Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Woodstove Ironing

Our cabin uses off-the-grid sources for electrical power. That really limits the things we can use. Here's a useful chart about the watts needed for common appliances. An electric iron uses 1000 watts to operate. Yikes! That would suck our batteries down in one big gulp.


I got to thinking about other ways to get the job done. In my great grandmother's day they used irons (made out of iron) that were heated on a wood stove. Here's her iron. I still have it. What could I use?


I went to my favourite thrift store, the Economy Shop, in Powell River. I purchased an iron for $2.00 and took it up to the cabin. I wrapped up the cord and placed it on my wood stove to heat.


I used a towel and sheet on my picnic table to make an ironing board. I had to reheat the iron several times, but it worked like a charm. I wouldn't want to use it on delicate fabrics, but for cottons and such it was hot enough to press out the wrinkles, yet cool enough not to scorch. I may end up cutting off the cord. For sure, at 1000 watts, I'll never plug it in off the grid! -- Margy

16 comments:

  1. What a great idea...sometimes we wonder how people managed in the "olden days," but they sure had a way with appliances!

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  2. We do not need electricity for everything although hydro would like us to think otherwise. I really missed my stove while we were away.

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  3. Way to use what you have (stove) and do your ironing. And for $2 it is a real money saver.

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  4. That's a great idea! And it is a lot lighter than the old fashioned one.

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  5. That iron reminds me of my grandmother's and her coal stove!
    ROG, ABCW

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  6. Clever idea. We used a sad iron when I was growing up in Alaska in the 50s - before we moved to town. Hard work.

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  7. This tale tells me you are a very resourceful person. If your grandmother's iron is hollow, it means she put coals IN it instead of heating the plate on the stove. I was in India in October and actually saw a woman ironing on her porch with an iron exactly like this. Amazing.

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  8. Good idea! In Indonesia before the war my mum used an iron, which could contain live coals and was hot enough to iron a lot of clothes. When I first was married I did a lot of ironing, but now I hardly iron any more, only some blouses. Bedlinnen is good enough as long as it is clean.
    Life is getting much easier for me! :)

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  9. For $2 who cares if you cut the cord. Also, you could always try putting another piece of fabric over your delicate before ironing. I think I might be able live with limited electricity for a while....but not if i had to go so far back in time that i would have to iron.

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  10. For $2 who cares if you cut the cord. Also, you could always try putting another piece of fabric over your delicate before ironing. I think I might be able live with limited electricity for a while....but not if i had to go so far back in time that i would have to iron.

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  11. Necessity is the Mother of Invention---An old cliche but true.

    I have missed your posts for awhile but thanks for visiting my blog.

    Love the 'Cool and Crisp' shot.

    MB

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  12. that is so cool.. in India, even today, we have ironwallas - people who earn their living ironing clothes .. a few rent a part of a building and use a mix of electric irons and coal irons while others set up their portable irontable on wheels on roadsides and walk from house to house picking up clothes and return it to the right house at the end of the day and they use coal irons (just like the ones ReaderWil mentions)

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  13. You have a very inventive mind!! Kate, ABC Team

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  14. Great idea! Ironing is one of my least favorite chores...when I was young, one of my jobs was to iron the sheets, pillow cases and my dad's handkerchiefs...I always wondered why we bothered when they just got wrinkled the first time used. I still don't iron my sheets and I happily use tissues rather than hankies!

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  15. sorry,but why you need ironing?!/this beautiful small place../greeting from toronto;laszlo

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  16. Roger and Oakland - The iron is solid, so it wasn't used with coals. And, it's very heavy. I'm sure she heated it on the wood stove.

    Reader Wil - I'm like you. I rarely iron, but I wanted to get the creases out of the curtains before I hung them up.

    MB - Welcome back.

    Blueduck - I rarely iron, but in this one case I wanted to get the creases out.

    Margy

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