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Old 03-04-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Refurbish or Replace '70s vintage 4 burner cooktop

I'm working on modernizing the main kitchen cabinet which will include a new wood custom base cabinet and a slightly used white corian counter with corian sink. We have the original Magic Chef wall oven which I plan on keeping since I do plan on using it for baking and cooking. What I'm up in the air about is what to do with the existing cooktop.

It works well enough but it isn't that pretty. There is some rust staining on the folding top, the porcelain is chipped a bit on the ends of the grates and there is some peeling paint on the bottom of the pan that holds all the components. I can spend some time on cleaning it up, and use some high temp paint to paint the pan. I'm thinking I can find one of the rubberized abrasive wheels to use to touch up the brushed surface of the top folding cover and the top of the cooktop. So probably about 30 or 40 bucks in materials and maybe 10-12 hours of work to make it look presentable again, though the burner grates will probably still be a bit chipped on the ends (anybody know of some way to have them re-porcelainized?)

Or I could get a new smaller drop in unit like an Atwood or Suburban 3 burner unit for around 150 plus shipping and call it a day. That might be OK, but they seem to be on the small size compared to the existing unit. There are also some smaller 4 burner units that would be about the same size as the original unit (20" wide) for about 280 to 450 over at AJ Madison as one potential source.

So let me put up some pix of what I have and tell me what you think. For sure a new unit would be nice, but I have lots of other things to spend money on as well, and we all know how much of a money pit these projects can be.













Here is a new Fridgidare for about 450:




A Summit for about 310:




A verona for about 450:



Feel free to chip in with thoughts and opinions.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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If you've got the time & ambition to polish it up, go for it! If you want new & shiny, get a new one. It won't matter as far as "original" if that's what's keeping you from purchasing new (other than the $). I cleaned up a pretty nasty stove & used very fine sandpaper to get it nice & shiny. I wouldn't stress about the grates....use a little black grill paint on them. If it works fine and you want to use your budget in other places, you surely can clean it up nicely!
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:23 PM   #3
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I think you will be better off new. I believe what you have is a coating on top of steel. If you sand it, you will just sand the coating off and you will be left with bare steel.

If you paint, you will have the risk of toxic fumes when cooking.

Perry
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:27 PM   #4
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I beg to differ, Perry. I sanded with very fine paper, wet (2000) and the coating wasn't sanded off. It was as close to a mirror finish that a stove top can have. He can give it a shot if he wants. (or buy new if he wants, for that mattter :-) )
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:30 PM   #5
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I think you will be better off new. I believe what you have is a coating on top of steel. If you sand it, you will just sand the coating off and you will be left with bare steel.

Perry
Perry, do you think if I used high temp primer and paint the folding top would hold up to normal wear and tear? I do think its not stainless since magnets stick to it very well.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:32 PM   #6
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I beg to differ, Perry. I sanded with very fine paper, wet (2000) and the coating wasn't sanded off. It was as close to a mirror finish that a stove top can have. He can give it a shot if he wants. (or buy new if he wants, for that mattter :-) )

Becky
I'm all for saving some bucks where I can. I'm looking at a new fridge and a flat panel for this phase of the renovation and unlike the Geico man, I'm not made of money...
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the research and pictures to show the difference. We still have the 4-burner in our 72 International and are looking at upgrading next year. This year we replaced the three lights and fans with 18 LEDs (sets of six, three forward, three galley and three mid bed room), a new Dometic 15K HP, three fantastic-vents, new 30A inverter. So next years project is the galley.
We were researching the Dickerson Mediterranean, but due to the furnace in which we kept, space is an issue.
I like the Frigidaire configuration. Why? If we end up doing the galley it will include replacing the refrigerator as well. We'd like to keep it all stainless, not to keep up with the style, but the stainless would be the easiest to compliment a complete do over. With SS door panels, stove tops and so on any other style refrigerator would have the wood style door panels which are very difficult to match the 70's veneer.
We looked at redoing our stove top, but would also like to go to a newer stove with safety features, flame out safety, ignition things like that.
With threads like this, it really helps in deciding as these upgrades are not cheap, but you want to ensure that the extra $50-100 dollars is well spent.

Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

SL4BLLT

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Old 03-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
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The problem is there is already rust through the coating. The burner section might be stainless steel. You can try sanding it from the bottom and see if there is a coating or not. Kitchen fixtures are made of ferritic stainless steel which is magnetic. So it could be steel or stainless steel. Steel will rust in a few hours with water exposure. I am not sure what type of paint to use. The reason they use porcelain is because it will not burn or melt.

Perry
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:16 PM   #9
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The problem is there is already rust through the coating. The burner section might be stainless steel. You can try sanding it from the bottom and see if there is a coating or not. Kitchen fixtures are made of ferritic stainless steel which is magnetic. So it could be steel or stainless steel. Steel will rust in a few hours with water exposure. I am not sure what type of paint to use. The reason they use porcelain is because it will not burn or melt.

Perry
I think you're right. I'm guessing the original coating was brushed chrome. I tried sanding it a bit with a fine sanding sponge and it removed some of the surface staining and superficial scratches but the darker spots are where it rusted through to the base metal and those arent going to sand out. So if I want to use this cooktop I need to figure out how to make that top look presentable.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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Have you looked for some RV salvage places. Most RV's are not used and don't last more than 10 yrs so there are lots of good generic RV appliances out there. Virginia is probably too snooty and over regulated but I bet you might find some in KY and WV.

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Old 03-04-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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So let me put up some pix of what I have and tell me what you think. For sure a new unit would be nice, but I have lots of other things to spend money on as well, and we all know how much of a money pit these projects can be.
I liked the look of the Verona. I found out the model number is VECTG424SS and I was falling in love with it when saw noticed that the circuit that ignites the gas is 120V only.

For me that is a stopper. My wife would appreciate a real RV one, one that will light up from a 12V circuit.

I didn't look at the others you showed yet, but I have a feeling they are house units, and of course, 120V.

I have yet to see a new modern stovetop cooker that has more than three elements. No big deal, just an irritant.

[Edit:] Yeah, pretty sure the other two are at least 120V as well. The only specs I found for the Summit talked about that it was 220V!
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:27 PM   #12
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I liked the look of the Verona. I found out the model number is VECTG424SS and I was falling in love with it when saw noticed that the circuit that ignites the gas is 120V only.

For me that is a stopper. My wife would appreciate a real RV one, one that will light up from a 12V circuit.

I didn't look at the others you showed yet, but I have a feeling they are house units, and of course, 120V.

I have yet to see a new modern stovetop cooker that has more than three elements. No big deal, just an irritant.

[Edit:] Yeah, pretty sure the other two are at least 120V as well. The only specs I found for the Summit talked about that it was 220V!

The 120v starter wouldn't be a stopper if I went that way, I anticipate this trailer being used on a full hookup most of the time and when its not, a long reach lighter would fire it up.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:40 PM   #13
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Another thing I got to wondering about: is the gas we get in our homes exactly the same as the LP gas we buy for our trailers?

I am not an expert but this question has come up here before, and I wish I could remember the answer.

I agree, no big thang to use a BBQ lighter when you are travelling. But those suckers are around 400 bucks. It feels funny to have to do a work-around when I am doing what this trailer is all about: travelling...
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:17 AM   #14
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Another thing I got to wondering about: is the gas we get in our homes exactly the same as the LP gas we buy for our trailers?
If you get your gas from an underground pipe, no, it's not the same. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (bottled gas) is mostly propane and heavier than air. Compressed Natural Gas (piped gas) is mostly butane and lighter than air.
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