O'Keefe & Merritt Stove

califsouthpawApril 4, 2011

Has anyone ever taken apart their Okeefe to give it a good cleaning? I got a quote from a restoration place for $2,000 which is out of the question, as I only paid $325 for it. The white porcelin exterior seems to come off pretty quickly once you unscrew where neccessary. Just want to know if anyone else has taken this endevour on before and been happy with their results. Thanks. I am going to be posting step by step results as I take the challenge.

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deeageaux

Is it $2k for a cleaning or for a restoraction? Like repairing porcelain finish?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:32PM
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califsouthpaw

That was just to clean it, crazy right? I was quoted $2,500 to be exact. Another $1400 to rechrome all parts, and reporcelin the whole thing inside and out and get everything looking new again. I dont want to pay that I just need it working and clean. I did get some numbers to get my grates reporcelined and the shiny stuff rechromed, hopefully I get a decent quote. Otherwise clean will have to do.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:46PM
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beckysharp

I have. We bought ours for $25 17 years ago, and I live in the middle of nowhere (on a farm in the Canadian prairies, six hours north of the US border), so there aren't any restoration places nearby, even if we had had $2,000 for the restoring...

We took ours apart, and my husband also took some pieces to the car wash for a good cleaning. I still give it a good cleaning several times a year, and we pull it out once a year to clean behind. It cooks wonderfully, and we are thinking of keeping it for our new kitchen when we build our new house later this year....

Becky

You might want to check on the Appliance Forum as well.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:50PM
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covingtoncat

So close to 4 K? Wow, that's steep. There are many restoration sites you can find thru google. Circuspeanut here has rehabed her stove and may have more info to share (hint,hint).

Personally, I used LOTS of elbow grease, oven cleaner on parts in plastic bags overnite, rustoleum in silver for under the chrome top. Once you get the exterior clean, the stuff they make to clean glass top stoves keeps it looking very nice.

For removing rust, you can use coke and tinfoil, barkeepers friend or woodbleach. Just know that once you remove it, you may also remove some of the chrome, too, depending on its condition. It will re-rust without treatment.

For internal rust (inside the ovens) if you don't want to get it done professionally, you can get paint made for gas fireplaces and grills (high heat paint). It isn't pretty, but it will work. You can find it in black spay paint almost anywhere, but the paint in colors, only on line.

Are you thinking of a total tear down, or just a kickbutt cleaning? If you're going to attempt to rebuild valves and re-insulate, I would seriously recommend buying the guides.

Hopefully Circuspeanut will chime in here soon.

Looking forward to seeing your photos.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:59PM
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califsouthpaw

I hadn't thought of rebuilding valves, insulating has crossed my mind. Yes I was intending a total tear down. I want to get into every nook and cranny to get it as clean as possible.

Becky, thanks for your feedback, I found the appliance forum and posted there too.

Virginia

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:05PM
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dianalo

Check out the website for Chambers stove lovers (link below). They might have good advice for you too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chambers stove fansite

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Circus Peanut

Ooooh yes! yes! I'll cut and paste a bit from old posts of mine that have slid off the GW record:

I bought an O'Keefe & Merritt on Craigs List and restored it for my kitchen remodel 2 years ago. It's a gas stove, model 600-G from about 1949.

I ADORE it; it's the best thing about my whole kitchen. I even found yellow subway tile to match its cheerful knobs.

You can get almost all of the replacement parts immediately for a chunk of $$ at specialty restoration places online, or you can haunt eBay and CraigsList to find them over a longer period of time. I did both.

For advice, I relied mostly on these two online sites:

http://www.antiquegasstoves.com/
http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/

who were both very friendly and knowledgeable about my stove. If necessary, of course, there are also outfits that are happy to have you ship your stove cross country to them for fixing it up, but that begins to run into the thousands.

Califsouthpaw: yes, you just start unscrewing! It's pretty self-explanatory once you begin. The doors lift upwards to slide off once you've undone the screws.

What I did:
I took it apart and cleaned the bajeezus out of it with Barkeepers' Friend and some supposedly "green" automotive grease remover.
Got some valve lube ($10), new valve gaskets ($16) and a booklet ($12) to completely clean out all the knobs/valves. This was really rewarding and I recommend doing it to get the knobs back up to full ease of use.

