When I disassembled the stove I noticed the insulation in the oven was in pretty bad shape.  It was covered in grease and mold and it was likely made of asbestos, which I didn't want my daughter or grandson exposed to.  So, I ordered new oven insulation from Homestead Vintage Stove Company.  I ordered four 2'x4' sheets of 1" thick rigid insulation for the oven compartment and one sheet of 1/4" thick rigid insulation for use in the burner cover.

To replace the insulation in the burner cover I used the old insulation as a pattern to cut a new piece.  The burner cover is used to cover the burners when the stove is not in use.  I suppose the insulation is to protect the porcelain in case someone puts the cover down before they turn off the burner.  There is a brass plate on the cover that warns you not to close the cover before first turning off the burner.  But who reads instructions, right?

Ok, the easy stuff is over, now I begin reassembling the rest of the stove.  Unlike Maych the stove does not have a frame.  All the sheet metal attaches to a base unit of heavy- gauge metal.  This metal base was one of the most corroded pieces of the stove but after much work I got it cleaned up a painted.

The first stage of reassembling the sheet metal was pretty straight forward.  I simply bolted all of the exterior pieces of the stove to the base using the new stainless steel bolts I  had purchased.  Unlike most of today's sheet metal construc- tion, there were no sheet metal screws used in the stove's construction.  The trickiest part was getting a nut on the bolt while holding the bolt in place.  Another set of hands would have come in real handy.  But I persisted with the help of a few clamps and finally got the external pieces assembles.

Next, I needed to install the gas plumbing.  The gas plumbing had to be installed before finishing the oven because the brackets holding the plumbing are bolted to one side of the oven and would not be accessible once the oven interior was in place. 

The gas plumbing inside the burner section of the stove went in easily as there are only a few bolts holding it in place.  The hard part was remembering what went were.  I wished I had taken photos of the stove before I disassem- bled it, but I didn't get my digital camera until after I had it all apart.  I learned a lesson here and when I started Maych's restoration I took lots of "before" pictures.  By the way,  not getting a camera until after I had the stove apart is the reason there are no pictures of the stove before it was restored.

 Now came the hardest part of reassembly -- the oven.  The oven has three layers of sheet metal -- the exterior pieces, a middle section that holds in the insulation, and finally the interior pieces of the oven that contain the slots for the oven racks and the broiler pan.  Plus, the oven is divided into two sections -- a bigger upper section for baking and a smaller lower section for broiling.  Before I could install the middle section pieces of sheet metal I needed to cut and install the new insulation.

Now that all the insulation was in place I could install the middle section pieces.  There are no bolts holding these pieces in place.  They are simply sand- wiched between the top and front exterior pieces which will be be added later. 

The next part of the reassembly was by far the hardest and I struggled with it for several hours before I was able to get it right.  The next step was to install the face frame and the oven top but getting all of it to-gether is somewhat of a jig saw puzzle and I don't think I explain in words how I did it.  Suffice it to say, that after several hours of struggling I got the face frame and top pieces bolted on.

After installing the face frame and top I had to slide the middle section pieces out of the way so I could install the door springs.  Sliding these middle section pieces around and getting them back in place after installing the door springs is somewhat akin to manipulating a Rubik's cube.  All the pieces have to be moved in a specific order to get it apart and back together.

With the door springs in place and the middle section pieces manipulated back in place I could now install the over burner and attach the pilot light to the burner.  I know the paint job on the middle section pieces are not the prettiest, but remember, they can't be seen when the oven is fully assembled.

Next I installed the inner section pieces of the oven.  These are the pieces that are visible when the oven is open and they have slots for the oven racks and broiler.  They were easy to install as they just slide in and are held in place by swivel- brackets that are mounted on the middle sections.  With the inner section pieces in place I could now slide in the two floor pieces -- one at the bottom of the baking section and one at the bottom of broiler section.

After installing the two oven doors (easy and simple) and sliding in the storage drawer the oven reassembly was complete, except for the legs.   I  decided to not install the legs until the stove was back in the garage in order to make carrying the stove up the basement steps a little easier.

After I get some help to get the stove up to the garage I'll install the legs and give it a test run.  I'm a little nervous, just like I was when we started Maych for the first time after rebuilding the motor.  I'll chronicle how it went in the next episode.


 
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