Thread Number: 48975
A806 Timer Repair.
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Post# 709139   10/13/2013 at 20:39 (3,898 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Several months ago I bought an assortment of used but serviceable Maytag timers off eBay. Three of them were 204499 timers for the A806 and they were the reason I bought the lot. Unfortunately the guy that shipped them simply threw them in a box with a piece of bubble wrap and called it good. Needless to say, several of them arrived somewhat broken up. The seller apologized profusely for the problem blaming an employee and provided a full refund for each of the damaged timers, which is really all one can reasonably ask for.


Anyways, one of the casualties was an A806 timer, and not wanting to give up on it without a fight I thought I'd open it up and see what, if anything could be done for it.


This photo shows the timer as it came out of the box.

Post# 709149 , Reply# 1   10/13/2013 at 20:51 (3,898 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Here's a look at what goes on inside the timer. These are the contacts found in the rear half, or the half farthest away from the control panel when installed.

Post# 709150 , Reply# 2   10/13/2013 at 20:58 (3,898 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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This is the sole disc found inside that replaced the multiple discs of earlier timers. The concentric rings (found on both sides of the disc) with the high and low areas are responsible for opening and closing the switches that lie in their path. The cogs around the outside prevent it from being driven backwards by hand when making a setting selection.

This post was last edited 10/13/2013 at 23:17
Post# 709151 , Reply# 3   10/13/2013 at 21:05 (3,898 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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And here are the switches installed in the broken front half of the timer, or the half that faces the control panel. This whole thing is incredibly simple, and as it turns out the Bakelite bodies on the timers for the lesser models are physically identical to this one, so I'm going to "borrow" the front half from one and transfer all of the 806 switches to it. Fortunately the hardware store down the street has the copper rivets used to install them so that won't be a problem. This should be interesting.


I'll keep you posted when work resumes, but in the mean time, I know there are some folks here that have never seen the inside of one of these, so hopefully they'll find this worthwhile.

This post was last edited 10/14/2013 at 01:14
Post# 709191 , Reply# 4   10/14/2013 at 00:43 (3,898 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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I'll be very interested in seeing the rest of the process when work resumes.

Post# 709220 , Reply# 5   10/14/2013 at 06:40 (3,898 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Timer Rebuilding

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Hi David, thanks for posting the look inside, I am sure many will find this project interesting. When we have repaired timers with loose or broken [ either copper or brass ]rivets we use a small steel nut and bolt. We have found that a nut & bolt is much easier than trying to get a rivet tight enough without destroying the Bakelite or fiber body. The steel N&B can easily carry the electrical load of an appliance timer.

Post# 709230 , Reply# 6   10/14/2013 at 08:09 (3,898 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Thanks David!

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I was always hoping someone here would do a timer breakdown like this. This is going to be a very valuable lesson.

Post# 710134 , Reply# 7   10/19/2013 at 03:15 (3,893 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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I had a chance to work on the timer again today so here's a quick update. To remove the switches from the Bakelite body the rivets need to be drilled out. To do this properly you'll want to use a drill bit that matches the diameter of the rivet, and you can find the correct diameter by using one of the empty rivet holes as a guide(see the yellow arrows). When you've done it correctly a little copper ring(the portion that flared outward and rolled over when the rivet was set) will separate from the rivet body. As soon as it does you can stop drilling. Now you'll want to use a small punch to drive what remains of the rivets out of the holes, but before you do, make sure the path of the rivet you're about to drive out is free of any obstacles. Some of the rivet heads are somewhat hidden from view by switches that pass above them, so if you accidentally drive one of them out before the coast is clear it'll mangle the switch.


Now just a quick observation. In his comment above John mentioned the risk of damage to the Bakelite when reinstalling this type of rivet, and he's right. Bakelite is a sturdy enough material for it's intended use in this case, but it's very susceptible to damage from impact or crushing forces, which is exactly what a rivet squeezer delivers. So to shield the Bakelite body from damage when the rivets are installed a metal object is placed under both the head and the tail. In most cases this metal object is the tab for the solderless connector, like those indicated by the white arrows. But where no tab is needed a washer is used as indicated by the red arrows. These will have to be installed in the same way upon reassembly.

This post was last edited 10/19/2013 at 03:54
Post# 710135 , Reply# 8   10/19/2013 at 03:18 (3,893 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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This is what the copper rings will look like when the tail ends of the rivets are drilled out properly.

