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nlife

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Nov 16, 2023
272
474
I've had a Weston grinder for a few months now. I've been very happy with the overall performance, though I noticed that the auger and head were gouging the metal on each other since Weston decided that the auger bearing was no longer needed. I took some pictures and sent them to the Weston e-mail (the only way to get in touch with anyone for questions or warranty) and received a reply back within a few days.

Auger on the bearing side that mates to the head.

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Head (feed tray)

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After a bit of back and forth and my request for a new auger and head, Weston said they would send out a one time replacement unit. In order to qualify for the replacement I had to cut the plug/cable as close to the machine as possible, take pictures of the cut cord, the info plate on the machine and send them an email with it all. They said that this was the only way that they could apply warranty and needed to see that the unit was "destroyed in the field".

I'm not sure why they couldn't send just the auger and head. Oh well. Flash forward to today. I received my complete new grinder this morning. No request to return the old unit.

I haven't completely taken it out of the box just yet. I was really only curious about the auger and head. Unfortunately, the machine work leaves a bit to be desired. The new auger is fine. the head on the other hand.... I can only imagine how quickly that will gouge the new auger.

20240207_113028.jpg


I have made my own 'bearing' if you will, from a nylon washer and I've used it a few times before cutting the cord on my old grinder. I put it between the auger and the head with a dab of food safe grease. Olive oil would probably work too. Works like a charm. It's pictured here stored with the cutting plates.

20240207_134910.jpg


It would be a shame to throw a perfectly good working motor into the trash, especially one like this with so few hours on it. I decided to see if I could open it up and rewire it all. A whopping 4 bolts, 5 phillips head screws later and I see that it's all connected with two female quick disconnects and a ring terminal for the ground. White wire to the power switch, black wire to the GFI, green wire to the machine.

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After double checking the connectors, wires, I loosely put the base plate on and tested it. With everything in working order (and no smoke coming out of the machine!) I got it back together.

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The base plate is back on, Everything is back in the box and ready for the next sausage project. I still don't understand why Weston couldn't have just sent out a new auger and head. Oh well. I'll keep the new one in the box and hopefully I'll never need it.
 
Shortening! I should have thought of that. I guess since you're washing it all anyways, it won't be on long enough to go rancid. We keep shortening on hand.

I don't think I even have an hour on the original unit yet. It grinds everything I throw at it so quickly I'd be lucky to have 20-25 minutes of total run time.
 
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune turned to fortune.

Odd
My #8 Weston (non butcher series) has a plastic thrust bushing on the back side of the auger where it contacts the head. I'm not sure what type of plastic. Doesn't feel to be nylon, teflon, or delrin that are common for bushings and bearings.

Nice work. I use shortening to lube with because I have it always on hand, it’s food safe and will not create a gum over time. Always lube the back end of the auger, where it galled on you and the shaft behind that.
Agree on the lubing. Pure vegetable oils will create a gum over time.
We don't keep shortening (Crisco) in the house. Something in the hydrogenated process really stabilizes veg oils in shortening.
I use a tube of food grade lube from Cabelas. Silicone based and it doesn't take much.
 
Sorry to hear about your misfortune turned to fortune.

Odd
My #8 Weston (non butcher series) has a plastic thrust bushing on the back side of the auger where it contacts the head. I'm not sure what type of plastic. Doesn't feel to be nylon, teflon, or delrin that are common for bushings and bearings.


Agree on the lubing. Pure vegetable oils will create a gum over time.
We don't keep shortening (Crisco) in the house. Something in the hydrogenated process really stabilizes veg oils in shortening.
I use a tube of food grade lube from Cabelas. Silicone based and it doesn't take much.
Yup that stuff works too, I just don’t spend extra on it because I already have Crisco.
 
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Shortening! I should have thought of that. I guess since you're washing it all anyways, it won't be on long enough to go rancid. We keep shortening on hand.

I don't think I even have an hour on the original unit yet. It grinds everything I throw at it so quickly I'd be lucky to have 20-25 minutes of total run time.
Natural Lard will rancid over time but I’ve never seen Crisco go bad.
 
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune turned to fortune.

Odd
My #8 Weston (non butcher series) has a plastic thrust bushing on the back side of the auger where it contacts the head. I'm not sure what type of plastic. Doesn't feel to be nylon, teflon, or delrin that are common for bushings and bearings.


Agree on the lubing. Pure vegetable oils will create a gum over time.
We don't keep shortening (Crisco) in the house. Something in the hydrogenated process really stabilizes veg oils in shortening.
I use a tube of food grade lube from Cabelas. Silicone based and it doesn't take much.
I have the same 8# grinder Fueling Around Fueling Around has.

There is a bushing (more of a thrust washer) where the auger mates to the head. It's in 2 pieces and the outer part is maybe nylon.

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I always lube this and also the plate and pilot with veg shortening at the start of a grind.
 
I have a tube of Lubriplate FML-2 on hand now. I probably wouldn't have picked it up had I thought about the block of Crisco in the cupboard... Oh well.

