HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Made by Monkeys

Broken Toaster Had Hidden Fix

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Aaaaaaaaaaah! The Good OL' Days!
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/10/2012 10:40:16 AM
NO RATINGS
The simple fact is that those appliances WERE manufactured to be adjusted & repaired.  I had an aunt who was married in 1922.  One of their wedding presents was a TOASTMASTER "Deluxe" bread toaster.  This toaster lasted & lasted until one day in the 1970s, someone tried to remove a slice of rye toast which had become lodged in the slot.  Removing the power, the person proceeded to use a standard butter knife to assist the removal.  Lo & behold, the filament on the MICA support sheet got snagged and broke.  My cousin brought the toaster to an appliance repair store.

Guess what????  The counterperson looked up the (1922) toaster, and said to him, "we'll have a new heater assembly for you in about a week!"  Not bad for a FIFTY year old kitchen appliance!

Although my aunt (& uncle) & cousin are now deceased, I'd be willing to bet that the toaster is STILL working in the family's house, just as it has for the better part of a century! 

This IS one reason why there wasn't a great demand for landfills in earler ages in the U.S.  

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Waiting for bread to toast
Ann R. Thryft   4/10/2012 1:01:20 PM
NO RATINGS

cvandewater, the article says "accept and toast the bread if I tilted it over toward me at about a 45-degree angle." That says accept and toast, not accept and then place at a different angle for toasting. Besides, in a normal toaster, the toast is held toward the bottom of the slot during  toasting, presumably to keep it in contact with that sensor, and released when done, which release presumably also removes it from touching that sensor so the unit will turn its heat off (or connects to some other sensor that does so). In fact, the article clearly states "the return springs that lifted the toast had weakened a bit, so the bread presence sensing switch couldn't trigger the starting cycle."


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: User Manual?
Ann R. Thryft   4/10/2012 1:02:17 PM
NO RATINGS

I think it's awesome that we can find repair manuals online just by Googling. We've done that at my house several times and it's been a lifesaver.


Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Aaaaaaaaaaah! The Good OL' Days!
Ann R. Thryft   4/10/2012 1:03:03 PM
NO RATINGS

OLD_CURMUDGEON made an excellent point--landfills? What landfills? They didn't really exist in the 50s and 60s: things lasted longer and people got them fixed instead of tossing them out.


cvandewater
User Rank
Gold
Re: Waiting for bread to toast
cvandewater   4/10/2012 1:37:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Ann,

Good that you quoted the relevant text. "Trigger" tells me that it failed to *start* the process when not held at 45 deg. Definition of trigger has the embedded meaning that this is needed to kick the process in motion, so once triggered it will run its due course without needing a continuous input, in other words: put the bread in, tilt to 45 deg until the switch triggers the toasting cycle and place the toaster back on the counter during the toasting.... Probably the OP can confirm if this is the correct conclusion from the words he chose to describe the 45 deg trick.

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Aaaaaaaaaaah! The Good OL' Days!
kenish   4/10/2012 3:34:54 PM
NO RATINGS
I have a Sanyo toaster oven from the early 80's that is still going strong.  It's a vertical format with 2 shelves instead of slots and takes up very little counter space.  It was made in Japan when they built stuff like a brick privvy and before they followed our lead and outsourced consumer goods manufacturing.  Now that I bragged, it will probably go up in flames next week!!

The lack of information on the tension adjustment screw is understandable. Engineers will figure it out...instructions will encourage everyone else to stick screwdrives into live electrical appliances.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Broken Toaster & Hidden fix.
William K.   4/10/2012 3:43:52 PM
NO RATINGS
My guess is that the adjustment screw was not intended to be used for maintenance, but rather to compensate for production tolerances. Sheetmetal stampings are not always as precise as needed and so that was the alternative. It could be set during production and the calibration adjusted as each run of stampings was used. Just a daily or hourly check would be needed to find the current calibration setting. Even "back then" it was not always good to let all appliance users know where the adjustments were, because some folks twiddle without any understanding of what they are doing.

As for using Google to find service information, my luck has been poor. Usually I find lots of folks who want to sell me something that may or not be what I asked about, and half a dozen organizations that claim to have the item for sale when they don't. Plus some manufacturers even refuse to admit that they ever made the product. Sometimes it is clear why, such as a Kenwood brand amplifier that failed due to poor solder connections. That one will appear on Sherlock Ohms one day.

jhankwitz
User Rank
Platinum
The good old days
jhankwitz   4/10/2012 3:43:59 PM
NO RATINGS
As a Quality/Reliability Engineer at Milwaukee's Sunbeam/Oster back in the late 60s, I'm well aware of how appliances were designed and made in comparison to today's products.

That adjustment screw served a dual purpose. It was initially used on the production line to adjust it's functionality in a new condition, and positioned to enable user adjustments as it ages. We used to monitor all products using SPC charts, created in pre-calculator days using only a slide-rule and hand drawn charts.  I still have and use a kitchen full of those appliances, all still working after 45 years of use.   Those were the days when products were built to last.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Aaaaaaaaaaah! The Good OL' Days!
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2012 3:46:31 PM
NO RATINGS

Good point on the screwdrivers near electrical products, Kenish. Products are much more disposable these days. Not sure that correlates with outsourcing. It may. Most of us don't expect appliances to last as long these days. The whole concept of service repair is gone. Part of the reason, I believe, is that electrical and electronic products are too inexpensive to warrant the labor costs to repair.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The good old days
Rob Spiegel   4/10/2012 3:51:47 PM
NO RATINGS
So, the question of the day, Jhankwitz, is whether the Sunbeam was sold with a manual that explained the adjustment screw at the bottom of the toaster. I can understand Robert not having the instructions, since he bought the toaster as a resale shop. But what about new owners? Did Sunbeam alert them?

<<  <  Page 2/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Made by Monkeys
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Made by Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Made By Monkeys highlights products that somehow slipped by the QC cops.
Design News Webinar Series
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
5/8/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Jul 21 - 25, Design Products With Bluetooth Low Energy
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service