1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Soapstone stove top kettle- oil it?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Highbeam, Oct 2, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    So I managed to acquire a soapstone kettle to sit atop my Heritage. My dry nose and croupy kids tell me it's time to give it a try. These kettles are delivered with a non polished, turned finish that is not polished like the stove so it looks funny. If I wet the kettle's outside with water, it darkens and the colors and patterns come out nicely but then the water quickly evaporates and it looks chalky again. I hoped that the water inside the kettle might darken the kettle but that isn't happening. I have seen a photo of a kettle that had been oiled with veggy oil or something and it looked nice and dark, shiny, and with good patterns. I think this is the look I want but it doesn't look to be reversible.

    Any experience with oiling a soapstone kettle? Does it make a mess on the stove, ruin the stove? Does the kettle get slippery? What kind of oil?

    Thanks folks.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    Try buffing the kettle with 0000 steel wool. It should bring out the color and luster in the soapstone quite a bit. Don't know about oiling.
  3. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    685
    Loc:
    Riverhead, NY
    Not my area of expertise but I must imagine that there is a high temp stone sealer of some kind on the market.
  4. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    Lakes Region, NH
    Use food grade, (USP) mineral oil and rub in the finish, for the very small amount that will enter the soapstone I don't think you will have much of a problem with discoloration on the Heritage but you might rub a small amount on an inconspicuous part of the stove first. This is what most use to seal soapstone countertops and sinks. Careful not to lick your fingers though it is highly laxative.

    Don't use vegetable oils as they go rancid and would probably smell funky if heated and rancid.
  5. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    I second the mineral oil. In fact, it was what was recommended to use on the soapston tile when I built the hearth extension. The dealer did stress that soapstone should not be sealed. The oil will likely wear off quickly given the direct heat of the stove.

    Here's a before and after "oiling" the hearth - it does bring out the color very well:

    Attached Files:

  6. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    554
    Loc:
    Rochester, Mass
    Who, the oil made a dog appear... crazy :)

    Looks great, both ways to me.
  7. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    685
    Loc:
    Riverhead, NY
    I like the without oil "bluer" version.
  8. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    the "after" actually isn't as dark as it looks in the pic. The color is more of a blue-green, and you can see more of the pattern of the stone.... looks better in person.
  9. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    799
    Loc:
    Bellingham, WA
    We oiled our soapstone steamer: you can view it online at http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/steamer.htm. Darkened it up quite a bit, and gave it a nice sheen. We used canola oil, and baked it in the oven for about a half hour at 250 (this was after the initial bake-in prescribed by Hearthstone). After it cooled, we wiped it down with a terry cloth rag before using. It was kind of gummy at first, but after the rubdown it was smooth.

    We tried not to get any oil on the bottom, thinking the oil might stain the stove, but nonetheless we had some sploodges on there when we were done. As it turned out, we didn't see any affect on the stove from the sploodges.

    The first time we got it hot on the stove it smelled a little like canola oil, but thereafter we didn't smell anything. Rancid oil has never been an issue.

    What you need to know is, the oil treatment isn't permanent. Over time, the oil cooks away, and the whitish look begins to return. We like the oiled look so we re-oil when that starts to happen, but my bet is if we stopped the periodic oiling, the steamer would eventually revert to its original appearance.
  10. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    Buff it with 0000 steel wool, really, it works.
  11. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    997
    Loc:
    Ashfield, MA
    Sploodges...now that's a technical term you don't hear very often
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I think I'll try and go for a match to the stove which means I am going to try and buff it out with the 0000 steel wool. My theory is that even after the buffing I can still oil it If I'm not happy. Also, I want to practice buffing on the kettle so that when I go to buff the stove I will be an experienced buffer. I think the oiled kettle is a bit too dark for my tastes but I do like to see the stone's flare. It would be super cool if I could buff a nice gloss into the kettle just like the stove. My kettle is not nearly as grainy as the one shown on the chimneysweep site, it is pretty much a solid color until I wet it and then it looks very much like the stove.

    I had to glue on a chunk of the lip that broke off in transit and the buffing gives me an oppurtunity to blend that in as well. I'll let you know how it goes.
  13. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    799
    Loc:
    Bellingham, WA
    Sploodge (n): A gob of goo that goes where you don't want it.

    Sploodge (v): The act of getting a gob of goo where you don't want it. ie: "Be careful not to sploodge up the bottom of that steamer."
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Okay so I picked up 0000 steel wool at the home depot. It is the finest they sell and you have to buy 16 chunks of it for under 4$. So I set up some newspaper on the kitchen table and started scrubbing. At first I didn't think it was working. Now, it was certainly removing material, I had significant talc sluffing off and filling up the pad. I kept buffing and turing the pad and kettle until I had done this for about 30 minutes and had gone through two pads. It had noticably darkened but only a little bit and there was a noticable shine to it but nothing mirror like or even close to the polish job on the stove. I did notice that the features or grain of the stone were becoming apparent and showing. So then I walk the kettle outside and blow it off, blow off my clothes, toss the newspaper. I then bring the kettle to the sink and wash it out with water. Holy smokes, that was the trick, it must have washed out the loose talc. The kettle is now the perfect permanent darkness about halfway between chalky new and oiled as in chimneysweeps pics. I am a happy camper and will leave it as-is which is significantly more interesting, dark, and a better match to the stove. It has sparkles in the stone.

    The 0000 steel wool is not going to be used on my stove. It is far too coarse and removes far too much stone material to use without extreme caution. I would expect it to duyll the shiney finish. Soapstone has soft spots and hard spots meaning you won't get a level finish because the steel wool wants to hog out the soft stuff. I found a couple of bumps that I couldn't remove because the steel wool kept going around it. Maybe there's a trick like a cutting fluid or wet sanding. My kettle now fells bumpy when I sweep my hand across it. Not like the moon but like a thick coarse leather.

    I would absolutely recommend steel wool polishing for the kettle. Not the stove.
  15. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    I had suggested the steel wool since that is what Woodstock recommended for my Keystone which had a few scratches in it. They told me that the 0000 is the final rub down they use on their soapstone in their stoves. It did work nicely on my stove and I did find the same as you, that there were grains here and there inbedded in the stone that were slightly raised. I think the Woodstock stoves don't have as shiny a finish as the Heartstone. I'm not sure if that is really the case, and if so, I don't know what Hearthstone does to get that polished finish.
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    The HS stone is certainly glossy, maybe more so than the woodstock. I can see reflections in it and it is slick. There must be some sort of block sanding or tool used at the factory with a flat abrasive holder since the surface is both flat and glossy.
  17. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    Thank God I got a Woodstock! I'd get up in the morning, see my reflection in the Hearthstone, and be depressed for the rest of the day :snake:
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I finally got some photos of the "polished" soapstone kettle. No oil, no fine polishing material or compound. Just the 0000 steel wool and a little elbow grease. We are very happy with the amount of shine, exposure of stone grains, and deepening of color.

    Thanks for all your help. I personally think that this is how the kettle should be delivered.

    Oh and the 90 weight oil I used to lube the latch mechanism does a great job of darkening the stove's stone. I am hoping that the 90 weight smudge will go away like Tom's oil on his kettle.

    The stove is humming along at just under 450 in this photo which is about the sweet spot for this stove. It takes a lot of fuel to move it any further and at 450, the stones change color with more brown showing through.

    Attached Files:

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page