This post was last edited 10/19/2013 at 03:55
Post# 710137 , Reply# 9   10/19/2013 at 03:49 (3,893 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Here the switches have all been removed. Some of them, like those indicated by the white arrows, are common to many of these types of timer assemblies, so other timers become a potential source of repair parts. As seen in the photo,(red arrows) I left the rivet bodies in the ends of the switches for the moment. They're a fairly close fit, so the drilled out ends will have to be cleaned up some before they'll pass easily through the holes in the brass switches. Trying to force them will just bend up the brass.


Now note the inside of the Bakelite body. Holes passing through the areas indicated by the blue arrows will be shorter than those passing through the areas indicated by the yellow ones. This means that we'll need at least two different grip lengths for the new rivets. Possibly more, since we also have to consider the additional length we'll end up with when we stack various combinations of switches and tabs at either end of these holes.


Since rivet length is critical for proper fit, before I can buy these rivets I'll need to measure these holes with a grip gauge, which means a trip out to the airport to get one out of my toolbox, which means it'll be a few days before anything more gets done. So if you're following this, sorry to keep you waiting.

Post# 710457 , Reply# 10   10/20/2013 at 15:47 (3,891 days old) by vivalalavatrice ()        
Have a good job !!

I'm working on a timer either... rivets are a challenge but once you start you MUST get to the end of a such long work!!


Post# 710520 , Reply# 11   10/21/2013 at 00:38 (3,891 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Thanks for the encouragement Diomede. Believe me, I'll finish the project. I'm as curious as Ralph and Ken are to see how this goes. I've ordered the rivets and the proper rivet set for them to use in the squeezer I have, so with any luck I'll get them installed without breaking the Bakelite as John warned about. As an aircraft mechanic I've installed hundreds of solid rivets, but these semi hollow copper ones will be much softer, so I'll probably practice with a few on the broken cases before trying it on the actual timer.

Post# 711256 , Reply# 12   10/24/2013 at 20:29 (3,887 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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I finally got the rivets and the rivet set needed to install them. It turns out that finding these semi tubular rivets in copper is rather difficult, so these are brass instead. Brass is a little harder than copper so I'm keeping my fingers crossed in the hope that they'll work out. The minimum number I could order of any one size was one hundred, and since I wanted several different sizes in order to find the best length for each hole, I'm now the proud owner of four hundred rivets.

Post# 711257 , Reply# 13   10/24/2013 at 20:34 (3,887 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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The last holdup is this rivet set. It's too wide to fit down between the raised Bakelite fins where it needs to go in order to roll the end of the rivets over, so I'll have to trim it down some. I'll be able to do that tomorrow at my folks house, so with any luck this project will be finished by tomorrow evening.

This post was last edited 10/24/2013 at 22:44
Post# 711426 , Reply# 14   10/25/2013 at 21:42 (3,886 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Well, in a clear example of Murphy's Law, I ran into yet another problem; this one of my own making. The rivet indicated by the yellow arrow needed to be one size longer, but I don't have a longer one to use. Meanwhile, the rivet indicated by the blue arrow needed to be one size shorter, and I don't have any shorter ones to use. As a result, both of these fittings are loose, but the blue arrow fitting is really loose. So it's back out to Pacoima on Monday to get two more packages of rivets. So much for planning ahead.

Post# 711427 , Reply# 15   10/25/2013 at 22:02 (3,886 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Here's the partially completed inside view with the same two rivets identified. The other rivets are nice and tight, so so far this seems to be working out(fingers crossed). But I've gone as far as I can without the needed rivets, so unfortunately it'll be Monday before I can finish this now.

Post# 711434 , Reply# 16   10/25/2013 at 23:53 (3,886 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        

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I'm impressed with both your work and the progress you've made, along with your commitment toward doing the job right. 


You're on a fast track to becoming this site's timer guru.



Post# 711449 , Reply# 17   10/26/2013 at 03:48 (3,886 days old) by Chetlaham (United States)        
Thats a beautiful job!

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I could never do that, Im so proud and thankful for rebuilding the timer rather than trying to find a new replacemnet. Good job and keep up the spectacular work!!! :D

ps, sorry about the shipping damage. Its happened to me more than once to parts I was really was attached to.

Post# 711458 , Reply# 18   10/26/2013 at 07:27 (3,886 days old) by vivalalavatrice ()        
You're on a fast track to becoming this site's timer

Holzer is mine!

In the case of the shorter one can't see nothing to do for getting it longer while in the case of the longer one... well, try to polish!

