KITCHEN RANGES

Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:21 am

Take the wife to see the gas one. She'll love it. Keep in mind that it costs a fortune to run (burner alight 24/7) but will keep the kitchen warm and bake bread and simmer your stews and casseroles beautifully. I love the things but can't quite get around the fact that they would be hellish in summer. You either shut them down (and often get rusty ovens from the condensation) or leave them alight and deal with a kitchen that's 10 degrees hotter than any other room in the house.

As Coalnewbie pointed out, you're going to have a hard time finding oil or coal burning aga's (or rayburns) in the US. Plus, they won't be "listed" and could likely cause issues either with your town inspector or with your insurance company.

I did speak to a guy in Vermont who found a coal Aga here and had it installed several years ago. Says they love it, reliably burns approx. 2 tons of nut a year, easy to maintain but poor control of fly ash when shaking down (you need to shake with the ash door open). He leaves his running all year round. I assume whoever installed it could install a coal one for you, but as stated above, it will be unlikely to be a legal installation.

Just FYI on the ancient Aga that the Adamses are selling, I found some aga servicing info from the UK that said to avoid those very early models as they had lots of unique parts and new parts are just not available. You'd have to get grates and such custom cast.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:48 am

What can I say Rambler, you at least seem to have done serious DD and have all your facts straight, congratulations. I'm not saying whether to pull this trigger or not, I just want another board member to have all the facts before going in. Let me add some more facts for your consideration.

With the condensing boiler models efficiency goes from about 75% to 90% so yes it is more efficient but that comes at a cost. ROI is a joke with AGAs but let's estimate 10-20yrs and that is over the wick models. Well it would be but for the 6 month service calls (ouchy), those bills hurt. The best part comes in about 4 years when the Chinese junk they put in these things starts to fail and you get the bill for spare parts. Sooner than that if you switch the AGA off for the summer as you are allergic to heating the kitchen as you A/C the house. Now when those internals rust up -- ouchy again. But hey if the wife thinks they are pretty and you have the $10,000+ spare dollars and you are rich good luck to you. Make sure those condensing water lines are well protected on an AGA from winter chills, Many of them have been freezing in Europe in the last three years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... eres-.html

I don't think that matters as I doubt it is the main source of heat over here.

That is why modern AGAs are c rap but the Dahlen original was a gem and one day I will get round to restoring it. If I lived in Santaland I would be tempted by a 208C or find what Emory/Doug could suggest but in CT, forgedaboutit. Whichever you choose make sure it is installed on a concrete slab or else it will end up in the basement. Particle board McMansion floors don't like 1000# loads. I have developed an operational plan for a modern AGA. Install it but don't ever switch it on - buy a Whirlpool range and cook on that. At parties have the Martha Youtube video running, the neighbors will be impressed by how it looks and that is great for climbing up the social ladder..... AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.. I slay myself.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:14 pm

Totally agree: These are expensive machines and cost a fortune to run. While many people love cooking on them, others complain that the cooking function is primitive at best. To get different temperatures you need to move things around amongst the different plates and ovens. The left hand sides of the ovens (facing the burner) are much hotter, so food needs to be turned frequently. If you cook a large meal the heat drops, and so if you need a very hot oven to do something at the end of the cooking session (biscuits, for example) you'll find yourself out of luck. A family friend has one, and I've used it, and like it. But it takes some learning to get it right.

If you love the looks and want one just get a cooking only regular Aga and an Aga cookbook to learn to cook efficiently on the thing (key is to do as much as possible inside the oven). The Martha Stewart video is totally unrealistic, you cannot cook all that food in an Aga in a single day, the stove loses heat as you cook and takes a while to heat back up again. Even big pots of boiling water for pasta can do you in; people talk about bringing the water to a boil, shoving the covered pot into the simmering oven for an hour or two, then putting back on top to boil up the pasta, thus allowing the top plate to get "recharged" as it cannot bring 5 quarts of water to the boil and hold them at a boil for the necessary 15 minutes.

People in the US who are running them on propane have fits over the cost; I think I read that they use 50-60 gallons of propane a month, just for the stove. Really absurd. If you're on natural gas, the cost would be more reasonable (63 therms per month) but that usage, for cooking, is really silly. I bet my heavily used, pilot ignition, 6 burner/two oven kitchen stove doesn't use that much gas in a year!

But... we have a large, cold kitchen, and probably someday when the funds are there I'll go ahead and have an aga installed. We only live once!

Cheers,
Josh
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:14 pm

Wow, such DD I am impressed, you really do know these stoves, you have it all dead to rights. Your posts should become the bible that all prospective AGA buyers should read. So it's plaything with a pretense that you need to get a kitchen heating unit -I get it. We all have some toys and we lie to ourselves to justify it. Psst, I do it too but as I get older I can afford less and the wife sees through my BS in a second - sigh. Now it makes total sense to me that you buy an AGA. Have fun and send pics, I love watching the other half live.

