After completing the restoration of
the sheet metal parts I started the restoration of all of the working
parts of the stove. These parts included all the gas plumbing,
burners, knobs, hinges, springs and other parts that make the stove
I tackled the gas plumbing first.
The plumbing was in good shape
structurally, It mainly just needed cosmetic restoration.
was afraid the cast iron burners might be rusted-out but all they needed
was a good cleaning and repainting. I used Navel Jelly and the wire
wheel on my bench grinder to remove the surface rust from the burners.
Then I spray-painted the four cast
iron stove-top burners with Stove Bright paint.
However, I didn't paint the over
burner as I was afraid the paint might give off
fumes when subjected to the flame from the burner. I painted all of the air-flow
dampers (if that's the right term) with the same high temp- erature
aluminum paint that I used to paint some of the parts on
The only gas piping in the stove was
one short section of pipe that contained
all of the valves (four top burners and the oven) and another shorter
piece that went to the oven thermo- stat.
Again, the pipe was struct- urally sound and all they needed was cleaning and painting. just
like the burners. The valves where very hard to turn so I knew they
would need a good cleaning. I removed the five valve assemblies
from the pipe and disassemble them. I used Pre Painting Prep from
Eastwood and a brass brush to
clean all the old grease and gunk from the valve parts, being careful
not to damage the valves.
Before reassembling the valves, I used
the wire wheel on my
bench grinder to polish all the brass parts of the valve assem- blies.
They were so dirty and dis- colored I didn't even know they were brass
until I got them on the wire wheel. Now they look like new.
I then painted the valve handles with the same high temperature aluminum
paint that I used to paint the air-flow dampers on the burners.
I was now ready to reassemble the
valve assemblies and reattach them to the gas piping. The valves
now turned freely but I knew the sound of metal-on-metal was not a sound I
wanted to hear when turning gas valves and I was afraid they were now so
loose they might leak gas.
After doing a little research on the
Internet I found what I was looking for at
The Old Appliance Club.
Indeed, it is the grease that I removed from the valves that lubricates
them and keeps them from leaking. However, over time this grease
became old and
brittle and the valves built up a varnish which could cause galling damage or cause breakage due to
the excess force needed when
to turning the valves. The solution is to apply valve cream.
Naturally, the The Old
Appliance Club sells this cream, so I ordered a tube.
Just so you know, I also found a site
Gas Stoves) that does not recommend using valve cream. Instead,
they recommend having the valves professionally rebuilt. Of course
they offer these rebuilding services. I carefully inspected my
valves and determined that they were not damaged so I decided to give
the valve cream a try. I will fully test the valves
before I allow my daughter to use the stove.
After applying the valve cream and
reassembling the valves they worked as smooth as silk. When I test the
stove later, I'll see if the valves have any leakage.
Next, I went to work on the pilot
light assembly. When I first
purchased the stove I noticed that in addition to the gas valves there
was a small button on the front of the stove. I pushed it but it
didn't seem to move and I couldn't figure out what it was for.
Now that I had the stove apart I
could see that the button on the front of the stove was actually the end
of a rod that pushed against the pilot light valve inside the stove.
When this push button valve is depressed in allows a full flow
of gas to go up the pilot light tube and is then diverted to all four
top burners. You simply turn the valve on the desired burner to
light it. This way, you don't need a pilot light for each of the
four burners. I can't wait to give it a try. The button
valve was stuck shut but a little Pre Painting Prep and elbow grease got
it to working freely. I simply blew on the end of the pilot tube
while depressing the button to make sure it was working properly.
Now that the gas valve plumbing was
done, the only piece of gas plumbing left to do was the plumbing for the
oven burner and
thermo- stat. This consisted of the thermo- stat itself, and a small
section of pipe that connected the gas valve pipe to a rather strange
looking device that resembles an engine manifold. I removed the
surface rust and gunk from the "manifold" and painted it with high
temperature aluminum paint.
The last piece of the gas plumbing
left was the thermostat. According the the literature the Magic Chef stove was the first manufactured stove (at least in
States) to have a thermo- stat. The official name of the therm- ostat is a Lorain Oven Heat Regulator and I guess it was a very
welcome departure from stoves that did not have a thermostat to control
the oven temperature. Anyway, I knew enough to know that I wasn't
qualified to restore this device. Fortunately, I found a place on
the Internet that restores old thermostats. I emailed
Unity Stove of Florida to see
if they restored my particular model and they replied that they did and
gave me an estimate of what it would
cost. It's not cheap, but I decided it was worth the cost, as
there was really no alternative.
I now turned my attention to the
"user oriented" pieces of the stove -- namely the turn-knobs that are
used to turn on the gas. These turn-knobs are a highly visible
part of the stove, and due to their "vintage" design, give the
stove much of its appeal. So, I wanted them to look as nice
as possible. The turn-knobs consist of a what I assume is a
bakelite knob attached to a steel rod. The steel rod was no
problem to restore. I just painted it with the same high
temperature aluminum paint I used on the other parts. The bakelite
knobs presented a little different challenge. I
restored the bakelite knobs using a method I later used when restoring
Maych's exterior light lenses.
You can refer to that section if you'd like details on the procedure I
The restoration of the other
"working" parts of the stove, such
as hinges, springs, brackets, fittings, gas flues, etc. was pretty
straight forward and I won't bother to detail their restoration here,
other than to say I restored all these parts in the usual manner --
cleaning and painting.
I am now finished with the
restoration of the working parts of the stove and I'm ready to start
putting the stove back together. I sure hope I can remember where
all the pieces go.