Saturday, October 11, 2014

Request for Information about the Olympic B-18 Range

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you know that every once in a while I get a comment from a reader that I feel needs more attention than it would receive if simply left in the comments section of a blog post. Such is the case with a recent comment put on the "Purchasing a New Wood Cookstove" entry from June 2013.

Blog reader Charlie G. asked if anyone had any information about the Olympic B-18 range made by the Washington Stove Works in Everett, Washington.  I will share the little bit that I had on hand here, but if any of you readers can help Charlie out, please use the comments section below.

The Olympic B-18 Family Range made by the
Washington Stove Works.  Pretty sharp looking
cookstove, in my opinion.

I knew which range Charlie was asking about because my grandmother on my dad's side was a great catalog saver.  I have 1950s Sears catalogs that she saved which were found "over top of the garage" and various catalogs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  Thus, the picture that you see above is a scan of page 990 from a JCPenney catalog.  Unfortunately, I do not know the exact year because I took this scan from just a few pages that were removed from it.  I can say with certainty that this stove was not carried by Penney's in the early 1970s, but did appear in their catalogs for a space of about three years in the late 70s when wood heat was making a comeback due to high energy prices.

Compared to the other wood heating stoves that Penney's advertised on the near pages, the price of the Olympic was quite high, which leads me to believe that its quality might have been pretty good, too.

The catalog description reads as follows:

One of America's Classic Stoves . . . authentic down to the smallest detail.  Cast from original molds by Washington Stove Works, builders of fine wood-burning stoves since 1875.  All castings made of Western Gray Iron, famous for its strength and toughness.  Ideal for your home or country retreat.  Superbly crafted, this stove lets you heat a large room or cook a complete meal on its full-size, cast iron cooking surface.  This surface also has cast-iron polished tops, 32-in. rag rack and commercial-size 27x40-in. griddle.  Lids and center are reinforced to prevent warping, sagging and crackling.  Two center posts support the top section--helps keep it flat.  Linings are sectional to avoid burning out.  Oven is heavy-gauge, rust-resistant steel with heavy cast-iron braces.  The body is one-piece 20-gauge polished steel, features triple-wall construction accented with heavy nickel-plated trim and legs.  Kettle shown not included.  Firebox: 9 in. wide, 20 in. deep, 9 in. high.  Cooking surface:35 1/4 in. wide (wing shelf adds 4 1/2 in. to width), 26 1/2 in. deep, 31 1/2 in. high.  Oven: 18x18 1/2 x 13 in high.  Overall: 59 3/4 in. high.  Installation: use with 8-in. stovepipe, sold above, from stove to ceiling or wall.  Finish the installation with 8-in. Metalbestos Chimney Pipe, sold on page 998.  Not fully assembled--only pliers and screwdriver needed; instructions included.  See Clearance information below.  Warranted by manufacturer--see page 802.
RJ 904-2078 A--Delivery Class C--see page 808.  Wt. 490 lbs. ....1299.99

The clearance information states that the required space between the sides of the stove and a combustible wall is 36 inches.  The clearances from the stove to the outside edge of non-combustible floor protection is 12 inches on all sides.

Charlie is looking for any information that about this stove, and he wonders if anyone has an owner's manual.  Again, if you have any additional information, please utilize the comments feature below.

P.S.:  With the two brand new cookstoves that I have purchased in the last seventeen years, the information that came with them was sparse to say the least.  That's why I started this blog.  I'll do my best to answer any questions that anyone has.

32 comments:

  1. Thanks Jim,

    That's my stove and all your information is very helpful. Its not hooked up yet but I am looking forward to the day it is.

    Charlie

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    Replies
    1. And when you get it hooked up and in use, please feel free to chime in on the blog with an Olympic owner's point-of-view. I'd also enjoy doing a post on your individual installation, too. Best wishes!

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  2. I just bought this stove. when I got home and took off the top plates I found three pieces under them just laying there. if you have any instructions that show where all the pieces go, it would be very helpful. if this is Jim I'm talking to I sure would appreciate your help. my name is Rick. thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Rick,

      If you can, please e-mail me pics of what you found. My address is rossnj8@msn.com.
      I don't know whether I'll be able to help, but I'll give it my best shot!