I got new stainless simmer caps ($10 each) and a new regulator for natural gas ($35) because mine was adjusted for propane. I re-insulated the whole thing with new stove insulation (c. $210), got a brand new oven thermostat ($260) -- both expensive but worth it. It is better insulated than the 3-year-old Maytag it replaced.

I used special porcelain paint to retouch chips ($50), and am saving up to get the burner grates re-porcelained ($40 each plus shipping) and the top plates re-chromed (c. $200 for all 3).

When I was done, I had the whole shebang checked out by a professional gas guy ($150 for 3 hours, this included installation).

So: in the end, it may not really be much cheaper than a regular stove, but it was very worth it to me and may be to you, too.

Advantages:

--The range is spacious, lots of room to set pot lids and hot pans aside as you cook, and the burners are spaced nicely for even my biggest pots.

--The built-in stovetop grill is incredibly effective, and the Grillevator is worth its weight in gold for broiling. Many OKM models have a second, regular broiler underneath the oven if it's ever called for.

-- The oven is smaller, but this means that it preheats quicker and there are no cold or drafty spots: I've found that my baked goods & casseroles cook perfectly and evenly all over.

-- The OKM models come with a simmer function on all burners which is fabulous, no guessing about how high to leave the flame. (It's really surprisingly modern.)

-- The top cover is awesome - if you haven't quite had time to clean before guests arrive, slap that baby down over the burners for extra room and a smooth clean surface.

-- The enameled exterior beats any modern finish hands-down. Swipe and it's clean. And it is glossy and delicious. For a certain amount of $$ you can even have the exterior panels re-porcelained in any color you desire.

Drawbacks:

-- If you want zillion-BTU burners for wok stir-fries, you won't get them. But the 12,000 - 15,000 BTUs work just great for everything else, and you can tweak them as necessary for more or less flame output. (These are those fan-shaped tabs that sit right behind the valves under the top edge.)

-- The 40" width means you can't find a new ready-made range hood that's an exact match - hoods come in 36" or 48". We wound up making and tiling our own vent hood.

-- Almost all of these models have a pilot light. This means that the stove retains a certain amount of heat at any time, which is unnoticeable for us here in cold Maine, and the cats love it, but might be an issue in a really hot climate.

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know, but please just give me a holler if you need any details after you roll up your sleeves. :-)

1 Like    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:16AM
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marcolo

But the 12,000 - 15,000 BTUs work just great for everything else

I rarely see discussions about the BTUs of vintage stoves. How do you know yours? 15K is as high as you'll get today without stepping up to a "prosumer"-type range like a Bluestar. Of course, I have a 15K burner right now, but it's one of those hilariously worthless closed burners, which is apparently designed to keep the center of a pot cool while lighting the cook on fire.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Circus Peanut

Marcolo, on my OKM each burner's BTU is stamped on a metal plate screwed to the back of the range. The back two are 15,000, the front two are 12,000.

I never understood "closed burners" - what does that even mean? If it's closed, how does the gas get out? And how do you char peppers on it, or light celebratory cigars?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:58AM
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marcolo

It's not that closed, silly peanut. Picture a big, big coat button, with the flames coming out only along the outer edge. In order to get a lot of BTUs, you just make the button really big. Obviously the bigger the button, the further the flames get pushed out from the center. My 15K burner can only run on "power boil," which is the full 15K, when I have a lobster pot on it. Otherwise, even with a really big pan, the flames overshoot to the side.

Closed burners are supposed to be easier to clean because nothing gets down into the innards of the stove.

Obviously they seem helpful if you like to squirt ketchup on your range and then clean it up while cooking. In reality, they tend to bake food onto the range top.

Bluestars, Capital Culinarians and perhaps a few others have open burners designed to heat the center of the pan:

If you are wondering what burner shape has to do w/ open vs. closed, I can't exactly explain it. Thermador has sort of star shaped burners but they're closed. I think a closed burner needs to be a little more bulbous for the design to work, so you can't really bring the flame all the way into the center.

As you can see, old ranges all used to have open burners:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:34PM
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artemis78

I put this in my reply on your other thread, but yes, $2,500 is insane for a cleaning---that's someone trying to take advantage of you, I'd say (or unfamiliar with OKMs and what's entailed in cleaning them). In the SF Bay Area, you can get a stove completely refurbished with new thermostat and wiring, re-chromed and re-enameled for that cost.

