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HOT RIMS - Car part turned into coal stoves

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2010 | 2:00 AM

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

It is not unusual for a motor vehicle tyre rim to be pressed into service for cooking. 
Recently, however, the rim's culinary adaptation has been elevated, literally and figuratively, with specially made coal stoves set on metal frames on display to potential purchasers at various spots around the Corporate Area.

One of the people who makes the 'rim stoves', who gives his name as Coxsone and is popularly known as 'Welder', says he saw a need for them when the wheels of government turned in 2007. He says "gas a go dear, so you haffi go back to de original coal stove".

The 'original', though, is too low, so with about 20 years' experience in welding, he set about fashioning a coal pot using motor-vehicle rims, raising it on a frame. The open side of the rim is turned up and a support for the pot welded across its diameter. He makes them in single-, double- and triple-burner models, the last having a special soup pot feature. He uses 15-inch rims on either side and a 14-incher in the middle, one of the outside rims having an especially sturdy, raised frame over the rim.

Welder says it is made so that the person who is cooking soup does not have to lift the pot to put additional coal under it. "From me start make it so dem sell faster," he told
Automotives
.

The double is made using an 18-inch and a 14-inch rim and Welder says he does not go lower than 13 inches. He does, on special order, go very large. "If somebody request a big truck rim, me will buil' it. Me do it already," he said. He also adjusts the height of the frame for purchasers of different heights, so "the pot no inna yuh ches'".

The rims, which form a contained area for the coal and already have a circular edge to support the pot, are heavy, so the frame which the pot stands on is especially important. Welder says that he uses angle iron, which is getting harder to access since the scrap-metal trade boom. He does not have a problem getting rims to convert into coal stoves, though, as he does work with a tyre- repair shop.

Skyrocketing costs

The triple burner costs $8,000, the double goes for $4,000, and the single retails for $2,000, Welder pointing out that like anything else, his raw-material costs are skyrocketing.

Welder also has an unusual use for another car part, pressing the springs into service in see-saws so that the end of the padded seat does not hit the ground. The extra bounce adds to the fun too, although he says "me no use the big one, like truck".

Welder has two sidewalk display areas on Molynes and Hagley Park roads in St Andrew. Although he makes double see-saws to order, he does not have any on display, as they would impede pedestrians.

"Me nah distress people for the sidewalk," he told
Automotives
.