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Balancier Problems


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#1 pwyll

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 05:00 PM

I have just received a balancier from Absinthe Devil and am sorely disappointed. After fiddling with the side supports for about 10 minutes it finally rocks (the sides seemed to be pinching the balancer and it would not rock at all on receipt) to the point that the action seems to last throughout *most* of the capacity, but after 30 minutes of scrubbing with a toothbrush and white toothpaste I cannot put a dint in the green corrosion on the outside of the funnel or the black gunk in the "ring" inside the reservoir.

I'm not used to seeing green tarnish on silver, but I don't "do" silver plate, so I don't know if this is unusual or not, but the toothbrush is too big to fit between the funnel and the rocker so it's very difficult to get a good scrub on. I can get it well with the tip of the brush, but have not been able to lessen the amount of tarnish at all.

The black gunk inside the depressed ring in the reservoir looks more like the tarnish I am used too, and scrubbing (with or without toothpaste) loosens it enough that the rinse water turns black--but after a half hour it is still just as prominent; it seems to be breeding while I scrub :blink:

It was also coated in what seems to be release powder of some kind, which I can't seem to remove entirely, and what's left gives it a bizarre appearance, like someone someone changed his mind half-way through varnishing and then tried to rinse it off, clouding what was there and leaving a mottled, "acidy" finish over three-quarters of the outside. It came packaged in what was obviously the manufacturer's box, so I know no one at AD could have seen it before shipping--I'm just wondering how, if possible, I can get it to a usable condition.

The spoon I received also had a divot stamped out of the side of the handle which *was* visible through the clear plastic sleeve in which it was packaged. I would normally accept this as simply a manufacturing defect (it is just stamped-out sheet metal, after all) but it falls right were my thumb goes and is very distracting, so I will contact them to see how common this is in the Lautrec model (it's not in the on-site image) but since they really had no control over the balancier issue I'd like to resolve it myself if I can.


Thanks,

Scott

#2 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:08 PM

If you can get ahold of hdtv00, he could probably get you a new balancier and your money back.

Seriously though, if you send good clear photos of the defects along with a polite letter explaining the problems, Brian will probably make sure you're satisfied.

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#3 eric

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:09 PM

I recommend contacting the vendor. They will probably be happy to send a replacement order.

Well it looks like Gwydion beat me to the punch.

Edited by eric, 18 February 2010 - 07:10 PM.

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#4 Butch Onufrak

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 07:17 PM

If you can get ahold of hdtv00, he could probably get you a new balancier and your money back.


Damn that was a good one!!

#5 pwyll

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:29 PM

If you can get ahold of hdtv00, he could probably get you a new balancier and your money back.


Yeah, but then I'd probably have to actually associate with him.

Actually, I'd just read that thread a couple days ago and that's what made me nervous to post about any problems here--"fresh wounds" and what-not. But the fact is that I'm just trying to find out if there's a way to clean these areas that I'm missing and I'm still foolish enough to trust in my communication skills to be able to sort out most misunderstandings that may arise.

One of my hobbies is restoring old coffee equipment (can't afford the stuff that's already in good shape) so I am fairly versed in the ways of tarnish and tight spots as far as aluminum, steel and chrome. But that doesn't mean there's not some trick to silver plate that I'm missing.

Seriously though, if you send good clear photos of the defects along with a polite letter explaining the problems, Brian will probably make sure you're satisfied.


I've no doubt of that--a good part of the reason I order from AD was the sterling reputation on these boards of fixing problems. But the brouilleur issue seems to be one of age, so even if I do go to the trouble and expense of shipping it back in order to have them go to the trouble and expense of shipping me a new one it's likely that either A] the next one off the shelf might well be in the same shape and so we're back to this point again and/or B] it arrives in pristine condition but I am unable to clean it as it ages. Neither is a desirable outcome to me.

If I can figure out/learn how to clean this one then everything's peachy right now :thumbup:
If I can't, then I'd rather just return it for "store credit" and get some things at which I am not incompetent to care for ;)


Scott

#6 pwyll

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 08:51 PM

I recommend contacting the vendor. They will probably be happy to send a replacement order.

Well it looks like Gwydion beat me to the punch.


My initial problem with that is that while it was surprising and disappointing to find this on a new item, it is not uncommon at all with the "vintage" items I usually obtain. I feel I should be able to clean it myself and, thus, resolve the issue without resorting to "this isn't what I expected, send me another one :tantrumstomp:" On the other hand, if I can't clean *this* one, I'm probably too incompetent to deal with a replacement unit anyway and should most likely exchange rather than replace.