We have one of the smaller O'Keefe and Merrits---34.5" instead of the big 39.5" models. It's a little less of everything---only one oven and broiler, and 9K and 12K BTU burners with a griddle instead of 12K and 15K like peanut has. We have a regular broiler under the oven, but no Grillevator. It's been great to use nonetheless, though, and has the plus of fitting into modern kitchens a bit more easily---we used a standard 36" range hood over it and built a space for a 36" range that our cabinetmaker trimmed out to get a snug fit around the OKM while making it easy to unscrew the trim to fit a standard 36" range for some future owner who doesn't like vintage. The only real downsides I've found are the pilot light always on (we split the difference on that and opted not to put heat in our kitchen since we live in a temperate climate; the stove is the only heat source). The oven is also small if you ever need to cook on full sheet pans. (Half fits fine.)

I cleaned ours with Simple Green, plus some Bon Ami and Barkeeper's Friend on the chrome. Our enamel was in good shape until we whacked it with a cast iron sink (don't ask...) so I ordered some porcelain touch-up paint for that; if that doesn't work, our local repair shop will sell us a replacement side panel from their parts warehouse for $75, which is far less than shipping the one we already have off to get re-enameled. Our burner grates are actually currently off being re-porcelained at the place circuspeanut linked to above; their prices were very reasonable since we were doing all four. The one thing we haven't decided what to do with yet is the griddle cover, which has rust spots, but which doesn't make sense to re-chrome since then it won't match anything else and may or may not fit over the griddle anymore. We'll see.

Also, on the open v. closed burner bit, I will say that one really big plus to the vintage stoves is that the burners themselves are pretty easy to remove and wash if you ever have a huge spill (I once had candy syrup boil over and coat the burner, which was awful!) The little burner drip trays are handy too, but nothing like pulling the burner itself out and scrubbing it in the sink. Ditto for the oven floor---I *love* that you can just lift it out and take it outside for a heavy-duty cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 1:07PM
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califsouthpaw

Wow thanks for the info Peanut. I am clueless as to the whole BTU stuff. I am no chef just a mom who loves to bake more than I cook. I am just starting to unscrew everything and clean stuff as I go. I might hit you up for some advice once the clean-up is done. The price quote in SF Bay area sounds more reasonable. I just can't spend that much right now. So I am going to take my time and get it as clean and sparkly as possible. My OKM is the smaller one like Artemis's. When I was looking through Ebay and Craig's I went on visual and wasn't really versed as to the fact the bigger ones had two ovens and such. But I am happy. I found a place out in LA that will reporcelin the burner grates for $20 each, she was recommended by a appliance repair place by me, I also found someone on the Chamber's site who recommended the same place. I found alot of before and after pictures on the Chamber's site, which made me feel alot more confident. Right now I just have the electric 70's cooktop that came with the house, and the single oven. They work great for the age but I am just miss cooking with gas. Thanks for the pictures.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 4:14PM
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Patti102163

I've had an old O'Keefe & Merritt gas stove for many years. It is a Model 600 made around 1952. I just use an SOS pad on it and it cleans up nicely. I wouldn't trade it for ANY of the new stoves.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:12PM
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deedles

We did a complete tear down of our Chambers range a few years backs. Took 2 solid months as it needed repainting and some fixing inside and etc, etc. I took everything that could stand up to it and put it in my other oven on the self clean cycle. That worked great. At the dollar store, they sell something called Awesome and it really did a good job at the greasy crap (which was everything, really) and it was only a buck a bottle. Find some nasty old clothes to wear, lol.

Maybe Circus said this but if you take apart the internals... take detailed pictures with pertinent notes of ALL of it BEFORE you dismantle it. I saved our bacon a few times.

Also, on the Chambers lovers website, there is a guy that has a business fixing and supplying parts for all kinds of old stoves. And he knows just about anything and was always happy to chime in. I highly recommend that site even if it's mostly about Chambers stoves.

It was worth it to us and I love my Chambers stove. Those old stoves have a beauty not to mention a quality construction that newer ones rarely touch.

