The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Update - what to do with this n-50?

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berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Update - what to do with this n-50?

It just arrived and I unpacked it and wanted to test it out. The whip attachment was still on, but I could not get it off! I see that it slides down a shaft, and over to the side and slightly up, you do this whille pushing up on the spring mechanism. I've had other pieces of equipment that worked like that, OK, easy enough, but it wouldn't let me undo it because the thing spins and there's nothing to hold it against or to grab to keep it from spinning. Finally with brute force, I got it.


Next,it rocks a bit - I think the metal bottom is lower than the feet. All feet are there, but they, I think are a bit higher than the bowl holder part. is this typical with age? It looks to be in great condition (hardly any scratches), and it's a newer make (black knob on power lever) Seller said it was used in a research and development lab for a Fortune 500 company. Mixing chemicals? Make-up samples? Whatever, i'll thoroughly clean it.


 


Next, the motor is fine on speed one and three, but it hums/is noisy on second speed. What does that mean?


One of the bowls is for the n-50, the other I think is for a KA (rimless).


 


The tag and numbers, some of which I have no idea what they mean:


Don Mills Ontario


N-50


Serial number: 99-700-835


ML 33777-A


V. 115


RPM 1725


HZ 60


HP 1/6


AMP 2.85


HP 176


PH 1


Code UH


Temp. 40. CAND? (can't read my own handwriting)


 


So, what do I do? I tried to find answers, but as an uncommon machine, that's not easy. I paid nearly $900 for this with shipping and insurance for a $2200 machine. It was described as great condition and I'm not sure I call this great condition, but maybe I'm being too harsh... but really... not sure what all these problems mean - easy fixes, normal or what?

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

deleted post as I updated the first post.

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

Hi,


I think you'll remember me, I'm the one that recently returned the N50 I purchased on eBay.  I really can't help you with the mechanical problems but I just wanted to offer my ideas (for whatever they are worth).


Even before I sent the mixer back, I was thinking about this and I decided these mixers in used condition are very likely to have problems because they are almost exclusively used commercially.  If a used one could be found that was used only in a private home, I think it is much more likely to be fine.  Private owners are much more inclined to take care of such a fine piece of equipment, as opposed to employees who may not care if the machine lasts or not.  So when my mom offered to buy me a brand new one, I "jumped at it" as I don't believe I had the courage to buy another used one.  I probably would have purchased a new one sooner or later, anyway.  This "baking hobby" is THAT important to me.


I am not at all mechanically inclined, but the problems you mentioned would really make me worry.  It seems the noise in second speed is probably from the transmission, not the motor, because I think if it was the motor, it would do it in all speeds.  Personally, I think the seller greatly exaggerated when he described it as being in "great condition".  Did he not hear the noisy second speed?  Did he not notice that it rocks?  Did he even try to take the whip off or did he try and finally give up because it was too difficult?  I have to say, with all the problems I had with the one I sent back, I had no problems whatsoever changing the agitators, including the whip.  By the way, mine also rocked but only under a load (my old KitchenAid never did this, so I assume there was something wrong).  Did he not notice that one of bowls is wrong?


Everyone does things differently, but as a seller on eBay, I feel you are responsible to thoroughly check things out, as the buyer cannot inspect the item.  I probably went overboard, but when I sold on eBay I went as far as checking things out with a magnifying glass.  And I also did sell two vintage stand mixers!  I observed and listened to them in all speeds and REALLY checked them out as best as I could.  Both buyers were delighted with them because they knew EXACTLY what to expect.


I personally believe that there are too many things wrong for the seller not to have noticed any of them.  I'm sure you can take the mixer to a Hobart repair shop and they will get it back to nearly new condition, but I'm also sure it will be terribly expensive.   I would not be inclined to make a big investment in it and still have a used mixer.  I would rather add some additional funds and get a brand new one, so I wouldn't have to worry about the history of the mixer.  And that's exactly what I did!


