1

I have a problem restoring an antique French cast iron wood stove.

As I was derusting it, one of the feet broke loose.

It's the part that was holding it to the body that broke. I guess it's a bold but I am not sure. The reason I am not sure is specifically because I am having a terrible time removing that "bold" to replace it.

Here is a video that describes it: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W3bWWS2-t0wW4a6ypKrNDTJV4izpnf6_/view?usp=sharing

I have applied old gasoline on it and let it react for a day, many days in a row. I have tried turning the "screwhead" with a screwdriver, it won't budge. I have filed the part that is stuck in the stove's body to make it flat and tried to turn it with a clamp, to no avail.

The thing that strikes me is that I don't see any "boundary" between what should be the bolt, and the "hole" in which it is supposed to screw. Neither on the stove's body nor on the foot. It looks blended into the "hole", as if it had been welded. I would be very surprised if it was indeed welded in the past, for 2 reasons. First because I wouldn't see the benefit of doing that. Second because I don't see how on Earth one would have managed to do it with the foot in position.

In the video I have already filed around the "bolt", because I was hoping to remove that little "mountain" around it. I removed most of it all right, but it still looks as if it had been welded.

Would anyone have any idea how I could remove the remnants of this "bolt", without damaging the stove any more? Or an alternative solution to getting the foot back into place?

I guess I could remove what is left of the bolt, and drill holes instead. However I am afraid to break the cast iron when doing that. Any idea whether this would be risky or how to go about it.

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

About pictures

I believe the situation is pretty complex and the explanation I give in the video is necessary. However, if you don't have time to watch the video and still want to see pictures, here are some:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

8
  • 2
    A couple of pictures is better than a video that does not work.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 10, 2021 at 13:11
  • Thanks for taking the time to try. Would you care to share in what ways it didn't work, so I can try to fix it? Jul 11, 2021 at 14:19
  • Why not post a couple of decent high quality pictures?
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 11, 2021 at 14:22
  • I have edited the question to add pictures. The answer to your question is that I think the situation is pretty complex, the history of what I tried and what happened seems necessary to me to understand the question, and thus pictures wouldn't be enough to describe it. Jul 14, 2021 at 16:06
  • Would you care to share in what ways the video didn't work, so I can try to fix it? Jul 14, 2021 at 16:06

3 Answers 3

2

You will need to drill out the "stove" bolt. It has rusted and the rust expanded locking in the remains of the bolt . Chances are slim and none that you will be able to rotate the weakened bolt body , with any treatment. I would grind the head flat; center punch the center of the bolt; and use a small bit- smaller than 1/8"( 3mm) if possible . Then use a larger bit. Be careful, the cast iron will drill much easier than the steel bolt.

3
  • I am glad to read your description of what happens, it fits very well with my impression. Jul 16, 2021 at 9:40
  • Thanks a lot for your hints on how to go about drilling! Jul 16, 2021 at 9:40
  • This solved my problem, thank you very much! I'll share the exact steps I took and the pictures in an answer Mar 18, 2023 at 14:07
2

The video worked for me but I believe it is a thru bolt as you can see the head on the other side in one quick segment of the video.

I have had similar issues with bolts in cast (the leg is cast iron) .

I have never found any penetrating oil that will work for most of these cases.

Heat is your friend here. Use a torch to get the metal red hot!

Once the metal is red hot and while still glowing red the bolt able to be removed.

I have done this many times on cast using oxygen acetylene and mapp has torches.

If you do not have a torch a muffler shop may do it for a few bucks I learned this trick decades back and it has never failed me even welding a nut on a stripped bolt head usually will get it hot enough that it can be removed but I do that with a wire welder but stick can work if you have a small enough rod.

Give heat a try and let us know.

7
  • 1
    You beat me to it Ed! I'll just add to your answer. When I was working on a car engine, trying to remove one of the heads, I busted an exhaust manifold bolt. I finished pulling the head and drilled a hole in the busted bolt and used an "easy out" (young and stupid at the time), then it broke off. I took the head to a well respected welding shop and asked if there was a way for them to get it out. The guy who was working with me on it asked what was that in the bolt? I said an easy-out. He gave me "the look"...like your such an idiot! ....Continued on next comment.... Jul 10, 2021 at 14:59
  • Anyway, he hit the area with a oxy-acetylene torch until "really hot", then cut the acetylene and hit the bolt with pure oxygen, sparks were flying, but he literally burned the bolt out of there. I didn't know cast iron, wouldn't have reacted with the oxy, but he did. Cleaned up the threads with a tap and good to go. Jul 10, 2021 at 15:02
  • Thanks a lot for your answer, it is very helpful! The leg breaking was a consequence of me derusting the stove, and the rust was a consequence of me using the stove to make a gift for my father's birthday. I wanted that gift to be fully home made, thus I would like to fix the collateral damages myself too. Unfortunately I don't have any torch. Would you by any chance know of a way without one? Jul 11, 2021 at 14:20
  • As is, it is not a through bolt, the head that you see on the other side is from something else Jul 11, 2021 at 14:21
  • Vic, heat is the only way other than drilling it out and retapping. I have broken taps and easy outs the same as George mentioned in the comments. Take the leg to a muffler shop they have to heat frozen bolts daily. If that is not a through bolt but a stud heat will be the only way unless drilling a through hole then tapping. The problem with drilling out is you almost never get a perfectly centered hole and the bit of bolt ends up turning when drilling or tapping and breaking the drill or tap. Start to finish Red hot this will come out in about a minute. Take it to a shop and ask for help.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 11, 2021 at 16:06
1

It’s been almost 2 years, and thanks to the help on several forums I managed to repair my very old stove.

Better late than never, I would like to thank all of those who helped me, and share with you the result.

I hope this can help someone willing to repair a very old stove in the future.

So in the end, what I did was to saw off the parts of the old screw that were sticking out, then file what was left to get a flat surface. I punched small holes, and then drew a hole. Since the goal was to make this repair as part of a gift that was not supposed to cost a single cent, I used a hand drill to do it. It ended up being very easy and took probably less than 15 minutes each time.

Below are some pictures of the process, as well as pictures of the repaired stove.

Thank you all again very much for the help!

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

4
  • Electrolysis wold have solved this with less effort, but I guess I didn't see it years ago. Gasoline/petrol is not a particularly good penetrating oil, if looking for one. A mixture of automatic transmission fluid and xylene or tolulene is much better for a "homebrew" on that front. But steel or iron parts that can be dunked in a tub of electrolyte and have DC current applied are very easy to completely de-rust via electrolysis.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 18, 2023 at 15:12
  • In my case I don't think it would have worked. The rust had reacted so much that it looked as if it had welded into the cast iron. There was no seam whatsoever between the screw and the body. Mar 20, 2023 at 10:25
  • That's actually where electrolysis shines. The very first thing I tried it on when first learning about it was a pair of pliers I found in the dirt at the side of the road that had been through at least one if not several winters there. Completely frozen with rust. They came out of the tank somewhat loose from material that had been lost, but operating freely.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 20, 2023 at 12:41
  • That's very interesting and good to know, thanks a lot! I'll keep it in mind for the future. In my case the process was actually pretty easy Mar 22, 2023 at 9:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.