FWIW, we did spring for re-chroming the top and some other pieces, made a world of difference and was well worth the $$.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 7:37PM
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silvergirl426_gw

There is a blog called Stuccohouse that is about the restoration of an arts and crafts bungalow in Minneapolis. The woman who writes it got a Tappan stove and took it apart to clean, paint, and restore. She has a spinoff blog about that. She is a very clear writer and takes a lot of pictures. There is a lot of good info there. hth
lucia

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 8:45PM
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MaineGrammy

I've had my mother's 1953 O'Keefe & Merritt stove about 40 years. Love it! But the oven door spring, or something to do with the spring, gave way tonight. My husband says the innards are pretty inaccessible. Can anyone tell me how to take apart the place where the springs and pulleys live, fairly efficiently? My husband can fix most things, but this is really discouraging him.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 1:10AM
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onedogedie

A internet search turned this up:

"THE TYPICAL QUESTION: I saw a really old post you did about your broken stove door. I have the same problem with my oven door and was wondering if you ever found out how to access the spring thingy?

MY TYPICAL RESPONSE: Yes, i did - and it is funny - approximately every 4 months someone emails me about this question - here is what i have been telling others who ask:

Yes, I did find out how to fix it - it is pretty easy.

Remove the screws holding on the side of the oven (they are on the back). Then, remove the side panel - it will take a little shifting and pushing, but you will get it mostly off.) Then, you will see the pully and spring.

Replace that and hook it into the hole and reassemble. It has been about 7 months since I fixed it so I am a little foggy on the details - but if you come across any questions, feel free to email."

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 8:37AM
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MaineGrammy

Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Henway

I bought another Merritt stove as a spare. I was able to lube up the stove valves with the proper old grease (which seems to only be grey Molybdenum paste but I could be wrong) and it works beautifully, but the oven valves won't turn at all. The pilot lights are lit. But the valve won't turn. Pulling off the cover for it (held on by a small screw and a large screw and then pulling off the cover slightly counterclockwise) and the valve won't pull out or move whatsover. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:49AM
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MaineGrammy

Are you pushing in the oven knob? You don't have to do that with the burner knobs, but must do it with the oven knob. Otherwise, I have no clue--sorry.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Henway

Nope, even pushing in will not let either of them to move clockwise (or counter).

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Henway

the tang at the bottom interferes (screwdriver is pressing against it) with the housing and won't allow the shaft to go far enough down so the key at the top can be clear of its groove and allow it to turn. This seems awfully odd. This isn't a wear item. I can't account for the tang somehow GROWING over time to interfere. I don't think the previous owner could have taken it apart (though, he had completely disconnected the supply hose to the solenoid from one of the thermostats). Weird?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:24AM
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musiclover22

Hello, I just tackled a major cleaning of my OKM stove 1950's after being quoted $1,700 and having it kept for about 2 months. Used Awesome to soak the metal burners. The burners wouldn't even light as the holes were plugged up with grease. Almost a miracle how clean they came out after an overnight soak.

One dilemma: somehow some rodents got into the pot storage area and burner area. The shelf area has these quarter sized holes for ventilation and I'm guessing that's how the rodents got into the stove. I have since had an exterminator come and resolve the situation. There were droppings which I have cleaned by using baking soda with water and then Awesome,

I'm wondering if there is a hygienic or danger of disease from the droppings even though I cleaned with the above products. I was storing pots and covers before the cleaning began. Any suggestions on how to make sure my pots don't get contaminated?

Also, how do I decontaminate the oven and burner area? I'm really paranoid now and keep thinking of those nasty droppings in the burner area and storage area even though I did a such extensive scrapping and cleaning.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Photo is before cleaning project began.

This post was edited by musiclover22 on Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 3:18

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:58AM
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MaineGrammy

Mild bleach and water solution with hand and eye protection and plenty of ventilation? And keep in mind that any part of the stove that gets really hot will already have scorched the germs right out of any leftover droppings, turning them into charcoal.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:16AM
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desiree4GW

I'm so glad to have found this discussion. I bought my O&M (model 500) from a neighbor a couple of weeks ago. It seemed to need a little cleaning until I lifted up the hood. I've been steaming away baked goo, sanding de-rusting and generally disassembling.

For the most part, I've had to learn how to disassemble on my own - no directions anywhere online, apparently. I've now got parts all over the house, and about 200 photos, capturing everything I do as I go. I may publish the entire adventure on my website a little later.

The main issue currently is gas leakage. Even with all the pilots lit, there's a strong smell. So I figure to locate and fix likely culprits like valves and gaskets. The oven thermostat is definitely leaking. I'm planning to replace all the gaskets; disassemble the valves (maybe replace them). - Has anyone bought gasket material and cut their own?