I have a feeling you would not have purchased it if it was described accurately.  I know I wouldn't have purchased the one I got if I knew in advance of all of the problems.  I don't even want to say this, but if it were me, I would ask the seller if I could send it back. But that's just me, you have to do what's right for you. 


Hopefully, someone will chime in with some inexpensive fixes for your problems.  With that, I can't help you.  Good luck!  Genie


P.S.  I wanted to add that I don't think you're being too harsh at all.  You paid A LOT of money for a used item and you should receive it in the condition as described.  Also, I know it is a big decision to send something like this back, as it is so heavy to handle and will cost quite a bit for postage.  Most sellers, even if they agree to accept a return, will not refund the return postage.  But I felt it was worth it rather than spend a huge amount of money for something I was not happy with.  Again, good luck!

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

then check out this web site: http://www.hobartservice.com/Locations/  Or call them at 888-4Hobart.  You can describe your situation and see what advice or help they can offer. 


It is true that you have spent an amount of money that, by almost any home baker's estimate, is large.  It is also true that you have purchased a machine that you knew had been used in a commercial setting.  That's why you only paid 45% of MSRP for a new machine, after all.  (I wonder what they were mixing in that lab...)  You may wind up spending some additional money for parts or repairs (that second speed noise might be worrisome but the rocking could be nothing more than worn feet that can easily be replaced) but you will probably still have a machine that will outlast you at a substantial savings over buying one new.


Once you do some research to know what your options are, and their costs, then you'll be in a good position to decide whether this is a keeper or a stinker.


Best of luck.


Paul


 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I plan to do that after I get a real test of it today. (busy day yesterday, barely got to it). What I did do last night was ask on a 'fixya and other 'help from the experts" website that does have hobart people respond", but I figure talking to a hobart expert will be the best route.


Minor things, like needing to get a new whip/whisk, OK, no problem. Needs new feet? No problem - those are minor, but a bad motor... not so good. From what I've read, it might be a simple fix of tightening a screw.


The ony thing that bugs me is that it was called "great condition". I've bought a lot of used things and great condition means, surface, minor, easy to remedy issues only. Which  the scratched paint is the only thing listed on the ebay auction.


 


I bought my DLX on ebay and paid less than half for the black chrome and it was like new - like it was never touched/used. I've bought fancy strollers that looked like new for 1/3 the cost and so on. Basically, anything that's been used, will get no more than 1/2 the initial cost. And for furniture - maybe 1/5 the initital cost (all the wood furniture in our home is very high end used - henredon).


 


So, that there whisk needs replacing or new feet - OK. I can deal with that. But the noisy 2nd speed should have been disclosed. But, it might be fine. if it hasn't been run for awhile, it just might need to move a bit to redistribute the grease or something. So, I'm not at panic mode yet, but I will be contacting hobart and if they say "$500 repair", it needs to be addressed with the seller as now it's not "great condition".


And I don't think the seller was trying to pull a fast one, just not experienced enough on what she was selling.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Made these youtube videos to show the issues.


 


First the rocking - behaves more like the bottom got warped? (could probably get the front feet suppored easily enough, but it is a problem (rocks on empty load too):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opjeCcP6Rk8


 


How the motor sounds in all three speeds:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T5P1TKJnZ0


 


And showing how the whisk attachment does not slide on and off easily (the paddle attachment does):


 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPmxOjFThf4

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

Hi,


I just looked at your three videos (takes me a long time as I'm still on old-fashioned dial-up and have to download them first and then replay).  As usual, I don't think I have anything too helpful to say except that your "rocking" is different from the "swaying" that I experienced.  It only happened under a load and it was the arms that hold the bowl that swayed back and forth in conjunction with the beater going around.  I really don't know what caused that but I'm thinking that it could be the fact that the bowls were so terribly bent and didn't seat well.  My husband had to actually bend the tabs (don't know really what to call them but what I mean is the little pieces that come out on the sides and fit onto the bowl holders) in an effort to get the one bowl  to work at all.  However, we couldn't get into condition to use it and only one bowl could be affixed to the mixer, although with difficulty.


