Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters
Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters

One man's incredible love affair with iconic kitchen history

ETHAN Rose finds hidden treasure in horse paddocks and old tractor sheds, but getting it home to Rockhampton is a weighty business.

"That one was a three-man lift and even then we were busting ourselves," he said, pointing to his latest wood stove find.

Ethan's father used to take him on car trips out bush when he was only 10 or 11 years old.

"From Gracemere we'd go out to Taroom or Jericho, wherever he got wind of an old stove," he said.

Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters
Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters

Ethan and his brother inherited not only a love for cast iron stoves from their father but also the stoves themselves.

They have managed to buy back some which had been sold out of the family.

Now with his third child on the way, the Allenstown man is getting his own sons interested in the intricacies of Metters, Crowns and JR models.

"My in-laws live on a dairy farm in Gympie, so we found a few lying out in the paddocks there," Ethan said.

"One of them had a cracked top so I had to source another one the same to use for parts."

The original baked-on enamel doors are set within a newly painted body which was stripped free of years' worth of rust.

Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters
Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters

Ethan soaks the rusted parts in a 9:1 solution of molasses and water for several weeks.

"It can smell pretty potent after a month," he said.

"But when you get it out and hit it with a gerni, the rust just falls off."

The process is laborious and parts are expensive, so Ethan doesn't find many buyers who can pay for a fully restored stove or heater which can go for thousands of dollars.

However, he's rebuilding a family hobby and passing it on to his own children.

Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters
Ethan Rose with some of his wood stoves and heaters

"I take my kids out to the Heritage Village to give them an idea how the stoves were used by people in the bush," he said.

"They know where every stove is... and there's one or two there I wouldn't mind getting my hands on."


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