The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Hobart A-120 Restoration

Lampi's picture

Hobart A-120 Restoration

Hi all,

New to this forum ans wanted to share what I'm working on right now.

I've been baking bread for about 2 years and had no problem working it by hands. I used to make whole wheat sourdough and stuff, but I can't eat gluten/dairy/... anymore because I have an autoimmune disease (AS) and it puts me in huge pain every time I do.

Sourdough breads

Therefore, I began my journey in the land of gluten free baking! I must admit it wasn't easy and there were many fails, but I can now bake very good and fluffy breads. So good in fact that people wants to buy from me!

So I though a little mixing help would come handy and I plunged and bought this used Hobart A-120 for 500$ CAD on December 8 (I new I would burn a kitchen-aid fast and wanted something that would last me a lifetime since I'm only 22). I saw it before buying and the motor runs fine as well as the gears 

Now comes the fun part of restoring it :)


You can see it is in pretty bad shape in terms of paint and rust and needs a bit of love!

Lampi's picture

Lampi's picture

Lampi's picture

This is what the motor look like. It's very dirt and coated in flour. I even found a pecan nut inside it! I'll call an electric motor shop to see if cleaning it is in my budget (yeah full time student here!)

Lampi's picture




Mike brittain's picture
Mike brittain


please can you tell me how to remove the Head of the A120 mixer from the stand I see 2 bolts in the front and two at the back that are not bolts something else how do I undo these hope you can help 

thanks Mike 

dsmithnc's picture

Looks great can't wait to see the finished product.



barryvabeach's picture

Very impressive work on the rehab

fotomat1's picture

Repack gearbox with as much grease as possible and be sure to use food grade such as

Looking forward to see the finished product!!

Lampi's picture

Today, I painted two more pieces with the final coat of blue and started to put the rotor back in place with the back cover.

The grease I found is Jet-Lube's White Lithium. It's food safe and for extreme conditions and is supposed to match the original Hobart grease (marfak mp2) according to the lube company I visited. I got 3x 14 oz. tubes and I think the gearbox takes about 30-35 oz.


Cost for the grease was 24$, let's just say I saved a few pennies than If I had bought it from Hobart.

What I'm not sure is if I can use it in the planetary. I was told it needed an extreme pressure grease and the one in the tech manual is not available anymore. I was told to use moly 29 but I can't seem to find it.

The planetary parts :


The planetary oil seal (in bad shape, needs to be replaced) :


Not sure what Kondu means (was covered in paint, I just discovered it) :

A bit of fresh grease for that bearing :

My super duper lube :





MonkeyDaddy's picture

by the amount and quality of the work you have completed.  When I was a full time student I didn't even have time to breathe, let alone bake.  Congratulations to you!  I will be eagerly following your progress.

Lampi's picture




Lampi's picture

Today I called the electric's motor-shop and asked if they could clean it a bit. By the pictures I sent them, they told me it was too old (40-50 years) to clean without damaging the cables. This means they would have to completely rewind it and it would have cost over 650$ CAD. God news is that these kind of motors are way much stronger than what we have now so I might be able to run it for a long time without problem.

I assembled everything together and cleaned the old grease from the gears before putting them back in. The grease was badly separated as you can see in the pictures.

There was a few retaining nuts missing but else it was ok. 

I did a test run and all three speeds runs. The clutch is smooth and I have no problem changing speed.

I have a problem tho. When the mixer is in first gear, there's a clicking noise. It doesn't do this in 2nd or 3rd. I captured a video and will upload it so you can see for yourselves. Any idea what's causing this?

Finally, I'm waiting for my friend to weld a new stainless steel bowl from another company to the Hobart's support spacings. I gave him the old steel bowl and the new one as well as the mixer's U shaped support. I'll paint it when I get it back.

I hope I won't have to replace any gear because I found out I have the very original style worm gear (out of 3 versions) and there's no part available for it anymore. The transmission I have is the Diving Key Style and the new type is a roller clutch style. If I have to change something I will need to be very careful to get the right pressure angle on the new gear. The old are 14.5 degree compared to 20 degree for the newer. 

Lampi's picture

Hobart mixer a120 12 qt gear noise after rebuilt

ConfettiBakes's picture

Extremely impressive, great work

ConfettiBakes's picture

Extremely impressive, great work

Adammac's picture

Great work, I'm looking at buying a 120 this week. From the picture it looks very rough but I love this sort of project and the seller is only looking for €120. Any advice for what to look for before buying?

Camarie's picture

Ebay has lots of them for sale!! In fact, they are selling N50 mixers by the boatload!! Couldn't get a used N50, so I grabbed the next best thing; the KA Model G. Heavy as a bastard though!!

clearlyanidiot's picture

Impressive restoration. For my A200 I just cleaned the grease out, replaced a couple seals, filled it back up with NSF approved food grade grease and that was about it. 

Pack as much grease as you can in the transmission without overfilling it. If you put too much in than you can end up with a bit coming out the top of the shafts. 

You listed CAD, so I'm assuming you're also in Canada. If you take the old seals you need to replace to any industrial supplier that handles bearings they should be able to help you. 

