Papa Bear Restoration

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
It's been a while since I posted. The wife thinks I have a Fisher addiction. I purchased a Mama Bear yesterday in near perfect condition. Back Vent. The box is a bit rough on the texture. No rust well taken care of. Looks like it was never overfired. I'm looking to restore it to pristine condition.

First what abrasive is safe to blast it. Soda, Sand, Glass bead, Corn cob, Walnut. Black onyx??? This would be for the fire box. I'm trying for a smooth finish. So I don't want to pit or rough it up.

Second what is safe for the doors. I want to try and expose the original Nickle if it is there. If it isn't I will consider re-plating it. I have a pressurized blaster and a cabinet so I am able to be versatile on the media.

I hopefully will be picking up a Grandpa bear later today if all goes well. This one is well used but from what I can tell by pics it's not damaged and will also need a full restoration. This brings me up to 5 Stoves 2 Grandpa Bears. 2 Mama Bears. One Grandma Bear. The Grandma bear was a purchase the wife made. And she say's Im addicted .. Ya right. That one is real rough. Someone decided to make it a top vent when it's a back vent. I would call that stove abuse. It has a crack on the back wall. I'm still deciding what to do to it. It will never be pristine. But with a bit of love it could be made safe to use.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
That would be a Papa Bear.
You mean a 4 fin damper. You've been away too long. :)

Must be getting stronger if you moved that one like a Mama.
Bet you were wondering why it was so heavy for a Mama too.

How about sanding with an orbital sander for the smoothest finish possible? That's an old one too, maybe '76 or so?

Wife go off her meds for a day?
 
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Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
Upon further review of the dimensions I believe it is a PaPa Bear. My bad. I was just in the process of amending my post when you posted. How have you been?
All one has to do is substitute PAPA for mama so I can be lazy and not edit my post.hehehehe
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
That would be a Papa Bear.
You mean a 4 fin damper. You've been away too long. :)

Must be getting stronger if you moved that one like a Mama.
Bet you were wondering why it was so heavy for a Mama too.

How about sanding with an orbital sander for the smoothest finish possible? That's an old one too, maybe '76 or so?

Wife go off her meds for a day?
She was the one who got me started. She deny's it but we all know the truth. She found our first one back when we purchased the farm. Grandpa Bear 76 star on the door. From there its been off to the races. This year I got re interested. My daughter uses a Grandma Bear to heat their home. During a total remodel that's all they used to heat a 5 bedroom house. My other daughter has been searching for one for her new cabin. I found one this morning and am waiting to hear back. That one is a Grandpa Bear in pretty good shape from the pics. Her cabim is Huge so it will be a perfect fit. It definitely is an old boy. At first glance i thought Mama advertised as one as well. Then compared it to my Mama bear in the workshop and realized it was a Papa. Drove 400 miles round trip. Paid $240.00 Would this one be nickle under the door paint?
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
I was thinking Orbital sander after blasting it with a soft media. Especially on the top I want that glass finish. Blasting it helps me with my lazy mode. The door is where the real concern is. I don't want to mar any nickle on it. What I really need is at least one of each model. My future son in law has a friend who uses an XL I've been sniveling up a storm about buying it. But so far it's a no way thing. I have to come up with a plan to get it. Patience
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
Been good here.
No nickel plated (Edit; flat top) doors. (It would be nickel plate inside as well, that's the place to check them)

I can only tell you glass beads leave a satin finish. Sand is the most aggressive, stay away from that. Lots of plastics to choose from, ground walnut shells or soda was the least aggressive. Since I only have a cabinet for smaller parts like doors, I don't haul it to be blasted and haul it back. Easier for me to wire wheel and sand than load and reload.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
I should have specified, no plated doors on the older flat tops. Nickel or brass plated doors were optional on Cathedral doors only; 1980 and after.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
Restored would be painted black. Many highlight the trees and name with silver paint by brush, which could be removed if you wanted original again. I can privately send you plenty of pictures of plated examples if you want to get an idea. I don’t post them here since people get the idea that was an option and expect to find them.
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
Restored would be painted black. Many highlight the trees and name with silver paint by brush, which could be removed if you wanted original again. I can privately send you plenty of pictures of plated examples if you want to get an idea. I don’t post them here since people get the idea that was an option and expect to find them.
Yes send them. I've been buisy lately. Cutting wood. Getting hay in. etc. I ran into a Grandpa Bear in my neck of the woods. Was going to get it for my daughters Large cabin. All she did was hem and haw. So I didn't follow up like I should have. It sold for approx. $300.00 76 Model. I should have just got it anyway. Snooze you loose. To top it off now she wants one. Kids these days. I'm considering all the art work lettering dampeners handle and part of the hinges nickle. On the papa bear. and Grandpa bear.
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
Would plating the older doors be off base when it comes to restoration. It's not original but I would think it would spruce them up a bit.
I have a mama bear with arch top door. I was going to strip it to see what's underneath. It has a damaged rear leg so it will never be pristine. The Papa Bear is in awesome condition. I'm thinking about not Nickle plating the door on the Papa Bear. Or any of the flat tops. Maybe using a silver highlight paint on the raised art? Pros---Cons ? I just acquired a Grandma Bear today. Top vent. Flat top doors. I'll probably start a different post on that one. Minor surface rust needs a good cleaning and repaint. I need a Baby Bear to round off the collection. What was the exact paint Fisher used on these models? I'm thinking of using my air guns on it.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
You can get Stove Bright Satin Black in quarts. That's the stuff.

