Belle Portable- Old and new

Here is a customers Belle Portable in the final stages of the restoration. As you can see the majority of the top plate is new, the right hand side top plate insert, and both smoke box shells. The original parts that were in good condition have been retained. I can supply new castings for most cooking ranges so do get in touch if your range is damaged or has missing parts.

Restoration complete on early cooking range

I got another restoration out last week. This one was a big project. Although it appears to be simply in its construction there was a lot of damage and required several major new castings. Since it is such an early example (circa 1820) the castings are all very thick and large. The boiler and oven are both single castings which is a hell of an acheivement for the period.
It is now back home and awaiting to be reinstalled in a newly restored scullery.

Belle Portable restoration

When this Belle Portable came in I was pretty shocked. There was barely a bit on it that wasn't broken and many of the parts like the top plate and front panel had bits missing and had been broken in several places. The front plate for example had seven separate repairs! One of the cast iron side panels was also missing so a new one had to be cast. The deeper I dug the more problems I came across, it certainly proved to be a real challenge.
The range is now back at home with its owner and being prepared to install. Here's a 'before' and 'after' of the range as it arrived to me and moments before it left the workshop.

Larbert with boiler in its new home!

Larbert with boiler in its new home!

Well the Larbert with boiler sold and is in its new home and its looking grand sat against the blue tiles.
I had an email today with this picture attached showing breakfast simmering on the hob. That night the range cooked Guinea Fowl for dinner and the kettle was bubbling away all day. Now that's what I like to hear!

Another range fit for service!

Here's another range beautifully installed on a live aboard boat. I can't claim the reward for this work but the range has been fitted with one of my adapters. The owner of the range had been looking for someone to make one for nearly a year when they came across the site!
The range is a Guidwife and a model often used on historic boats.

Very ealry ‘Open’ Range

Now here is something that doesn't come up very often at all. It's a beautifully cast early 'open' range, called such because the firebox was open rather than the fully enclosed ranges produced later in the century. This range bridges the gap between the 18th century open down hearth ranges and the later closed type. Early cooking was preformed in a wrought iron grate, usually with adjustable cheeks with various ancillary parts like a chimney crane, spits and smoke jacks and spit jacks etc to turn them.
Here, various features of the earlier method have been retained like the adjustable cheek (used to alter the size of the fire) and chimney crane. However, the fire now features an oven and hot plates for cooking and the whole is cast into a range with fantastic classical detailing. The cheek is moved via a rack that is wound with a crank handle engaged in a socket to the bottom left of the firebox- a great detail!
I have loosely mocked this range up but will be restoring it at some point early next year unless otherwise requested. Most likely dating from around 1830-1840.

New (old) ranges in stock!

I've had a few deliveries over the last week and here's the result, you guessed it- ranges!

I tend to try and get my hand on anything cast by the Caledonian Stove and Iron Works so when this beautifully deco 'Dover' range came up I had to have it!

Secondly a very smart 26" Belle Portable with removable oven. These narrower ranges are increasingly hard to come by especially in this condition!

Next is a very nice but fairly rusty Larbert 410114 30" range, these are very pretty with their strap hinges and curve top oven doors. The firebox drop doors that are always missing will be replaced in the restoration with new ones that I have had cast in England from high quality grey iron.

Finally, here is something really special! It's a very nice little 24" model, the kind of stove that can be found in narrowboat back cabins but can also slip into many standard chimney openings. It's had a hard old life but we'll get him ship shape again before long!