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Post in 'Fisher Stove Information, Parts, History and More' started by stonehouse3, May 6, 2011.
looking for pixs of baby bear fisher to restore ??
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Hello coaly! I was hoping to pick you for some more information regarding the 76 grandpa bear i picked up today, has stars, 29.5 inches wide, tightly wrapped handle pretty cool stove, when loading it into my truck i noticed the bottom was initialed "BA" in a kinda cursive script, halfway impressive considering it looks like it was done with an arch welder. Was wondering if this could have been done by a known maker, or if you knew where the 1st few granpa's were made, it would be cool if i could document who actually made this stove? Was also wondering if you know of any decent pictures (in color) of this particular stove from the factory? I was planning on refinishing this stove and like the looks of the one you posted on another thread but was wondering whether or not to paint the aluminum "knobs" on the front silver or black, i think if they were black it wold make the stars shine all the brighter, your opinion would be heavily weighed either way. Thanks!
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
Is your top made of one piece that's bent, or two flat plates welded to the top with a separate step piece on the angle?
I don't have any pictures of the 76 model directly from a fabricator. Remember, they all came from different welding shops, and they could have fancied up some, or even painted them different for a floor model to show the stars.
I picked mine up in Ohio a couple weeks ago. It originaly came from a home in Michigan. It's the only one Ive seen with the 3 piece top, and the ball handles match the ball feet with brass plated knobs. I've only seen chrome knobs on others. Mine has no markings underneath, but some welders initialed or numbered them. It would be great to put initials together and find the welders today. Most licensees are still alive and remember some employees. The only licensee with a B.A. is backwards (Art Beevor) from Beaverton Oregon. It's probably a worker, not a license holder who did it. A lot came from British Columbia, so a BC would make sense too from Washington. I may be able to find out employee names from the first Eugene fabrication plant soon. It grew fast there, and they had an office up the street. Bob turns 70 next month, and that was 35 years ago in a very hectic time of his life. The mind has a way of blocking out things in your life that could harm itself by dwelling on the past, so I try not to go there.
The first Grandpa stoves were in Oregon. Jake Jackson was a neighbor (his stove patent has his address very close to Bob) and he asked Bob to build him an outdoor bar-b-que pit. Bob was already too busy with his new business and turned the job down. He ended up selling Jake a license to build Fisher Stoves, and he later came up with the idea of a 2 door model to view the fire better. Bob wanted no part of more cast door patterns and the stove wouldn't be as efficient as his 6 inch single door stoves. Public demand caused the need for a "Fireplace Model" and Bob revoked his license when he found Jake selling an adaptation of his stove. This wasn't far from Springfield where they both lived, and Bobs "factory" was now in Eugene. So that's where the first ones would have been produced.
Exactly where did you find this stove, and did the owners have any history or story behind it?
I'll get close ups today of my 76 with the brass knobs to give you a better idea of how different it looks, and post them here. Valley Plating in California is the place to send your knobs if you want them plated. It may be cheaper than you think, they're good and a small family business that likes stove restoration work. They don't stand out as much as chrome and gives it an entire different look. Do the legs have welded studs sticking down for ball feet? I never saw ball feet in brass liek mine either. Any pictures would be great.
As I compile more information on each model, it would be nice to have a thread for each stove model. That way the Everything Fisher thread will be a general info source and anyone with a particular model will find the details that pertain to their model more easily.
wow, as usual your knowledge did not disappoint! I got it from a guy off craigslist, he had it posted but you couldn't see the stars from the picture he had (i beleive they were blacked out from this maker). He inisisted it had 76 printed on the front when i called him but he couldn't see any stars, he was an older guy i don't think he could see too well. Thinking that this might be a very rare stove with '76 printed on it and no stars i immediately drove over and got it out of his garage for $50.00. A little brushing and stove paint will have it looking new as there isn't much rusting in my neck of the woods. It has studs welded on the bottom and chromed feet and a one peice top. Did any of the grandma's or granpas come with the bear feet, i really like the looks of them ? I will have to try to backtrack who this guy got the stove from, he got it at a swap meet to heat his garage, his wife made him sell it because it had a little rust on it and he didn't know you could re-paint them. I told him it was kinda a rare stove (after i paid for it and loaded it up) and he said he was just happy to get his $50 back outta it, it will look nice in my parlor all gussied up, an original sales brochure on the mantle above it would look nice too i might try to re-polish the chrome before i settle on having them re-dipped, i might even paint them with the silver stove paint to match the scene on the front. i have a neighbor whose really good with a dremel who might be able to do somthing pertaining to bears on the four ball feet. I know you've cover the topic before already but if i reduced the pipe to 6" right out of the top of it would i still need a damper you think? If you got a list of employees from the eugene plant and found a BA it would make my day! Thanks again for your help! Pics will come after the restore, i took the doors off as soon as i got home to strip down and re-do, will those aluminum knobs hold paint as well as the stove?
