HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice

I Finally Did It!--Forward to the Past

kaleokahu Jan 7, 2012 10:55 PM

Well, today I realized a dream I've had for 45 years since watching, smelling and tasting my tutu's (grandmother's) cooking on her wood-fired stove: I bit on a massive, remarkably well-preserved, all-original, Monarch Malleable Range Co. Model 1325B, 6-burner, wood/coal stove. Solid base, just enough nickel-plate "bling", and all the extras (warming/rising cabinets, dampers, towel bars, cranks, concentric covers, etc.). About as good as it got circa 1920.

I still need to arrange delivery, and installation will take awhile, as I want to give her a good checkup and shine. But I have the house w/ dedicated kitchen chimney, 5 cords of seasoned wood, and a ton of coal ready for her.

Then will come the IR thermometer, the learning curve, a lot of patience, and hopefully a potful of satisfaction.

If it wasn't such a horrible pun, I'd say I'm stoked. My copperware are all dancing.


PS Yes, the fire insurance is paid up.

  1. TheHuntress Jan 7, 2012 11:17 PM

    Congratulations! Sounds like a fine new toy to play with :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: TheHuntress
      kaleokahu Jan 8, 2012 08:57 AM

      Hi, Huntress:

      You and Thermie come for a visit. I'm thinking it's not possible for me to bring the Monarch to Australa in my carry-on.


      1. re: kaleokahu
        TheHuntress Jan 9, 2012 04:34 AM

        Sounds like fun. Thermie could fit in my carry on, along with some excellent Australian wine and some really good macadamia liqueur :D

        I am completely envious, if only Australia wasn't so hot...

        1. re: TheHuntress
          kaleokahu Jan 9, 2012 07:17 AM

          Hi, Huntress:

          My family on Rarotonga solves that problem with a separate cook shack.

          I'll be waiting at the gate with a corkscrew.

          Kia Orana,

    2. Veggo Jan 7, 2012 11:26 PM

      My friends have one at their camp in NE PA. It's like cooking on the hood of a Packard. Awesome. You will need to open the windows, for the heat.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Veggo
        kaleokahu Jan 8, 2012 08:53 AM

        Hi, Veggo:

        Considering that the house was designed and built with no other heat in the kitchen and pantry (for this very reason), I'm looking forward to a little extra warmth. The old range will temporarily reside in the basement in case we need a second or timed oven or a quick spot of tea.

        Off to buy a gross of wire brushes, a bale of steel wool, and a gallon of stove black.


        1. re: kaleokahu
          Veggo Jan 8, 2012 01:41 PM

          I'm sure your installation will include fire rated sheetrock within 4', and 18" setbacks from walls?

          1. re: Veggo
            kaleokahu Jan 8, 2012 05:31 PM

            Hi, Veggo:

            Thanks for asking...

            Well, It's an odd setup. The chimney protrudes from the wall about 6 inches, so I figure I can fudge a bit with standing it off from the masonry. There *is* a narrow, stacked pair of wooden cabinets that will have to go to make it safe, but I can see now that these were actually added later in the house's life to fill the space where the hot water tank sat next to the stove. So all should be good. The stove had literally everything with it, including the firestop sheet that goes under the base.

            I was cleaning the basement today, and found (among other cool things) the Monarch warranty return card that came with the stove that was put in during the 1919 "remodel".

            The sheetmetal on the found stove has only some light surface rust, but the finish loks like a hot-tank-blued gun finish. Any suggestions how to remove the rust without having to completely strip and refinish the flats?


            1. re: kaleokahu
              Veggo Jan 8, 2012 06:08 PM

              WD-40 or naphtha and clean dry rags, in a ventilated area.
              Your stove should be set back from the chimney by at least 12", and you should install fire rated sheetrock on the walls on both sides of the chimney, and under the firestop sheet. I'm still spooked by the Christmas fire in Shippan Point in Stamford that took 5 lives, in a century old house.

              1. re: Veggo
                ellabee Jan 9, 2012 09:20 AM

                Caused by a man leaving ashes in a bag in the garage, not by lack of sheetrock or setback. I'm all for meeting anti-fire requirements, each of which was usually necessitated by some tragedy, but the horrific Stamford fire was not an example of same.

      2. scubadoo97 Jan 8, 2012 05:21 AM

        That is so cool. Have fun and gives some updates as you get further along

        1. o
          olympia Jan 8, 2012 08:42 AM

          Ooooh, so exciting! You'll have to take pictures and keep us updated! Congrats!

          1 Reply
          1. re: olympia
            kaleokahu Jan 8, 2012 09:00 AM

            E, olympia and scubadoo, Aloha:



          2. n
            Nyleve Jan 8, 2012 08:49 AM

            Fantastic. I have a wood cookstove - an Elmira Sweetheart - and I love it more than anything else in my kitchen (human beings mostly excluded). I bought it as a replacement for an antique Findlay Oval which was evicted due to my stupid insurance company who refused to continue to give us fire insurance while it was in the house, although I'd already been using it without problem for over 20 years. I come downstairs and light the stove first thing in the morning and keep it going all day during the winter months. It keeps the house warm and I use it to make soups and stews, raise bread dough and reheat stuff in the oven. I tend not to use the oven for baking because I haven't ever been able to regulate the temperature to any kind of predictible level. You will absolutely love your new toy. Please post a photo!

            1. Eiron Jan 8, 2012 10:47 AM

              Very cool.
              Two (very jealous) thumbs up. :-)

              1. SanityRemoved Jan 8, 2012 11:39 AM

                They look pretty fancy and not what typically comes into mind when thinking of wood stoves. Sounds like it will be your new entertainment center.

                1 Reply
                1. re: SanityRemoved
                  kaleokahu Jan 8, 2012 05:47 PM

                  Hi, SR:

                  As one might expect, there once were all kinds of wood cookstoves, from caboose stoves on up to gigantic multi-oven hotel and institutional stoves. I had been holding out for one of the true biggies, but they are not only rare and $$$$, but they would have made my kitchen and house seem tiny and out of balance.

                  Oddly enough, most of these 6-burner stoves that come available have too much ornate, nickel-plated bling on them to appeal much to Wahine and me. We wanted a plainer one with all the function that looked more like it meant business.

                  I was surprised when I measured the oven to find that it is the same size, volume-wise, as my cheap modern electric range's oven--a bit narrower and shorter, but considerably deeper. And since elements are not *in* the oven, it's probably effectively larger.

                  I'll have to check and see if I can get a remote control...


                2. r
                  rasputina Jan 8, 2012 05:38 PM

                  I'm jealous, I really miss my old wood stove I had in my old house. It wasn't a cooking stove, but I still cooked on it and next to it. I've been wanting a cast iron wood cook stove for years, but it's really impracticle as far South as I am.

                  1. i
                    INDIANRIVERFL Jan 9, 2012 09:33 AM

                    Always enjoy your posts, kaleokahu. Please respond in a few months with your experiences, especially the mistakes, errors, and disasters.

                    Very few of my friends want to hear about how I fed 40 adults on $25.00, but the story on how I almost burned the house down deep frying a turkey leg in my asparagus steamer has always been a favorite.

                    Show Hidden Posts