Top Menu

Archive | Parts

Rare 3 quart kettle handle in eBay

We make replacement handles, caps, and triggers for the common 2 1/3 quart Revere Ware kettle.

The less common, but still iconic 3 quart kettle is harder to find parts for.

Our cap is said to work on this model by some customers, but we haven’t tried it.  The trigger can be replaced with a 3D printed version we designed.  But for the handle, you are out of luck.  Except a brand new, new-old-stock version just popped up on eBay.

Get it while you can; these are pretty rare.

 

0

Identifying your Revere Ware tea kettle

We get asked a lot whether our cap + trigger set will fit various kettles.  I just thought I’d point out that we created a page on this exact topic: How to determine the size of your Revere Ware tea kettle.

In short, our cap plus trigger are made for the 2 1/3 quart size, that looks like this:

Some have the metal disk at the top of the cap (our replacement caps don’t) and some do not.  The notable characteristics of this kettle are the handle that attaches directly to the kettle on the back end and to a metal riser on the front end.

Compatible kettles of this size were made under various model numbers over the years:  2701, 2901, 2722, and 2712.  The problem is that these numbers do not appear on the bottom of the kettle.  The numbers that do appear there, are pretty worthless to identify the model.

We’ve been told by some customers that the cap works fine on the 3 1/2 quart model.  The trigger definitely won’t.  This model is characterized by the handle which has both ends of the Bakelite in contact with the kettle.

You can order a 3D printed trigger for this kettle from Shapeways.   We don’t sell the cap separate from the trigger unfortunately, so if you are ordering for the 3 1/2 quart size, your going to get an extra trigger you can’t use.

 

0

Strange replacement handles

It doesn’t happen all that often, but sometimes the spot welds where the “wings” of the metal handle spline connect to the pot do fail, and the entire handle falls off.  Given these two auctions I found on eBay, I guessed that is what happened.

However, looking at the close-ups of the ends of the metal splines, these don’t appear to have every been welded onto a pot.  And the Bakelite part of the handles appears brand new.

It’s interesting that there is an extra bulge right where I presume the spot welds would be placed, perhaps as sacrificial material given that the welding process likely vaporizes some of the stainless steel.

I have no idea what the provenance of these replacement parts is, but they are likely not that useful as a full spline + handle replacement.  As our tests have shown, it is pretty hard to weld the handles back on with traditional arc welding equipment, as it wants to burn a hole through the relatively thin pot / pan walls, and brazing the handles back on isn’t an entirely aesthetically pleasing solution.

It is likely that they had a special spot-welding system in the factory for this, that you don’t typically find in a weld or machine shop.

My guess is that these were brought home by someone that worked in the relatively nearby Rome NY Revere Ware factory.

It’s close enough that this seems plausible.

 

0

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.

 

0

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.

0

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.

 

0

Rethinking colored Bakelite parts

Colored Revere Ware Bakelite parts come up for sale on eBay occasionally, and often sell for ridiculous prices (like this).

But a slew of colored knob listings recently, has me wondering if all the colored Bakelite parts are just painted.  All these recent listings appear to be.

 

Bakelite can be made to be just about any color, and perhaps these knobs are simply ones that were painted by the owner and not the company.

We’ve been asked from time to time if we would produce a series of colored Bakelite parts, but that is a difficult proposition, as there is typically a minimum order quantity of any color we would have to run that is in the thousands; there isn’t likely to be _that_ much demand for colored parts.

Given what we are seeing above, your best bet might be to just get a can of high temperature paint and paint them yourself.

2

eBay drop-ship retail arbitrage

We wrote a post on eBay retail arbitrage, termed by them as drop-ship listings, in 2017.  Since then, the problem has only gotten worse, with something around 150 currently listed items on eBay that are merely fronts for our parts sold on Amazon.com.

To refresh your memory on how this works, someone lists something currently sold on Amazon.com on eBay, with a markup.  When the order is placed on eBay, they have software that automatically places the order on Amazon.com with the eBay purchaser as the recipient.

We don’t like it as we prefer our customers get the items at a more reasonable price, and it can result in some odd activity on the other end when such drop-shipping sellers leave us negative feedback on Amazon.com; negative feedback on Amazon.com is a huge problem as compared to eBay.  on eBay, most buyers are motivated to leave feedback, whether they had a good or bad experience.  An Amazon.com, feedback is not at all integrated into the ethos of the site; there are disproportionately more negative feedback reviews per sales volume than on eBay because most of the people with a positive experience don’t bother to leave feedback.

eBay has a policy against drop-shippers that don’t actually hold inventory.  However it appears they don’t actually enforce this policy (see the chat with eBay support in that article).

In any event, what we worry most about is the damage to our brand that a poor buying experience can have.  What I mean by that is, our primary purpose in selling these parts is to make people happy and to provide them with a satisfactory buying experience.  Given the pain that Revere Ware owners went through for decades before we came on the scene 10 years ago.  Most people are thrilled that our parts are available, and we don’t want to temper that with a bad experience.

So, please buy our parts from our own website or Amazon.com, not from eBay, as we don’t list any parts there.

0

So you think YOUR Bakelite is in rough shape?

I sometimes get a chuckle out of seeing poor shape of people’s beloved Revere Ware, that they simply refuse to let go of.  I’ve heard a few stories of the lid without a knob that is used with a pair of pliers kept nearby.  We often get pictures of really damaged Bakelite handles that people have been using that way for years.

It’s not surprising that people soldier on using damaged cookware thinking they won’t be able to find replacement parts.  While we’ve been selling them now for ten years, before we came on the scene, there was a good 30 years where parts were not available.

Today’s winner in that department is Alex, who sent us these pictures of his skillet.

I can only imagine how long they have been held together that way.

Sadly, that is the early style handle for which we don’t have a direct replacement, although our replacement handles can be used with those for a somewhat imperfect fit.

0