Last year the old cheap Vogelzang pot bellied stove crapped out in mid-winter, and was unrepairable. You guys (and gals) know me, as cheap as I am when I say its unrepairable, there is no fixing it. So we scrounged through 3 feet of snow, found an old stove from my late-grandmothers house, and put that to work; unfortunately it was wood-only. Now that I can't live with because I like options, so when I found a pot bellied stove for sale online, we went and looked at it.
It ended up being a 1893 Woods and Bishop Model 4 New Era pot bellied stove. An antique stove for sure, and we were prepared to pay the guy $100 for it. It has its problems, but generally is a nice stove, but anyway after talking to the guy awhile, realizing he knows a lot of the people we do, he handed our money back. Then being a rigger insisted we "clean up his place" and gave us all kinds of scrap steel, rigging straps, and Katie an antique trunk. He was more than generous for sure and we thanked him profusely!
But one of the things this old stove needed was its legs, two of the 4 had broke off. But I live near a stove shop which has 100 years of stove parts in their trailers and back shops, so we went to see them. My grandfather worked there for 30 years so I know the people well. The 87 year old proprietor looks at us and say, "oh that leg, that must be off a Woods and Bishop Pot Bellied stove, my son-in-law will help you see if we got it", and into this tractor trailer we go; the whole thing loaded with thousands of legs for stoves. Nothing but stove legs....some were singles, some were twins, and some were all four. I am overwhelmed, but Katie finds (2) matching legs in about 3 minutes time. The guy is shocked, saying it was the fastest he had ever seen anyone match legs. In case people do not know, they have to be perfectly matched or they just won't work at all...that was how fortunate we were.
Well a good piece of advice here is to never go into a stove shop with money, especially if you love old stoves because Katie saw a beautiful old kitchen cook stove, and we ended up buying a really nice Crawford 1917 gas stove. It goes perfectly with our 1930's style kitchen. She is in love with it, and honestly it is nice to do something for her as ever since going to full-time farming, so much has been diverted to farm stuff.
There is a picture of that Number 4 Woods and Bishop Pot bellied stove, but I admit it needs more work. I was able to line the fire box with firebrick as I dislike how a good smudge will make the outside glow without them. Sadly two brackets for the mitten rail are busted right off so I will need to recast them, and of course paint and trim it out. But overall we are happy with how our day of stove hunting ended up.
As was discussed on a different forum regarding welding, I was able to complete the pot bellied stove today. We found 2 broken feet for it, but it also had two broken brackets for the mitten rail. I can weld cast iron so I welded the brackets to as good as new condition and bolted, painted and got everything installed. Since our home has 1930 styling, I got my wife to put on her 1930's attire and pose for photos so it looks authentic. Okay, so I had to photoshop out a My Little Pony out of the hutch that I missed, because when you have 4 young daughters, things go everywhere like that!
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