Damn my Coleman stove just ran out of kerosene now the potatoes will be late and the pigs feet will be cold or overcooked.

HAHAHAHAHAHA - I slay myself.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:00 pm

I am much more interested in the Rayburns, Esse's, Stanleys and other heat-storage stoves that can provide central heating. The Aga is less effective than the others at this and emit only about 3-4,000 btu's of heat.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:33 pm

Rayburns are really a UK product in that until recently winters were depressing and damp but not so cold. British homes are designed for 55F in the bedroom and not many Americans will put up with that one and houses are small but well insulated. So 25,000 BTU (a realistic average) circulating up to 9 radiators will not do much to fend off a CT winter and will be a total joke in Maine. Of course, I don't know how much you are heating but I doubt very much if a Rayburn will keep your house warm. To me an AGA is an AGA for cooking and perhaps a Rayburn can provide DHW on a good day with a small family but I would even advise against that one. If you need coal CH unit you need a US product and there are many good ones.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: stovehospital On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:07 pm

Why get an AGA? You can easily find a great, restored coal range right in the north east. There were literally thousands of makes and models made from 1860 till 1930 or so. Find a good, restored stove and give it a try. Should run $2500-$3500 all done and guaranteed.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:25 pm

StoveHospital,
I've strongly considered that possibility! I love the idea of using something local and supporting local craftsmen who restore these things. My worry is that a coal range would easily overheat my kitchen, which is pretty well shut off from the rest of the rest of the house. I will need to look into these more seriously. I'm up in Bristol, RI to see friends pretty frequently, I'll need to plan to come by and see your place and talk stoves sometime.

Coalnewbie,
Yup, I tend to research the heck out of anything I'm interested in, go way beyond what most people would bother with. I *almost* bought an Aga a few years ago, and did a TON of reading up on these, reached out to friends of friends of friends who owned them to get their impressions, talked to folks who sell them and service them... Eventually decided that it's really just a pretty radiator that you can cook on. So I didn't bother. But every fall/winter I come down to a cold kitchen and think that an AGA would be awesome to have. I've got space for one (or for one of the antique new england coal ranges) by the old kitchen chimney, so I can plan to add one down the road if it's "right." If I get either, I'll be sure to post some pics. I think you're right on the Rayburn/ESSE/Stanley jobs, they make sense for small homes in the UK and Ireland where there is no where to put a boiler and getting the cooking/heating/hot water job done in one unit saves space.
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac MCK 508
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:40 pm

coalnewbie wrote:Rayburns are really a UK product in that until recently winters were depressing and damp but not so cold. British homes are designed for 55F in the bedroom and not many Americans will put up with that one and houses are small but well insulated. So 25,000 BTU (a realistic average) circulating up to 9 radiators will not do much to fend off a CT winter and will be a total joke in Maine. Of course, I don't know how much you are heating but I doubt very much if a Rayburn will keep your house warm. To me an AGA is an AGA for cooking and perhaps a Rayburn can provide DHW on a good day with a small family but I would even advise against that one. If you need coal CH unit you need a US product and there are many good ones.



The Rayburns I have come in contact with on the southwest coast of england, plymouth and cornwall to be exact, were heating the houses water and radiators just fine and the bedrooms were warmer than 55f degrees even though I know that is the old "room tempurature for England in the past. I saw rayburns in city houses and rayburns in farm houses and they heated the entire houses and it was quite comfortable. That's just my 2c. though and I am by far no expert on cook stoves. I fell in love with them when we visited friends of my wifes side of the family and they were almost 100% self sufficient! They even flushed their toilets from rain water. It was a perfect size stove and very well built. Now you do have a point about the winters being less harsh on that part of the island though. The coast keeps the temps pretty steady. But I wouldn't put away they thought of one doing the job. The nice thing about these stoves is the simple size and design. The problem with US stoves is they always had to be so damn tacky or "fancy" however you want to look at it and they are usually giant. I am looking for a cook stove myself although I have not found exact what I want. As someone previously posted. Heartland has a real nice sqaure cook stove but it's more than a good used car. :shock:

Maybe it would be more suited towards the climate here in VA.
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Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:17 am

Good morning Smoke,

Don't get me wrong I love AGAs too and one day I am going to restore my 1929 Dahlen, it's just one cooool stove but that was not what was asked. Josh very clearly has done a lot of research and knows exactly what he is getting into and I think he will be very happy. The saying is - it is what it is... When one member of this coal family wishes to buy a particular stove all other family member can do is let him know what he/she is getting into. That is all I am doing here.

The Rayburn (Esse whatever) was positioned as a coal CT home central heater, now that is something else entirely. The man may live in a 1500sqft Dow Corning made bubble what do I know, however, I doubt it. For starters he is selling a 70,000BTU LL stove as it is too small but now he wants a Rayburn? Your observations on the UK climate are accurate, it's a very different animal from the North East and the AGA of the old days fitted in well. I have very fond memories of mine and I was never cold.