The noise in second speed wasn't as bad as I expected but I did hear it.  Is it possible just the difference in speeds could have caused this?


As far as the trouble with the whip, I think that could be caused by a problem with the whip and not the mixer, since you mentioned the beater goes on easily.   The agitators for this mixer aren't cheap but not so expensive that it can't be replaced.


Just curious, did you ever consult with Hobart about your problems?  If so, did they give you any idea of prices for repairs?   Even though the one I'm getting is new, I am worried about what it will cost if I need anything done to it in the future, after the warranty is up.


On a lighter note, I just ordered a new kitchen range, one with two ovens on the bottom.  My old one was starting to act up and before it went altogether, I ordered a new one.  In all the 45 years we've been married, a kitchen range never lasted me much more than 13 years, not a good record.  My current one is in its 13th year, so I figured it was time!  And with two ovens, I can really go crazy baking!


I hope it all works out.   Good luck!  Genie

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

You couldn't hear the much louder on 2nd speed and the quieter again on 3rd? 1st and 3rd had the same sounds, 2nd had an added tone/noise.

The problem with the whisk is the whisk, obviously as the paddle slides on and off fine. The unstable bottom is a mystery. Can't figure out how it got unbalanced like that. But those two minor things I could deal with the loud added noise in 2nd sped worries me.

I called Hobart locally and their in store service guy is on vacation until next week. The traveling ones were supposed to give me a call, but haven't yet. I have no idea on repair price or I'd I even need to worry about it.

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

Hi,


I'm sure your video is fine but I can't seem to get the volume up too much on my computer, so that's probably why I didn't think it sounded so loud.  Maybe by tomorrow you'll have some answers.  Have a good night!  Genie

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

no one has any more comments on the videos of what's the problem? Would you call it a problem? No one has an old kitchenaid or hobart to comment? Wah!!!!

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

I've got a KA with the lift bowl - parts are similar to the N50.


looks like the bottom of the stand is either bend or warped.  since it's a casting I'd be not inclined to applying 'force' to straighten it.  perhaps you can get some longer rubber "feet" for the front/back to artificially make it "flat" again? - or, if it's like the feet on my KA - some washers under the "low" feet?


the hub of the whisk is an aluminum casting - aluminum tends to corrode rather easily - especially in the dishwasher - so either the hub is slightly undersized or the corrosion has built up in the bore making it "too tight" 


possible solutions include getting some 1000 grit wet dry sandpaper/emery cloth, wrapped around a small round dowel, and do a "light cleaning" in the bore.  gently, a little at a time & try a refit frequently - remove too much and it'll be too loose....


if that doesn't work, a machine shop could use a slender reamer to clean-up / enlarge the bore - they'll need the machine "on-site" because that's a ream a bit, try it for fit situation as well.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

That's what I figure with the feet too and I can always buy a new whisk (cheaper than trying to repair), but what do you think about the motor sound?

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

on medium speed there's something odd - I presume it's not the paddle vibrating on the bowl?  the pitch sounds like the bowl - either the paddle on the bowl or the bowl vibrating on the pins.  easy to check, remove bowl.....


otherwise could be some wear in the 2nd gearing - all things mechanical do wear and eventually break - and one could expect 2nd gear to get the most use.


for the price paid, it is probably worth getting an overhaul if that turns out to be the case.  the service types can give you an esimate.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

It sounds the same without the bowl and paddle. The sound is completely from the motor.


I did check to see if there was a grease issue, but didn't get far. I opened up the side panel to try to peak in (as I saw referenced on a troubleshooting site) and all I saw was a SUPER coated with grease power knob workings (that knob that turns the speeds - is caked, CAKED with heavy grease). I wonder if it should be? I couldn't see past it to the inside of the machine.


