Sunday, October 3, 2010

Franklin Stove Restoration

This is another project that has been sitting in the barn for 5 years.  Found on the property, partially disassemnbled, it nonetheless seemed to have a ll its major parts.  I didn't know it was a Franklin stove until someone happened  to remark on it.   I was excited because an original Franklin in good shape has some value.  I was disappoointed to learn that this one is not an antique, but part of a flood of Asian reproductions that flooded the market in the 1970s and 80s during the energy crunch.

Parts.  Some painted others cleaned and waiting.  
Cleaning is best done by sand blasting, but after I found out it wasn't an antique I decided to clean it myself (more time, less money).  I used Marine Clean and Metal Ready, the most amazing metal prep solutions I've ever used.  Then painted with POR-15 on the hearth and mantle and Stove Bright for the rest.  All the nuts and bolts were replaced with stainless steel.

Like the original "Mayflower" design that this is patterned after it improbably rests on 3 feet.

I had envisioned it as an outdoor fireplace and so it shall be in Portland.

I assembled it in the driveway for its test firing (needed to cure the paint). 

Now dissassembly, transport and final install in Portland.  Of course, there is the patio and pergola to build first.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Alice asked for a dragon as decoration for the apex knee-brace on the garage.   Well I just couldn't say no even though I have no skills in this area.  I can barely carve a turkey let alone a block of wood.  What started out as a plan to make simple "whirligig-like" silhouette has morphed.  Here's a look at it sans claws in natural cedar.  I plan to paint it red.  Wings are copper.

This is Insane

I'm restoring an old (but not antique) Franklin stove.  I discover, via the Web, that a highly recommended paint is Stove Bright from Forest Paint Company.  Also via the Web I find it $5 a can cheaper.  I need 5 cans and shipping is $10 so I save $15.  The 5 cans of paint travel 3,000 miles to get to me...


Yes, I did try to buy from the factory directly (they have a store, but don't ship.  Yes, I did try to find a local dealer, but only one, out-of-the-way stove shop had it.

I understand completely how shipping 5 cans of paint 3000 miles out and 3000 miles back can be the low cost solution and make economic sense. It may be the road to economic prosperity, but is also assuredly the road to environmental poverty.