To answer your question about aluminum knobs holding paint;
The only aluminum knobs used were the air damper, draft cap, intake knob..... whatever you want to call them. Patented as "air damper". They clean up and paint well.
If you mean the knobs as in door handles, before they used springs, they are a white metal, or "pot metal" a very cheap alloy used for intricate auto parts like carburetors. They corrode inside easily, they plate easily, but forget paint holding up on the door handle. Even nickel or brass plating wears off there. The ball feet are the same material. If you need to loosen the set screw to adjust them for height (they are there to move up and down when a brick pad is uneven to level the stove) soak them overnight with PB Blaster or another good penetrant. They corrode inside nasty.
Engraving something on an original Fisher part is like breaking one of the Commandments of the Fisher Collectors Creed. Do that with some cheap gearshift knobs and keep the original ball feet original. I haven't found a supplier for nickel plated balls that size. I have 2 new ones in stock and won't part with them. (the sacred ones under the stove that is)
Thats pretty cool, I like the brass knobs, mine has the '76 INSIDE the star too, the stars were not painted silver from the factory though and the guy i bought it from couldn't see them. mine has a one peice top, which i prefer (even though the three peice is more rare). This stove will be pefect for the spot i have in mind, i was tempted to try and re-sale it but i think its worth about as much to me as i would get out of it. I will not have those feet carved as per your advice i do have some steel balls though i could drill and tap and have carved (i work for union pacific RR and have access to the steel balls they put on the top of ore loads to break them down enroute). I think i may contact your finishing place in CA to have some peices plated in pewter/nickel for a pellet stove i have, the peices are outrageous to buy in a seperate color.Thanks for your advice! ps. It would be interesting to know if FISHER directly ordered the stoves to have one piece tops and a few shops ran out of solid plates for the top.....
Yes, I never saw an original with highlighted trees or stars. It's just something people do to bring out the design.
Does your stove have channel iron welded to the face for the door seal (3 point contact) like other Fishers, or is it a piece of round steel rod welded flat to the surface to fit into a round groove in the doors? All the doors I've seen have square grooves cast into them, and I'm wondering if all Bicentennial doors may have the round groove. Of all the pictures of them, they were always closed, and no one mentioned their door seal being different. If your groove is square, that means there was more than one pattern for the star doors. There are no foundry markings inside my doors, and the right door has the two stanchions sticking out to stop the handle from moving more than 3/4 turn.
By the looks of the Frontier Stove pictured below, perhaps mine is one of Jake Jackson's that got him in trouble...... I notice the same round door seal on his stoves. hmmmm
They could have ran out of bent tops being sent from the larger facility, but since this one has solid handles and early draft caps, it's also likely that the brake to bend tops only handled up to the 19 inch wide Papa Bear. When they doubled in width with 2 doors, I'm thinking they needed a larger brake, so started making them the old way with 3 pieces at first. But you would think more would have surfaced by now. The other possibility is mine being a prototype. When Jake had his license revoked, he went on to start the Frontier Stove Co. and many of them have the 3 piece top. It gives them a distinct look in person, since the step portion is only as wide as the stove body with no overhang. Both horizontal flat plates have all 4 corners rounded too.
If you stop in a stove shop that sells Lopi, check out the "Liberty". Same 3 piece top style (same stove style actually) of course with secondary burn tubes and extra zeros added on the price tag.
Yours would sell for 500 minimum around here. More after the summer's over. West coast now is cheap on Craigslist. High prices in the Eastern States. I paid 600 for mine, and drove 9 hours across PA and Ohio to pick it up.