A VA stove? No not that either. Sure your winters are little milder and if your home is very well insulated I suppose it is possible but consult a heating engineer b4 you leap. Tiny firebox, do you really want to get up every 3 hours to stoke it, remember this was originally positioned as a coal fired home CH unit, now if it's natural gas... well perhaps. It still has a very limited BTU output. My cousin from the UK ran a guest house in Deltaville, VA and yearned for an AGA/Rayburn for authenicity but decided against it. Hey fella, you boil pretty well in the summer down there. Do you really want an AGA pumping heat into your kitchen 24/7? Remember a 5 ton A/C unit is only 60,000 BTU. You know your house better than I so LOL. You don't like the style of US stoves? I have learned it's futile to discuss style, politics and religion but style is not on the top of my list when selecting a way to stay warm in the winter.

My wife accused me of being a coal addict when I said let's knock the house down, put Wehrle #100s at either end and design the house around that. If that lottery ticket comes up the dumpster is being ordered and I have the equipment to demolish the house myself. Perhaps I am not most logical person to discuss style with.
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: Smokeyja On: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:57 am

coalnewbie wrote:Good morning Smoke,

Don't get me wrong I love AGAs too and one day I am going to restore my 1929 Dahlen, it's just one cooool stove but that was not what was asked. Josh very clearly has done a lot of research and knows exactly what he is getting into and I think he will be very happy. The saying is - it is what it is... When one member of this coal family wishes to buy a particular stove all other family member can do is let him know what he/she is getting into. That is all I am doing here.

The Rayburn (Esse whatever) was positioned as a coal CT home central heater, now that is something else entirely. The man may live in a 1500sqft Dow Corning made bubble what do I know, however, I doubt it. For starters he is selling a 70,000BTU LL stove as it is too small but now he wants a Rayburn? Your observations on the UK climate are accurate, it's a very different animal from the North East and the AGA of the old days fitted in well. I have very fond memories of mine and I was never cold.

A VA stove? No not that either. Sure your winters are little milder and if your home is very well insulated I suppose it is possible but consult a heating engineer b4 you leap. Tiny firebox, do you really want to get up every 3 hours to stoke it, remember this was originally positioned as a coal fired home CH unit, now if it's natural gas... well perhaps. It still has a very limited BTU output. My cousin from the UK ran a guest house in Deltaville, VA and yearned for an AGA/Rayburn for authenicity but decided against it. Hey fella, you boil pretty well in the summer down there. Do you really want an AGA pumping heat into your kitchen 24/7? Remember a 5 ton A/C unit is only 60,000 BTU. You know your house better than I so LOL. You don't like the style of US stoves? I have learned it's futile to discuss style, politics and religion but style is not on the top of my list when selecting a way to stay warm in the winter.

My wife accused me of being a coal addict when I said let's knock the house down, put Wehrle #100s at either end and design the house around that. If that lottery ticket comes up the dumpster is being ordered and I have the equipment to demolish the house myself. Perhaps I am not most logical person to discuss style with.



What you say makes since. I stand corrected. I do know the pains of attenting to the fire more often than I'd like. It is good we have so many of us knowledgable like yourself in different areas so that a fellow board member can really make an educated decision.
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Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6 baseheater
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut

Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:59 am

different areas so that a fellow board member can really make an educated decision.


Nah, I'm USA coal dunce but learning. I lived with Rayburn/AGAs for 25 years and even I picked up a thing or two.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:15 am

Buying and operating coal appliances of all types has become my hobby, it is more than practicality that I am looking for. Like most things, hobbies are expensive and impractical, time-consuming and wasteful of resources. I have personally not saved a dime since buying my first coal stove. My oil furnace had cost me the same amount of money to operate as my coal stoves have and the coal furnace was much less stressful and required no effort on my part, unlike these so-called awesome coal stoves. However, I enjoy the coal stove and operating it has become my hobby. Frankly, if I want an Aga I will buy it, whether or not it operates efficiently or burns six tons of coal a year. Money is not the only measure of wealth, comfort and the happiness wrought from one's hobby are sometimes immeasurable.
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:25 am

Frankly, if I want an Aga I will buy it, whether or not it operates efficiently or burns six tons of coal a year. Money is not the only measure of wealth, comfort and the happiness wrought from one's hobby are sometimes immeasurable.


Go for it and have fun I had no idea you were just playing. I'm sorry I mistook you for just another poor slob that is trying to stay warm like the rest of us here. :D
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Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
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Re: KITCHEN RANGES

PostBy: ramblerboy2 On: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:00 am

Well, you guys planted an idea that maybe one of these New England coal kitchen ranges would be a better choice, so now I'm scouring the internet and this site for info on them. Certainly more reasonably priced, more appropriate for my house (an 1892 brick victorian), more local knowledge and parts availability. Will have to look into this more seriously.
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