she sure is beautiful even with her rusty coat on xx

  • Chris aka monkey
    Chris aka monkey
    on Jan 21, 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g65JopIkVdE @Galdo76 look at this video it is the same stove xx

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Chris aka monkey You're a rockstar Monkey! I've been looking all over the internet but never thought to look at YouTube. I have a decent reference now.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S
    on Jan 21, 2014

    I can't make any suggestions, but I can say that this is a stunning piece so do it proud. This piece would fit in any room of the house! You are lucky to have it!

  • Betty
    Betty
    on Jan 21, 2014

    I also used stove black on an old cast iron stove. I found it at an old hardware store. Beautiful piece with a wonderful history. I would get it out of the garage and use it for a table in the kitchen if you have room, just like it is. Oh, the stories it could tell!

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Betty Thanks for the advice. Although I wouldn't keeping it the was it is, I commited to my mom that I would restore it to it's original glory. My wife has a "Gone With The Wind" themed guest bedroom. I plan to put it in there once it's done.

  • Jennifer G
    Jennifer G
    on Jan 21, 2014

    Do you watch TV? The guy in Vegas that restores EVERYTHING to it's original glory may be able to help. If not to do the entire restoration, he may have sources for your missing bits. Here is his web site: http://www.ricksrestorations.com Good Luck!

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Jennifer G I've heard of the show and I'll definitely give him a try. I appreciate it!

  • Tammie Chicaul
    Tammie Chicaul
    on Jan 21, 2014

    You may also want to look for a store that sells the new wood stoves ( fireplaces ) they may be able to help with parts. I also have an old stove I am redoing and they were able to help me with door pins and paint

  • Kay Ellen Tomlinson
    Kay Ellen Tomlinson
    on Jan 21, 2014

    You might consider having the surface sandblasted then use naval jelly.

  • Jan Watson
    Jan Watson
    on Jan 21, 2014

    I have always restored old cast iron stoves with STOVE BLACK. Easy to use and not expensive,it was what my mama always used

  • Susan Jackson
    Susan Jackson
    on Jan 21, 2014

    I wished I had one.

  • Sandy Olson- Watts
    Sandy Olson- Watts
    on Jan 22, 2014

    I cleaned mine up with a steel brush and wool as good as I could. Brushed it off real good, and blew it out with a air hose. I built a fire in mine and some more thin rusty buildup came off. Then while the iron body was hot, I applied cooking oil or grease to the body, rubbed it in with an old rag all over. I repeated this until it looked like new. It worked the same as 'seasoning' an old cast iron pot or pan . We were building on to our house in the months of February and March and enjoyed the heat it provided like an outdoor heater so it wasn't any trouble that we weren't willing to go through because the process served two purposes. I would see a Buck Stove store or the like for parts.

  • Dawn
    Dawn
    on Jan 22, 2014

    many years ago I bought an old n very rusty pot belly stove gorgeous 5 bucks against everybody's 'no's'. I went n had it sand blasted n sprayed painted it black. I made a pattern n had glass cut to fit the top. I found a doily to put under the glass and added rubber little corner thingies under the glass. I have gotten more compliments and many offers for it. It sits as an end table by the sofa. Soooo that is what I would do, find the least expensive sand blaster and get rid of that rust eating away at it.

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Jan 22, 2014

      @Dawn I plan on getting it sandblasted. It was very heavily used so the inside is pretty chewed up butt he outside is in really great condition. I'm guessing some of the inner pieces will break or fall apart when they are sandblasted so I plan to have some of those fabricated...we'll see how it goes. I appreciate the suggestion. Would you mind posting a pic of your stove? I'd love to see it.

  • Kris Broughton
    Kris Broughton
    on Jan 22, 2014

    Two ingredients. Lard and a blowtorch. Seriously. My Dad was an old foundry man and he taught me this was the to fix old pans, lamp bases, garden tools and anything. It works and it's cheap. Smear on the lard and burn it off with the torch. You can actually see the rust eat right off. Best off is the finish at the end. It gets a beautiful shiny patina will protect your piece. Worth a try!

  • Karen Mortimore
    Karen Mortimore
    on Jan 22, 2014

    it's a beautiful stove and well worth trying to save! don't have any suggestions for you but hope you'll share the finished project

  • Christopher Engel
    Christopher Engel
    on Jan 22, 2014

    It's beautiful as is! But I can suggest only one thing... Your local hardware store will have just about ANY bolts you may need. They even have threaded rods that can be sized exactly to the specifications you may need and a bolt head put on (most already have them, just need to cut the bar to size). Good luck! And I can't wait to see the finished product!

  • Terri
    Terri
    on Jan 22, 2014

    we restored a Ben Franklin wood stove to find it had asbestos in the bottom .We took it a part and replaced the asbestos with Fiberglas. Then it was stove black we used on the outside.

  • Chris aka monkey
    Chris aka monkey
    on Jan 22, 2014

    thats great galdo and thanks i always wanted to be a rock star xx

  • Terri
    Terri
    on Jan 23, 2014

    what are these stoves priced at in Mexico?

