Crock Pot Base Screw

While washing our ancient electric crock pot (“slow cooker”), I wondered how corroded the inside of the steel shell had become. A simple nut secured the base plate and unscrewed easily enough, whereupon what I thought was a stud vanished inside the shell.

The shell wasn’t rusty enough to worry about, but the stud turned out to be a crudely chopped-off thumbscrew on a springy rod pulling the base toward the ceramic pot:

Crock Pot Base - OEM thumbscrew
Crock Pot Base – OEM thumbscrew

Evidently, they pulled the thumbscrew through the base, tightened the nut, then cut off the thumbscrew flush with the nut.

I desperately wanted to drill a hole in a new thumbscrew and repeat the process, but I no longer have a small drawer full of assorted thumbscrews. So I must either lengthen the existing thread just enough to complete the mission or build a screw from scratch.

The thumbscrew is threaded 10-24, I have a bunch of 10-32 threaded inserts, so pretend they have the same thread diameter and tap one end to 10-24:

Crock Pot Base - tapping insert
Crock Pot Base – tapping insert

Jam the new threads on the thumbscrew and jam a 10-32 setscrew into the un-wrecked end:

Crock Pot Base - thumbscrew extender
Crock Pot Base – thumbscrew extender

You can see the surface rust in there, right?

Make a Delrin bushing to fit around the insert poking through the base:

Crock Pot Base - drilling Delrin button
Crock Pot Base – drilling Delrin button

Reassemble the internal bits with permanent Loctite, top with a nyloc nut, and it’s only a little taller than the original nut:

Crock Pot Base - assembled
Crock Pot Base – assembled

The setscrew let me hold the new “stud” in place while torquing the nut, plus it looks spiffy.

Memo to Self: If it ain’t broke, don’t look inside. Hah!

Surprisingly, both Amazon and eBay lack useful thumbscrew assortments …

,

  1. #1 by Brent on 2019-11-17 - 10:41

    Curiosity killed the cat :-)

    • #2 by Ed on 2019-11-18 - 07:31

      Or the crock pot!

      As far as I can count on my fingers, it’s been with us nigh onto four decades and has become a Precious Relic. Sheesh

  2. #3 by RCPete on 2019-11-17 - 12:11

    Check Home Desperate for thumbscrews. The drawers of Random Hardware(TM) might have what you need in 1-2 packs. Maybe.

    Our crockpot (removable insert type) gets really warm in use. We use a cork pad (corkboard tiles on Masonite FTW) to keep it from screwing up the counter top. Maybe overkill, but SWMBO doesn’t want to chance it. Is Delrin all right with some heat?

    • #4 by Ed on 2019-11-18 - 07:29

      That would involve leaving the Basement Laboratory, which I have Sworn a Might Oath on the Bones of my Ancestors never to do again.

      Were it still bicycling weather, I’d have had justification to hit all three of the local Big Box supply stores, plus the Fastener Warehouse. Alas, the Season of Winter Bloat now makes riding a rare event.

      • #5 by RCPete on 2019-11-21 - 16:10

        I looked at the DoRH at Depot while getting some bolts, and thumbscrews are no longer carried. Your oath is safe. [grin]

  3. #6 by Jason Doege on 2019-11-17 - 15:03

    I know you know better…

    • #7 by Ed on 2019-11-18 - 07:23

      I still don’t understand why I didn’t break one of those delicate nichrome wires wrapped around the pot!

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