The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Community => Coffee Lounge => Topic started by: Bionic on May 06, 2011, 11:02:43 pm

Title: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Bionic on May 06, 2011, 11:02:43 pm
Little Blue had said in a message on another subject, where would the smallholders be without their AGA's or Rayburns?

When I eventually get my smallholding I do want an Aga or a Rayburn but can anyone tell me which is best?
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Sandy on May 06, 2011, 11:11:09 pm
Not sure theres too much difference, I had a gas AGA for years and missed it when I divorced, we had a hanging rail over it (lazy suzie) and dried washing ovenight and you could ever press stuff on the closed lids. Takes a while to get used to this type of cooking but the flavors get seeled in AND, I never had to clean the ovens out!!!! I suppose the makes and models of both vary so its more a case of finding one that suits your need and fuel type as they can be greedy on the fuel, but cosy as well!!!!
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Rosemary on May 06, 2011, 11:31:15 pm
If you want to be even the vaguest bit green, don't have either. Just get a lamb warming box and an energy efficient cooker.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 07, 2011, 09:29:55 am
I don't know about the modern ones but from my understanding the original Rayburns were different to the Agas.  Mum's had Agas for years, I had a very early Rayburn for a few years. 

The Aga is meant to run at a constant temperature and cook the same every time; the variation in cooking temperatures comes from the location of the food in the ovens.  With the (solid fuel - not sure how the oil or gas ones did this) Rayburn you vary the heat and type and location of heat according to how you build the fire.  A hot roaring fire gets the hot plate hot but may not heat up the ovens, a long slow deep burn puts heat into the ovens but not the hotplate, etc.  (I'm writing this from memory - it's been more than 10 years since I used my solid fuel 1952 Pattern No 1 Rayburn - I do still miss it!)

My wee 1952 Rayburn would run for 24 hours on a little more than a scuttle-full of coal, cook meals and heat water for two and heat the main living space in the cottage.  I could keep it going on low overnight and ramp it up to cook the toast and eggs for breakfast.  Warm kitchen first thing, no damp in the house - ah, those were the days...
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Frieslandfilly on May 07, 2011, 09:45:47 am
With the new Rayburns you can direct the heat from heating to the cooking depending on what you require. 
If you want to be even the vaguest bit green, don't have either. Just get a lamb warming box and an energy efficient cooker.
Plus as a 'green' option they are a good choice, the wood you burn is carbon neutral  even better if you are using fallen wood from your land,and they use reclaimed iron and its 70% recyclable!

We have an old Rayburn (prehistoric) that someone has tampered with and now cant run heating so we have decided to invest and put in a new one, big investment but will last a lifetime and I know people who take them with them when they move!! We went for the Rayburn because of the size and the multifuel use, but you will need to decide based on your circumstances.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: robert waddell on May 07, 2011, 10:14:33 am
all farmhouse type stoves are recyclable  all are made from scrap metal (as are wind turbines) when we moved here there was a wellstood in the kitchen it had all the attributes that sally in the north has listed plus you could dispose of dead rats hens and road kill cats it was replaced with a Stanley oilfired cooker  and short of going into rant mode all modern farmhouse stoves are overpriced inefficient and cost a fortune to maintain and run :(
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Simon O on May 07, 2011, 10:21:31 am
Rayburns can run on wood, Agas cannot. We have been thinking of a Rayburn for the kitchen as we have so much wood on the land. We were going to get a very old and rusting Rayburn from Edinburgh to use as some heating/cooking facilities in the outhouses but no-one can get it out from our friends basement space to road level as it is so heavy and awkward
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: SallyintNorth on May 07, 2011, 11:08:34 am
Yep, they are certainly heavy.

Many many years ago the boyfriend at the time set off one Saturday morning to help a mate get an Aga onto his houseboat.  Mob-handed, they managed the deed.

The Aga promptly crashed through the floor of the boat and the whole lot - houseboat, Aga and all - sank to the bottom of the canal!
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: OhLaLa on May 07, 2011, 11:25:40 am
Work out the differences and see which suits you best:

Aga is the more 'prestigious' of the two (the snob factor  ;D )
Rayburn does not dismantle to move/install - the Aga does
Aga's have smaller ovens than Rayburn
Aga's come in 2 or 4 oven versions - also possible to get matching 'standard' cooker to sit alongside
Aga's will not run radiators
Older Aga's were built to run on solid fuel, so you do have the option if you can get hold of one in decent condition.
Rayburn's have the oven temp gauge built into the door
Rayburn's take up less room as are smaller on the exterior
If you want solid fuel, it's easier to find a solid fuel burning Rayburn

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.
Whichever one you choose - don't get a converted one - get one that was made originally to run on the fuel it takes.

Love them both, had them both  :love: ........and have an Aga right now.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Crofter on May 07, 2011, 02:48:50 pm
I know it's neither one nor the other but I just wanted to put in a word for Stanley stoves. We wouldn't be without our SuperStar, it heats the kitchen, cooks, heats the water and runs 10 radiators. We run ours on peat as we have a peat bank with the croft and it does use a lot of fuel (putting out 35Kw it would do) but at a cost of 700 second hand it has done 6 years. This winter I had to put in a new boiler which was 400 but still worth it.
Just my thoughts :)

Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: norfolk newbies on May 07, 2011, 03:36:21 pm
Interesting thread. My sister has a Rayburn, loves it in the winter, turns it off during summer ( oil fired) loves the hot water, cooking and drying clothes option ( she is in Cumbria and they do not get many dry days0. It will heat radiators when connected.

Our derelict house has Aga in original condition, which used to use anthracite, but not working at present. We were going to get it converted to gas (I did not want to throw it away and was trying to re-use it.)