To date, I've had a plumber, a PG&E tech and an antique gas stove expert visit "us" to service, provide advice and recommendations. The expert was helpful, although he kinda wanted to sell me one of his restored units for a princely sum.

I said 'thanks but no thanks'. I'm having fun tackling this baby. I've never had a gas stove and I'm having fun learning the basics. Besides I'm not that interested in a completely restored stove. I just want a safe, properly functioning one.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 12:23AM
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auclark

Hi! This has been a very nice series of posts with lots of great information. I have a 1953 O&M that looks to be the same as that posted in the picture by MaineGrammy above. While I have been able to find a lot of posts regarding restoring the gas-components of the stove, I have yet to find much information about re-wiring the stove. For example, My O&M needs a new power cord and I am struggling to find out the total amperage that will be pulled on the power cord so that I know what gauge wire to use. I know the plug is a non-grounded 120V and that it doesn't seem like the power cord has heat resistant coating, but the wires are quite thick and i can't find info on the amperage on the plug or any of the wires, or wire terminals/endings. Does anyone have any suggestions? I already took the cord to an electrician, but because there are no markings on the plug he couldn't tell me anything. Hopefully one of you will be able to give some insight!! Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2015 at 5:44PM
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mariooj

Does anyone know of any problems by cooking right on the chrome griddle? And I cannot get my burners to light. The pilots are lit and the griddle turns on but the burners do not unless I use a match. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 8:48AM
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desiree4GW

I might be able to help you, auclark. Regarding the electrical system, I rewired mine and it works fine. Even according to the electrician. I even documented every step.

Don't worry about the total amperage, if your stove is a gas stove. These stoves don't draw exceptional power to run a couple of clocks and lights, etc.

Use the kind of electrical cord you find on a 6 plug power strip. Just terminate the ground cord since it's not used.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 3:47PM
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desiree4GW

Mariooj, the chrome griddle is for show, not cooking. There's an aluminum griddle that is made for cooking.

When a burner doesn't light, there are several points to check. 1) Sufficient gas has to flow from the orifices on the back of the valve. The gas/air mixture needs the right balance (controlled by those things that look like little wings). 3) The flash tube has to be in the right position, the right distance between the pilot and the burner. All in all, the whole thing relies on a balance of flow, and gas/air mixture to work. It's impressive to think someone figured all this out so that whether it works or not, nothing blows up. :)

Since your burners will light with a match, the problem might be in the flash tube area. For example, it might not be getting enough gas or it might be getting too much. The flash tube is responsible for carrying the gas to the pilot flame and then carrying that fire back to the burner. It's tricky to explain and trickier to see because it actually does happen in a flash.

If you're comfortable playing with gas on your stove, after making sure the valve orifices and flash tubes are clear, try varying the flow from the valve orifices, the air shutter positions and the flash tube position.

It's a lot to comprehend. In the end, learning how to DIY will pay off, but you might want to simply hire a vintage stove expert to do it initially. Then you can watch and learn. I'd happily teach you if you lived nearby. I'm in San Jose, CA.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 4:26PM
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MaineGrammy

Desiree4GW mentions that the chrome griddle isn't for cooking, & there's an aluminum griddle. I never knew that! I don't think my mother owned one.

I've always wondered why anyone would use the chrome griddle, since grease or pancake batter would slide into those openings and land deep inside the hard-to-clean stove innards. (Also, the chrome on ours was polished away years ago, leaving layers of other metals that are probably not good to cook on!)

Any idea who carries the aluminum griddle accessory?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 5:29PM
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desiree4GW

The only source I've seen for OKM aluminum griddles is grapevinesally. They are primarily on ebay but they're in the process of building their own commerce website.

http://www.grapevinesally.com/

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 5:54PM
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mariooj

Is there any reason that the griddle is aluminum? I was thinking maybe I could find a cast iron or calphalon one to fit the space. They are a lot cheaper than the aluminum ones on ebay. Any reason I should stick with the aluminum - aside from the esthetics?
Mariooj

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 6:46PM
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desiree4GW

Mariooj,

As far as I know, the chrome and aluminum griddles are the only ones available for O'Keefes. But there's no rule that says you can't cook on a different surface, provided it has the correct dimensions and vents.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 6:58PM
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auclark

Thanks desiree4GW! that is very helpful. May i ask where you bought your new insulation of your stove and the new high temperature wiring? It seems like the stove insulation is really expensive - i am doing a complete restore, having a lot of fun too!! I have my stove Milly completely disassembled, the really rusted parts sand blastedd, and am almost done cleaning and putting high temp paint where needed. But i am having a hard time finding reasonably priced suppliers for the insulation.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2015 at 9:32PM
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desiree4GW

You're most impressive, auclark. I've not encountered too many who are doing a complete DIY rebuild. I'm going to, but I'm taking it in stages. I've been documenting nearly everything I do and buying poor condition stoves for parts.

