The woodburning range you see in the pictures below was advertised on Craigslist. Very little was said in the description except that it needed to be moved ASAP as the owners were remodeling their basement, and the contact telephone number shared our area code, so I thought there was a chance that it was fairly near us.
I contacted the person who placed the ad. The stove was fairly near, so I scheduled a time to go and investigate.
|One of the pictures of the Hayes-Custer cookstove from the Craigslist advertisement.|
|The other picture of the Hayes-Custer cookstove from the Craigslist ad.|
You can see from the picture above, that there is no brand identification on the front of the stove, and even the oven thermometer merely indicated that the stove was American. Furthermore, the design of the stove didn't immediately give away its brand either. Kalamazoo ranges, for example, never had a brand insignia visible on the front of the stove either, but their familiar appearance gave away their identity at first glance. It wasn't until I opened the left door that I saw on the interior cast iron firebox door the words "Hayes-Custer, Bloomington." I'd never heard of the Hayes-Custer Stove Company, and it is rare that I run across a brand of stove that I'm unfamiliar with! More on the Hayes-Custer Company will be coming in a later post.
Kevin said that he'd had other people who were interested in the stove, but no one wanted to tackle the project of getting the stove up out of the basement.
"That's why I'm giving it away," he added.
Wow! The price was right!
I wasn't too excited about getting it removed from the basement either, but my dad and I had hauled a Kenmore cookstove out of a neighbor's basement when I was in high school, so I had an idea about how it could be done. The price tag caused me to be suddenly motivated, too!
I knew that my family members wouldn't be too excited about helping to haul a stove out of a basement, but my advantage is that I know some really strong high school boys, and the stove was located much closer to them than my relatives. I told Kevin that I would see what I could do about lining up a removal crew and get back to him.
Well, Kevin was anxious to get the stove out of his basement. He made sure that the other most interested party was not coming for the stove, and then he called me back on the same day that I had convinced a junior boy to round up some of his friends to help me out.
On Monday of this week, I returned to Kevin's and disassembled the stove. Everything came apart easily except the bolts that held the two shelf brackets to the stovetop. In my experience, these bolts are often problematic for three reasons: a) access to them is often difficult because you can't get a straight shot at them from the top, b) food splatters have often landed on them, making them sticky, and c) they have been exposed to a lot of expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuation. We ended up having to sacrifice those two bolts, which had to be done quite carefully so as not to damage anything else.
Then, Tuesday evening the high school boys came, and we carried the stove up the stairs, out of the house, and into the pickup. The main body of the stove was heavy, but not too bad really, and everything traveled very easily.
|The disassembled stove in the back of the pickup in our driveway.|
So now the question Nancy asks is what I will do with this stove. It's a good question, too.
This stove is in better condition than the green and cream Riverside Bakewell out in our summer kitchen, especially since its oven door hinge broke.
|The broken oven hinge on the Riverside Bakewell.|
Thus, at this moment, I'm considering selling the Riverside Bakewell and using this stove in its place. The only hang-up is that the Riverside has a warming oven, and the Hayes-Custer only has a high shelf. Other than that, the two stoves are very similar. Oven size, firebox size, and reservoir capacity are nearly identical. Both stovetops have just two eyes over the firebox, but one thing that I consider an advantage about the Hayes-Custer is that the rest of the stovetop consists of just one French plate to the right of the firebox rather than two like the Riverside has. This is an advantage because the joint between the two plates on the Riverside is not perfectly even, causing larger kettles to not heat as evenly as they might.
Even so, the warming oven is a big plus.
What do any of you readers think you'd do? Anyone interested in purchasing a green and cream Riverside Bakewell?