Softly Scrambled

Comments from my life, family, and projects I enjoy.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Kitchenaid A9 Switch Replacement

I've recently had to make a repair to my A9 grinder. The toggle switch failed. The repair turned out more difficult than I initially estimated. Turns out the original switch is quite compact and a replacement was difficult to source. My first attempt was with a small salvaged switch with solder tabs. Unfortunately the solder tabs made the switch slightly longer than the original so it would not fit in the original position. I finally settled on a new switch I found on E-bay. The new switch is also too long for the original position, but it does fit nicely if rotated 180 degrees. This of course reverses the switch logic, making "UP" off and "Down" on. One nice feature is the switch has internally attached leads, so there will be no exposed leads under the bottom of the grinder. We decided to capture the repair on video and have posted the repair on my youtube channel.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Answer to Shelley's Question Concerning an A9 Part.

The threaded post that sticks up from the lower burr assembly is simply a 10-24 x 1.25" stainless screw with the edges of the head ground flat. It's function is to lightly stir the beans at the entrance to the grind chamber preventing the beans from jamming together and blocking the grind chamber. Approximately 1/4" of the screw is threaded into the lower burr support. The screw is locked into place by a jamb nut with an external tooth lock washer. Any reasonably competent handyman should be able to make this part with a grinder and some files. Another option may be the local vocational school if they have a tool and die program. I would definitely use a stainless steel screw for safety since much of the common mild steel hardware may be cadmium plated.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kitchenaid A9 Grinder Refurbishment.

Sometime last year I happened upon this Kitchenaid A9 coffee grinder on Ebay. The starting bid was low and there was no reserve so I bid. Much to my surprise I was the only bidder and won the little grinder for a very reasonable price. This is an original A9 from the days when Kitchenaid was owned by Hobart. This design was originally introduced in 1937 and I think it was discontinued in the 1950's. Later in the early 2000s Whirlpool, the current owners of the Kitchenaid brand, reissued an updated version of the little A9.

     Once I received it in the mail I gave it a cursory inspection and tested it's operation. Yes, it worked and would grind coffee, but the motor seemed to labor and the grinds were inconsistent. There was also a distinct electrical odor from the motor. A quick tear down revealed worn motor brushes and very worn burrs. I guess the original owner used the grinder a lot. Measuring the brushes with a micrometer, I determined a suitable replacement brush was part number 414 from A light polish to the commutator ring with some 400 grit paper and a drop of light oil on the bearings had the motor working perfectly.

     Finding replacement burrs would prove to be more of a challenge. I had read on some coffee forums that the burrs from the newer A9 from Whirlpool were a direct fit. I found the manual for the new version online and called the number in the manual to order new burrs from Whirlpool. The nice gentleman informed me that the replacement burrs were no longer available, but he would be glad to sell me some wonderful new coffee grinding and brewing gadgets. I thanked him for his time and moved on to continue my search for the burrs. Another coffee forum indicated that the burrs were only available as an assembly. I searched for the upper and lower burr support assemblies and found them both available, but the upper support assembly was prohibitively expensive. Fortunately the burrs are removable from their support assemblies and both burrs are identical. I ordered two lower burr support assemblies (pn 9707092) from They were very helpful and answered all my questions. Once I placed the order I received the parts in just four days. I highly recommend them.

Below are some photos of the original burrs in the upper and lower support assemblies.

Here are the two new lower support assemblies with new burrs in the upper part of the photo.

And here are the new burrs installed in my original A9  upper and lower burr support assemblies.

So now the little grinder is working perfectly. The motor purrs smoothly with no disconcerting odors and the new burrs produce a very consistent grind for my morning cup. I think I'll have another cup now.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Walk In the Woods

Today I decided to go check on the progress of the new nature trail that is under construction off Old State Road. The road is blocked off to vehicular traffic, but I didn't see any no trespassing signs, so I grabbed my camera and took a walk. The trail mostly runs along the old confederate earthworks from the civil war battle of Congaree creek. The trail goes deep into the woods and it is very remote and quiet. No cell phone service to disturb the sounds of nature.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Update on the Hobart Coffee Grinder

Progress on the coffee grinder has slowed considerably. After reassembling the motor I discovered the motor will start, but does not run. A quick check with the ohmmeter revealed an open run winding. I fear I damaged one of the wires in the run winding during the cleaning process. A rewind from the local motor shop is prohibitively expensive, so I will attempt to rewind it myself. I purchased an old book on motor rewinding online and have been studying it to see if a home shop rewind is doable. I will of course share what I learn. In the meantime, I fabricated a new base to replace the deteriorating rubber base and have been polishing some of the aluminum pieces. Here is a shot of the new base and a shot of the motor book.

MDF Base

Close up of base

Motor book

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Trip to the Upstate

Saturday we took a short trip to the upstate to visit the in-laws. Lucky for me I had a chance to take some photos. Early in the afternoon I had a chance to slip off and explore an area of their property that had recently been logged. I only had my cellphone for pics, so they aren't the best, but I think they are still worth sharing.

The first thing that caught my eye was a turtle shell. Upon closer examination, I spotted what looked like some large cat prints. Bobcat are common in the area so I wonder if that is what left the prints.

I also captured some interesting patterns in the mud left by some insects. Be sure to zoom in to see the details on the one below.

Insect Tracks

Much to my delight, I spotted a wild turkey up on the ridge. I was able to get within about 25 feet of this hen. It wasn't until I had taken several shots that I noticed she had 5 chicks following along close behind, hiding in the brush. They blended in so well with the brush that they were almost impossible to see. Here are 4 of the best shots

On the way home we stopped in Jonesville to snap a few pics. Jonesville is fairly typical of the little whistle-stop towns that you see in the south. Below are some pics of some old building along the tracks that caught my eye.

Finally, we stopped along the highway, just outside of Lockhart to look at some old fire engines a collector has stored in a shed. I think these are a 34 Ford, 46 Ford, and a 49 Mack. I especially like the HUGE spotlights on the 46 Ford and the Mack. I also like that the 34 Ford and the Mack are open cab models. So cool to see the old iron.

Drill Press Delays

One thing that caused some delay with my Hobart Grinder project was some downtime with my drill press. The on/off switch fell apart. Yes, it's an el-cheapo from China Freight. I guess I should know better. I did not have a direct replacement on hand, but I did have some rather stout toggle switches in my junk box, so that's what I used. Of course this required the fabrication of a new mounting plate, as the form factor of the switches was different. With a cut-off wheel and my old sears hand drill I fabbed up a plate with some leftovers from the capacitor bracket project. It's always nice to get multiple uses from the same piece of scrap. Here's a shot of the finished plate. I thought it turned out ok and the switch will probably outlast the rest of the machine.

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Midlands of South Carolina, United States
Husband, Father, Quality Engineer, Electronics Professional, and tinkerer. Facinated by old technology and well made old tools. Old iron is good.