What are the problems with the conversion?

We did consider keeping it solid fuel and using wood, but had heard that it is not that efficient at heating HW and cooking at the same time using wood . I did not realise that Agas and wood not an option.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Sylvia on May 07, 2011, 04:43:58 pm
Lillian, I had a Wellstood many years ago (30 or more!) It kept us warm all winter through,did the cooking and had a large tank on the side with a tap. This was topped up with  water as hot water was used and you could burn anything on it, wood, coal, tin cans, old leather boots,bones, everything.
I now have a Rayburn, old but efficient(a bit like me!!) and wouldn't have anything else. I wouldn't like to have anything that depended on mains gas, electricity or coal, if push ever comes to shove I can cook and keep warm.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: suziequeue on May 08, 2011, 04:12:11 pm
If you want to be even the vaguest bit green, don't have either.

Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: robert waddell on May 08, 2011, 04:18:37 pm
the nearest these stoves are to being green is if you get a green one :wave:
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Pony-n-trap on May 08, 2011, 04:27:57 pm
We have a woodburning rayburn, wouldnt be without it!
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: northfifeduckling on May 08, 2011, 05:27:51 pm
we just bought an Italian range - it looks great, the specs are what we need and the price was very persuasive, a new one for the price a used AGA or Rayburn would cost (

it just needs to get installed now  ::)  :&>
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: robert waddell on May 08, 2011, 05:43:07 pm
for what it is it seems very good value       does it do central heating     and what does it cost to instal   and do there agents fit or can anybody :farmer: :wave:
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: northfifeduckling on May 08, 2011, 07:59:19 pm
OH is working on it  himself, hope it will be done once winter arrives ::) ::) ::) it took 4 people to get it into the house!!!
Yes, we will attach a few radiators and it has a back boiler. There is a switch from heating to oven if you want to bake sth. in it.
They just sell them but I'm sure they can recommend  local installers and you can take it from there. The guy is really nice, best talk to him on the phone, say the folks from Fife recommended him  ;D. Our local Transition Town Group also has a list of installers :&>
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: The Chicken Lady on May 08, 2011, 10:13:30 pm
I have an oil fired Rayburn. It runs all the heating - including two rooms with under floor heating, hot water and I do all the cooking on it. The heating and hot water are on a seperate timer and in summer you can just have hot water. The cooker is also on a timer and the hot plate heats quite quickly. It did take a while to get used to but I would not be without it. I did look at all the cast iron stoves before buying a Rayburn.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: Llandovery Lass on May 09, 2011, 08:23:25 am
We put a multi fuel Stanley in last year, does cooking, hot water and radiators. Eats a lot of wood but we have plenty so it's only the work involved in cutting and drying, wouldn't be without it. Now it's fairly warm we light it around six and use for evening meal and then let it go out around 9.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: jaykay on May 09, 2011, 08:57:51 am
We got a reconditioned Aga when we moved in here - half the price of a new one but looks like new as the front and top has been re-enamelled (PM for the company, if interested). It's wonderful  ;D ;D We also live in Cumbria but at 1000ft and we don't switch it off in the summer - there are maybe two days a year when the kitchen is too warm and I need to open the windows  :D but plenty where we're really glad of it.

Ours is an oil-fired one which suits us cos we're not here all day to feed a solid fuel one.

When we were researching what to have, the man in the shop said don't get one which also does radiatiors as there's more to go wrong and a separate boiler is more efficient so we have an outside boiler for the central heating (switched on when visitors come  :D) and hot water.
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: ballingall on May 12, 2011, 01:52:12 pm
At our old place we always had a solid fuelled Rayburn, heated the kitchen, hot water and you could cook from it. However, my mum and I both have asthma, and clearing out the ash was not fun for either of us. We moved here, where the previous owners had put in a Stanley range (oil fired). If you used the ovens, the room would be far too hot to even be in, it cost a fortune to run, and of course for the summer, you had to have a electric cooker sitting beside it anyway. It also cost a fortune in servicing and repair. We took it out, put in a new fancy boiler which gives you hot water whenever you need it, and we cut our oil bill in half. Having said that, it doesn't cost 50% less because the price of oil keeps going up!

Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: robert waddell on May 12, 2011, 03:14:38 pm
hello beth  farmhouse kitchen stoves (Stanley aga rayburn)  all recommend servicing twice a year by there regionally appointed service technicians also they recommend commissioning (of new  stoves)by there appointed agents these agents will not en roach on there fellow technicians
yes when the oven is on the kitchen is a hot house  servicing well dick Turpin had the sense to wear a mask  we now use a very  very good heating engineer who is 25% the cost of dick Turpin   it still uses a looooooot of fuel      it is easy to say to change it but not every body is dripping with cash  :cat:
Title: Re: AGA or Rayburn?
Post by: goosepimple on May 12, 2011, 09:51:02 pm
Depends on what you have in the way to fuel it in your area.  We looked into this last year - were told that solid fuel ones are hard work - you need the supply, chop it, make sure its well seasoned and then have someone around for most of the day to feed it - better things to do.... if you have an oil fed Aga that does cooking only, then it doesn't convert (Aga shop Selkirk says so)...Rayburns are seemingly becoming way more popular now because of their efficiency rates and Stanleys are well worth a look at and are cheaper than Rayburn and Agas.  We have a water wheel and so electricity is free so its worth us looking at an electrically supplied one - think of your running costs, LPG costs about the same per unit as kerosene but you get twice as much mileage out of kerosene.  There are dual fuel ones too so that a secondary system can feed in if your primary one runs out.  Ugh...choices, for heaven's sake is nothing easy? ??? ???