kate in NH's Profile
Older kitchens always had built-ins, the concept of the box-pre-fab cabinet didn't really catch on until the 70's, outside of the old metal fit-ins popular in the fifties.
You build your own cabinets that replicate most vintage construction by using plain board and lumber for the framing against the wall and bead-board for the face frames and the doors and use reproduction hardware for the drawer pulls and cabinet latches.
Design/layout for kitchens for any style or size is never easy anyway, I can attest to that after over ten years in the trade as a remodeling contractor.
Also, you can use spray-in foam or a combination of spray-in foam and blown in cellulose to get a really good R-value out of your wall, if you haven't demo'd to the studs, you can do blow-in, its easy to do yourself and pretty reasonable.
Here in NH our minimum R-value allowed in R-21 for walls and R38 for ceilings and attic space. If you demo to the studs you can also do a combination of spray-in and blown in using the more expensive spray foam for air sealing and then the cellulose to fill the stud bay.
The sound dampening and R-values are amazing. With spray foam in a 3" - 3 1/2" cavity you can get about an R-30 wall, with cellulose packed tight you can get a good R-21 or better and with a combination, you can again push toward your R-30.
There's no reason to accept an R-15 wall and I wouldn't anywhere where winter heating fuel use is required.
I do property management/maintenance for a living and collect antiques. The one thing that I'd caution you with vintage plumbing is that many sizes, styles and gauges have changed throughout the years. Presently I have vintage bath plumbing, but I have had to retrofit a lot of it and I realize there will be a point where replacement with newer may have to come.
The same with kitchen sinks, right now in one property I manage we are struggling to keep in place an old double-bowl porcelain sink that was installed over an old dry-sink. The problem is two-fold in that the faucets are now malfunctioning and due for replacement but finding the right gauge is going to be a challenge, to fit the holes of the sink and the width of the countertop of the present is not the same as standard today.
I guess that is part of the romance of making the old work, is the technical problem solving sometimes required to make something older work in a modern world. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
But at the end of the day, I encourage taking on the challenge, just for the sense of independence you get out of it at the end, but also that keeping things useful and out of the waste stream is always a commendable goal.
Its too bad you didn't shore up your floor to accept the load of your Sterling. If you still have the Sterling, I'd encourage you to consider contacting a reputable contractor to see about doing just that -- assuming your floor is accessible underneath and seeing that you are from a cold climate, I'd assume you have a cellar.
I'm a remodeling contractor by trade and assessing the strength of floors for loads is just a part of the job. Assuming your kitchen is on the first floor over a cellar, more than likely adding some extra floor joists would do the trick. No need to get rid of your wood burner.
Mlosska! I don't know if you'll get this message, but for others out there as well .. I still am using my stove and I love it everyday! I love to show it off as well so if anyone wants pics I'm game. Mlooska, you look like you have more gadgets than I do, if you would be willing to make a copy of the owner's manual, I'd pay you for your time and postage because I've been looking everywhere for a manual. As for everyone else's comments about the gas burners in older stoves -- the heat generation and quality of flame of the burners on this stove far exceed anything I've ever cooked on. Also, the "burner with a brain" feature is awesome for sauteing while multi-tasking. I also love the rotisserie which I've used; awesome for small game and whole chicken!
Thanks Adam for your suggestions. I've just about got everything perfect with mine, I'm going to have to install a dedicated circuit to run the small secondary oven that is electric and also has the rotisserie, no biggie and I've narrowed down the oven problems to the thermostat which thankfully, I have a secondary one on hand.
Without the help of the local guy I found, I don't think I would have had it together. He was patient enough with me to answer my questions, look at parts as I brought them in, test them out and steer me in the right direction and his advice has always been right on.
Most importantly is that I'm not made of money so he was fair with me and for my hard work and efforts I have a pretty nifty stove.
It also has a "thermostatic burner" which works perfectly as well -- a Robert Shaw invention that will actually monitor and control the flame to the temp that you preset. Pretty cool, it will adjust so things don't scorch or over boil. I just have to get the thermostat in and running or my a** is grass for this T-Day -- my daughters are coming up to cook and they have stated they want the stove working or else!
I've just got up and running a 1959 Lady Kenmore gas stove, it has the rotisserie, four burners and a griddle. Of the four burners, one is a thermostatic burner, another has a larger footprint for large pots. I love the flame that is finer, easier to adjust and far more efficient than the 1980's Tappan stove that I happily took to the scrap yard. Also, the thickness of the metal and the porcelain finish is fantastic and everything comes apart for easy cleaning (unlike the modern stoves I've used).
My only gripe at this point is finding parts. I found another person that was advertising one nearly the same age on a buy/sell list serve, I sent a parts list, we agreed on a price and they gradually parted their stove out for me. I'm still going to have to ask them for other parts now that I've got mine running, such a thermocoupler for the oven pilot.
Overall I'm very happy. Especially considering I got mine for free -- salvaged from an old abandoned house that a realtor had just purchased, I was estimating for doing some remodeling work. She said to me, "By the way, do you know someone who can get rid of these old appliances?" and there sat that Kenmore, calling my name. Of course I arranged for the removal of the appliances, gladly. The junkman got the not so old fridge and got the vintage stove.
So, all in all, so far I've got about $200 invested in parts and help from a local appliance man to get her all lit up and finally running after I cleaned her up thoroughly and inventoried needed parts.
Call around in your area before going hog-wild with these advertisers online when looking for a stove or when looking for someone to repair one you might have or find. Most older appliance repair men will have some familiarity with the older stoves and some (like the guy I hired) might even be tickled to find someone interested in one.
I've seen many neat stoves advertised on Ebay and Craigslist. I'm from the Boston area which seems a pretty dry area for old stoves, seems more interesting stoves are in the west and the midwest.
Anyone know of an old 50's era kenmore, please post here.