Friday, October 30, 2020

Link to a Great Cookstove Video

With the latest uptick in Covid-19 cases around here, I've taken to eating my school lunch alone in the classroom in which I am substituting to minimize my exposure.  And since I'm by myself, I watch Youtube videos while I eat.  Among other things, I watch whatever videos I can find about cooking on a wood cookstove, and I found a fantastic one this week.  

Cape Cod couple Tom and Lauren own and use an antique Herald C range made by O. G. Thomas in Taunton, Massachusetts.  They've had the range since the 1970s and had it restored in the 1990s.  Besides supplementing their home heating, the range does a lot of their cooking as it is conveniently located between their kitchen and living room.

The reason I'm excited to link to this video is because it contains excellent footage of the flue path around the oven, the oven damper, and the oven clean out door for this style of range.  I've mentioned before that the woodburning ranges which were manufactured in the Northeast are entirely different from those manufactured in the Midwest, and I've never seen a stove like this in person, so this video is an excellent resource for those of us who are unfamiliar with this style of stove.  The video contains several points of new learning for me, and I was totally fascinated.

The first thing that caught my attention was the tool that he demonstrates at 00:39.  I've never seen something that could lift the "T" and the two lids over the firebox at once.  I might have to put one of these on my Christmas list sometime for use on the Hayes-Custer!

The second surprise for me was at 1:22 when we get to see the oven clean out door.  I did not know that some of these were located so that they opened into what is called the "hearth" on this style of stove.  It seems to me like this would be a much cleaner way to remove the soot from the flue path around the oven than having the door open at the front of the stove.

Starting at 2:00, you can see the flue path around the oven.  In the diagram's below from John Vivian's book Wood Heat, you can see two flue paths.  I'm used to the version on the top, but the video shows an excellent version of the lower design.

The oven damper is demonstrated at 3:28, and I've never seen another one like it.

At 14:10 Tom does an excellent job of explaining the function of the check draft on the upper left side of the firebox, too.  To me, this is one of the most informative Youtube videos I've ever seen about a wood cookstove.

So after all of that advertising, here is the link:

Please do them a favor and hit the like button on the video.  For bonus content, you can see them making a Cape Cod Clam Boil along with appetizers on the cookstove at this link:

I hope you all enjoy these videos as much as I did, and I'm very thankful for Tom's permission to link to them here.


  1. Jim,

    Interesting video. I agree, scraping the soot from under the oven should be a cleaner process with the cleanout door being located where it is. As many of us can attest, that can be a messy process when the cleanout port is at the front (or even back) of the stove. That is especially true if the soot is hot.

    We have a Kitchen Queen with a rear-located cleanout. As the narrator said, that "wasn't a great idea."

    I wish he would have commented about the rod on the back corner of the left side of the stove. I assume it was for drying "things" (i.e. laundry), but I am unsure. Whatever it is, I wonder how well it works and if it tends to get in the way.

    Thanks, again, for your efforts, Jim.

    1. You are correct about the rod on the back corner being a drying rack. As I understand them, when not in use, you lift them until the handle is straight above the stove, and then they slide down to hand vertically against the side of the stove and thus out of the way.