UA-59651954-28 Crafty Allie: Guest Blogger Post: Refinishing and Installing a 1923 Cast Iron Wood Stove

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Guest Blogger Post: Refinishing and Installing a 1923 Cast Iron Wood Stove

Hello lovelies!
I'm kinda faking the cheeriness. 
I did end up having the surgery and I'm in a lot of pain. Boo, who! 

But Kelli has saved the day with her guest post.

Take it away Kelli...

Hi all! I'm Kelli from The Sustainable Couple, and my husband, John, and I are here again to share a very practical project with you. 

You might recall about a year ago I shared a DIY Herb Planter with you - again, a practical project, perfect for us urban homesteaders! Today I am sharing a big project that is making all of our smaller project possible, especially this time of year. 

The project? Refinishing and installing our 1923 cast iron wood stove. 

Boom. Betchya didn't see that one comin', did ya? 

John, my urban homestud, wanted a wood stove for his garage for a few years. I scoured the papers, Craigslist, and box box store sales to no avail. Everything was really expensive! That is, until my dad mentioned he had an old cast iron wood stove in one of his sheds at his farm. He said it would need a lot of work, but I could have it for free (!!!) and fix it up for John's Christmas gift last year. You can read about the refinishing process here

And, my dad was right. This 1923 American-made beauty did need a lot of work. The biggest repair my brother and dad made was reattaching one of the legs on the base of the wood stove. They heated the metal and carefully welded the leg back on.

After that my brother and I spent a considerable amount of time wire-brushing every exterior surface of the stove, and I began to polish and finish each component. The only brand new thing needed to make this old girl operational was a few new bolts and heat-resistant cement to attach and seal the whole stove.

The stove was ready for reassembly and a new home.

This is what John's garage looked like before installing the wood stove:

And this is what his garage looks like now, after the installation

To install the wood stove, I'll let John guide you through the following steps

1. "The first thing I had to do was decide if I wanted the chimney to go throughout the roof or along the side of the garage. I decide to go along the garage so that if I wanted to remove the stove later it wouldn't leave a hole in my roof."

2. "Next, I had to build the window out to reduce the amount of bends in the chimney. The fewer bends the better."

3. "Then it was off to the store to purchase some stove pipe. Inside the garage I went with standard pipe. Outside the garage and in the box that I built for the window, I went with double-wall stainless steel. I wanted a T outside so that it would be easier to clean out."

4. "On my way to the store I stopped at the city hall to see what the regulations for solid fuel requirements were. Turns out, I'm good to go and didn't need to pull a permit."

5. "Then it was just a matter of getting the right length of pipe and supports to install the chimney. I also got chimney chalk, or sealant, to seal where the stove pieces tied together, as well as the chimney going outside. Seal the pipes as tight as possible so smoke won't fill your garage."

6. "Because I made my chimney go outside I have to prime, or warm, my chimney before I can get a good fire going. It's a little more work, but worth it for a roaring fire."

7. "This old girl kicks out a good amount of heat, but there is no blower on the stove like the new models. I have an old fan that I stick behind the stove to blow the hot air throughout the garage."

Can you see now how this one big project is helping us complete those smaller projects around our urban homestead? Without a heated garage, it makes using power tools and completing renovations very uncomfortable. 

A bit thanks to Allie for allowing us to hang out with you today! We'd love to have you follow along on our urban homesteading journey! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, or just swing by our blog:

And thank You Kelli or guest posting today, 
and what perfect timing, 
since I'm couch and bed bound!

Thanks so much  for tuning in,
Until Next time...


  1. Kelli, I can't believe what a brilliant job you all did on this stove. It's just beautiful. I love seeing old stuff restored back to usefulness especially when the original beauty and function is maintained. I hope you and John enjoy if for years to come.

    Allie - Oh my gosh, that's just unfair. I hope you heal up quickly.

  2. Great job! A nice warm fire makes working in the garage so much more enjoyable!

  3. Very nice tutorial of making an old stove new again. You have done a great job. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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