Replating my Queen Spirit stove
See my previous blog where I discussed my Queen Spirit stove and trivet. Here are the “before” pictures.
Over time about 30% of the original nickel plating had worn off this stove, revealing areas of rust. Cleaning nickel plated metal can be tricky because even more plating can flake off in the process. Sometimes all you can do is scrub very gently with a nylon brush, then polish.
After my best efforts at cleaning and polishing, the stove still wasn’t in optimal display condition. Although this stove dates to the 1890s it’s not particularly rare, and in its present condition would be valued at $100 or less. (Refinishing a more valuable antique might devalue it and not be recommended.) Once I decided to have it replated I contacted Brian Spandl, proprietor of Mill Lake Metal Finishing in Long Prairie, Minnesota. On February 18th I mailed my Queen Spirit stove to him.
This is the second time I’ve sent a piece of metalware to Mill Lake; they do an excellent job and their prices are very reasonable. This video features Brian Spandl demonstrating the entire refinishing process.
Brian sandblasted, then nickeled all the parts of the stove. Next he chose to antique the surface to simulate age and give additional definition. A light coat of PlastiKote Hi-Temp Paint (HP-11 black) was applied over the nickel, then gently buffed with a very fine 0000 steel wool. (This dark finish can be removed with lacquer thinner.) Brian also cleaned and polished the round brass fuel container which now looks like new.
He was was on the final step of reassembling the 3-piece damper lid when … oh fudge … the handle broke at the point of connection to the ring. On inspection there was rust along the break line; it should have separated long before. Since it was a clean break, Brian attempted a repair using a strong metal epoxy weld, which was successful. The handle is once again stable and the repair is hardly noticeable.
My Queen Spirit stove was returned on 3/07/16. I’m so happy with my decision to have it refinished. Here are the “after” pictures; it looks even more awesome in person. What do you think?
Brian Spandl can be contacted at:
Mill Lake Metal Finishing
28655 County 29
Long Prairie, MN 56347-4579