Post# 711520 , Reply# 19   10/26/2013 at 16:19 (3,885 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        
Thank you very much for the compliments guys.

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With any luck I'll still be worthy of them when this project is finished. Now since it was suggested that I might trim the rivets that are too long and still make them work(at least I think that's what was being suggested) I thought I'd make this quick drawing so I could explain whats going on with these semi tubular rivets.


The little image on the left simply shows a cross section of one of them. The hole in the end that's labeled "D" will be the exact same depth on all 1/8" diameter semi tubular rivets. Only the overall rivet length will vary depending on the application.


The image on the right shows a properly sized rivet that's been correctly installed in an imaginary Bakelite timer body, and the tubular end of the rivet has curled around and come in contact with the tab labeled "B."


If the rivet is too short for the hole it's being installed in, surface "A" of the rivet set will come in contact with tab "B" before the end of the rivet has been properly rolled over. At that point nothing more can be accomplished by further squeezing. You'll just be squeezing the Bakelite.


If on the other hand the rivet is too long, the tubular end will continue to roll over until the point labeled "C" on the rivet set bottoms out in the hole. At this point if one continues to squeeze, the solid brass portion of the rivet will begin to compress and as it does it will swell exerting outward pressure on the sides of the hole it's installed in until the Bakelite brakes apart. This would be a very bad thing, and it explains why a rivet that's too long for a particular hole can't simply be trimmed down.

I hope this clears things up.Smile

This post was last edited 10/26/2013 at 18:15
Post# 711779 , Reply# 20   10/28/2013 at 00:19 (3,884 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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absolutely fascinating! Thank you for the photos and theory of rivets! Can you show what your grip gauge looks like and how it is used? And that tool for compressing the rivets looks professional not like the silly pin tool you see in hardware stores, which barely works.


I bet your method would also work for restoring the silver contacts on the bars when they pit and breakdown too. I have seen websites where they probably can be ordered but being silver "they ain't cheap".



Post# 711789 , Reply# 21   10/28/2013 at 01:40 (3,884 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        
Hi Jon

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The Van Nuys Airport is just a hop skip and a jump from Hanson Rivets, so I stopped by my toolbox to use the grip gauge, then left it there and went on to buy the rivets and the rivet sets. So this means I don't have it here with me. But I did find this image on eBay of another one that's just about a dead ringer for mine. Too bad the photo's so blurry.


The idea is to simply insert the tool into the hole you wish to measure until it comes out the other side, then hook that little flat on the end portion up against the bottom  surface and read the number that's visible at the top. The number you see will be the grip length for the rivet you need for that hole. I measured a random sampling and thought I had all the bases covered. Obviously I screwed up, but I'll fix that tomorrow.


And yes, the rivet squeezer is one I've used extensively for aircraft work. On a lot of smaller rivets a rivet gun is just total overkill.


Post# 711982 , Reply# 22   10/28/2013 at 21:47 (3,883 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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Dave that is a cool tool set. For timer work its invaluable as you have demonstrated.



Post# 711997 , Reply# 23   10/29/2013 at 00:06 (3,883 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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I'm glad you found that little drawing useful. If you wanted to do this sort of thing yourself sometime, Hanson Rivets in Pacoima has a web site where you can order the rivets, the rivet sets, and a squeezer that's almost identical to mine. They're very friendly people and I found them extremely helpful.


As I promised, I went out to Pacoima again today and picked up the needed rivets, so I'll go ahead and finish this up.


The two bad rivets indicated by the red arrows have been replaced here, and all three switches in the foreground of the photo were installed. On the other half of the timer body the two switches indicated by the white arrows had to go in before the upper switches could be installed.

Post# 711998 , Reply# 24   10/29/2013 at 00:14 (3,883 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Here the remaining switches are finally installed. All six of these switches are spring loaded to be in contact unless a cam has come along and pushed them down. The two nearer ones also have contacts below them as seen in the prior photo.

Post# 712000 , Reply# 25   10/29/2013 at 00:18 (3,883 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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And here's the view from above. All the solderless connector tabs are back where they belong and firmly held in place.

Post# 712002 , Reply# 26   10/29/2013 at 00:24 (3,883 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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Now reassembled with a motor borrowed from one of the other timers that was damaged in shipping, this one is ready to go back into service whenever it's needed.


It's taken a while to finish, but now that I have all the rivets and the required rivet sets for this sort of work, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I hope anyone that's been following this wasn't too bored with all the delays. In spite of a couple of minor setbacks, this has been kind of fun.


