STOCKTON – Tom Lawson recently refurbished a nickel-plated Magic Chef oven.
He’s in the business of restoring collectible gas and propane stoves along with other vintage items at his Buckeye Appliance, 714 W. Fremont St.
“We do the same quality work like someone redoing an old car,” said Lawson, who has operated this family-own business from the same location since 1976.
He’s helped out by his wife Darcy and son Josh, who also owns JNA Collectibles located just down the street at 821 W. Fremont St. The younger Lawson buys, sell, and trade Star Wars, Transformer, GI Joe, and He-Ham action figures, to name a few, from the 1960s to 1990s and was among the vendors at the recent Stockton-Con event.
The name, Buckeye Appliance, was the brainchild of Tom Lawson, who was honoring his roots. He grew up in Rocky River, Ohio, and is a lifelong fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes football.
“I wasn’t smart enough to go (to Ohio State),” he said.
Lawson found his way to California after enlisting in the armed forces. He started working on Maytag appliances from home before settling into the restoration business.
“Restoration is what keeps us going,” said Lawson, who usually charges $75 on estimates.
For the most part, he redoes antique stoves from 1955 and older. Included are brand-name of the time – Wedgewood, O’Keefe and Merritt, Magic Chef, Occidental, and Spark.
Finding old pieces is hardly a problem for Lawson, who has spare parts accumulated from nearly four decades of being in the same 3,000-square-foot location. He also has vintage doors, railings, frames, sinks, and windows tucked away.
“I’m in trouble if we’re ever forced to move,” he said.
Lawson stands behind his work. For example, any restored stove purchased from Buckeye Appliance comes with a one-year warranty.
He prefers the older appliances that had attachments such salt and pepper shakers, fold-out serving shelves, and even cooking instructions.
“We also carry many antiques, vintage furniture, and items you can’t find anywhere else,” Lawson said.
Other antique stores in Stockton include:
• Treasure Trove, 234 W. Harding Way. Home of many fascinating discoveries for antique lovers since 1993. Information at 209-547-0433 or log on to www.treasure-troveantiques.com.
• Hubba Hubba Antiques on the Miracle Mile, 2026 Pacific Ave. Call 209-460-0339 for more information.
• Legacy Antiques and Interiors at 128 Lincoln Center. Phone 209-474-7944 for information.
• Trotting Horse Antiques, 9177 Thornton Road. Call 209-477-5549 for more information.
— VINCE REMBULAT