  • Sharan Graves
    Sharan Graves
    on Jan 23, 2014

    I'd be careful with sandblasting can cause pitting in the metal. Go with firing it up & oil it with cooking grease not the liquid type.

  • Dee
    Dee
    on Jan 23, 2014

    It was fun to hear about your stove. My father in law bought a old log cabin in Hopkinton iowa,It was moved from Lake Delhi down the rd, the cabin was mice infested he decided to burn it down and build a new cabin.If i knew then what i know now i would have tryed to talk him out of that. But moving on it had a old Timberline wood stove in it thank goodness he put it in the garage. I now have it at my home and looking forward to cleaning it up it is no where close to the shape yours is in but this is helping me to see what i can do. Thank you and good luck.

  • Elizabeth Dwyer Simpson
    Elizabeth Dwyer Simpson
    on Jan 23, 2014

    Thank you, that would be just wonderful and interesting too.

  • Ana Garcia
    Ana Garcia
    on Jan 24, 2014

    Go to the links I gave you for prices and all. Here in Mexico, they are also sold as antiques and they run from about $400.00 to $1000.00 us dlls.

  • Nancy Merrell
    Nancy Merrell
    on Jan 25, 2014

    They sell a paint for wood stoves. Painted mine black and after several years of use still looks good. Your stove is beautiful!

  • Galdo76
    Galdo76
    on Jan 25, 2014

    I can't believe all the wonderful comments and suggestions everyone has given me, I really appreciate it. I'll be posting the progress of this little project as I go. More to come & wish me luck.

  • Mignyetta Woodlen
    Mignyetta Woodlen
    on Jan 25, 2014

    I put mine in the garden as a sculpture.

  • Chris aka monkey
    Chris aka monkey
    on Jan 26, 2014

    galdo good luck to you and this rock star really would like to see the finished stove xx

  • Funnygirl
    Funnygirl
    on Jan 26, 2014

    love the idea as a sculpture in the garden. Unless you have a burning desire haha to reuse the stove,which sounds like a lot of work and expense, I would give a good outside cleaning and metal prep spray or brush on,paint or spray with a great metallic or bright color paint!put pots of flowers or vegetables into some pots even some old stove pots so they look like they are being cooked! You could even put plants growing out of the oven.succulant plants would look great have fun with your treasure! P.s. Can this be used as an outside pizza oven if you add some fire bricks to the bottom of the oven?

  • Lee Stanley
    Lee Stanley
    on Jan 30, 2014

    Galdo76 - Try Lodge Mfg. in South Pittsburg, TN. The company manufactures many different pots, pans, etc. Look on the bottom of many pots to see the brand name. They may be able to help or suggest someone local. You aren't too far from the factory.

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Feb 3, 2014

      thank you @Lee Stanley , I'll definitely ask and I hope they can help. Great suggestion!

  • RA
    RA
    on Feb 2, 2014

    Your stove is beautiful! I am looking forward to your updates.

    • Manny Natividad
      Manny Natividad
      on Dec 7, 2020

      Mr. Galdo: We've recently acquired two of the Alamo Woodburning Stoves like the one you restored. My question is, exactly where does the burning wood go ? The back end looks like an oven, We're not sure. Thanks Manny

  • Melissa B
    Melissa B
    on Feb 19, 2014

    You have quite an undertaking! My hubby did much the same thing this last summer, however it wasn't as complicated as yours. He did sandblast away the rust, using Black Diamond sandblasting sand. A machine shop should be able to weld your cracked piece. I couldn't tell if the screw was removable or welded in place. If so, they could weld on a new one. The stove paint worked great and we have used the little stove all winter in the woodshop. I will post some pictures. Good luck... your final result will be SO worth it!

  • Melissa B
    Melissa B
    on Feb 19, 2014

    I don't know if these will help you.. .but your stove is beautiful and will be well worth the efforts.

    q how to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove, diy, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, It was a mess used at a deer camp for 20 years and then dumped in a field all winter uggq how to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove, diy, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Ours was missing the front door luckily this manufacturer is still in operation and was able to get us oneq how to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove, diy, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Let the sandblasting commenceq how to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove, diy, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, High Heat black paintq how to restore an old cast iron wood burning stove, diy, how to, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling, Looking pretty good
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  • Kathryn Botard
    Kathryn Botard
    on Feb 19, 2014

    An Alamo stove. I would love to have one of those. A great Texas icon. Good luck and can't wait for your updates. Sweet stove Melissa B

  • Mary Swanson
    Mary Swanson
    on Feb 19, 2014

    Alamo #77 on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g65JopIkVdE Maybe contact the website which posted the video to see if they have parts? http://www.elgranbazar.mx/

  • Liliana Lejos De México
    Liliana Lejos De México
    on Jun 8, 2014

    It´s beautiful and the best part is all the family history you can pass on.

  • Galdo76
    Galdo76
    on Jun 8, 2014

    Thank you Liliana. I should actually be done with it this week. I'll add the pics and description too. Hopefully it'll help someone else who's interested in doing something similar.

