Friday, July 27, 2012

Stove Update #3

I've had a few people ask me about my stove project lately, so I thought it was due for an update! For those of you new to the blog, last summer (about a year ago) my modern oven door just fell off and shattered in the middle of the night. Long story short, I took advantage of the opportunity to fulfill my long-held desire to acquire a vintage stove.

My stove as it sat in the seller's basement.

I bought a 1950 Westinghouse double oven off of Craigslist. (For you I Love Lucy fans, this is the same stove she has on the show. Why? Because Westinghouse sponsored the Lucy show.) It worked and was in good shape, but once we got it home it was clear that the wiring needed to be totally replaced. 

 I started that project last fall and as the weather got colder we moved the stove from the garage to the basement and my husband took it over.

Ever try carrying a 300 lb. steel and porcelain appliance down a flight of stairs? :) But the good part about that was that we could set it up near our electric panel to test it before moving it upstairs.

Once the re-wire job was complete, my brother, an electrician, came over and drew a 220 V line directly from our electric panel and hooked it to the stove. See the 4 wires coming off the panel? Best to leave that job to the professionals!

It's alive! All four burners, both ovens and broilers live again.

Even the 120 V circuits for the lighting and outlets work. 

The funny thing was, all this was happening around dinner time and I had to cook dinner. I had some summer squash and tomatoes and onions to saute and went about my usual prep work and put the pan on my existing stove (which still works, it just doesn't look pretty). I turned on the burner and went about starting something else- it took me about five minutes before I realized the veggies weren't cooking! 

Apparently, my brother had taken the existing 220 line from our working stove and jumped it onto the project stove right about then. I had no power at all to the modern stove. So I promptly took my pan down the basement and plopped it on the project stove to "test" the burners. I don't think our basement ever smelled so good!

My husband makes his first appearance on the blog showing off his wiring and cooking skillz...

My next step is to take the chrome pieces to be re-chromed. (We were waiting to make sure it worked before embarking on that considerable expense.) Then we will need to cut our countertops out in the kitchen to make room for the wider stove- will probably have to get new countertops as a result. I can't wait to show you the finished project- we're getting there!


  1. How WONDERFUL! I was super lucky with my 1954 stove. The people who owned it were rich and kept their house at a constant 73 degrees so there was no dry rot or anything. Although I did have to rewire the kitchen to support a 220V plug (as the house had only had a wood stove in it prior to that.) I am thrilled for you and your kitchen!

  2. That looks great! Can't wait to see it in your kitchen when you are all done.

  3. I'm so impressed with the progress you've made, and I can't wait to see it when it's re-chromed and installed in your kitchen. You guys are doing great!

  4. Gorgeous stove!~ I envy anyone who takes the time to really fix up their vintage goodies! That is gonna be a great addition to your kitchen. My 1954 stove is awesome and the price was right, but it's a gas stove. I love gas stoves until Summer. That pilot light puts off hellacious heat and makes the kitchen unbearable!!

  5. Oh your so lucky you could save it. My Roper went bye bye, someone else's project now.

  6. Heah Suzie Q,

    I just wanted to let you know, I did it! I bought a vintage Sunbeam toaster and I love it. It is so cool, the toast goes down automatically when you plug it in. Check it out,

  7. Hi,
    I bought stove, which I think is just like yours yesterday on Craigslist. My husband (a builder) and I are in the beginning stages of building a spec house. Permit should be issued next week. I thought it would be cool to build the kitchen around a vintage stove. He is not so sure after seeing how dirty it is. We'll see. Here goes.