And I can't imagine that getting it overhauled is worth doing. It would cost at least $500 (if not more). That's take me up to $1300 (minimum). For that, I could have gotten an older machine for $300 to $400 and overhauled it for a total of $800 for the machine and the repair.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

After listening to your second speed noise, I think I would try to return it as not in the condition it was represented as. That sounds like a gear noise to me which could be a second speed bearing also. The other high speed setting isn't quiet either. I know you probably don't want to send it back but overhauling this will be expensive. I don't think you got what you paid for.


Eric

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

You're right... it's not quite right either. And, when you stop it, it makes a slight clicking noise. Man... Well, the seller has agreed to take it back and even pay for return shipping.


As I said, I don't think he/she was trying to pull wool over my eyes. It wasn't checked over well enough or they just didn't know how it should sound. I do.


Maybe I'll just get the Globe Sp5. I like it because i can use accessories for it like the KA. I want to start making pasta noodles, and grinding my own meat. Or, I just jus stick with my electrolux, take it for it's limitations and get accessories for it, which I hear are FAR better than the KA accessories. THough, I don't think it does pasta.

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

I should preface this with "...and I don't have any first person experience with Hobart mixers"

"caked" grease is an indication of age and (grease) deterioration.  certainly one could wash out the old grease and replace it with 'fresh grease' - here's the catch to that:  the function of grease/oil/'lubrication' is to prevent metal to metal contact - which causes mechanical wear.  a 'fresh batch' of grease which could/would/can 'flow' into the worn spaces can reduce or mask the noise - but (obviously) fresh grease is not going to mystically "repair" the damage/worn parts.  that damage has been done by inadequate/lack of preventative maintenance somewhere in the history of the mixer. 

the 2nd gear no-load noise on the video is not something I would personally consider "normal."  I'm an engineer, and I worked for the world's largest bearing manufacturer for many years.  not a Hobart experience, just a calibrated seat-of-the-pants opinion.

two possible sources with the noise present under "no load" conditions - gearbox and motor.  the motor will have two bearings - one on each end of the shaft plus potentially a "thrust bearing" to accommodate any axial loading on the motor shaft.  few small electrical motors are designed for bearing (sleeve/ball/roller/thrust) bearing replacement - it's basically "if the motor bearings are shot, replace motor, in-toto."

within the gear box there's a lot of other possibilities - and most probably all of them related to mechanical wear on one part or another - and in view of "caked grease" most probably all related to lack of preventative maintenance.  individual parts inspect/replace entirely possible.

only a good / experienced Hobart service dude could listen to it and make an intelligent guess on what the problem is.  a grizzly ole' service dude can probably listen to it and "know" - whether the grizzly admits it or not - "that's the second pinion gear on the low speed idler shaft" 

I would not recommend taking it to a local "Mr. Fix-it" guy - the odds of such a Mr. Fix-it recognizing "the actual problem / part" is quite low.

Hobart's 'built like a tank' reputation would indicate it's worth fixing.  even tanks wear out.

as for cost, it's like a car.  take a Ford in for a tune up, it's $8 for a spark plug.  take a Mercedes in for a tune up, it's $28 for a spark plug.  there's probably only a few pennies difference (if any) in the cost of the spark plug - the rest depends on the name/brand.

as for returning it - that's an economic / hassle decision - lacking any good info on the "fix cost" - a total unknown.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Thanks so much. I think I'm going to pack it back up and send it back. I bought this one because it said, "great condition" Well, it's not. I could buy a brand new VERY good mixer for this price or less. I don't need to top of the best. Though, I probably bake more than 99% of the population (I do 5-7 loaves of bread a week, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, biscotti, etc - at least one of the other things a week too).


 

Leolady's picture
Leolady

But it is not something I would do without checking with a Hobart shop first about the speed 2 thing.  The other issues you mentioned are to inconsequential to be considered.