Check the inside of the arched top door for plating.

What type leg is damaged? Angle iron down the corner, weld on standard, or bolt on? They are all fixable.
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
Back rear angle iron was snapped off and someone bugger welded it. I can clean it up so it looks fine. Or fabricate a new leg. But it's still there. I use that one to heat the garage. When I think pristine. I think never any major damage to none at all. I have a abused grandma as well. Some nitwit tried to change it from a back draft to a top draft. . Big crack on the back. But that one has Ball feet on it. The feet are worth more than the stove. I'll send pics of both. The mama in the garage is one I've been wanting to repair for some time. I know I can make her look all pretty again. But She will never be as perfect as the day she was made. At least where the leg is concerned. I call her the walker. She moves around throughout the winter. Left to right a inch or two over the winter.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
My pedestal Goldilocks was a mover. The weight per each square inch under a pedestal plate is actually very little, and normal loading moves them rearward.

My huge Kitchen Queen grows and contracts moving enough sideways each year to make the pipe crooked. Close to 1000 lbs with shelf, water tank and 25 gallons of water! I have it on a black UL stove pad on a tile floor, and it won’t stay centered on that pad left to right.
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
These are pics of the one I currently use in the garage . I've been wanting to spruce her up but never seem to get the time. I was wrong about angle iron being the legs. They repaired it with angle but the rest of the legs are decorative.
 

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Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
This is the one my wife got at a online auction. It's been abused. The crack on the back concerns me. Has anyone seen this weld on the back side? None of my other ones have a seam in this location.
 

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Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
This is one I picked up this weekend. My goofy daughter sniveled and whined over a Grandpa Bear 76 model I found. She couldn't make up her mind. It got sold to someone else. This one I spotted on a trailor 2 years ago at a gas station. The gut put it at his cabin and said he would sell it to me. It took 2 years of some back and forth. After I lost the Grandpa Bear he called me out of the blue and I snatched it up. I'm still peeved about losing the 76 Grandpa but o'h well. I told her if she doesn't want it SO WHAT I'll keep it.
 

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coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
This is the one my wife got at a online auction. It's been abused. The crack on the back concerns me. Has anyone seen this weld on the back side? None of my other ones have a seam in this location.
Welds or seam on back is not normal . Back plate should be one solid piece. Stop drill the crack with 1/8 inch drill bit, just past where the crack is visible. V groove and weld. It could be plated with 1/4 inch plate over the entire area if welds are poor.

By the doors, it looks like a Grandpa. The trees at door seam almost touch on a Grandma. This is a 1979 stove. That was the only year the new style box without angle iron corners was available with the old style flat top doors, or the new optional Cathedral arched top. This is the new style box with old doors. Designated Series III. This also has the Fireplace Leg option.

Grandma will have 5 bricks across back, Grandpa uses 6.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
These are pics of the one I currently use in the garage . I've been wanting to spruce her up but never seem to get the time. I was wrong about angle iron being the legs. They repaired it with angle but the rest of the legs are decorative.
I believe @CamFan on this forum has those weld on standard legs.
 

Todd_C

Member
Dec 15, 2013
72
littlebyteservices.com
Welds or seam on back is not normal . Back plate should be one solid piece. Stop drill the crack with 1/8 inch drill bit, just past where the crack is visible. V groove and weld. It could be plated with 1/4 inch plate over the entire area if welds are poor.

By the doors, it looks like a Grandpa. The trees at door seam almost touch on a Grandma. This is a 1979 stove. That was the only year the new style box without angle iron corners was available with the old style flat top doors, or the new optional Cathedral arched top. This is the new style box with old doors. Designated Series III. This also has the Fireplace Leg option.

Grandma will have 5 bricks across back, Grandpa uses 6.
I just measured the box and you are right. At first glance the rounded edges make it appear smaller. Box measures at 27 3/4 wide 22 1/4 deep. This matches my Grandpa 76 in the house. The weld goes from the old draft to the bottom. Could this be where the ends met up at the factory? My wire feed isn't going to get deep enough to penetrate real well. I was going to have me nephew stick weld it to see what we can do. This may sound sacrilege but I was thinking of using it to provide heat to my Hog Roaster. If it's outside there should be no issue. It would make a very unique fire box for the roaster. It beats catabolizing it. Or leaving it sit. I was considering doubling the back plate if it comes down to it. I hate to see it go to waste. But considering this would be a fairly rare stove because of transitioning from flat top to arched top. I have to consider that as well.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
I just measured the box and you are right. At first glance the rounded edges make it appear smaller. Box measures at 27 3/4 wide 22 1/4 deep. This matches my Grandpa 76 in the house. The weld goes from the old draft to the bottom. Could this be where the ends met up at the factory? My wire feed isn't going to get deep enough to penetrate real well. I was going to have me nephew stick weld it to see what we can do. This may sound sacrilege but I was thinking of using it to provide heat to my Hog Roaster. If it's outside there should be no issue. It would make a very unique fire box for the roaster. It beats catabolizing it. Or leaving it sit. I was considering doubling the back plate if it comes down to it. I hate to see it go to waste. But considering this would be a fairly rare stove because of transitioning from flat top to arched top. I have to consider that as well.
I have scrapped allot of stuff in much better shape than that lol.