Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cleaning the stove

Just like everyone else, weekends usually mean stove and oven cleaning.  With a wood stove that is well over 100 years old,  the job is a bit different from that in many kitchens.  During the winter especially,  the fire goes all of the time.   The fire box isn't completely sealed like a "slow combustion" modern model,  but it does provide quite a lot of control over the temperature and the amount of wood that is required.
Yesterday morning (prior to making bread) I cleaned the ash from the firebox during the week... about a bucket full.  Overnight,  the damper was positioned to direct the smoke (and heat) down the sides of the oven,  across the bottom and up the back to the flue.  I also closed the air intake at the front (the four little rectangular holes) and despite the fact that it isn't quite sealed,  this slows the fire down so that it is warm all night.  Not only that,  but in these cold nights,  the whold stove (oven and all) remains hot and the kitchen is warmed during the night.
The stove...
... and I've taken the cover from the cleaning hole.
The metal rod has a flat piece of metal on the end for scraping the ash from the outside of the oven (on that track around the outside of the oven,  down the sides and across the bottom)....  here it is....

Once all of the soot and ash is out,  the cover goes back on...
... it's important to remember that a plastic bucket won't do for the ash (they melt) and these galvanised ones are getting harder to find here.  This one came from a second hand shop a few years ago.  I fill it with ash weekly during this weather.
I've wiped the outside of the oven too...  not exactly sparkling, and parts of it need "blacking" next time it is cool,  though not today.
Next time the fire is cool,  I'll give it a coating...
I'm not sure of the reason,  but this kind of polish has more than doubled in price in the last couple of years.  I wonder what it's made of and how I could manufacture some.

1 comment:

Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

I wonder what the lady who had the stove first would have thought of the polish?