It is your dollar......but it does look to be in overall great shape.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Well, yours looked to be in great shape too. And I saw the youtube video for it and that motor purred, but you returned it.


The seller is paying for return shipping. I just don't have time to drive 20 plus miles to have someone look at it without paying some fee for service, just to be told  it's not good. But, I can see if I can get to it on Monday (as he's back from vacation that day - with probably a backlog of stuff).

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

Hi again!


I'm SO glad that you were able to make arrangements with the seller to return it.  I didn't want to push the issue any more, but that's what I believed should have been done from the start.   After reading your experiences, I also believe the seller wasn't trying to "pull the wool over your eyes".  She just wasn't knowledgeable enough to sell the item as it should be described.   I don't think she would have been as agreeable to a refund otherwise. 


Another thought, maybe you should just use your Electrolux for a while so you have time to think about the next step.  I did check into the Globe SP5 when I was considering a heavy duty mixer.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much information to be found, but I did come across a few comments.  Out of those, two people mentioned that it has a problem with overheating, and overheats more so than your average KitchenAid.  One of those people actually returned it because they were very unhappy with it.  I also read that it isn't weighty enough to be stable and "jumped" around the counter with heavy dough.  I have no personal experience with it, so I am just passing this on.


Maybe a new N50 could be in your future if you wait a bit!  After all, you did spend A LOT of money on the used one so you already have quite a bit to put toward a new one.  Just something to think about!


I just received my new N50 today and put it right to the test with one of the heaviest cookie doughs I could find and it plowed right through it like it wasn't even there.  The bowl made the slightest bit of tapping noise because of the way the mixer had to tackle that dough, but nothing like the swaying back and forth the one I sent back did with just a slightly heavy cake batter--and the bowl was creeping up on the holders on that one too.  I would have loved to do a yeast dough and try out the new style spiral hook but it was too late in the day when I got started.  I hope it continues doing well as, so far, I'm pleased!


Even if the mixer you returned turned out to be "okay", I feel you would never have been completely happy with it with all those doubts most likely lingering in the back of your mind.  Good luck in your quest for the perfect mixer!  Genie


P.S.  I had no idea Leolady also bought a mixer she returned.  I guess that makes three of us!

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

really? where did you see/hear that? (about returning a mixer?)


 


I contacted the seller and she really is a sweetheart. She had TWO such mixers. she is going to video that one working (the one she was planning on keeping herself), and if I want, we can swap, or I can get a refund.


If not that, then I'll figure something out.


 


And, I have been waiting, checking for 2 years for a more traditional style mixer, so this wasn't impulse. I first got a KA artisan and I used it once and sold it on craigslist. I had gotten it for such a great price (one of those Amazon deal of the day things) that I got more for it used than what I paid. I couldn't stand the tilt head bowl.


I was then wanting the KA Pro, but then I heard nothing good about it for bread.


 


So, then I thought about getting a smaller commercial one. I was looking more at 10 or 8 quarts initially though, but I don't very often do big batches. But then, one of the reasons I wanted a KA was for the accessories. I would like to grind my own meat. I would like to use the pasta maker and roller. But then I read that KAs meat grinder is inferior to what I could get with the Electrolux, but the electrolux doesn't have the pasta roller.


 


Basically, I can't find everything I want!

dscheidt's picture
dscheidt

So, then I thought about getting a smaller commercial one. I was looking more at 10 or 8 quarts initially though, but I don't very often do big batches. But then, one of the reasons I wanted a KA was for the accessories. I would like to grind my own meat. I would like to use the pasta maker and roller. But then I read that KAs meat grinder is inferior to what I could get with the Electrolux, but the electrolux doesn't have the pasta roller.

The meat grinder on any countertop mixer is inferior to a cheap hand cranked one, and substantially inferior to powered one. That's especially true if you're planning on stuffing sausage.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I know me - hand crank? I won't do it! powered meat grinder? I don't cook enough meat to justify the cost. Maybe I'm dreaming anyway.

