Type of Steel to Specify for Restoration of Old Stove.

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Cre8tionist
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 8:20 am

I have removed the sheet metal exterior from a cast iron cook stove I intend to restore. Now to the metal fabricator. What sheet metal should I specify him to use? He predominantly uses stainless steel in his other business and suggested it might be a longer lasting choice, though more expensive. I read in this forum that I want something that can take the heat-cool cycle these stoves go through, and also the carbon content is important. I need to know what gauge and also cold rolled, hot rolled, stainless, or whatever,...i don't even know what all I don't know,.....can you help?
Last edited by Cre8tionist on Sat. Apr. 01, 2017 5:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 9:25 am

If you don't care about being original the stainless would be a good choice, the gage can be had off the old piece, some can be modified other fit into a slot on the base but most aren't thick by any means, depending on how old they didn't have many different steels then, just basic sheet stock. I'm sure someone with more experience might be able to say more exactly what to look for & what to stay away from.

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Smokeyja
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 12:16 pm

Just use basic cold rolled mild steel . I'm sure the fabricator needs to put breaks (folds/bends) in it, correct?
Stainless is good but depending on where you are using it and how much heat you will be placing on it it has a tendency to warp .

12 gauge is good and stout but I'm guessing they used 14gauge originally which is very strong when broke(folded/bent) or with a bead rolled down it. If you have any photos and a measuring tool I coul tell you exactly what gauge it is and what you would need. If you show it to any good sheet metal fabricator should be able to take a look at the parts you need to reproduce and can replicate them properly. Do you have the ability to bring him the old parts or are they too far gone ?

Cre8tionist
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 4:26 pm

OK,...I can take the original sheets to the fabricator so they can get the gauge from that. Yes they do need to break (bend) the corners to make the square box that surrounds the cast iron oven and the fire box. I want a good strong end product and if more modern materials like stainless steel etc. is available and better that's great,....if it would be better.....

I'm reading things on this site (different topic) where they use the terms high carbon steel and low carbon steel,..should I be concerned about getting high or low carbon steel? Is there such as thing as high carbon or low carbon stainless steel?

They will also be turning over one inch rims or edges on the 4 sides of a rectangular piece to form a bottom for the stove. The original bottom was riveted to the sheet metal sides. I broke all those rivets off to get the pieces apart. Will steel pop rivets work to hold the outside sheet metal of a wood burning cast iron cook stove together and over time still be able to withstand the temperature changes as it heats and cools. I have read that some people use bolts (stove bolts?). In my mind it seems pop rivets would be easier for me to install and hold better over time but I'd like to hear what others say who might have some knowledge in this area,........this is my first project of this type (?)


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Smokeyja
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 4:55 pm

The mild steel alloys of today are better than those of yesterday . Can you show some photos of the stove parts you speak of or the model stove . Does the stove have firebrick or refractory in it? You can get different steel alloys and different SS alloys. Some will be malleable enough to bend in a press break and some will not. If you can give the make and model of the stove that would be great.

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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 8:25 pm

I would just take the peices to a fab shop for a patterns an tell what it is and your expectations on the replacment parts, if they are any good they will be able to figure out what to use. Shop guys like it when you don't tie there hands with stipulations they do it for a living so they know what they are doing ;)

Things to keep in mind
I have never seen high carbon steel sheet stock but I bet it would be hard to work and very expensive. High carbon steel seems to rust worse than low carbon steel.

If you are going to paint it I would request cold rolled its smooth and scale free.

Stainless would need no paint but, is a good bit more expensive and harder to work with.

I work with low carbon sheet steel (1018 is the alloy) a lot it is good to work with and fairly priced.

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Smokeyja
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 8:52 pm

I agree high carbon would be hard to deal with . Cold
Rolled mild steel will be just fine and breaks well in the press. Just take it to the shop and tell them what the parts are for.

I would still like to see your project when you get a chance . We all like stove project threads here!

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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 9:38 pm

I worked in a fab shop for years we used all type of metal, the most workable metals are hot rolled 1050 series. Cold rolled has a better finish but not as workable and weldable as mild steel. Stainless has it's place but not for stove construction, we had a guy that wanted us to build small beach charcoal grills and demanded 1/4 stainless. We told him they'd warp with heat he claimed he had metalurgy experience, we made one for a trial, the remaining 19 were out of mild steel boiler plate.


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Smokeyja
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Post Tue. Nov. 27, 2012 10:03 pm

duck wrote:I worked in a fab shop for years we used all type of metal, the most workable metals are hot rolled 1050 series. Cold rolled has a better finish but not as workable and weldable as mild steel. Stainless has it's place but not for stove construction, we had a guy that wanted us to build small beach charcoal grills and demanded 1/4 stainless. We told him they'd warp with heat he claimed he had metalurgy experience, we made one for a trial, the remaining 19 were out of mild steel boiler plate.
Hot rolled sheet steel is not good for working in a pressbreak. Cold rold and hot rolled is the term for how they produce the sheet steel or stock you can still have cold rolled mild steel.