I just wanted to see if there were any other options *before* acting like a spoiled child :)

#7 Nonmouse

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 09:41 PM

That's just crazy talk.

Go straight for the tantrum.
I don't have pet peeves; I have major psychotic fucking hatreds. Geo. DP Carlin

#8 Jonathan D.

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:07 PM

I think I used Mother's Billet Polish on mine that I have around for the deep dish rims on the M3. Sparkles real purdy afterwards :cheers:

#9 pwyll

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:24 AM

How do you get it out of the crevice, where the reservoir and funnel connect, on the inside of the unit? Or is the Billet polish more "ingestion-friendly" than the Mag and Aluminum polish? I was tempted to use the Mag polish, since I have it for bringing old moka pots back to life, but they're mostly flat and easy to wipe whereas the joint at the bottom of the balancier is 1/8 inch wide by 1/8 inch deep and rolls under. It takes a toothbrush and running water to get suds out of it. There's no way I could guarantee to get the Mag polish out, even if I could figure out a way to actually polish it once I got it in there.

I probably just need to find my Tarn-X and see if Silver Plate is one of the new list of things you're not supposed to use it on, and if it's safe just soak it in that for a while...

Or just break down and see about an exchange/replacement...


Scott

#10 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 12:38 AM

I don't have one of these, but it sounds like you need something smaller than a toothbrush. I have some inky dinky miniature bottle brushes that would probably help. Now I just have to remember where I got them from. :unsure:

Try sources that might make sense like this. There's gotta be a way!
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#11 pwyll

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 01:39 AM

I don't have one of these, but it sounds like you need something smaller than a toothbrush. I have some inky dinky miniature bottle brushes that would probably help. Now I just have to remember where I got them from. :unsure:

Try sources that might make sense like this. There's gotta be a way!


Something like this? There's nothing like that around here, and the problem with getting anything mail-order would be that it would take too long to find out if it worked, such that *I* would be leery of someone contacting me two weeks after receipt and saying "I had this problem as soon as I got it." :-/

On the other hand, I might be able to get one of those pointy things that look like a cross between a toothbrush and a toothpick... Have to stop by the store as soon as I get off work, now :-)


Scott


EDIT:

If you can get ahold of hdtv00, he could probably get you a new balancier and your money back.


Yeah. And I can't believe I wasted my 25th post on this...

;)

Edited by pwyll, 19 February 2010 - 01:43 AM.


#12 pwyll

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 05:16 AM

Ah well, it's been more than an hour and I'm still a noob, so I'll just have to post instead of edit...

This thread has become moot. When I got home this morning I studied the device closer so I could try to ascertain what size brush I would actually need to try to get into all the nooks and crannies, and I noticed a hairline crack on one of the rocker "spouts". In trying to see if it was actually a crack in the underlying metal or simply a flaw in the plating, I happened to notice on the inside of a couple of the legs, between the balance and the dripper funnel, there are spots where the plating looks as if it were chipped off. It is simply a very poor plating job, as if it was removed from the bath too soon.

I don't know if the odd corrosion is actually the brass underneath corroding *through* the thinner plating or some sort of galvanic process like a brass version of red plague, but my issues are with a simple manufacturing fault of the type that occasionally happens in mass manufacture; one that I cannot fix at home.

And so I am off to write an email and upload some pictures to arrange a return and exchange--and this thread can suffer a quiet, peaceful, early demise...


Thanks, all, for the advice and help. I'm sure it will come in handy some day :wave2:

Scott

#13 Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 06:00 AM

Eeer, reading what you said, my advice would be to look at the base of the cup and see if it says "Oxygenee Cusenier" instead of "absinthe" :p Cause your thing definitely sounds vintage :)

Otherwise, the SSB (see-saw brouilleur) is usually a good product, but it can have (and it's pretty rare) defects in plating.

Would you have a picture of your defects, and your brouille ?
(and on a side note, for silver plated products like this one, use a specific silver care product, does pretty good job)
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#14 pwyll

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 07:07 AM

Eeer, reading what you said, my advice would be to look at the base of the cup and see if it says "Oxygenee Cusenier" instead of "absinthe" :p Cause your thing definitely sounds vintage :)


Nope, just "ABSINTHE" three times, with stars betwixt them...

Otherwise, the SSB (see-saw brouilleur) is usually a good product, but it can have (and it's pretty rare) defects in plating.


