Q. I have a 1950s-era Roper double-oven stove with six burners. The burners, ovens, and broilers work fine, but the stove needs some cosmetic restoration and cleaning. Do you know where I can get this done?
A. “Age is in a stove’s favor-the older the better, as far as quality and reliability are concerned,” says Bob Dykstra, owner of Blue Island–based Chicago Stove Co. (773-928-2872). “The old stuff is good. Some people keep a stove clean and can have it for 40 years or more.”
There are advantages to maintaining a vintage stove, says John Kurkowski, service manager at Lee’s Oven Repair Service (3501 Martens St., Franklin Park, 847-678-4494; leesoven.com). With their simple, functional designs and pleasing curves, pre-1960s stoves are popular with many people for their looks alone. And old, non-electronic stoves were built to last. When mechanical issues do arise, such as stiff valves that need to be greased, they cost less to repair than, say, a malfunctioning digital control panel in a newer model.
Cosmetic repairs can be more challenging, Kurkowski says. Most parts aren’t sold new anymore, and dings, chips, and scratches on porcelain-coated exteriors likely can be fixed only at a specialty shop, which won’t be cheap. One such firm is Custom Ceramic Coatings, in Lenzburg (618-475-2710; customceramic.com).
You can also try tapping into the vast resources available through Antique Stoves.com, a restoration business based in Tekonsha, Michigan. Through a companion business, the Old Appliance Club, the site links to all sorts of helpful information related to buying, selling, fixing, and finding parts for old stoves.
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