// Darragh Rogan: Granny's Wood Stove Restoration

Granny's Wood Stove Restoration

For years, my grandmother had an old cast iron stove stored in her shed, disconnected & looking sad for itself. About 70cm deep, near enough the same total height, and half as wide, it is a compact little unit.
She brought it with her when she moved to her then home in the 1980s and never had it fitted - apparently it was quite labour intensive to clear out the ashes after a fire was a discouraging factor. I also suspect easier modern-conveniences in the newly built house such as oil fired central heating & gas cookers played a role in it's demise.

Performing sterling duty at holding up rubbish. Notice the "Von Trapp" esque relief

Twin plates - tea at the back, popcorn at the front?
My attempts at trying to free up the air inlet damper with vaseline still visible, many years later

I was always interested in this stove - I love restoring to their former glory old items of industry.
After threatening for years to take the stove home with me, Granny forced my hand by having it thrown from her shed to the back garden awaiting a trip to the local dump. Back of the car it was, newly acquired rust and all!

Sporting something of a rust patina, whilst soaking up the only heat it has had in decades

I had never worked with cast iron really beyond my secondary school weekly classes (and even then it was more mild steel, in a good dry environment). I was going to need some education in how to bring back the metal from rust.
This video proved to give me a good bit of information as well as confidence in what I was going to undertake:

Accordingly I set to work with a wire brush & some metal "stove polish" (as far as I know, oil with metal filings in it...) to test out the theory on the hot plates. Result below - quite a contrast:

And full scale - get to work!:

The brushing is working, albeit quite slow..

At this juncture, it might be good to expand a bit on the history of this model stove, a Trolla 104. 
A contemporary equivalent would be the Jøtul F 604 which sports a cosy 8.5kW heat output - not bad for a compact room.
The Trolla company no longer exists - according to this post they were bought out in 1980 by Jøtul, and their manufacturing site is now home to a biker gang - metal indeed!
According to this post, the Trolla stoves were imported to the UK (and so, I'm guessing by extension to Ireland) to make use of timber due to Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s & 1980s.
For sure, there are plenty of examples of the Trolla 104 out there for sale - it seems quite common.

Can you notice any difference after an afternoon of wire-brushing

Some white spirits to bring up the legs

The door components

Back inside for the evening after an amount of wire brushing & white spirits

The offending grate/firebox. This is still quite crudded up. Need access. For power tool assisted wire brushing

Dismantlement. Note the thermal cement being cracked off that was sealing up the gaps between panels

Same firebox after an evening of wire brushing (see the remnants of same in foreground) and the stove reassembled for storage between weekend attempts
I harbour an ambition to put this stove back to it's original working state. But I know in my current house, space-wise it is probably unlikely to work, plus the expense of getting the chimney lined & fireplace re-modelled versus how long we will keep on owning the house. So for now, I want it to look good and usable for storage, and later, will want to burn in it. That means all the consumables used to re-assemble should be suitable for burning in.
I used VITCAS Heat Resistant Paint in silver colour to brighten up the interior.
And some Fire Cement to seal up all the gaps.

Exploded "diagram" showing the internal face of most components. Note the inside of the vertical side walls has a secondary plate - the external face is quite thin, which would risk warping with heat, so a secondary plate is used. Clever...

And the external faces

Partially reassembled - much brighter on the inside. The fire cement sealant is just about visible too - not the most free flowing sealant I've squeezed out - if you're accustomed to silicon, this is quite different

Looking smart!

Some research into the relief scene cast into the side was conducted, with surprising results.
The word Bruderov is visible at the bottom, leading to this interesting article on Wikipedia about Bride Kidnapping - sounds like it's a big part about Norwegian culture!

In it's present home, for now...until we hook it to a flue

No longer a pokey little cupboard!

My next step is to get this stove integrated to a flue - maybe even a homemade like this


Unknown said...

Hi Darragh - what a fantastic article and renovation project. I came upon it because I have just inherited an identical Trolla stove.

Did you ever get it installed and fired up? I have a question about the baffle plates - in the pictures you have put one baffle at the front and one at the back which looks logical because that's where the angled brackets are. However, mine - well rusted in - has two at the back and nothing at the front.

My thought is that my baffle plates are probably installed correctly, and there shouldn't be one at the front as you have reassembled as that would also partially block the doorway where the wood goes in...

If this is the case, then I can only assume the reason the side plates have brackets at the front is so that the company only had to cast a single side piece - i.e. the same casting could be used left or right side, but that the back brackets would be the only ones that actually got used...

I am no expert at all, and nor do I speak Norwegian which would make the research easier! - just wanted to ask in case you had any thought on it, and let you know in case my hunch was correct and you should reposition the front baffle before you actually fired up the stove!

Thanks, and again, lovely article...


Gazza said...

I have the same Trolla and as you say both baffles were placed at the back. I hope mine looks as good when it's finished. I would like to keep it green.well done Darragh

Unknown said...

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