Yep, this situation is obviously rare on the face of it. If this was the condition in which they normally arrived there would be complaints posted all over these here intarwebz. If there's one thing the web-people are good at, it's collecting and concentrating :poop:

Would you have a picture of your defects, and your brouille ?
(and on a side note, for silver plated products like this one, use a specific silver care product, does pretty good job)


Why yes, yes I have. I've just finished cropping and resizing them (from 5 meg each) for to make it easier to attach to email. In fact, I was coming back to this thread to cull the salient points from my posts (because I'm too lazy to type it all again) to compose the email for their accompaniment to Absinthe Devil. I'd thought about attaching them to a post here, to make it easier to illustrate that about which I was talking, but I decided that, 1) that level of detail is really only relevant to Brian, and 2) it would be too easy to download them and use them out of context. I can't imagine *why* anyone would do that, but, well, you remember my statement about web-people and :poop:, right?


Scott

#15 pwyll

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 09:10 AM

Wow, Brian sure is fast. Everything is taken care of--my only problem now is worry that he, perhaps, bends over backwards a bit too far in his quest for customer satisfaction.

While the details are nobody else's business, I will say this much: At the end of the day I don't want to feel ripped off, and I don't want to feel like I've ripped anyone else off. Right now I'm feeling awfully close to the latter...

:huh:


Scott

#16 AiO

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 05:31 AM

That sounds like Brian. Any time anyone posting here (myself included) has had an issue with an Absinthe Devil product, he makes it right. Fast.
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot" -- Charlie Chaplin

#17 Nonmouse

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 07:47 PM

Well, even though you stated you wanted this to die a quiet, unlamented death, I have to respond to your earlier cleaning concerns-

FFS! HAVEN'T YOU HEARD OF PIPE CLEANERS?

Okay, I feel much better nao.(sic)

Seriously, though- pipe cleaners are (were) what you need to clean narrow, curving crevices like that (other things are needed for narrow, curving crevices unlike that). You can bend them to fit, they come in different sizes and they're cheap enough you don't have to worry about cleaning them- they're disposable.
I don't have pet peeves; I have major psychotic fucking hatreds. Geo. DP Carlin

#18 OMG_Bill

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 07:53 PM

Plus you can make dandy little stick figures when you get bored. *smile*
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#19 Absomphe

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:06 PM

That's what he/she said? :unsure:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#20 pwyll

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:18 PM

...
FFS! HAVEN'T YOU HEARD OF PIPE CLEANERS?
...
Seriously, though- pipe cleaners are (were) what you need to clean narrow, curving crevices like that ...


Yes. Unfortunately, all I have are too flexible to get enough pressure to clean the part of the balancier for which they would be appropriate. Perhaps the four different types of pipe cleaners I have do not constitute an appropriately wide array of potentialities >shrug<

I did mention that I'm quite familiar with cleaning vintage equipment. While the coffee paraphernalia is the only similarly-finished equipment, playing around with brewing and electronics gives me a wide variety of "utensils" from which to choose--so I have also hear of cotton swabs, foam-tipped cleaning sticks and an air-compressor hooked up to an airbrush to make a sort of mini-power washer as well.

:)


Scott


BTW-- What does Fred's Sake have to do with pipe cleaners? Or does "ffs" mean something other than "for Fred's Sake"?

;)

#21 Jack Griffin

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 06:07 AM

I got an auto-verseur/balancier from Jen at Absinthe-shop.com and it wasn't working quite right.
I fiddled around with the wires, cup angle, etc for a few days, it would work briefly but erratically, then only do one side, then nothing. More fidgeting, worked briefly again, but moved very slowly. I think it was soldered together wrong enough that flexing, bending and tweaking just wouldn't work. I let Jen know, and despite international shipping fees, a new one went right out no questions asked. It works perfectly. They didn't even want the old one back, as it would have added to fuss and expense.

Great customer service Jen, you were ALWAYS right there and available. I wish you well in this new business, and I urge all you WS nut-jobs, gentlemen and poet/mad-scientists to support her!

-Scott

Edited by sbmac, 23 February 2010 - 06:08 AM.


#22 Ron

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 08:02 AM

I think all of the recommended vendors of the WS have attained that status due in large part to their reliability and their exceptional customer service. It's great that your situation was handled with that kind of attention and that it was resolved entirely to your liking.

And Jen is good people.
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Sometimes bad just gets so bad that it breaks thru to the other side and becomes good. - Phoenix


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