Friday, July 09, 2010

How I Broke (and Fixed) My Kitchen Aid Mixer

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

As a youngster my dad would occasionally do things with good intentions that didn't work out so well.

My mom called them "wild hares," and while most time these things were perfectly good and productive, occasionally they ended in trouble.

For instance, one time in early summer he decided that he was going to rearrange his bedroom. Being the mid-80's he and my mom had a king-sized waterbed.

He spent the morning draining and dismantling the bed. Then he hauled all the furniture into different spots and cleaned the room 'til it shined like the top of the Chrysler building. Then he put the water bed back together in its new spot.

I remember it like yesterday...that green water-hose being snaked through the large, east-facing picture window. I remember the sound of whooshing water as it filled the big blue mattress.

The day passed quickly and soon it was time to take my brothers to the ball park. Being baseball season, I spent a lot of time there. I liked it. My dad would hand me a couple of bucks and I would spend the whole evening hanging out with the sisters, running back and forth in my dusty flip-flops to the snack bar for Fun-Dip and Big League Chew.

I can remember the moment when I looked up and there was Bob, our neighbor. He was gathering us up and said that my Dad had told him to come get us.


Well, my dad got caught up in watching the boys play and forgot that he was filling up that king-sized mattress back home.

He made a mad-dash home, getting there just on time to see the bulging-bed split, creating a deluge bigger than Southern Arizona had seen in a long while.

I am so glad that we didn't have internet back then, because a bed that size (when filled to capacity) holds 248.7 gallons of water...and this one was WAY over capacity.

Of course my dad wouldn't have needed the internet, he could've probably guessed, since the water went under the walls and seeped into both my brother's room and the formal living room, rendering three rooms and the hallway flooded.

His one day project to make things better ended up in a long weekend of wet-vac rental and borrowing every box fan we could find within a 30 mile radius.

I'm sure by now you are wondering what in the world this has to do with my Kitchen Aid mixer?

Well its my defense sweet friends: I am becoming my father. (Which endears me to him all the more.)

Yesterday I was giving my kitchen a good, deep, cleaning, and it occurred to me that my beloved Kitchen Aid mixer hadn't been deeply cleaned, ever. I mean I've wiped down the outside many, many times, but its been sounding a little tired lately (I use it almost daily) and I figured it needed some love.

So I began by dismantling the two big dots on the outside of the main casing.

These things have springs on them. And rectangular looking metal pieces with one corner cut off.

Then I removed a few more screws but couldn't get the thing to come apart. Not wanting to ruin my machine I gave up and put it all back together.

I plugged it in and turned it on to make sure all was well.

It wasn't.

No power at all.


So I panicked.

And ran to the internet.

I found that those big dots with loaded springs and weird shaped metal thing-a-ma-bobs (or "'brush" as the net calls them)  actually have to go in a certain way....

You have to take a flash light and look inside the hole...

 and in the back you can see something that looks like this:

Then you have to make sure that the missing corner of the metal "brush" is facing the circle of the diagram above.

Then you cross your finger, because I tend to make mistakes that are expensive this was (long ago) a gift from The Mister and I'm afraid to tell him I've damaged a perfectly good machine.


It worked.

So, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree...but this time, I got to make an apple pie. Next time, and there will be a next time, I might not be as lucky...


His Girl said...

loved the waterbed story, the mixer story, the pictures, and that you love that you are turning into your dad.

all good things.


Carpool Queen said...

Girl, when you say "deep clean", you MEAN it!

I need to get the cleaning mojo. Maybe if you came over and made me pan dulce I'd be inspired.

Gretchen said...

Our beloved kitchen aid broke a couple of years ago and the cost to get it fixed was $$$. My sweet man decided it was worth trying to fix himself. $3.40 later, he had it working again.

Way 2 go, Mrs. Fixit!! :)

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Go, Kellie, go! I'm calling YOU next time somethin' breaks at my house.


We have this really fun store in my town that sells new stuff in vintage packaging. My favorite things there are the toys and the candy and soda. I saw BIG LEAGUE CHEW there on the 4th of July. I would have bought some had it not been for the line snaking out the door. Great blast from the past...

O Mom said...

I knew right away where that waterbed story was heading....oh my!
I think it's so funny when we realize we're turning into one of our parents!

Tanya said...

I love it. All of it. :) Especially the waterbed story. We had one of those. It was patched with more duct tape than probably necessary.

Sandy said...

Loved both your stories! My grandma was a "fixer" (once took apart a radio & put it back together), & I think I inherited a little bit of it.
When I got my KA mixer over 20 years ago, I was thrilled. A year or so later I was at a friend's house (she was a gourmet cook & used hers ALL the time) & when she finished using hers, she wiped it down VERY WELL & said, "She's a queen, so I treat her as such so she will last a long time." That made an impression on me to always wipe it down really well when I finished using it. But I NEVER thought about taking it apart to clean it.... I think I'll be satisfied w/outer cleaning only.
You crack me up!!!

Anonymous said...

hehehe! Thats crazy that those have to face just the right direction to make them work!

Kristin said...

You are too funny! Is there anything you can't do?? :)

Such The Spot said...

Oh goodness. Now that the waterbed thing is ancient history I don't feel bad laughing about it. But wow. Poor guy.

Elizabeth said...

Isn't it great to have husbands who are good at fixin' things for us wives who are good at breakin' things. I use his fix-it skills often around here!

Anonymous said...

Oh Kellie that brings back so many memories! I am glad you got it back together and unlike your Dad,who got things back together but sometines had extra pieces!

meh said...

Phew! What a nerve racking thing to have happen!!! And I am so proud of you for not just chucking it out the window!!

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...

Yay for you!!! I'm proud of your Mrs. Fix-it skills!

Jolanthe said...

First ~ HAHAHA about the waterbed.

and an even louder HAHAHA for the mixer.

But so glad you got it fixed!!!