  • Galdo76
    Galdo76
    on Jun 11, 2014

    Well...the stove is done. I hope you like the finished product.

    • Galdo76
      Galdo76
      on Mar 13, 2017

      I was not able to see the photo but if you have any questions when you get around to restoring yours, I'd be happy to give you any information I can.
  • Armando Fernandez
    Armando Fernandez
    on Jun 12, 2014

    I hate you right now!!! By sat i know my mom gonna be giving me grief as to why i haven't done her stove. Its just so heavy. lol. I like it came out good. let me know what they used to weld the cast iron, I've never welded up cast.

  • Grace Gleason
    Grace Gleason
    on Jun 13, 2014

    Beautiful piece. Nice job @Galdo76! Your dad was right - put it back together like you took it apart. ;)

  • Melissa B
    Melissa B
    on Jun 24, 2014

    Really good job! It's beautiful!

  • Karen Sheilds
    Karen Sheilds
    on Jun 24, 2014

    Fantastic job! You should be proud of the restoration. Your Mom is going to love what you've done. I love to see old things brought back to life and enjoyed by future generations. Good on you!

  • Liz Eades
    Liz Eades
    on Dec 18, 2014

    Beautiful! What a family treasure!

  • Funnygirl
    Funnygirl
    on Dec 20, 2014

    You really made it gorgeous!

  • Donald Johnson
    Donald Johnson
    on Sep 26, 2015

    Wow! that turned out nice. I wish I had one.

  • Alan
    Alan
    on Jan 17, 2016

    Hi, was (or is) there any welding required? If so this should of preferably been done before painting. No big deal tho' as it will just need a re-coat over any repairs. If you have never welded cast iron before I would suggest taking it to an engineering workshop, cast iron welding is a bit more involved than mild steel welding, the parts need to be pre-heated and welded with cast iron welding rods and the cooling period of the repaired section needs to be controlled. This is particularly important with stoves etc as there is going to be lots of on-going expansion and contraction of the parts, if not welded to the correct procedures the welded parts will more than likely fail.

    • Susan Clinard
      Susan Clinard
      on Jul 3, 2016

      Oh thank you so much. When I first saw this post, I saw that you were in the " Boro ". It is always excitin to see fellow Tenn. folks with their talents. Thanks again.

  • Judy Pennington
    Judy Pennington
    on Aug 30, 2016

    Black stove paint is what you need. You can find it at a hardware store. It is specially made for stove and can take the heat if you decide to burn wood in it. Beautiful stove.

  • Galdo76
    Galdo76
    on May 4, 2017

    I just looked at the link and I could not find any references to the Alamo stove. The stove I have has an Hecho En Chihuahua, Mexico stamped into it.
  • Ell29621460
    Ell29621460
    on Oct 14, 2017

    You can buy furnace black at the hardware store and coat it. It will look like new. I used it on my fireplace grates.
  • Inetia
    Inetia
    on Oct 15, 2017

    You sure gave her the ‘Wow!‘ factor. When I was a kid we heated the kitchen with a wood burning stove too but I only remember my mom heating water and making coffee on it. My dad heated bricks on it to put in our beds (wrapped in towels) half an hr before bedtime; bed rooms were not heated back then.
  • MaryElias Lopez
    MaryElias Lopez
    on Nov 10, 2017

    omg! This is a beautiful stove! You're one lucky person. I'm pretty sure you're going to have fun redoing it and it's going to look beautiful when you're done. I don't know about restoring this beauty myself, but I just want to encourage you you to do it. It would look beautiful in a light green, navy or an off white with black trim. I hope you let us see the after results. Good luck!
  • Ellis
    Ellis
    on Nov 10, 2017

    I often find good information at homeguides.sfgate.com, and I just looked there. They have a how-to on restoring old cast iron stoves. You might take a look there.
  • Rbo29397150
    Rbo29397150
    on Nov 26, 2017

    God bless.
  • Treasuredchaos.com
    Treasuredchaos.com
    on Aug 16, 2018

    Beautiful! I'm picking up a cook stove Saturday and your post has given me hope! My husband just keeps saying, "This is going to be a project...I hope you know...just making sure you know..." Bring it on (so long as you have my back LOL)!

  • Pamela Haymond
    Pamela Haymond
    on Jan 5, 2019

    I have one exactly like it. Mine is a different brand but it’s the same stove. I’m having a devil of a time finding stove pipe for it or even an adapter. Have you found anything for yours?

    • John McKay
      John McKay
      on Oct 25, 2020

      I have a stove like hers too, but a different brand, although I dont know where to find it on the stove. Do you know what "type" they are called?... I think I will need parts.Thank you!

  • Linda
    Linda
    on Jul 9, 2019

    I came across this on cleaning cast iron stoves. Hope this is helpful.

  • Myrl Garner
    Myrl Garner
    on Apr 12, 2020

    brush off excess rust, then use naval jelly on the complete stove, wash off after using the directions on the bottle let dry then paint stove with high temp black paint

  • Cor32419347
    Cor32419347
    on Aug 4, 2020

    I remember my Grandma “blacking” her cast iron stove. And yes! I am old!

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