To get started on the restoration of the sheet metal I first needed to do a little research.  Unlike Maych I couldn't simple buy a few rattle-cans and start painting.  I had to figure out how to restore the damaged sections of the elaborate porcelain enamel.  I did find a few places on the Internet that do porcelain enameling but none do the elaborate style found on this stove.  In fact, I imagine it's a lost art.

After much searching I found a product called Ceramit which looked like it might work.  Ceramit is two-part product that produces a ceramic like surface which resembles kiln fired enamels in both appearance and physical properties and it only requires the heat from an infrared lamp to cure.  I decided it was worth a try, so I order several different colors of Ceramit  from Alpha Supply, Inc.  I bought colors that I thought could be mixed to achieve the colors used on the stove.

Making the repairs to the porcelain pieces was rather simple, but time consuming.  First,  I had to mix the Ceramit to colors to get close to the color of the part I was repairing.  When I was satisfied with the color, I would mix it with 1 part catalyst.  Unlike most two-part products I've worked with Ceramit has a long working time because the mixture doesn't begin hardening until heat is applied.  However, I couldn't do large sections or several pieces at once because my heat source only covered a very small area.  For a heat source I purchased a 250 watt Sylvania R40 infrared heat lamp bulb from Mor Electric Heating.  I made my own stand for the bulb from inexpensive parts I bought at a local hardware store.  The stand worked great and I still use it in the garage when I need to work under the hood on Maych.  To  harden the Ceramit I placed the lamp within about 6 inches of the area and heated it for about 30 minutes.

I soon discovered that the solid-colored porcelain pieces were the hardest to match.  The multi-colored pieces were easier because there are so many shades in the design. So being a shade or two off just blended in. The top corners of the oven door were badly chipped and as you can see in the photo the repairs blend in rather nicely. 

The solid colors of the stove (blue and green) were very difficult to match -- at least with the colors I had to work with.  After a while I just gave up on an exact match and ration- alized that a few age marks weren't all that bad on a 60-plus year old stove.  You can see on the burner cover that I was not successful in matching the green color.  I just think of it as a beauty mark (or age spot if you prefer).  At least it's protected from further rusting and my main objective was to create a functional "working" stove, not a "museum" piece

I had the same "color-match" problem with the blue pieces.  But again I  concen- trated on protection and function- ality rather than  per- fection.  The oven bottom shelf was full of chips and rust which I elimi- nated, even if the repairs aren't exactly invisible.  Hey, with the oven door closed the repairs are practically invisibly (actually they are totally invisible with the door closed).

Overall I was pleased with the porcelain repairs.  Here's a few of the finished pieces --

Now that I was finished with the exterior (the pieces that show) porcelain  I could began repair of the interior porcelain. The exterior porcelain parts of the stove were in remarkable good shape and didn't require extensive repair. Mostly just small chips.  It was the interior porcelain that was in the worst shape.  I suppose heat and moisture were the primary factors for their poor condition. 

Because the interior porcelain pieces cannot be seen when the stove is fully assembled I decided to take a different approach in the repair of these pieces.  As I said before, my main objective was to repair rust.  I decided to apply a high-temp paint to those areas of the interior porcelain that needed repair.  Because these pieces were solid colors I suppose I could have sent them to have new porcelain applied but the cost would have been exorbitant.  That's one of the reasons restored a vintage stove cost a fortune. 

I used a product called Stove Bright High Temp Paint.  It provides good rust protection and is heat resistant to 12000 F.  It comes in both aerosol and brush-on.  The internet site where I bought the paint is no longer available but there are several places on the internet that carry it -- just Google for it.

I used the brush-on paint for the interior porcelain pieces  I didn't try to paint the entire area of these  pieces, just those areas that were chipped and rusted.  I know, it looks crude, but these parts are not visible in the finished stove.  For the non- porcelain sheet metal, like the drawer interior I used the aerosol paint. 

Let me tell you, writing about finishing the sheet metal is much easier than the actual doing.  Repairing porcelain and putting on paint were the easy parts.  The hard part was getting these pieces ready for porcelain and paint.  Every piece of the stove was covered in backed-on grease and grim from 60 years of use.  To tackle the grease I used at least 6 cans of Easy Off oven cleaner.  Of course I couldn't apply this stuff in my basement -- if the fumes didn't kill me my wife would.  I took each piece to the back yard and placed it on a sheet of old plywood laid between two sawhorses.  Even so, I killed the grass underneath the work area.  Most pieces took more than one application of Easy Off to get rid of all the grease.  I probably spent the better part of two weeks getting all the pieces clean.

Anyway, now that I'm done with the sheet metal I can move on to tackling the "working" parts of the stove.


 
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