The bushing/thrust washer that I eventually made is actually a tailpiece washer that fits between your sink and the drain pipe. I just cut the part that slips into the pipe off with a knife. It's 1.5". The inner diameter is much larger than needed for the auger, but the outer diameter fits the head nicely. It does what I need it to do for now. I also picked up a few plastic cutting boards from the dollar store and have been contemplating making one from those, but this one is working for now.

washer-tailpiece-1-1-2.jpeg


Here it is on the auger. It's a tad larger than the auger diameter, but not by a lot.

20240207_181057.jpg


It's not terribly thick.

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Here it is in the head. It fits in there quite nicely. A little bit of lube on both sides goes a long ways.

20240207_181135.jpg


I don't mind the sight of that! Brings my cost down to ~ $150 CAD each. Now if I could only figure out how to feed both at the same time I'd be able to keep up with you guys that have the #8 and be nipping on the heels of those running a #12 :emoji_laughing:

20240207_180636.jpg
 
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Thanks for the photos Doug
The actual thrust bushing (washer) is what I focused. Checked again and leaning towards teflon.
The outer piece is silicone rubber.
The gear drive is definitely nylon. For those that think metal is better, maybe not. Many applications a "plastic" piece will outperform a metal equivalent.
But Weston may not think the same. They provided a spare gear drive piece.
 
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Yea, my LEM grinder has a nylon bushing with a thrust washer all incorporated as one piece. And is replaceable, same for most grinders. I’m surprised that grinder doesn’t have that.
 
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Lubriplate is a better overall lubricant than shortening. Probably what I have in my Cabelas tube.
The tailpipe thrust bushing reminds me ... of me. I have repurposed many items over the years.
Plumbing gaskets are low density polyethylene (PE) plastic and not very durable in eroding conditions such as a thrust bearing (washer). It will probably be a great choice over the years of low usage..
Nylon is a step up from PE. Delrin is another step up above nylon. Teflon is probably the best choice as it is somewhat durable and extremely slippery. Teflon has a lower hardness compared to metal than many other plastics. You want the plastic to erode versus the metal pieces of auger or housing in your grinder.
 
Lubriplate is a better overall lubricant than shortening. Probably what I have in my Cabelas tube.
The tailpipe thrust bushing reminds me ... of me. I have repurposed many items over the years.
Plumbing gaskets are low density polyethylene (PE) plastic and not very durable in eroding conditions such as a thrust bearing (washer). It will probably be a great choice over the years of low usage..
Nylon is a step up from PE. Delrin is another step up above nylon. Teflon is probably the best choice as it is somewhat durable and extremely slippery. Teflon has a lower hardness compared to metal than many other plastics. You want the plastic to erode versus the metal pieces of auger or housing in your grinder.
Having a washer of some sort at this point kind of is the point. I can’t believe that even a lower cost grinding unit doesn’t have one. Plus adding one changes the headspace at the grinding plate. Workable if done right in retrofit but good grief it’s the fact that it needs to be added that bugs me.
 
Thanks for the photos Doug
The actual thrust bushing (washer) is what I focused. Checked again and leaning towards teflon.
The outer piece is silicone rubber.
The gear drive is definitely nylon. For those that think metal is better, maybe not. Many applications a "plastic" piece will outperform a metal equivalent.
But Weston may not think the same. They provided a spare gear drive piece.
Another complaint I have is why the hell did they not attach the plastic gear with a stainless screw? Mine is rusty and this reminded me that I need to replace it with a stainless steel one before it rusts too bad to remove.
 
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good grief it’s the fact that it needs to be added that bugs me.

I think this is the part that bugs me the most. They USED to have one, but someone, somewhere along the line, determined that it wasn't necessary anymore. I beg to differ. I'll find something and make it work. I shouldn't have to though.

Such is life I guess.
 
UPDATE:

Yesterday I sent a few pictures to Weston support thanking them for their efforts as well as the condition of the new head right out of the box. I received an email today where they apologized for the condition of the new unit and for my experience with their products to date.

They have now offered a one time replacement on the new unit AND have offered to upgrade me to the #8! :emoji_astonished:

Aside from small delays in the response for warranty issues via e-mail, Weston seems to be doing what they can to help address the issue and standing behind their product. I can't argue with that.
 
Well that is very good of them. The #8 is a big upgrade and you will enjoy that for sure. Is the #8 an aluminum body as well?
 
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Well that is very good of them. The #8 is a big upgrade and you will enjoy that for sure. Is the #8 an aluminum body as well?

I'm not really too sure. I'm hoping that it's better quality than the ones that I've gotten so far. Quite frankly, I could have still used the grinder "as is", but I'm happy that they're making an effort. Frankly, I think I'll be done with all this silliness after this one.
Glad they are upgrading you for your trouble.

I've been impressed so far. The #8 is .5hp commercial grade, air cooled motor - similar to the #5's I have. I guess I'll be rewiring the new one since they had me 'destroy it in the field' by cutting the plug.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to feed THREE grinders and I'll surpass the #12 and be nipping on the heels of the next size up...
 
Hopefully they warranty with a Pro Series.
Checking the Weston website, the #8 / #12 Pro Series come with a thrust bearing (washer).
I may order one to see if it fits my kitchen model.

The #8 throat is a home user dream.
My suggestion is to sell the others and get your cost to nil. Include your MacGyvered washer in the sales and a tube of Lubriplate. I find people respond better to use a commercial product as the "fix" versus the kitchen find shortening.
 
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