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Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 07:18 AM
I used to use these little electric range controls which were common on kitchen ranges. The simple ones had a "Low Medium or High" position and then there were ones which had a 1-10 and the a high setting. The 1-10 is the one I'm looking for. I have looked in Graingers and in McMaster Carr and even Johnson controls with no luck.

It was a squirrely underengineered device and they did fail quite frequently but it was great while it worked, doling out amps to kanthal elements in the world. Does anyone have a notion of where to get them these days OR something else that is suitable for the same function that is cheap. I'm building a kiln for MB to fire her jewelry in and she wants to be able to control the amps going in to elements individually so her firings are even. The whole mess will have a master MDR run by a love controller, of which I have a lifetime supply.

Wes Hunting
05-25-2012, 07:28 AM
We have a guy in town here that repairs old electric stoves. I used to use these years ago and he has a boat load of them in storage. Tell me the voltage and I'll see what he's got.

Tom Fuhrman
05-25-2012, 07:55 AM
I think I still have a couple new ones in stock I bought years ago and never used if you need them. JOhnstone Supply ,appliance parts supplier, I think still has them. They have distribution all over the country.

Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 08:13 AM
It's 240V VAC Wes. I would buy six of them. Thanks Tom I had conflated Johnson controls with Johnstone supplies.

Wes Hunting
05-25-2012, 08:38 AM
I have to run to town later today. I'll stop buy and see what he's got.

Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 08:49 AM
Thanks Wes. There are two styles. one is Low Med and High. The other is 1-10. If you get me six, I'll send you a check. Either that or have the guy call and I'll give him a cc# and he can ship them which is probably a lot easier.
603-323-7900

Ed Pennebaker
05-25-2012, 10:54 AM
I have bought the range controls from Dudley Giberson, Joppa Glassworks. But don't see them in his latest online catalog.

Wes Hunting
05-25-2012, 11:46 AM
Pete,
Had to dig through a few boxs and found 4 new and 4 used of the
inf 240 at 15A
Also found 2 new 240 at 25A.
10 total.
They have no dials. but are not the hi, med, low units.
He wouldn't take any money for them, but I do have to "buy him a beer sometime" so it looks like you got yourself a deal.
I will ship them out Tues. after the holiday. Priority Mail. Once you have received them, post the Secrete code phrase "THE EAGLE HAS LANDED"
I hope they work for you. Soldering the connectors to the posts all ways delayed burn out for many years, if i remember correctly.
Visiting my appliance repair guy who the towns people refer to as Big John is always a pleasure. Great guy to have on your team.
Have a great week end, My son and I are riding the bikes up to Lake Superior to hunt down some Muskies.

Ron Mynatt
05-25-2012, 01:28 PM
I use a (whirlpool # 4391989) they have them on ebay it is a 1-10 switch.Ron

Ted Trower
05-25-2012, 01:50 PM
Try repairclinic.com

Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 03:20 PM
Thanks Wes, you're the best

354 Washington Hill Rd
Chocorua NH 03817.

Now I need the damn dials which I lose or break all the time. We have a business not unlike your friend's near here appropriately named "the town dump"

Wes Hunting
05-25-2012, 04:11 PM
He also had a box of plastic dials all different sizes. you could go for the mad scientist look. rig up a whisle when it reaches temp. I'll stop over there when I get back and see what he,s got in the way of dials.

Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 04:54 PM
the dials came with this little set of inserts that fit over the shaft and then into the indicating handle. It was cheap shoddy construction. They either blow up right away or they last a long time. I think coupling it up with that insulated wire Cheyenne popped up with may help. We want to be able to vary the amps going in to different elements in the kiln and this is the only way to control multiple elements at the same time with one controller.

And Ted, Thank you for that site. I think I've been there before looking for parts for our expensive shoddy construction Jennaire range.

John Riepma
05-25-2012, 06:00 PM
Depending on what the shaft configuration on the device is you may be able to find dials/knobs at Reid Supply. http://www.reidsupply.com/ They seem to have a lot of this type of thing.

Dave Bross
05-25-2012, 06:20 PM
Pete,

I'm assuming you know those are "make and break" controllers via a bimettalic spring and not amperage controllers?

If you need to control heat to individual elements variacs would be more reliable...and a bit more expensive.

Dave Bross
05-25-2012, 06:20 PM
Pete,

I'm assuming you know those are "make and break" controllers via a bimetal spring and not amperage controllers?

