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S18 E10: Beehive Oven, Jimmy DiResta

Mark explains the history and function of colonial-era beehive ovens and then restores one in a house built in 1750; Richard explains the failure points in toilet tanks and how to repair them; maker Jimmy DiResta invites Tom to his shop for a welding lesson and to build a metal coat rack.

Previous episode: S18 E9 | Next episode: S18 E11

In this episode:

Mark explains the history and function of colonial-era beehive ovens and then restores one in a house built in 1750; Richard explains the failure points in toilet tanks and how to repair them; maker Jimmy DiResta invites Tom to his shop for a welding lesson and to build a metal coat rack.

How to Restore a Colonial-Era Beehive Oven
Mark explains the history and function of colonial-era beehive ovens and then restores one in a house built in 1750

Where to find it?

Most beehive ovens in the United States are between 200-300 years old, making them pretty fragile. Working on them can be an extremely risky job and should only be tackled by professionals.

To cut into the oven from the side, Mark used a sheetrock knife to remove the horsehair plaster. When disturbing old plaster, it’s important to protect against lead. In this case, Mark used a P100 mask and safety glasses, which can be found at any home center, and a 9 gallon dust extractor HEPA vacuum with automatic cleaning, which is manufactured by Bosch Tools.

Once the horsehair plaster was removed, the rest of the work happened with a variety of masonry hand tools, including a brick hammer and chisels. These can all be found at home centers.

To repair the oven, Mark laid a base of Type N mortar, which is manufactured by Quikrete. For the replacement bricks, Mark chose Boston City Hall pavers, which are manufactured by the Stiles and Hart Brick Company. Normally, he would choose a fire rated brick for an application receiving this much heat, but because it was a restoration project, he felt that these bricks best matched the oven and still had a high heat resistance.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Old Sturbridge Village.

How to Repair Toilet Tank Components
Richard explains the failure points in toilet tanks and how to repair them.

Where to find it?

All of the repair parts for this project can be found at home centers.

Build It | Metal Coat Rack with Jimmy DiResta
Maker Jimmy DiResta invites Tom to his shop for a welding lesson and to build a metal coat rack.

Where to find it?

To weld the frame together, Jimmy used a MIG welder, which is manufactured by Lincoln Electric. The light generated from welding is harmful, so be sure to wear protective clothing and a welding mask. Never look directly at the light from welding.

The structure of the coat rack was made using 2x2 square stock 16 gauge steel, which can be purchased from a metal shop. The coat hooks were made using salvaged railroad ties.

The top of the coat rack was made using a piece of 2” thick sapele, but any thick piece of wood would work.

Jimmy used boiled linseed oil as a finish on both the metal and the wood.

Expert assistance with this project was provided by Jimmy DiResta.

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Original Air Date: January 12, 2020 Season 18; Ep.10 00:30