Friday, October 19, 2012

The Good the Bad and the Beautiful

I went to see Mr. Fix It (Michael of FITT Therapy) yesterday. He told me my back problems were due to the fact that my sacroiliac joint was out of place. The SI joint is right were your butt and back meet. The muscles all around it were super tight.  Yes, you heard right—expert medical opinion is that I have a tight ass.  Anyway, he popped the joint back in place. I made a sound like this, “Aaaaaiiiieeeeeeee!” Hurt like hell but it feels SO much better now.

The way the house was leveled is kind of cool. They use a tool called a Zip Level. It’s a box attached to a roll of cord. The cord is filled with liquid. They put the box in one corner of the house and set it as ground zero.

At the end of the cord is another small box. When put in another corner of the house, it reads the pressure difference in the water and tells you the height difference between the two spots. Neat-o.


The day after my last post the kitchen was leveled. In the process, the drain pipe below the kitchen sink broke in half. It’s an old cast iron pipe. The house came up three inches but the pipe in the ground wouldn’t budge. It ripped in half like the Titanic. When it happened, the workmen noticed a big hole in the same pipe a foot away from the break. All the water that’s gone down my kitchen drain or was used in the dishwasher for the last year went into the dirt under my house instead of into the sewer. Sucks that the pipe broke, but at least it made me aware of a problem.


Side of my house ripped open and new drain pipe installed.
Closed up with new cleanout. Do you think my house needs to be painted?
The pipes in the front bathroom didn't break, but they were rattled enough that there are little leaks now. The plumber gave me a quote for the repairs, but said for $1,500 he would replace all the old galvanized pipes with pvc. I was quoted $8,000 for the same job when I bought the house. It is much easier to do when the skirting is off the house. I am going to do it. Here's the immediate to-do list:

Replace pipes/fix leaks;
Then the stucco skirting goes back on;
Then the cracks inside the house get fixed (and at the same time the ugly bathroom cabinet comes out).

I got a new (old) stove. I traded my non-working 1950s O’Keefe and Merritt for a perfectly working late 1920s Chambers. For the first time in a year, I have a working stove. There are a couple websites dedicated to vintage Chamber's stoves. They had features that are just being introduced into modern stoves today. They are so well insulated that the gas shuts off and they continue cooking and can hold the temperature for hours. The sales pitch was "Cook with the gas turned off!"

There's a 1920s stove in my 1920s house. Cream with sage green trim. My kitchen walls are sage green. It just belonged in my house. I think it’s happy to be here because everything I have cooked on it has come out perfect!

The autostat
Original knobs (hehe, I said "knobs")


  1. Now is a great time to replace any old electrical lines in the house, too! Or run new lines. Or run cable/data wires. Do it now while everything's torn up anyway! Good luck. I'm loving this project. I'd love to see some more photos of what it looks like under your house right now, including any new beams/supports that are being installed.

    1. Okay! I have a lot of photos of that stuff. I'll do another post. Thanks!

  2. Oh, I'm so jealous that you'll have all new pipes! That's fantastic for resale, too. Your new stove is gorgeous.

  3. I like that stove!! is it an oven too?

  4. Audrey, That's a beautiful stove. You don't see them in that good a shape very often. I hate to burst your bubble on it's age though. That is a series 5000 Chambers kitchen range, more specifically, a style 5741 if you've noted the serial/style number plate on the front. They were made in the early 1930s. If you look at the serial number, the first digit is the year it was built. I believe they were made prior to, but not after 1935. The first model made with an Autostat was the series 4000 that was introduced in about 1930. That series was just a series 3000 that they added a Autostat to. They were made from about 1927 through 1930. Your stove is also missing it's Thermodome that would have hooked onto that arm above the right rear burner. It was lower over specially made pots to Cook With The Gas Turned Off (CWTGTO) on the cook-top.

    Here are a links to a PDFs of the catalog that your stove appears in, instructions on how to use the Autostat & a 1927 cookbook that will give you some insight on how to take full advantage of the ovens full potential.

    All these & more can be found here.

    I am a member of the Discussion Forum there & am known there as pooka. I am the resident expert on older chambers stove, although I've only studied then from afar. I own two series 7000 stoves that were both made in 1935.

    I hope this info will help you better enjoy your stove. It's a rare beauty.