I remaid the stiffeners/heat shields in my WM out of 12 Gauge cold rolled mild steel. this is the most common alloy you will find in sheet metal shops. Hot rolled is harder to clean usually because of mill scale and more difficult to break in the break press without possible cracking . Less forgiving . But take it to the sheet metal shop and them do what they do as professionals.

Image
Image
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The front shield is the old one out of the stock that has seen over 50 years of fire. The ones behind it are the new ones and have been in the stove the past week. And the stove is burning coal now . They are taking the heat cycles perfect. No warps . From 50 degrees to 900 degrees they have been .

And If this stove has refractory inside the sheet metal which I'm sure it does then the sheet metal will last virtually forever if well taken care of. Also think about having the new sheet metal parts you have made enameled .

I still work in a shop as a professional fabricator, welder , and backsmith. My previous company I was a sheet metal mechanic (not HVAC either) and before that a machinist / metals technology guy for the USAF .

And all of us here can give you as much suggestion and opinions as we have but if you trust this shop and their abilities just take it to them and let them do their thing.

Btw cre8tionist where are you located?

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Post Wed. Nov. 28, 2012 2:31 am

Just a simple reminder. Make sure the new barrel is exactly the same gauge as the original. In a good quality stove there is little to no tolerance space for deviation. Everything fits together very tightly most of the time.

Cre8tionist
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Post Wed. Nov. 28, 2012 9:57 pm

If you go to flikr.com and type in Great Majestic Cast Iron Stove you will see what mine looks like. The photo is the one by "Cre8tionist". (Sorry,...couldn't figure out how to upload it to this site.) I'll try to post photos of the parts that need fabricating tomorrow. The fire box has bricks as liners.

The small door under the oven has the number 34458 on it so I'm guessing that is the model number (?). Have tried to find if the manufacturer is still around but Majestic stoves are now only heating stoves and the new company purchased the old one and has no records of Great Majestic stoves from before their purchase.

I am not familiar with the metal fabricators in the area but I started with one I found online. I showed him the parts I took off the stove and he sent me to someone else,... who gave me a rough quote and sent me to someone else who he thought might be able to do it for less money due to his fabrication equipment. The last guy is the one who fabricates storage cabinets for chemicals in stainless steel and suggested I might want to try stainless steel for this purpose. So for someone who is not familiar with metal fabricators (me) it is hard for me to judge who to use. So far there seem to be two good candidates.

I live in Plano, Texas. A North Dallas suburb.

From what I'm reading it would be good to get the parts to the fabricator and I should trust their knowledge to use the correct materials vs. specifying something they should use. (?) I'm sure they have more knowledge than I do,....

What about steel pop rivets vs. steel stove or carriage bolts and nuts for putting it back together?

Thanks so much for your comments and coaching!

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Post Wed. Nov. 28, 2012 11:36 pm

Cre8tionist wrote:OK,...I can take the original sheets to the fabricator so they can get the gauge from that. Yes they do need to break (bend) the corners to make the square box that surrounds the cast iron oven and the fire box. I want a good strong end product and if more modern materials like stainless steel etc. is available and better that's great,....if it would be better.....

I'm reading things on this site (different topic) where they use the terms high carbon steel and low carbon steel,..should I be concerned about getting high or low carbon steel? Is there such as thing as high carbon or low carbon stainless steel?

They will also be turning over one inch rims or edges on the 4 sides of a rectangular piece to form a bottom for the stove. The original bottom was riveted to the sheet metal sides. I broke all those rivets off to get the pieces apart. Will steel pop rivets work to hold the outside sheet metal of a wood burning cast iron cook stove together and over time still be able to withstand the temperature changes as it heats and cools. I have read that some people use bolts (stove bolts?). In my mind it seems pop rivets would be easier for me to install and hold better over time but I'd like to hear what others say who might have some knowledge in this area,........this is my first project of this type (?)
Photos of where the sheet metal you are replacing is on your stove would be useful.

There is low carbon, medium carbon and high carbon steel. These are not well defined, but are terms used often. I wouldn't worry about them too much for what you are doing. Just use cold rolled mild steel. As others have said, hot rolled gives some problems but could also be used.

Yes there are also different grades of stainless steel, but mostly you'll be dealing with 300 series stainless steels, high carbon doesn't apply to them.

I would also recommend against using stainless steel, you'll do a lot better with cold rolled mild steel.

Personally I would use stove bolts rather than pop rivets, but you can use pop rivets if you want to. I'd have to see the part to have more of an opinion.

dj

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