Now all that's left is to figure out a way to label the terminals properly. I'll have to think about that a bit.

Post# 712009 , Reply# 27   10/29/2013 at 01:19 (3,883 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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David, You accomplished a wonderful repair and you documented it flawlessly! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with excellent photos along the way (not to mention the hand drawn rivet cross section illustration!). The sharing of your efforts will go a long way towards encouraging others to try it for themselves.

Somehow I have a hunch you are familiar with Cleco Skin Pins. Riveting is one of those forms of metal work that is becoming a lost art unfortunately...

Post# 712036 , Reply# 28   10/29/2013 at 04:18 (3,883 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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The businesses doing this several years ago are disappearing. This is a bible of rebuilding axial-cam timers. Very fine work.

"Don't crack yer bakelite." Why didn't they use HDPE? Chumps! I mean really. Bakelite? In the post-60s?

Post# 712070 , Reply# 29   10/29/2013 at 10:27 (3,883 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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While HDPE would be cheaper and less fracture prone, it wouldn't be well suited to this application. HDPE melts at ~250 Deg F. If one of those connections gets a bit warm the plastic would flow and reduce the clamping pressure of the rivet. This would create a death spiral likely leading to a fire.

Bakelite, while more fragile, is thermosetting and won't soften with heat. Even today phenolics are still in common use in electrical applications. We machine a lot of phenolic insulators and spacers, and boy we sure wish we didn't have to! Its a messy plastic to work with. It's far nicer to work with any thermoforming plastic like Delrin, Nylon or the various PE's but they all soften with heat too.

Post# 712113 , Reply# 30   10/29/2013 at 15:11 (3,882 days old) by d-jones (Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Area))        

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I just though I'd take a moment to say thanks to those folks that stopped by this thread and left thoughtful or encouraging comments. It's always nice to feel that what you're doing is useful or helpful in some way, and based on the number of views it seems that there was a fair amount of interest in this subject(either that or a couple of guys checked in very frequently), but it was still very nice to find the occasional comment left by the handful of folks that took the time to leave them. So Ralph, John, Ken, Diomede, Robert, Jon, Phil and Rick, thank you very much. Your comments were appreciated.


And Phil, yes I do know what cleco's are. In fact any aircraft mechanic worth his salt will likely have at least a dozen or so in his toolbox. Sheet metal mechanics will frequently have hundreds of them, both the spring type and the threaded type.


Now on the off chance that someone else might want to do this as well, I have some additional information to share. The orange arrows in the photo below are pointing to the rivet sets. The longer rivet set fitted into the upper fixed portion of the squeezer head is part number CA2004-9 1/8 R.D. x 3/8 LG. It's described in the paperwork that came with it as an "oval head squeezer die." The term "oval" is important because there are two common head types on these tubular rivets. The ones found in this timer were all of the oval head type. The other type is called "truss head" and it has a significantly larger head diameter, so they can't be used.


The other rivet set fitted to the movable ram is part number CA2005-8 1/8 R.D. x 1/4 LG and it's described as a "tubular rivet squeezer die." Both of the rivet sets had to be ground down to reduce their outside diameters enough to make them fit into the tight spaces they needed to be used in.


The rivets all have the same basic part number that's then modified with a dash number. They are:








When you're using this type of rivet squeezer you'll want the handles to be just about fully closed when the rivet is fully squeezed. In order to accomplish this the ram is threaded onto a movable shaft which allows the user to thread it in or thread it out depending on the need. The ram can be a little tight making it hard to rotate, so a hole is provided(see the blue arrow) so that an object like a small Philips screw driver blade can be inserted for extra leverage. I was just on the Hanson Rivet web site and didn't see this squeezer listed anywhere, but they have them on display at the walk in sales counter so they're definitely there if you can't find one locally.



This post was last edited 10/29/2013 at 16:33
Post# 712209 , Reply# 31   10/30/2013 at 07:55 (3,882 days old) by jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
I need one

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I want one oohh Santa??


Post# 712247 , Reply# 32   10/30/2013 at 12:18 (3,881 days old) by rp2813 (Sannazay)        
Excellent Work

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David, your thorough documentation of the process will be a great addition to the archives here.



Post# 1151080 , Reply# 33   6/14/2022 at 14:52 (732 days old) by ricinalberta (Edmonton Alberta Canada)        
Great Work

Thanks for documenting all this in such a succinct way.

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