Leolady's picture
Leolady

Not me!

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I created the confusion. I read the post you, leolady posted and thought it was from msgenie. Sorry!

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

Hi,


I had to revise this post when I saw the latest answers!  I'm glad the confusion is cleared up as I wouldn't want to be accused of starting rumors!   Incidentally, the motor on mine did "purr" but there were all sorts of other problems with it, especially since it was described as "Just Like New".  Even when I first took it out of the box, I noticed my daughter giving it a disapproving look.


I, also, thought of recommending a dedicated meat grinder for you.  I'm thinking about one even though I also wouldn't use it a lot, as we do love our raw chop meat (a European thing, my mom is from Germany) and rare hamburgers, and the store chop meat isn't that safe anymore, due to e coli issues.  I do have the one from my KA mixer (plastic) but I read that some of the plastic attachments don't hold up well with the N50 because of the power of the motor.  I am going to have to look for it though, thought it was in a box in the basement but now I can't find it, so I think it's possible I put it up in the attic!  I also have a KA grain mill that I picked up at a garage sale for $5.00, can't find that either (after I bought it, I found out that it has caused many a KA mixer to fail, so never used it).  My attic is a disaster because I still have boxes of "stuff" up there that are there since we moved here 22 years ago and it's hard to find anything!


The only thing that's holding me back from getting a meat grinder (did find one on Amazon that is pretty reasonable--a little over $100.00 with good reviews) is that my kitchen has run out of room.  Besides all of my other stuff (two coffeemakers, a coffee grinder, a FoodSaver, and a toaster oven), I now have a KA mixer, a Zojirushi bread machine, and the Hobart N50!  I really believe a kitchen should be functional and to me, that means the appliances (for the most part, anyway) should be left out where they can be used easily.  I do have some put away that I only use once in a while--my blender, an assortment of slow cookers (I keep on picking those up at garage sales as I can't seem to resist them), and a deep fryer.


I agree with you, I don't like the tilt head mixers, either.  But maybe it's because I'm so used to the lift bowl KA that I have had for years.


That is really encouraging that the seller has another mixer she is willing to trade...I wonder how she wound up with two of them, especially with the trouble we have had finding just one!  Well, good luck and I hope the trade will work out well!   Genie


Update!  Just solved the meat grinder problem, found a vintage metal KitchenAid/Hobart meat grinder in the original box on eBay (can't seem to stay away from eBay, no matter what!)  It looks like it wasn't used or hardly used and even has the original instruction sheet, so I bought it.  Since there is no plastic, it should work fine with my N50!

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

My seller is too trusting.... She just sent me a full refund for the mixer and I haven't returned it yet (am waiting for her video of the other mixer she has to see if we want to do a swap of the two machines). I'm glad for me, so it doesn't hit my CC when I can't even use this machine, BUT... that's dangerous for HER to do! I'm good for it, of course, and will send back the mixer, but not all people are that honest.


Genie - Yay on the meat grinder!


 


Update: she sent it because she saw the other machine has issues, so she sent the refund. She's taking them to Hobart to service and will relist them. Now, back to my quest... maybe I'll just skip it until after the holdays - my guess prices will go up as people are thinking now about baking more than most other times of the year.

msgenie516's picture
msgenie516

It is hard to believe that you were SO lucky to find such an honest seller!  And she is lucky to have such an honest buyer!


There is another side to this, it could be that people are spending so much for their holiday shopping that they may not buy a mixer for themselves right now and do with what they have.  Maybe you should look for her relisted ones and see how they go, especially since you know they are being taken to Hobart for service.


I hope the meat grinder works out because now I'm thinking it's possible that using it on my N50 might scratch the finish on the hub.  I've contacted Hobart with this question (waiting for a reply), so we'll see what they say.  Hope I didn't act too quickly in buying it.  If nothing else, I'll be the owner of an antique KitchenAid/Hobart made meat grinder!


Hope it all works out!  Genie