I had a motor rebuilt (not the A200, but a comparable Toledo mixer) For $100. The guy explained that the way old motors were wired meant that for a given wattage they actually had more torque than a modern motor. Often the best thing to is just run them. Unless a bearing goes or a winding has an insulation fault and shorts out they typically run a long time.




Check that the bolts that hold the top casting to the bow-lift and legs are all there (Mine was missing 2 on purchase)

Check for leaking oil from the head and gear change. 

Hear it run if you can. Test all 3 speeds work (Make sure that they are all different speeds) and sound smooth.

Make sure it runs off the power you have at home, some mixers use a different voltage or are 3phase.

Check the bowl for deep dints that could interfere with a paddle or other attachment. Check the fit of the bowl and that it locks securely.

Attach the bowl and lift it up to test the mechanism and fit.

Look at the electrical cord, is it cracked or otherwise damaged.  

Look for any missing nuts and bolt I didn't mention. 

Look for cracks in any castings. This may be hard to see with the scrapes, but trust me it can happen.

Check the tabs on the bowls are secure. 

Basically check anything that could be broken and need to be fixed to use the machine. Having said that these are really durable machines and with some work It'll last you a lifetime.

Lampi's picture

I suggest you bring a flashlight with you when you go see the mixer. Also, don't go with the mindset that you'll buy it. You want to make sure it's in great condition, else it will cost a lot to change pieces inside it.

If you can bring a batch of bread to mix it would be ideal. Seeing the mixing action under load will let you know if the gears are ok or not.

Run it in 1st, 2nd and 3rd and not just for a few seconds, take your time and walk around it while it does its thing. Listen close to the planetary, the transmission and the motor for any noise that shouldn't be there.

Check the bowl support for wear and cracks that may indicate overloaded use.

You can see in my pictures that on the back of the mixer their's a rectangular metal plate. You can take it off with a screw driver and look at the motor. Same if you take the top cover off.

Make yourself at home and look inside it, even if the seller think you're strange ahah!

Seems to me this is the first gen too, so no timer and probably the diving key style clutch which no longer exist and therefore pieces are harder to get.

Look if there is oil leaking. This would mean the grease as separated and needs replacement.

From my experience, expect to put between 100$ to 300$ in paint and new grease/bearing/seal.




Adammac's picture

Thanks for the advice, I have an old a200 as well (that's out of service) do you know if they share parts with the 120? 

Lampi's picture

I think some of the parts can be shared but I'm not an expert on that level. The model and the gear's variations might affect that.

You'll have to figure out what can be done yourself!

Lampi's picture

So I finished the mixer last week.

I was able to solve the clicking noise I had on first gear. After taking the transmission cover off, I found I placed a spacer on the wrong axis. I took the time to change some bearings too, since I had to buy new ones for the planetary and change the grease seal.

I had a second stainless steel bowl my friend had to weld, 'cause it wasn't from Hobart and the holes were not at the same angle, but it was too thin to be made and it resulted in a mess. I bought a new one and the cheapest I could find was in the US for 120$ or 300$ CAD with shipping and astronomic exchange rates.

Can't wait to receive it, since the steel bowl I have is leaking a bit if I start the yeast in the mixer with the water.

I made a small video of the mixing action I might post if I find the time (new semester yeah! -__-)


Camarie's picture

WOW, just WOW!! Looks fantastic & brand spanking new!! You gave it a new lease on life!!!!

bread1965's picture

You've got patience and skill.. Well done!


Camarie's picture

Especially for restoring & painting a big monster like THAT!! What did you use to get that big monster in the house? And I hope that you're able to find a permanent home for it. After all, you wouldn't want to be carrying it to a table when you're ready to use it!!

My KA Commercial Model G is heavy enough! I plan to get a separate cart on wheels for it so that I don't have to carry it or even move it around. Just the cart itself with the mixer on it.

But it's so good to see people buying up these heavyweight Hobart machines & restoring & repainting them, giving them a new lease on life & making them look brand spanking new again!! I find it to be a great hobby for me!!

Old Faithful's picture
Old Faithful

Just wanted to say yours is THE post that inspired me to join this site. This machine is a nice size for a household. Been making my own bread from flour I grind myself for almost 2 years now and just graduated to a 20qt machine that I got broken down for a pittance and just finished repairing. The difference in dough quality from my "Professional" KA is like night and day, and I can finally make bread for everyone in my family without a sweat :-)

Another thing - if you're gluten sensitive it could well be that you're round-up intolerant instead, depending on where your flour comes from it could come from round-up killed wheat. I'm just saying because I have a friend who solved his problem by switching from Wheat to Organic Spelt (Épautre).

Happy 2020!

Bravobaker76's picture

Just wondering, would you know how to adjust the beater to bowl clearance? I have an a120 and the beater hits the bowl. I dont know how to adjust it

Benchickin's picture

Lampi thank you for the great post and pics!  I have an A-120 Hobart Mixer much like yours. A rodent moved in over winter and decided to chew on some of the motor stator wires. I would like to pull off the rear motor housing cover and am having difficulty. I noticed in one of your pictures that the motor rotor all the way up to the worm gear was all complete and 'up-ended' in the rear cover bearing?. In your experience could the rear cover be removed without pulling the motor rotor and worm gear out along with it?.

Thanks, --Ben