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Archive | January, 2023

Corelle’s Instant Pot hitting head winds

A few years ago we pointed out that Corelle being merged with Instant Brands, makers of the Instant Pot was kind of funny given that the Instant Pot is a lot like, if not identical to a former Revere Ware product, the Meal-n-Minutes pressure cooker, which saw the light of day several decades before the Instant Pot.  Marketing, I guess, or perhaps people just weren’t ready in the 80’s.

Anyways, sales of instant Pots, selling like hot cakes during the height of the pandemic, are apparently slowing down now, and the division of Corelle that owns them is considering doing some restructuring as a result. Perhaps everyone already has one now.

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More mystery handle-less pans

We first reported on these back in 2020.

Reader Jim also came across a very nice set of these with the same distinct features – no handle, and no bottom stamp.

At the time we got an anecdotal report that these were on-off defects that were likely brought home by someone that worked at the Revere Ware factory and that is still our best theory today.

I would think they would make perfect baking pans.

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Running low on large 2-screw vintage pan handles (VPAH-L) and small 1-screw pan handles (PAH-S)

The large 2-screw handle for vintage Revere Ware pans is our most popular size.  They fit the vintage style skillets and sauce pans like these.

We are running low on inventory and it will likely be 2-3 months until we get more.  If we are out of them on our website, you can always check the Amazon.com stock.

On another note, we are also running low on the stock of the smallest of the single screw pan handles.

These fit the newer style pans and skillets made in the 70’s and beyond.

They are also our most popular size of that style.  However, unlike the handles above, we need to manufacture more of these so it will likely be 3-6 months until we have those back in stock.  If we don’t have them in stock on our website, you can also check the Amazon.com stock for those.

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Be sure to give us your correct email address in our contact form

There have been a rash of bounces backs lately for customer service emails people have sent me.  I feel bad because they are probably thinking we didn’t answer their request.  Please take care to enter your proper email address when filling out our contact form.  So I’ll post the answers here and clear my conscience. 🙂

Jane asks:

I am wondering what the weight is of RW muffins pans ? I have seen for sale the 2516 h90A – and other pans with a different h number- I am looking for an 18/10 SS pan – your help in figuring out the weight of the pans I have seen – their numbers and what they mean would be appreciated.

I’ve never owned a Revere Ware muffin pan so unfortunately have no idea of their weight.  I also have no idea about the numbers off the top of my head but I am always willing to take a look if you send me a pciture; perhaps it will spark something.

Marsia asks:

My Revereware copper bottom 10″ skillet has a 1/2″ spline. I have no idea what year it was made.
The handle has been missing for years, so I don’t know if it had one or two screws,
What size should I order to replace the handle.

I would need a picture of the skillet to better assess.  I can’t recall every seeing a 1/2″ spline.

Renilda asks:

I have an old Revere Ware Dutch oven. The handle on one side fell off. I have the handle, bracket, and screw, but can’t figure out how to get it to stay back on. Also have been unsuccessful in finding any videos of how to do it. Can you help? Thank you!
The handle brackets were likely spot welded on.  The only way to repair them would be to take them
to a welder or machine shop and ask them to weld or braze the brackets back on.
Here is our information on that type of repair:
Sandi asks:
I’m sitting here with a tape measure and my handle off my small pot (1970 wedding gift) and I’m 99% positive I need the screws (hardware) for the smaller handle. But! I want to be positive so, could you please tell me what the heck a ‘spline’ is? Thank you! Sandi
The spline is the metal piece that the two handle halves attach to.
It is the long and thin part that comes off the side of the pot.  The small handles
go onto a spline that is 3/8” “tall” which is the measurement from the bottom side
of that metal piece (toward the stove) to the top side (towards the ceiling).
Any other size (5/8” or 3/4”) will require the M/L/XL hardware set.
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The history and future of Revere Ware replacement parts

The Revere Ware of legend, that produced between 1939 and 1968 made a lot of fans.  It was well made, really useful stuff, and iconic.  Along with all that, Revere Ware the company stood behind their products, not only with a then lifetime warranty, but with a large stock of replacement parts.  Take a look at this catalog of replacement parts from 1967.

They sold everything, and I mean everything.  In 1967, they sold handles for pots that hadn’t produced since 1946, lids for every style, screws, you name it.  In contrast, here is a similar replacement parts catalog from 1988.

Quite a bit fewer parts.  But at that point, you were lucky to get anything, because, a year or two later, they stopped selling any replacement parts.

The problem started in the 1960’s when other cookware types started coming out and stealing the thunder from Revere Ware, which up until that point had pretty much been king of the castle.  As their sales fell, they looked to broaden their offering to align with what people were looking for, and to reduce costs. It was at that point, in 1968 that they redesigned their iconic copper bottom cookware to use about half the metal, and with a much simpler one piece Bakelite handle design.  It helped, but Revere Ware still struggled financially.

