In the food services industry, you never know what you’ll run into. Standard tradespeople avoid working on restaurant equipment. Those few specialty service companies have huge service fees (the local branch of a national company bills $174 for the first ½ hour, $104/hr after that, invoiced in ¼ hour increments).
Specifications are always changing, equipment gets handed down through subsequent owners with no service manuals, identifying plates are obliterated by heat and abrasion and cleaning agents. At death, you’re left with a hulk of smoldering stainless steel, a few greasy bent knobs, and frantic kitchen staff winging it with other equipment. The restaurant owner, upon seeing just the material cost of new components (which will not mate up with his existing components), asks hopefully, Can it be repaired?
When the original manufacturer went out of business, they politely left behind a zero-database for others to maintain their commercial kitchen equipment. A Bricks-N-Mortar shop promised OEM replacement parts. But the Infrared Element for Brian’s essential cheese melter came in a wee bit on the big side. The appliance’s I/R element mounting shelf will require discrete modification.
My metal nipper is lent to the big church job up the street. Grinder with thin cut-off wheel? Mmmmm, maybe too much dust. I’m thinking jigsaw. Lowes has the blades. And would’dga lookit that! Made in USA, both the Lexox and the DeWalt.
Most of the small blades seem to be USA origin, or USA/Swiss with global components. A few packs of Asian remain, but their reputation seems entrenched: they are cheap and burn out far too quickly.
I went with a 5-pack of 24 t.p.i. Lenox over two 2-packs of the Dewalt in 18 tpi and 24 tpi, figuring 18 teeth per inch is more than I want for thin metal. Two blades later, I’m back to fitting the I/R burner into place. In short order, Brian’s cheese melter, mounted above his main grill, is again toasting meatball mozzarella grinders and nachos. Yummm!