Defying built in obsolescence

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Project by MonteCristo posted 08-28-2012 03:51 AM 3562 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Defying built in obsolescence
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Before the “project police” pull this one, it is in fact made of wood, yew to be exact. It’s a replacement bushing for a bread machine bread pan. Even in Canada we can buy these machines dirt cheap these days but, in our experience, they always fail prematurely because they use a cheap plastic bushing for the padle shaft. The bread pan is otherwise like new. Getting a replacement bread pan seems doubtful, no parts list came with the machine. A close examination revealed that the paddle shaft is exactly 5/16” in diameter. And I was able to make the body of the bushing the right size using a 1/2” Veritas “snug plug” cutter. The refit leaked (water) slightly at first but it is good now and the machine is now cranking out delicious (nearly) homemade bread.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

22 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9433 posts in 4930 days

#1 posted 08-28-2012 04:02 AM

ummmm I can smell it now

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Von's profile


238 posts in 3711 days

#2 posted 08-28-2012 07:00 AM

I see no reason to “police” this one at all. Well done! I kinda like the idea of how this sort of repair is almost like “stickin it to the man” so to speak. Why replace something when you can repair it—better than new. Almost makes me want to take this and wave it at em: “SEEE? it can be made to keep goin despite your idiotic design flaws! neener neener neener!” hehe

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30679 posts in 3836 days

#3 posted 08-28-2012 07:35 AM

Well gee, a couple closer pictures of the piece would be nice. :-)

Good job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

751 posts in 4278 days

#4 posted 08-28-2012 10:35 AM

Hi MonteCristo, I’ve noted your solution for future reference.

Here in the UK, I CAN get spares for my breadmaker, which is a Morphy Richards model which is not quite the same as yours, which was lucky because the kneading blade got lost – possibly left in a ruined loaf as explained below.

One problem we did have with our machine was that the bread pan occasionally ‘jumped’ out of its latch mechanism whilst the dough was being kneaded, and the loaf was ruined. Like you I like to avoid the built-in obsolescence, so I solved that problem with a length of steel rod that went into the clips each side – as below – so I pass on the idea in case anyone else finds it useful.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4504 days

#5 posted 08-28-2012 10:39 AM

Any delicious recipes to share? I scooped a bread maker up at a tag sales for $5. Ive got decent success with cinnamon raisen bread but the rest left a bit to be desired.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3790 days

#6 posted 08-28-2012 12:45 PM

Gotta love your self sufficiency in this day and age—like the old adage: “waste not, want not.” Good job and great save.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3637 days

#7 posted 08-28-2012 01:24 PM

Any concerns about bacteria getting into the porous wood? That always worries me with something that’s exposed to heat, water, and food, and is pretty much an incubator for all sorts of bad stuff.

It’s a good fix, no doubt. I’ve always hated these cheap machines that break after a year. You might consider food-grade HDPE stock if you ever need to remake it, though that’s a bit harder to come by than a hunk of scrap from the shop. Just my $0.02.


View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 4495 days

#8 posted 08-28-2012 01:57 PM

I remember reading a study a while back on cutting boards comparing wooden to plastic specifically regarding the bacterial growth. The wooden ones had less. The ones in question were the endgrain maple butcher blocks.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3637 days

#9 posted 08-28-2012 02:03 PM

For a cutting board, I can understand wood being better since they can dry out quicker and have all sides exposed to air (for the most part). However, this bushing is in a confined area that gets almost no air circulation and I imagine would almost never get a chance to fully dry depending on how often the breadmaker is used. If my mother is any indicator, it would get used once every few days.


View rance's profile


4282 posts in 4658 days

#10 posted 08-28-2012 02:23 PM

That’s a cool fix. I like fixing things too. It gives me a sense of success.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3686 days

#11 posted 08-28-2012 05:03 PM

Thanks all for your comments. I posted this part seriously and partly as a “joke”, or at least my way to spurn the built-in obsolescence thing. I think this sort of ridiculous situation speaks volumes about many of the products we see in the shops today. They look nice but fall apart quickly.

Like rance, I like fixing things. Years ago it was because money was super tight, now it’s because I hate to see stuff that is basically still good get chucked out. And it’s a good way to kill a few brain cells trying to figure out what will work.

grfrazee’s concern about bacteria is valid I would say, but we plan on trying to keep the area pretty clean. If I suddenly stop posting on LJs, you’ll know that we didn’t succeed.

BTW, the yew I used is Pacific Yew that grows here in the Pacific Northwest. According to R. Bruce Hoadley’s book “Understanding Wood” (highly recommended) it is very rot resistant and it’s pretty darn hard too. We’ll see how it does.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View dbhost's profile


5913 posts in 4729 days

#12 posted 08-28-2012 05:44 PM

Any breakmaker recipes to share? My lovely bride and I have one of those machines a friend that is a perpetual garage sale shopper picked up on the cheap for us… It all seems to work at least…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Sylvain's profile


1685 posts in 3997 days

#13 posted 08-28-2012 06:53 PM

Old baker kneading where made wood.
Sourdough bread were made by keeping a small amount of the dough of the previous day.

Bread and yeast is a living thing and the wood participate to it.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn (and that is nice)

View rance's profile


4282 posts in 4658 days

#14 posted 08-28-2012 07:52 PM

I just remembered that Lignum Vitae might also be a good wood to use. It is used for bearing(bushing) surfaces. I don’t know about it being around food. It is a tight grained wood though so it would be worth investigating in “Understanding Wood”.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3637 days

#15 posted 08-28-2012 08:04 PM

That’s a good point about lignum vitae. It’s self-lubricating, hence why it was used for bearings in the past.

As far as food-safe, native central Americans used to make a tea out LV chips and use it for its medicinal qualities for a number of ailments. However, there are a few different species traded as lignum vitae which may not be the genuine article, so you can’t be too sure what you’re getting.


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