In 1982, unfortunately, Revere filed for bankruptcy, mainly due to losses in their aluminum division; while the cookware division did remain profitable, it wasn’t enough.  This is presumably when the bean counters really got to work and looked for every opportunity to slash costs. From this point on, Revere was never again about making good products (they hadn’t been since the late 60s) or serving the customers well.  They submitted to a takeover in 1996, and the new owners (World Kitchen) went through another bankruptcy in 2002.  During these periods and beyond, they were really just trying to wring profits on the back of the brand history, and running the business as cheaply as possible.

Truth be told, the stuff produced from the 90’s through the discontinuation of the brand in 2018 ranged from poor to bad.  They would sort of support warranty claims then (they still claimed to have a 25 year warranty), but didn’t have a whole lot of selection to send you in replacement, especially in the latter part of those three decades.

In the mid-2000’s, my wife and I loved thrifting; we didn’t have kids at that point.  Among the things we picked up were some Revere Ware pans; I felt a little nostalgic about them, recalling my mother had some in the 60’s and 70’s.  But, the handles were in poor shape so I set out to see if I could find replacement online.  No such luck.  What I did find was the occasional new-old-stock replacement on eBay, and, a guy named Charlie Anjard, who ran the Shine Shop.  He took old Revere Ware and refurbished it.  He cleaned the metal of the pans and then polished them using industrial processes.  The Bakelite, he subjected to sanding with progressively finer and finer sand paper to remove the damaged Bakelite and expose the undamaged part.  Everything came out looking like new.

Here is a bunch I had done by the person that took over from Charlie.  The Bakelite, of course, is ours.

Charlie also put together the Revere Ware history and photo guide pages, and collected a lot of information on the history of Revere Ware, which got me even more interested in the brand.

It was at that point I thought I’d see how hard it would be to have some replacement parts manufactured; I have another business that is also involved in manufacturing, so this wasn’t too much of a stretch.  I turned out to be doable and I’ve slowly expanded my offerings since 2009.

Granted, what we offer now is a fraction of what Revere Ware offered in the day.  But unfortunately, as a small shoestring operation, we have to keep profitability in mind. There are two big obstacles in having parts manufactured – the cost of molds, and minimum order quantities.  A mold can cost several thousand dollars.  That means if we say, make 30% in the end on $10 parts that come from a mold that costs $3,000, we have to think we can sell 1,000 of them just to break even on the cost of the mold.  Often times, a contract manufacturer requires that you purchase a minimum of 5,000 or so parts, which sets the bar even higher.  We have to think we can sell that many in 3-5 years for it to make sense.

I think the range of parts we currently sell covers perhaps 70% of what people are looking for these days.  One way to provide more would be to build 3D models of the parts that can then be printed in an appropriate materials using 3D printing services.  We did exactly that for the trigger for the 3 1/2 quart kettle.

3D printed parts aren’t cheap; that one will set you back over $22 in the end, and that’s without us marking up the cost at all.

To date, we’ve sold 87 of that trigger through Shapeways.  You can probably see what I am getting at here; if we had spent the money to make those triggers, incurred the cost of a mold, and ordered 5,000 of them, we would have lost money.

So, 3D printed parts aren’t cheap, but they are better than no part at all, if you want to keep your cookware for nostalgic reasons.  I would love to develop more 3D models for parts, but there are a couple of problems.  First, I am not a mechanical engineer; I managed to make the model of the trigger through a lot of trial and error, and it was a bit of a struggle.  Second, there aren’t yet materials for every use (but presumably some day there will be).

On the bright side, 3D printing can also help prove if demand is there or not.  If orders for 3D printed parts prove there is enough demand, having a 3D model makes a part that much easier to manufacture.

Revere Ware enthusiasts might be loosely called a community, of sorts.  I’d love it if any members of this community of are mechanical engineers would offer to design some replacement part models for the things people are looking for.  I’d be happy to host a library of these here.  Some food for thought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A tip to start out the new year – Magic Eraser sponge vs Melamine sponge

If you like mu Scrub Daddy sponge tip, you’ll love this one.  Magic Eraser sponges are great, and can remove marks from walls and what not; but they aren’t cheap.

While researching how to fix a ceramic non-stick pan that my daughter (for the second time) put on too high of heat and burned in some butter, I found a tip to try a melamine sponge. So I ordered a pack of 48 for $16, or 33 cents each.

After some serious scrubbing with other means, here are some stains on the pan.

Here is after some working with the melamine sponge.

So, back to Magic Eraser sponges; as it turns out, melamine is exactly what Magic Eraser sponges are made from.  Magic Eraser sponges cost around $1.26 each, or 4 times as much as a no-name melamine sponge.  So, save yourself some money and buy plain melamine sponges instead of Magic Eraser sponges.

If you’ve ever used a Magic Eraser sponge, you will know they aren’t quite magic; you have to put some effort into scrubbing, and the sponges wear easily and don’t last long.  Working on these burned in grease stains was no different.  In the end, it did make a difference, after some working.  So I can definitely recommend these sponges for problems like this, both from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, and that they get the job done.

I tried to find a Revere Ware pan that had a similar problem.  However, for stainless steel pans, there are other good tools.  For the inside, a Scotch Brite scrubber does a great job, and for the outside, Bar Keepers Friend works really well (as we recently wrote about) and helps keep the shine.

 

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