Some years ago, I purchased a Sunbeam Radiant Control Toaster at a salvage store. Lately, it stopped automatically accepting and toasting the bread. I found, through trial and error, that it would accept and toast the bread if I tilted it over toward me at about a 45-degree angle. That helped for a few weeks until it finally stopped working completely.
I decided to take it apart and possibly replace the heater contacts. After many years of use, they must be kaput, I thought. When opening it, I tried to keep from bending anything until I found out how it was intended to work. It clearly had a very crafty mechanical logic system that sensed the presence of bread, starting the thermal motor to lower the bread while starting the heaters. The contacts were still in perfect operating condition. When it “sensed” that the bread was properly toasted, it would shut off and lift the toast.
I found that the return springs that lifted the toast had weakened a bit, so the bread presence sensing switch couldn’t trigger the starting cycle. I figured a light tweak of the spring bracket should cure that problem. However, there was no bracket to tweak, only a punched hole in the inaccessible frame. How else could I fix it? Shorten the spring? This wasn’t going to be easy.
Digging further into the mechanism, I found an adjustment screw that increased the lifting spring power. Not only that, but that adjustment screw was accessible from the bottom, without taking the toaster apart -- just open the crumb tray, and there it was. The engineer should have added instructions on how to make the adjustment -- it would have saved a lot of time and effort.
This entry was submitted by Robert Nepper and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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