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Archive | December, 2021

Using the 2-screw sizing sheet

I just want to add some clarification on using our 2-screw handle sizing sheet.  We’ve recently updated it, adding instructions and a ruler on the page.  The idea is that you print the sizing sheet at full size, no scaling, and then lay your old handle over the top to find the correct size, looking at the overall size of the Bakelite part of the handle compared to those on the page, and making sure the holes line up with the red dots, which represent the holes in the replacement handles.

When you first print the sheet, compare the measurement on the ruler on the page with a ruler or measuring tape to make sure it is printed properly.  If they don’t match, then you won’t be able to use the sheet to find your handle size.

If you compare the medium to the large size, and the large to the x-large size, you will see they aren’t close.

The small and medium are a bit closer, but don’t really match well.

So if you see most of the red dot through the holes in your existing handle, but it is off by just a bit don’t worry.  But if you only see a little bit of the red dot through one of the holes when the other one is lined up perfectly, it is probably the wrong size.

Note that we sell very few of the small 2-screw handle size, so if you aren’t sure between the small and the medium, it is probably the medium you need.

You can also differentiate the small and medium by the spline width (height).  The small goes on a 3/8″ spline while the medium goes on a 5/8″ spline.


When a new kettle cap won’t fit properly

Kudos to customer Natalie for figuring this out. We’ve had a few customers have an issue where the new cap won’t close all the way down.  In some cases we’ve sent a new cap that worked better than the first one customers received, perhaps a slight variation in the manufacturing.  Natalie however tried the original pin that held the cap in, in place of our replacement pin, and it was just slightly smaller in the middle where it goes through the metal hinge bracket on the kettle, which allowed the cap to close all the way.

So if you have this problem with our new cap, try reusing the original pin, at least for the hole that goes through the metal bracket.


USPS shipping update – there is still time to order for Christmas!

We’ve issued a number of notices to order early for Christmas this year, based on the disastrous shipping situation that everyone experienced last year, with many standard First Class packages taking 3 or 4 weeks to arrive when ordered in late November or December 2020.

I’m happy to say this year things are going much better.  I just checked some recent shipments that shipped from our fulfillment contractor in Reno Nevada.

  • Shipped 12/8 to California: arrived 12/11
  • Shipped 12/8 to Montana: due to arrive today 12/13
  • Shipped 12/9 to Tennessee: due to arrive today 12/13
  • Shipped 12/9 to Austin, TX: due to arrive today 12/13
  • Shipped 12/10 to Illinois: due to arrive tomorrow 12/14
  • Shipped 12/10 to Minnesota: due to arrive tomorrow 12/14

It seems like all across the continental US, packages are arriving in 3-4 calendar days.  We have also not had any reports of any packages getting lost in the USPS system, or taking inadvertent long trips to places they aren’t supposed to go, like Guam or Hawaii.

As a comparison, we’ve personally had quite a few orders from be significantly delayed, or never arrive.  I’d say the USPS has really done a stand-up job of pulling their act together this year.

So you still have time to order from us and receive the package for Christmas.  But don’t wait too long!


Solving problems, advanced edition

I must say, the customers that are brave enough to purchase parts from a small independent website like ours seem to be made of heartier stock than their brethren that quietly retreat to the safety of for such purchases.

We know for a fact that those of you that purchase from us directly seem to be better at reading, as you rarely ever return items just because you didn’t fully read our product pages and ordered the wrong item.  On some products on, returns approach 15% of purchases; on our site we sit comfortably south of 1% of total orders being returned.  Even the characters that buy from us on eBay hardly ever return items, so this is definitely an Amazon phenomenon (phenomazon?).

But, there are some returns that are truly based on difficulty with our parts.  Granted, trying to replicate a line of replacement parts on a shoestring that was once developed by a huge corporation is bound to result in some imperfections.  But I give you our website customers credit, you seem to either figure it out or contact us for help (which we dutifully supply in droves) and rarely ever give up and just return the darn things, like your cohorts at Amazon are more likely than not to do if there is an issue.

So we’ve made some changes to try and engage with customers more; we now put stickers on every part with our Gmail address to make it easy for people to contact us for help, and we contact every customer who returns a product (that Amazon will allow us to in their infinite wisdom) to ask what went wrong.

And it turns out, we’ve been able to identify some small issues that are worth noting from al this.

Knobs that won’t screw on easily

Sometimes, the lid knobs just don’t seem to want to screw on.  I suspect it is corrosion on the lid screws that is the ultimate culprit here.  When you see a screw that looks like this, you know there will be trouble.

I suspect the tolerance on our embedded nuts is a little tighter in our latest production run vs prior runs.

Here are some things to try if you are having hard time

  • Use some WD-40 or household lubricating oil
  • Scrub a rusty screw with a green Scotch-Brite pad to try and remove as much of the rust as possible.  A wire brush might also be helpful
  • Push the knob onto the screw to try and engage the threads
  • You can always remove the screw, drill a hole, and use a separate screw from the hardware store, as we detail here, if your screw is too far gone.

If it still doesn’t work, contact us for more help

POH-2 pot handle won’t fit flat against the pot or the holes don’t line up

This one is another head scratcher.  We’ve had a few customers where the handle fits on just fine, but the hole in the handle isn’t line up with the hole in the bracket.

If this happens to you, you can sometimes get the screw to fit in just enough to screw down, and it holds fine.  Another solution is to nibble away at the inside hole of the Bakelite handle with a Dremel tool, or a round file, to provide extra room for the screw; usually you just need another 1/16th of an inch.

We’ve also had customers for whom the handle won’t fit all the way over the bracket. Here is the bracket of one such customer (who also had the hole won’t line up issue).

I measured several brackets from my test pots and they came out at 1.75″ x .5″ x 3/16″ (deep) the same exact measurements as the customers bracket.

In this case I sent her a replacement handle that worked, so it was probably just a little extra Bakelite on the inside of the handle where the bracket fits in that was preventing it from going all the way down. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have this problem.  If you are a DIY type person and don’t want to wait for another handle to try, use a Dremel tools to remove some of the Bakelite material from where the bracket fits to get it to seat all the way.