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  3. I sent the pics. I was just wondering if you got them? Thanks Jim

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    Replies
    1. I did, but the e-mail landed in my junk, so I didn't see them until I went looking for them after I saw this comment. You should have an e-mail from me waiting for you. The pieces are the firebox liner.

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  4. Yes sir I will look and see. And your right it was bought and never used. I bought it at an old antique store in Nashville tenn. We bought some property in falkville Alabama. We are going to build a log cabin on the 19 acres. And we are going to hook it up in the cabin to use during the winter to cook and heat. And also looks. When we get it built and the stove hooked up we will message you. This was my wife's birthday present. She has been wanting one for a while. And she was very happy when she got it.thank you so much for your help Jim.

    Rick,

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  5. I just purchased the same stove from the grandson of the original owner. From a sheep ranch in Northeastern California; to be installed in a bunkhouse on a ranch in eastern Oregon.

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    1. Cool! Welcome to my blog, Shaun. When it gets installed, be sure to let me know so that we can get a picture posted. Enjoy using your new stove!

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  6. Hi Jim, I had this model given to me and it needs some serious TLC. Parts missing, parts broken, but still it's a beautiful stove. Do you know where a person can pick up some sort of parts guide? A manual (I'm not sure that a wood stove would come with a manual)
    Thanks
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Paul.
      I'm sorry that I don't have good information for you on this one. After a little bit of research, I found this link which may offer some assistance: http://hearth.com/partsplace.html

      I think you might try calling Lehman Hardware in Kidron, Ohio also. They used to carry an extensive line of repair parts for various cookstoves, but I don't now whether they still do.

      Other readers have had good success with small local metal working shops, too. You might take a look at this post to see what Gary Dutko was able to have made for his stove: http://woodcookstovecooking.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-blog-readers-cookstove-iii.html

      I'm sorry that I can't do any better for you. Best of luck and keep me posted!

      Jim

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    2. Thanks Jim, I appreciate the info.....thanks for all you do

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  7. I am looking for a replacement for the Wood firebox lower hinge plate that the firebox door rests on for our Olympic B-18. Ours rotted off. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I just found a No C-18 so it may be the Model not B-18

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  8. Does anyone know the age of the B 18 Olympic stove and or its value?
    Thanks in advance !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olympic B-18's seem to pretty much date from the late 1970s. Value is completely dependent on their condition, how badly the owner wants to be rid of it, and how badly someone else wants to buy it.

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  9. i have the same stove but cant use it because the stove top is apparently warped because it smokes around the round plates i dont know if it is the plates or the rectangular part that holds the plates is warped , i am seeking to replace these parts , can you tell me where i can get the parts. thank you

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to say that I don't know of a place that carries parts for the Olympic B-18s specifically, but I have talked with other wood cookstove owners who have had a great deal of success with having local metal working shops custom craft replacement parts. Since you still have the original parts for them to use as a pattern, it would seem like this would be your best bet.

      Best of luck, and keep me posted!

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  10. We have one of these stove currently in use at a remote Lodge in alaska. It is used for cooking on a daily basis for much of the year. It is a great cookstove. I am trying to find out some information that the insurance company is asking for. I saw your blog and thought you bbn may have some insight.

    They want to know if its ul rated, and also if it is airtight. Do you know how we would find this out?

    Thank you, Jay Mcclendon

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Jay, and welcome to my blog!

      I don't think that the Olympic B-18s are airtight or UL listed, but here is some more information for you:

      If the stove were airtight, it would most likely have "bell" drafts or some other rotating draft control in a circular shape rather than the sliding draft that is shown on the lower left side of the stove in the picture above. There would also be a braided gasket around the firebox front feed door in order to make it leak less air into the fire.

      As far as UL listings go, in my experience that would have been something that was prominently advertised in the catalog, or there would be a metal plate affixed to the stove somewhere that would have their symbol on it.

      I hope your insurance company doesn't give you too much grief over this information. Keep me posted, will you?

