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Archive | April, 2019

Why we don’t have a customer service number

 

Every once in a while we get someone who is a little upset that we don’t have a customer service phone number.  I thought I would take this opportunity to explain why we don’t.

We tend to answer customer service emails within a few hours; often at night and on weekends; we often answer in minutes.  We provide copious amounts of help for things unrelated to our sales, just to be helpful to the Revere Ware community.

Our business is small by every measure.  We serve a very niche market, and provide our parts (and information) as much as a service to the dedicated Revere Ware enthusiasts, as we do because it is a viable business.

As small as we are, hiring someone to sit by the phone to wait for the occasional call (I would guess a few a week if we did have a number listed) is out of the question.  We simply can’t afford it.

That leaves a couple of options:

–> Have an office phone that us answered when someone happens to be in the office.  I can imagine that nothing can be more frustrating than having a customer service number when you need help, but not being able to reach someone.

–> Use a personal mobile phone for such support calls.  Who among us wants to give out their personal number, and risk getting calls at 3am from someone that happens to be in a different time zone?

Neither of these solutions are very satisfying.  So we choose not to list a customer service number, and just do the best job we can promptly and thoroughly answering support emails.

But perhaps the best reason not to offer customer service by phone is that it isn’t nearly as useful and efficient as email.  With email, you can send photos and screen shots. With email you can cut and paste exact error message.  Email is simply a much better medium for the kind of support our customers need.

We hope you understand.  You can contact us using our contact form.

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When things were build to last

I came across this post on Reddit today:

I’ve got a set of both. Saladmaster is what my grandmother used and what I wanted more than anything. It’s what I grew up hearing (they have a steam release tapper) as a child when she prepared her wonderful food. When my grandma passed my grandfather gave me her set.

My mom always swore by Revere Ware 1801 and that’s what I got back in the 90s when I set up house. I’ve acquired a couple more pans since then.

I can sell either but just wanted others opinions on what they think is the better of the two, to keep, with out the emotional value attached.

I realize that neither of these would be used in a professional kitchen.

My husband and I move as DOD contractors every 1-2 years and am looking to size down the household.

I’ve never seen Saladmaster cookware in person, but based on the era it was purchased, I would have to say it has to be better than 90’s era Revere Ware.  As a refresher, Revere Ware made good, quality copper bottom cookware from 1939 to 1968, the stuff with the process patent stamp on the bottom.  Starting in 1968, they went to reduce the cost of the manufacturing and cut in half the thickness of the stainless steel and copper in the cookware.  That made it much less effective at spreading the heat, one of the things Revere Ware was known for.  Fast forwarding to the 80’s, 90’s and up until 2018, when Revere Ware products were discontinued, the quality got worse and worse.

I would happily choose any 50’s / 60’s brand over newer Revere Ware.

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The benefits of new (spread the word)

Customer Kathy sent us this picture of her handle.

It reminded me of how many people suffer with sub-standard handles because they love their Revere Ware so much, they refused to replace them, despite severely damaged or even missing Bakelite parts.

Like home-made wooden handles:

Tapes up handles:

Welding on a new metal spline:

We’ve also gotten reports of people simply grabbing a bare metal spline with a pot holder or using pliers where the handle has come completely off the spline.

We’ve been selling parts now for 10 years.  Before that, there was about a 25 year period where no replacement parts were available.   People had a long time to get used to not being able to get replacement parts.  Combined that with the fact that many of the Revere Ware generation are older, and not exactly internet savvy, we’ve probably reached just a fraction of the people that need our parts.

Revere Ware was sold from 1939 to 2018, almost 80 years.  There have likely been 50-100 million people in this country that have used Revere Ware at some point during their lifetimes, and I would guess 10 million or more that continue to use their cookware.  In the 10 years we’ve been selling our parts, we’ve sold to 40,000 customers.  That means there are many millions of people still diligently using their Revere Ware, many of which are doing so with less than suitable Bakelite and other parts.

