Thursday, June 30, 2005


Everybody has been asking, what happened to the O'Keefe and Merritt stove with the Grill-a-Vator, Salt and Pepper Shakers and Hideaway Shelf?

It's done. I know the mumblings. And I admit, it is knee-slapping funny to look at the posts from last year as I was predicting weekly completion. Needless to say, it didn't happen. Refurbishing these stoves is a pain in the ass. It is dirty work and frustrating work. Getting parts is very, very difficult and chrome plating bills skyrocket. I would do it again, sure, for $10,000.

This stove is for sale. $2500. It is not restored. Frankly, I am not sure restored stoves exist. Restored means that it is new, as it was in the showroom. That means not a chip in or out. Every component original, flawless and working. The clock and timer circuits function without a hitch. The bakelite handles are pristine white. The chrome is glassy perfect without the slightest imperfection. This stove is not restored.

But it is a damn nice refurbishment. The bakelite has been buffed, some chrome was redone, errant parts found, electrical rewired and the porcelain is in surprisingly good original condition. There are chips here and there and some of the chrome plating is so worn you can see the original copper underneath. It definitely has a patina, but it is safe, clean as hell and works like a champ. The O'Keefe and Merritt was stripped to the bare frame, every component cleaned and recleaned and re-assembled with new fiberglass stove insulation.

What about the pinstriping? Well, it was done by Skratch and it looks cool as hell. I traded some headlights, a Model A visor and a grip of dirty bills. Will it wear off? Absolutely. Over time the pinstriping will wear like an old hot rod and will grow fainter and fainter. Your grandkids will marvel at the remaining pinstriping that has not been washed away in 30 years. What if you don't want pinstriping? Even if I don't understand why you wouldn't want it, I respect your cockeyed ideas and point you to any number of vintage stove dealers that have not sullied their wares. Because, you see, this stove is pinstriped and will stay pinstriped.

Interested in the history of the stove? Link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and back breaking story in a single photo 6