If you need to control heat to individual elements variacs would be more reliable...and a bit more expensive.

Pete VanderLaan
05-25-2012, 06:27 PM
I am not going to spend the money on variacs. The things work for what I'm doing and I'm not intellectually curious about them. I would never use them on something I was selling but for my sweetie, that's a whole different story. She is worth every penny I put in to this.

All right I'd better stop now.

Dave Bross
05-26-2012, 07:59 AM
Uh Ooooooooh! Pete's gonna get in trouble.

Verging from the intellectual curious to the practical....those things used to be bulletproof but most of the quality was sucked out of them in the early nineties. The ones Wes is sending you may be a real prize in that they may have been made prior to junk bond/venture capital doings on their quality.

so...

If "anyone" asks, they're rare vintage controllers and they just don't make 'em like that any more.

I'm all about ghetto equipment, but I'm afraid we're going to have to open a new category....vintage ghetto. I don't see it rivaling steampunk any time soon.

Pete VanderLaan
05-26-2012, 09:03 AM
I still have old ones but they're missing their handles which have been trash since the onset. For such a simply dumb tool, they really work.

Wes Hunting
05-26-2012, 11:53 AM
vintage ghetto is a great term. I ran these on all my ovens as most of us did in th 70's They worked great as long as you soldered the connections.
I just bought a vintage SM combo grinding station which i converted to diamond by simply having a flat head machined for it. Well Balanced huge bearings ,very tough machine . It will last another life time.

Pete VanderLaan
05-26-2012, 03:11 PM
My favorite is the SM all in one machine divided into four stations. It's a permanent self contaminating process. My Lang stands were built in the 1880's. The bearings , all babitt are still near perfect and are infinitely superior to a roller bearing.

But I like those range controllers. I have looked everywhere I'm sure I last saw the handles and no luck yet at all. Thanks Wes. Now go kill wildlife. It is Wisconsin after all.

Richard Huntrods
05-26-2012, 03:30 PM
I still have old ones but they're missing their handles which have been trash since the onset. For such a simply dumb tool, they really work.

Who needs handles when you have vice grips? That is about all the cheap import knockoff vice grips are good for.

Pete VanderLaan
05-26-2012, 05:15 PM
MaryBeth needs handles.... with little numbers on them. 1-10. She looks dimly on vice grips as a handle. That part of the discussion is finished....

Dave Bross
05-27-2012, 07:26 AM
Not yet....

My high tech ventilation system (BIG ass floor fan) had a plastic knob fail.

Remember those screw down (not the split bolt) bus connectors in the hooking up elements thread?

Guess what I did with one of them?

Actually it was that spare plug prong you get with every 220 plug that fits nothing known to man. The "handle" on that was a tad longer than a bus terminal would be and the switch is getting friction cranky so leverage was needed.

Number scales leaves opportunity for artistic creation.

Now that's ghetto...but only faux ghetto...looks old and jury rigged but just a poser.

If you must have a knob sometimes those giant hardware cabinets in Home Depot/Lowes include a drawer full of different knobs.

In Pete's neck of the woods I would more envision a cranky old hardware store clerk in an even older hardware store having a box full of knobs of the correct persuasion hidden away in a dusty alcove. These would, of course, be historically correct...elevating the project into yet another dimension.

Pete VanderLaan
05-27-2012, 09:44 AM
Not yet....


In Pete's neck of the woods I would more envision a cranky old hardware store clerk in an even older hardware store having a box full of knobs of the correct persuasion hidden away in a dusty alcove. These would, of course, be historically correct...elevating the project into yet another dimension
*******
With an M16 and a confederate flag on the wall behind the counter. There's a lot of really crazy undereducated people up here in refined New England.

Dave Bross
05-27-2012, 11:10 AM
Country is country.

To quote David Allen coe:

"If that ain't country, it'll harelip the pope"

Explained here for our urban friends:

http://ask.metafilter.com/55852/Yes-it-is-very-country-But-Im-confused

Or the real US history...which involved alternative civilizations like the Dismal Maroons.
If you look them up, official history brushes them off as a few escaped slaves who lived in the dismal maroon swamp in the Carolinas.

The maroons were actually a large civilization of all races and persuasions with the only qualification for entry being opposition to (or being wanted by) the government. They owned that swamp and any lawman who ventured in never returned. Some groups split off and moved elsewhere. Sort of like disgruntled Baptists in the south (inside joke for those who know).