I really like "Milly". I named my primary stove "Lucy". :) Here's her picture.

I just finished updating most of Lucy's wiring. My posting about that electrical adventure is here: http://www.desiredcreations.com/blog/?page_id=404

The page includes where I got my wire, although I don't know how helpful that will be. But I just found a high temp wire source that might be helpful to you: https://www.kentuckymudworks.com/items/wirehitemp14gauge-609.htm

Note, you may also need to get high temp wire connectors (porcelain wire nuts). Even though I live in a major metro area, none of the local electrical suppliers had those. Just a heads up.

Insulation: I did reading about Chambers and their phenomenal insulating properties. It said they were insulated with rock wool, so that's what I plan to use.

I've been using Rustoleum's high temp spray paint (1200 degrees) for certain parts. What paint are you using?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2015 at 1:18AM
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auclark

Oh Lucy is gorgeous desiree4GW! - yes, i am using the Rustoleum specialty high temp paint. Any interior spots that have rust i'm grinding down and spot-painting those, then the whole venting system in the back and the two back panels (the one that holds the insulation in and then the outer one where the power cord comes out - all those pieces just had to be sandblasted and then painted with the high temp paint. Luckily Milly had no missing parts - so far I haven't had to purchase any pieces aside from the oven light button. As for the wiring, i can't wait to take a look at your blog. Milly originally had a heater and fan - that went to some mechanical where the lower left hand drawer is now...someone before me took that out and replaced it with a drawer (which i would prefer anyway for storage). So really, the electrical i am worrying about is the oven light button and the clock and timer pieces. I'm not sure how much of the wiring needs to be replaced per se - much of it looks in good shape - no frayed ends and the contacts look intact...but i want to systematically test each one and then see. I hadn't heard of rock wool before - will definitely check it out as i am almost done with enough of the cleaning to put the insulation back on. Did you do any cleaning of the actual oven burner and/or grill assembly? Cheers - A.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 6:16PM
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okeefeandmerritt

I did a complete restoration of my okm. a 39.5" model from 1959. I have to say the best grease cutter i have found is oxyclean. I fill my kitchen sink or a large bucket with 3 scoops and very hot water. It releases every speck of grease and grime. For all the parts that had surface rust i use Rust Release from Industrial metal supply in Sun Valley Ca. Rust is gone overnight and there is bare metal that is blackened and hasnt rusted again. There are two types of high heat paint. BBQ black and Rustoleum black. BBQ has a sheen that is almost an exact sheen of what was applied at the factory while the Rustoleum flat is much flatter in sheen and works just as well. However it doesnt match the other parts i didnt need to paint.
For the wiring i purchased a new round power cord from McMaster-Carr and for the wiring i used original cloth wiring that was period correct to match what was used originally. I purchased it by the foot from Toms Engine Barn. The sell both the 10 gauge and the 12 gauge needed. So far i have spent approximately 75.00 in materials. And i stripped it down to the bare frame and rebuilt it from there. I did re-purpose the original insulation as it was in excellent shape. Caution it contains asbestos so if you remove it WEAR A DUST MASK!! All of my valves work great, however i have spoken to JES Enterprises in Ventura California about having them rebuilt if ever needed. They were very helpful. I made my own gaskets for the burners from cork gasket material ( auto supply store) and that has worked out fine.
To remove the burners from the porcelain gas tubes heat the porcelain metal surrounding the screw with a small torch til they are hot and the screws back out almost effortlessly. I was able to use all of the original screws over again after i dropped them in Rust Release overnight and re-blackened them. She works great and while i didnt have her rechromed or re-porcelained as she is in pretty good shape. i like that she has a few imperfections and wasnt looking to make her perfect. I cook daily and she is a blast to use again all redone.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 7:10PM
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