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Removing a stuck on knob

It is very common for there to be issues when removing a knob from a Revere Ware lid.  In some cases, the knob itself is solid, but is simply stuck (rusted) onto the lid screw.  Trying to unscrew it can risk pulling the screw right off the lid, as the rust sometimes gets under the weld plate of the screw.  Take a look at this picture from our guide on what to do when this happens:

You can see how there is some rust under the screw weld plate (on the lid) and around the weld plate itself.

And sometimes, the Bakelite deteriorates from water and gunk getting up under the knob for prolonged periods, and when you twist the knob to get it off, you are left with a Bakelite covered nub that is the nut insert that was inside the knob.  That looks like this:

Blog reader Rick offers this excellent suggestion for removing a stuck on knob or nut insert:

I’ve found a method to remove the knob from the lid if it appears that it will twist off the weld stud because of corrosion between the stud and knob insert. I’d say that if the corrosion has reached this point, the knob needs replacing anyway, but beware that this method sacrifices the knob. If the knob has already broken away from the insert, and the threads in the insert are too corroded to remove from the stud, you can to to step 2.

1) Using a hacksaw, carefully cut right down the center of the knob until you reach the insert. Do a second cut at right angles to the first. Using two flat bladed screw drivers at opposite sides of a cut line, pry the knob and it will crack and fall away from the insert. Not very much pressure is required.

2) Again with the hacksaw, carefully cut a slot in the center of the insert until you reach a void spot in the center of the insert. The void is there because the stud does not go all the way to the end of the threaded portion of the insert. Spray or drip in some penetrating oil, and let sit for a few hours. Try removing the insert with a pair of vice grips. This has worked perfectly a number of times for me.



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.



Handle separation – another option

We did a post last year about repairing handles that separate from the pot.  The results were not great; the metal is too thin for arc welding, and brazing worked, but the appearance was marginal.

Reader Daniel took a much simpler approach to repairing his sauce pan:

I drilled out the eight old attach spots with a 7/64 bit, reattached the handle with 1/4″L No. 3 stainless pan head machine screws, flat washers, lock washers and nuts. 3/16″ L may also work. Works better than new! Don’t throw them away; fix them!

Here are some pictures of the result.  I like it; it is simple and works.




No more Revere Ware warranty replacement

With the silent shuttering of the Revere Ware brand last year, all traces of Revere Ware have been removed from the website of Corelle, the parent company that owns the Revere Ware brand.  You can still try contacting them for warranty issues, but we aren’t hopeful. We’ve heard from some customers that have been told by Corelle that they no longer provide warranty support of any kind for Revere Ware products.

If you do contact them, you might point out that the Revere Ware warranty is still posted on their website (which can be found only through Google as far as we can tell).  Perhaps that will convince them to give you something for your troubles.


When your Revere Ware lid has a stub, not a screw

We’ve written about this before, but as it is the most common question we receive, it is worth mentioning again.

Over the years, Revere Ware had many different types of lid knob screw inserts (the part that provides the threads inside the lid knob).  We’ve seen brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and threads directly in the Bakelite (the worst, as they strip easily).  It is fairly common for the screw insert to rust to the screw on the lid.  Rust is common whenever you have dissimilar metals touching each other.  Customer Evelyn send us some great pictures of her lid that has this problem.

It makes it look like it requires a press-on knob, not a screw on one.

Evelyn soaked it with oil overnight, and then used a pair of pliers to unscrew it the next day.  It came off and she was able to use the replacement knob she ordered from us.


Handle separation – repair or replace?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is regarding handles where the butterfly wing-shaped piece of the handle spline has detached (either partially or fully) from the pot body.  Here is an example.

We’ve never had a good answer to this question, so we set out to see what could be done.

Years ago, a brass spoon that my wife brought back from Thailand snapped along the stem when I tried to adjust the bend.  At that time I was able to have it brazed back together, and the result looked pretty good. The stem was thick metal, and the brazing material was about the same color as the stem.

We posed this challenge to some experienced folks in an industrial metal-working shop, where lots of serious welding and brazing is done day in and day out.

Their first attempt was to weld the handle back on.  As far as we can tell from the dots in the butterfly attachment (as can be seen above), the handles are spot welded on.  This involves running a large amount of current from one side of the two pieces of metal to be joined, to the other.  The internal resistance of the metal to electrical current causes the metal to heat up considerably, which fuses the metal pieces together.

However, it is often the case that when the spot welds on these type of handles fail, they create a hole in the pot body, so spot welding would not provide the best results in this case, as the holes would still be there.

Instead, they tried arc welding, with a consumable electrode.  This is similar to spot welding, except that the electricity melts the consumable electrode, which leaves material behind to bind the two pieces together (and can fill holes).

What they found was that the metal of the pot was just too thin to perform any kind of welding on.

So instead, they turned to brazing.  Brazing is a process that joins two pieces of metal by melting and flowing a filler metal.  Think of soldering electronic components.

However, again because of the thin nature of the cookware metal, it wasn’t possible to heat up the metal quite enough to really flow the brazing metal enough to get a really clean seam.  The result is a functional, but somewhat ugly sauce pan.

For us, this leads to an obvious conclusion; it just isn’t worth it to try and repair separated handles.  The work will likely cost you far more than a used replacement piece from eBay (of which there are plenty), and the results are less than satisfactory.

If you do want to attempt this, find a local weld shop or machine shop and ask them if the can braze (not weld) the handle back on.

Thanks go out to Patricia for sending us her damaged pot for this repair attempt.


Re-attaching handles that have come off – send us your ruined pans

We have access to welding / brazing facilities and are going to try re-attaching one or more handles on Revere Ware cookware that have come off, like this:

However, we don’t happen to have a pan with the handle separated to try it with.  We are looking for two volunteers who are willing to donate their non-functional and separated pans for us to try to repair.  If you have such a pan, please contact us to get instructions to send it in.

We can’t promise that the repair will be successful, or if it is, will look pretty.  If the pan is ruined, we may not send it back.