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Archive | January, 2011

Revere pressure cooker DIY

When parts for your favorite piece of cookware are no longer available, sometimes a little do-it-yourself repairs are necessary.

Problem:  The first few years of the vintage Revere Ware pressure cooker had a gauge rather than a dial.  At the bottom of the gauge sits a gasket, which over decades of use and life, gets dry and brittle and stops working, allowing steam to escape, which provides a false reading on the gauge lower than it should.

Solution:  Making a new gasket from some high temperature silicone rubber.

This problem was brought to my attention by a customer who had the problem, and when I opened up my pressure gauge, sure enough, my gasket was beyond repair as well.

I was able to find some suitable material in the form of a silicone baking sheet, which sounded promising as it was specifically intended for high temperatures and was a food grade silicone.  While the original gasket measured about 3-4/100th of an inch, the silicone baking sheet came in at 6/100th of an inch, a difference I hoped wouldn’t matter.

The original gasket was pretty well attached to the metal, but I was easily able to scrape it off with 1/2 of a pair of wooden chopsticks, a soft material so as not to scratch the metal surface and create grooves that might break the seal.

To form the gasket, I pressed down on the silicone sheet with the top of the gauge, which left a nice mark and cut it out with scissors.  I used an apple corer to cut out a hole on the inside.  To create the holes, I sandwiched the gasket between the gauge and the bottom plate and marked them with a small screw driver, and then opened them up with a drill bit.

As you can see, it is crudely shaped, but a good enough fit to make a seal.

The drill bit left imperfectly small holes that were a bit hard to get the screws through, so to put on the gasket, I first laid it on the bottom plate and threaded the screws through, and then placed the top piece on and screwed them down.

While the gasket is slightly thicker than the original, the screws were easily long enough to hold tight.

A quick pressure test showed the gasket to hold without any problems.

Customer John took a slightly different approach, and went to a shop called Great Western Seal & Gasket (didn’t know places like this existed) and had them punch a suitable gasket out of appropriately sized silicone rubber and then bought a small punch from them to create the screw holes.  I’m sure his looks much prettier than mine, but they both work fine.



Our shipping will be closed for vacation from Friday, January 14th, through Sunday, January 23rd.  Any orders placed after 12 noon on Thursday, January 13th will not ship until Monday January 24th.

You can still place orders during that time, but shipment will be delayed.


Extreme Revere Ware handle repair

Here is a project sent to us by a customer.  He was determined to fix a friends favorite sauce pan that had been without a handle for 20 years.  The problem was not only that the particular style of handle (the type used in the first few years of production) was not available, but that most of the metal that the handle attaches to had broken off.  This just goes to show that perhaps NO piece of cookware is beyond repair to the truly determined.

We have documented a simple if imperfect adaptation of the vintage style handle we DO sell to the early production pans, but for those looking for a better solution, this project should be inspiration; it is clearly possible to modify the spline that the handle attaches to to fit the “newer” vintage style handles we DO sell.

Thanks to Jim for documenting this project and sending it to us.

Sauce Pan Handle Project

This project involved putting a “Large” sauce pan handle on a “broken” handle stub of an early model Revere Ware 7” sauce pan.

The Problem :

Before: This “early” model sauce pan had a broken handle bracket.

After: Welding  approx. 3” of  ¾” x.065” stainless steel strip to the handle .

This is the finished handle fix –

Note:  The original -early model- right tab was wider than ¾” and had to be ground away to match the ¾” wide stainless strip added to fit the ¾” wide handle niches.

Note:  The dimensional detail of the added piece was accomplished by creating a piece of  light cardboard that fit the handle recesses and then transferring that to a thing piece of sheet metal and from that, it was transferred to the stainless piece for the handle. .

Left Side Detail:

Left Side A. The Left Side tab was basically unchanged.  However, we did weld the left tab to the new handle material for the purpose of strengthening the entire handle system.

Left Side B.   Blue Tape indicates the area of bakelight removal in the handle halves.

Note:  The black marker over the original strengthening rib where the handle is attached to the pan.  This rib interfered with the handle and therefore required some relieving of the handle with a Dremel tool to get clearance and allow the seam of the handle halves to mate up without a crack between them. (  See Blue Tape – Above  )

Left Side C.

Also the left side handle had to be relieved ( notice the semi-circle of blue tape ) and some of the handle cut away where the Tab was welded to the new handle material.

( See Blue Tape – Above  )

Right Side A.

The right side tab of the handle required the Tab be ground away so it was only ¾” wide to match both the new handle extension width and the bakelite handle niche.  Also bakelite had to be removed at the front of the handle where the strengthening rib interfered with the handle fitting flush to the tab.

( See Blue Tape — Above )

Right Side A.

This piece of .040” thick  x  ¾” wide  thick sheet metal was cut to fit the handle and used as a pattern for the shearing of the stainless piece that was .065″.

The stainless piece was then welded to the handle and ground flush.  Then the hole for the hanging ring was drilled after the handles were mounted and fitting well. The result is below.   ( The black line being the weld joint area. )

The Finished Pan….

The project was not all that involved and went quite smoothly.   Sheet metal snips, Dremel tool,  bench grinder, files, dial calipers, vice  and drill were the home shop tools involved.  I did take the stainless strip to a metal shop for shearing and welding.