After what feels like forever, our Metters Canberra woodstove restoration is complete. This little beauty is finally ready to go into our kitchen! *hold for applause*
It’s taken a lot of work but this gorgeous old stove went from rusty and neglected, to beautiful cast iron – I am literally in love.
I remember the day we first dismantled the stove and found nesting material for something (I don’t even wanna know what, but probably related to the tiny skeleton we also found in there!). It was so rusty and took so much convincing before the pieces would come apart. Honestly I began to wonder whether it was ever going to become a functional stove.
Step 1: Rust Removal
But we followed the advice of those that had come before us and we set ourselves up an Otto bin full of water and molasses (9 parts water to 1 part molasses). We then placed all of the dismantled stove parts into the molasses solution. This was supposed to remove all the rust from the metal using some sort of wizardry – I was dubious, but I did what I was told.
We left it like that for a couple of weeks (that felt like MONTHS!) and then piece by piece we pulled it out and began to scrub it with a scrubbing brush. Disappointingly, it didn’t look that much better. I mean, a little better but not the magic I was expecting. Still, after several weeks of using my spare time to scrub each piece down with a wire brush, I diligently oiled with grapeseed oil to prevent any surface rust appearing.
Step 2: Wire Brushing
As I was wire brushing, I was stunned to find shiny, gorgeous old cast iron underneath! Each time I applied the grape seed oil to a freshly wire brushed piece, it was absolutely the magic I had been promised! My goodness, if you have ever had the pleasure of maintaining a cast iron skillet, you will understand how satisfying it was to restore each piece of this stove!
I’m so happy with how each piece turned out. There’s barely any part of the stove that was rusted through, or that had any sort of permanent damage. I can’t believe how resilient these amazing old wood stoves are.
Step 3: Reassembly
To reassemble the stove, we had to buy new bolts and some threaded rod for the corners of the stove. Some of the fixings were a little hard to find, but we got there in the end.
After reassembling our cast iron jigsaw puzzle, we cemented all of the joints using fireproof cement. We also filled some of the smaller gaps with stove putty, and used this to fill in around the inside of the oven door as well.
Step 4: Find a Flue
It was a lot harder than I expected to find a flu to fit. The stove came with the original flu adapter & enameled flue section, but the end the original flue section 5 1/4 inches and that size is not made anymore. I could find 5 inch or 6 inch flue but not 5 1/4 inch. I purchased two sections (1m each) of 5 inch flu and took one section of the stainless flue, and the original enameled flue section to my local fabricater to have them join the two pieces together. Once that was done I was able to join the second 5 inch flue section and light it up!
Step 5: Light it up!
I can’t even tell you how exciting it was to light the stove for the very first time after putting it back together! It smoked a little, but much less than before. I’m so happy with it, it came to temperature fairly quickly and I think it just needs a tiny little bit more sealing around so the edges before it’s ready to be put into the kitchen eeek!
What’s next for our Metters Canberra Woodstove Restoration?
I’ve organized for a local builder to come and give me an idea on how to install this stove into my kitchen.
I can’t wait to show you all! Stay tuned!
Brad MacAonghais says
I appreciate anyone who knows how to put elbow grease into their passion, well done!
Helga Sutton says
Oh wow, it’s beautiful!!! And your helpers, little one and chickens, are adorable!!
They really are, aren’t they!