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Archive | January, 2014

Taking off old 2-screw handles

Sometimes, handles that have been in use for years can be very difficult to get off so you can replace them with new ones.  Frequently, screws and nuts will rust together, making them impossible to get apart (the nut simply spins).  Take this one for example.  Years of grease make even the handles reluctant to separate.

Unfortunately, in this case I had to break apart the handle to expose the screws so I could twist them apart, and the screws themselves broke off rather than unscrew.

In this case, I used a screwdriver to pry the handle halves apart until one of them broke off.  I tried prying the rest of the Bakelite off, but the handle spline started to deform.  So I placed the handle against a hard surface (concrete) and repeatedly hit it with a hammer until all the Bakelite was off.  Then I used two pairs of pliers to try to unscrew the screws, which broke off.

Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to save the old handle or hardware when removing them.

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Melted Revere Ware Tri-Ply Cookware

Customer Jim sent us these pictures of his destroyed try-ply cookware.  It offers a cautionary tale of using too high of a heat and/or leaving your cookware unattended.

We’ve shown before that even for copper bottom cookware, it is unwise to heat the pans for an extended period of time as it can damage the copper layer.

If you do overheat your cookware, LET IT COOL SLOWLY BY ITSELF.  If you douse a hot piece of cookware with cold water, it will almost certainly warp the bottom and it won’t sit flat any longer.

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Vintage pressure cooker indented bottom mystery

Some of the vintage pressure cookers come with an indented bottom, while some are flat.

Revere Ware originally came out with these pressure cookers in 1946 (see the Revere Ware history site).  The original design had a pressure gauge and there was a small rubber gasket underneath.  This proved problematic and in 1948 they came out with a revised design that used a dial gauge.

The manual for the original pressure gauge model shows a flat bottom.  I have two specimens that also have a flat bottom.  We can presume that the indented bottom variety came out after 1948.   Looking at all available vintage pressure cookers on Ebay (that have pictures of the bottom), plus my own specimens, they clearly come with the indented and non-indented bottoms:

Indented bottom: 7
Flat bottom: 3

The vintage gauge-style pressure cooker manuals do not discuss an indented bottom or show pictures of the bottom, so there is no help there.  From the relative quantities of indented vs flat bottom pressure cookers in the wild, I would presume that at some point earlier in the full production life of these pressure cookers, they switched to the indented bottom because it was preferable for some reason.

Does anyone know when they might have made the switch and what might be better about the indented style bottom?

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