There's a town north of Seattle where everyone has a perfect South Carolina accent. Descendants of the original Dismal Maroons who settled there in the 1800s. That's a long way from the Carolinas.

I've always been amazed at the similarities in rural life be it north or south.

If they could get over the civil war they would all get along fine...for a little while.
Think Hatfields and McCoys...Paddle faster, I hear banjos...

Perhaps best they don't.

Pete VanderLaan
05-27-2012, 11:48 AM
Aw..., bless their hearts...

Rosanna Gusler
05-27-2012, 12:13 PM
Aw..., bless their hearts... SNORT sweet tea on keyboard. rosanna

Greg Vriethoff
05-27-2012, 02:24 PM
*******
With an M16 and a confederate flag on the wall behind the counter. There's a lot of really crazy undereducated people up here in refined New England.
There's a lot of really crazy, undereducated people everywhere.

Regardless of the hipster "weirdness" of Portland, there's a large redneck population in the outlying areas. It's pretty much the same from Northern California all the way up to BC. It comes together in Portland in a way I haven't experienced anywhere else. Portland is weird, but not simply in the ways that are normally touted.

Steve Beckwith
05-29-2012, 09:34 AM
I have bought things like this from Johnstone Supply. I think they are called an infinite switch. Call 'em. They are good guys on the phone.

Pete VanderLaan
05-29-2012, 10:22 AM
I too have bought them from Johnstone, a company that now has opened retail stores and seems to be going down the path where Brookstone tools, once a fine company went to languish in personal shaving supplies and other sharper image tar pits.

Steve Beckwith
05-30-2012, 10:34 AM
http://www.johnstonesupply.com/storefront/hvacr-parts/controls/commercial-controls/kitchen-controls/temperature//prodF16-514.html

I looked in their online catalog, this is the kind of thing I have used in the past for controlling some kilns I have made using oven broiler elements as the heat source.

Pete VanderLaan
05-30-2012, 11:09 AM
Thanks Steve. That is one of them, which amperage I can't say since the specs don't list it. Most likely 15 Amp.

In the good old days they would have listed the price. Now I have to log in so I can call one of the stores, which I have already done- twice to different ones, each saying that I needed parts numbers and essentially mumbling that this was too much trouble.

Wes swears by some living God that they will be here friday. I hope it's not that Mormon one.

Lonnie Strunk
05-30-2012, 01:09 PM
Pete, if looking for knobs, we have a drop in Frigidaire model and the knobs on is say low simmer for 1 then 2, 3, 4, med for 5 and 6,7,8 and hi for 9. These would work if you can find just the knobs.

Lonnie

Steve Beckwith
05-30-2012, 05:08 PM
I might add that these things increase power in either a clockwise or counter clockwise motion depending on the model. The proper knob for the switch will make life easier. Some years back I ordered the wrong combo so low is high and vice versy. Pete, I have a 12 year old catalog from Johnstone. If it will help, I would look up some part numbers for you.

Pete VanderLaan
05-30-2012, 05:26 PM
I appreciate it. I think I'm OK now. Wes is sending me the old ones.

Tom Fuhrman
05-30-2012, 08:22 PM
nothing's easy anymore. Have a friend who has done appliance repair for Searsfor 30+ years and he tells me that some refrigerators anymore cannot be repaired for less than $500 even if it's just something very simple like a switch. Service call alone starts at about $125 and goes up just to have someone look at it. "The price of cold beer just keeps going up."

Pete VanderLaan
05-31-2012, 05:33 AM
Sears now runs appliance repair like a holdup. A service person costs in excess of $200 to show up. I had a fridge fan go down and when the guy gave me the quote after the service charge was already rung up, he said he had the part on his truck. I asked him to just sell me the part and he refused. I have had a publicity war going with Sears appliance repair ever since. Hate them... Independent repairs are still reasonable.

Rick Sherbert
05-31-2012, 06:11 AM
Sorry about weighing in so late. Selection of infinite range controllers and knobs: http://www.bigceramicstore.com/Supplies/kilns/Kiln-Spare-Parts.htm or http://www.apwagner.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4_177 I've bought from both companies, they're ok. Not all knobs fit all shafts.
Pargon and other kiln companies sell them too. Here's an example (Paragon is expensive though..) http://paragonweb.com/SW6.cfm