Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Making a Kitchen Range - Sept 2009

If someone says to you "kitchen range" you think of an AGA don't you?
If they then said "spit roast" you'd probably have an image of a whole pig being slowly turned over an open fire in a big open hearth in a castle kitchen somewhere.

Well, the Georgians were somewhere in between.  They seem to like to make my life difficult!  The majority of ranges that you can buy are Victorian or later.  I think I only found 1 or 2 examples, so I decided to make my own.

Finding examples of a Georgian kitchen range involved a fair bit of searching on the internet.  It seems they combined a basic oven and a boiler, heated by a coal fire in a fire grate. 

After not having much luck, I was given a tip by someone on the dolls house emporium forum who suggested looking at 'Salvoweb' an online salvage / antiques directory. 

I found a few possibilities on there and also found an example in the book 'The Authentic Georgain Dolls House'.  I finally decided on a combination of the example in the book and one I'd found on the Salvo website.

I made it out of balsa wood, being fairly cheap and easy to get hold of.  This is it in the early stages. 

And this is the range as it is now, awaiting final glueing, painting and a few finishing touches. 

It's not finished yet as I'm not entirely happy with some of the finish.  Balsa wood is so soft it's very easy to sand it too much and end up with curved pieces of wood.  I've since found a couple of useful tips for using a cutting mat and lining up the wood at 90 degrees to the edge of the mat and then using a snading block run along the edge of the mat to keep your edges square so I might try that and redo a few of the pieces.  It's always handy to have a practice run anyway as I tend to find the second try is always a vast improvement on the first, whatever you do!


  1. This is very clever! Good idea.I want to try balsa wood. Thanks CM

  2. Thank you. Try ebay for balsa wood - you can pick it up fairly cheaply.

  3. I like your work very much -- I think it's a splendid range!

  4. I've got an award for you, Jennifer, if you'd like to pick it up from my blog :)