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  11. We have an Olympic B-18 stove that my parents bought from Sears or JCPenny back in the 1970's. It has been installed in three hunting camps since the late 1990's. The stove works very well both heating and cooking, however it is beginning to show its age. Dad told me today that he wants to remove the stove from the cabin and get it refinished (painted, polished and rework the stovetop). I was looking for a parts source when I found this blog. Most of the refurbish works is cosmetic. One of the camps where the stove was installed had a leaky roof, so the top of the stove got pitted a bit by the leaks. If I can source parts, I will. If I need to have parts machined/welded/fabricated, I guess I will have to do that...

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    Replies
    1. It's good to know that these stoves work well. I would love to see before and after pictures if you are willing to share them. You can e-mail them to me at rossnj8@msn.com. Thanks for commenting!

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  12. Hello,

    I used to work for WSW from 1966-1987+/-. Thru their history they made an A-18, B-18 C-18 & D-18 over many years. The A,C & D were discontinued and the B carried on. None were airtight that I’m aware of. I think the clearances were generic for any wood/coal unit produced. The later B’s may have had a heat shield attached to the bottom, right side and maybe the back. The later B’s may have been tested but not UL approved. Up until the mid ‘70’s they were assembled with rivets, spot welds and bolts. They may have had asbestos up until that time and then changed to a high temp ceramic material Later B-18’s used bolts and pop rivets for assembly. Painted with high temp black and nickel plating.

    I personally have a 1927 B-18 that I repaired/rebuilt using original style rivets and square nuts. Any broken cast Iron I needed to replace was done using the older set of working patterns. Any sheet metal I could make as I was in charge of the fab portion of the company before I left. All insulation was non-asbestos.

    I’m sure I have some info but having just moved I have no clue where. If I come across it I will try to post what I can.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Please feel free to add as much information here as you can.

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  13. Thinking about repair parts for Wash Stove Works stoves. Sometime in the 90’s? the foundry patterns were sold to a gentleman named Walter Papst who owned Portland Stove Parts in West Lynn, OR. I understand he is no longer in business. He had a friend, Gary from Hillsboro, OR that restored stoves also. Walter had patterns for a lot of different brands and could get parts made. I lost touch with Walt and not sure if he is still alive but would imagine he either sold the patterns or they are still in the family.

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    1. Thank you for this information! I'm glad you shared it here.

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  14. Would like slider operation info on back top left. Started fire with slider to right. Does slide to left cause hot air to heat oven. 10-15-20 Steve

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  15. Hi, Steve! The "slider" on the top back left is called the oven damper. These were constructed in a variety of ways, so I can't automatically say which position it needs to be in for starting the fire.

    What the slide does is move a piece of cast iron which either allows the smoke and heat from the fire to go directly up the chimney (open position) or force the heat and smoke to go around the oven (closed or baking position). If you remove the lids or plates of the cooktop, you should be able to see an opening centered at the back above the oven box. Move the lever both directions to see which position actually closes that flue hole.

    If you want to look at a couple examples of what that hole looks like, you can see two of mine in this post:
    https://woodcookstovecooking.blogspot.com/search?q=maintaining+an+even+oven+temperature

    When starting the fire, you want the hole to be open to draw the smoke directly up the chimney to begin with. After a good draft is establish, you can close the oven damper, and that will heat the oven.

    If you have any further questions, please let me know.

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  16. Jim,
    I am restoring an Olympic B-18 cook stove. I am missing the handle for the stove damper (open/bake). I don't think I have much of a chance to find one but I can make one. If anyone could provide a photo I could make it look correct.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Webster, I finally found an answer to this question. If you watch the video at the following link, you'll see what the lever on the oven damper looks like.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC0VSx4B-0k&t=99s

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  17. With the Olympic B-18 is a type 1 or type 2 stove board required?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jim,
    Thanks for the link to the video. That was very helpful.
    Still wondering about floor protection. The Olympic B-18 that I have does have a heat shield on the bottom. I am not having much luck finding a Type 2 stove board that is large enough to meet the required coverage. I did find a company that will make custom sized ember protection steel plates.

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