How to Restore a Cast Iron Stove

Last fall we found a cast-iron stove at an antique store on the Long Beach peninsula. We knew it would be beautiful in the bus, but it needed work. Here’s the process Steve has followed in order to restore it:

1) Check for cracks. Major cracks will make a stove unusable, but cracks that are a 16th of an inch wide or less can be filled in with stove cement.

2) Take it apart. Cast-iron stoves are composed of a number of pieces blotted together. You’ll need to take the stove apart in order to reach any and all rust and in order to reseal the seams.

3) Remove rust and old seam sealant. A brush attachment on a drill will make this task much easier.

4) Reseal the seams. For this you will need stove cement. It must be applied to all seams and cracks or your stove will leak smoke (not good.)

5) Bolt the pieces back together.

6) Paint the stove with wood stove paint. This will prevent the rust from returning and give your stove a fresh finish.

7) Cure the stove outside! You’ll need to light a fire in the stove in order to set the paint and cement.

And number 8 is giving us a little bit of trouble. The top opening in our stove (the part that attaches to the stove pipe) has an flattened oval shape and we have yet to find an adapter that will connect it to a round pipe. We’re attempting to shape a pipe to fit.

Hopefully it will work. The weather’s getting chilly and I’m ready to write in a bus warmed by wood and iron.

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