Please help us reach the people that need our parts.  Help someone who doesn’t have access to the internet purchase parts.  Tell your friends.  If you come across a forum that is discussing Revere Ware and availability of parts, let them know about our parts and all of the information we’ve gathered.  We need your help to keep this business going and help it reach the people that need it.

 

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When Bakelite emits a foul odor

When we think of overheating plastic, we think of plastic melting.  But Bakelite is a little different.  When overheated, it doesn’t melt, but instead breaks down into its constituent parts, one of which (formaldehyde) smells nasty, and isn’t good to inhale.

Bakelite is safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; putting it in an oven is not a good idea.  The most common culprit for overheating is a gas stove where the flames are too high, and the lick up the sides of a sauce pan and heat the handles directly.

While we always assumed that overheating was the only ways to cause problems, there is at least one anecdotal report that once overheated, Bakelite may be sensitive to overheating at a lower temperature.

After many years steady use, I’m getting toxic fumes when I use them on anything but very low heat. It smells exactly like burnt plastic and the fumes seem unhealthful, not just smelly. I’m assuming it’s the handles, but they don’t seem degraded more than normal for their age. I do have a gas stove and tried lowering the flame, since the flames can lick around the edge of the pan and up toward the handles. But I am still getting the fumes strongly, even when the handles are very warm at all.

If you have the same issue, or if your handles have previously been overheated and seem sensitive to even lower heat, it is probably safest to replace your handles.  If replacement isn’t an option (you have one that we don’t make) you might try restoring them as described here, being sure to remove any Bakelite that looks damaged, to get to undamaged Bakelite.

To to sure, Bakelite is known to be safe as it has been used on cookware, and many other products, for around 80 years.  When used properly, there is no danger.  But it does have the potential for misuse if it is used in the oven or on too high heat.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

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Revere Ware world tour

Every once in a while, one of our shipments goes on a while ride far away from where it should have been destined.  This seems to be some mis-routing by the USPS.  Once a package gets severely mis-routed, it usually disappears and never returns. The frequency of these mis-routings seems to has increased in the last year, and the one we discovered today is the worst.

It departed our shippers on February 27th destined for Canada.  From the shippers, it made its way to to Los Angeles, and then San Francisco, and then, um, Paris France.

Apparently someone figured out the mistake because it came back to first Jamaica, NY, and then Newark, NJ.  But then, for some reason, it went back to France where it arrived yesterday.

After 6 weeks of travel (packages normally take a week or less to Canada), and two visits to France, this one takes the cake.  I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

The moral of this story is, if your package seems inordinately delayed, please contact us.  If we determine it is unlikely to arrive in a timely fashion, or at all, we’ll send another package.

Update 4/12/19

Well the Postal Service in the US and France must be very proud of themselves.  Somehow they delivered this to someone in France.

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When replacement isn’t an option – restoring Bakelite

We sell quite a few replacement Bakelite handles and what now now, but there are some parts that don’t have enough demand for us to produce, given the minimum quantity we must order for each part we make.

Assuming it isn’t cracked, restoring an old, faded Bakelite part is the only option.  There used to be a restoration service (that was expensive) that was an option before we started producing parts, that involved sanding the Bakelite with progressively finer sandpapers.

But we just came across a guide that makes it sound much more simple.

Step 1

Wipe down the handle with warm soapy water to wash away as much of the grime as possible.

Step 2

Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.

Step 3

Buff away deep scratches gently with fine gauge sandpaper.

Step 4

Apply liquid metal polish in a tight circular motion with a clean cloth. Rub with as much pressure as needed to polish away the accumulation of stains and dirt. Wait for the polish to haze over.

Step 5

Rub with a clean, dry cloth to remove the polish.

In terms of what fine gauge sandpaper is required, I am guessing perhaps 200, 400, or 600 grit would be possible options.

 

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