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Archive | March, 2011

Why isn’t there a screw for the knob on my lid?

One of the most common questions we get from customers is related to their lid not having a screw, but what appears to be a stub of some kind.

Over the years, as evidenced by the many differently constructed lid knobs we have come across, Revere Ware has used no threaded insert in the lid knobs (threads are part of the Bakelite) and threaded inserts of various types of metal, such as aluminum, brass, and possibly others.

The problem is that after years and years of use, the metal inserts often rust to the screw on the lid knob and the knob will either disintegrate when you try and take it off, will fall off leaving the insert behind, or when you try to unscrew it, the insert will stay attached to the screw. What is left looks like this:

The stub can also appear black as there might be Bakelite attached to it.

Some customers inherited a lid looking like this and others just assume that the knob is glued on to this stub and when they receive ours, with a threaded insert, think they’ve received the wrong kind of knob.

If you grab the insert with pliers and unscrew it, it will usually come right off, revealing the screw.  If the nut insert doesn’t want to budge, try squirting some WD-40 at the crack where the nut comes close to the lid and letting it sit for a while.  Heating the lid slightly at the point of the knob screw from underneath (such as placing it over a low gas flame) might also help loosen a stubborn nut and screw.

In some cases, perhaps one out of four, the rust bond will be too strong and the screw will break off.  If that happens, here are instructions for attaching your knob with a separate screw.

Update:  Reader Rick posted this helpful suggestion (below):

If the knob has already broken away from the insert, and the threads in the insert are too corroded to remove from the stud, you can to to step 2.

1) Using a hacksaw, carefully cut right down the center of the knob until you reach the insert. Do a second cut at right angles to the first. Using two flat bladed screw drivers at opposite sides of a cut line, pry the knob and it will crack and fall away from the insert. Not very much pressure is required.

2) Again with the hacksaw, carefully cut a slot in the center of the insert until you reach a void spot in the center of the insert. The void is there because the stud does not go all the way to the end of the threaded portion of the insert. Spray or drip in some penetrating oil, and let sit for a few hours. Try removing the insert with a pair of vice grips. This has worked perfectly a number of times for me.

Reader Fred posted a picture of his nut insert after using the hack saw.