A New Ironer


Our ironer that we use to press the napkins died. Originally, I did some searching on ebay for “Mangle” and came across a model known as an “Ironrite Ironer”. There was one being sold in Phoenix which was going to be a bit of a haul to pick up. 🙂 I decided to check the Sacramento Bee classifieds. There wasn’t anything there which wasn’t too surprising. My avenue of last resort was to check the PennySaver. I called about it and got a call back a day later. The lady made sure that I knew exactly what the ironer was. Apparently she had gotten quite a few calls about it with people calling not knowing a thing about it.

This Wednesday was our “date night”. What better way to spend it then looking for a new iron? 🙂 The owner lived in south Sacramento so we started the long trek across town. Luckily, traffic wasn’t too bad so we made it in somewhat decent time. There it was, an Ironrite Ironer Model 85… She had it stored in a shed outside of her trailer home and it looked to be in decent shape despite being dirty as sin, and had some rust in spots. It powered up and looked like it would be usable. The one worry was that it was unable to feed a napkin through. I suspected it was because there was some rust on the shoe and in need of a new muslin. Regardless, we decided to take it. Unfortunately, we had gushed on and on about how useful this was going to be for us so when Amy tried to bargain, it ended up being a feeble attempt. As such, the lady held firm with her price.

We lifted it into the Durango and unfortunately it was too tall so we had to lay it flat. About 20 minutes into the drive home we thought about such trivialities as “oil” that might leak. Oh well, at that point what was done was done. On our date, we were originally planning on going to dinner in downtown Sacramento. I felt that it was still important to do so, so we did. When we finally got home, I unloaded the ironer and left it on the porch until morning.

The first thing I did when I got up was hop on the Internet and look for information about the iron and servicing it. The first site I found had a lot of information on irons in general and it had an email address. I emailed “Frank” and outlined my plan of attack to clean things up and asked a few questions. I got an amazingly quick response with great information. Armed with newfound knowledge and confidence I set about to clean the ironer up. The amount of dirt upon the thing was amazing but it came apart very well and was able to be thoroughly scrubbed. Barb was here and set out making a couple of new muslin covers. After a few hours of work spread throughout the day, we had a new working ironer.

This thing cranks out the napkins. I haven’t been brave enough to actually try ironing shirts or my gi (karate) yet. It’s much faster than our old ironer and we think it does a better job. I find it fascinating what can be done with the Internet. There is even a site dedicated to Ironrite ironers and they even sell replacement parts for it. Without the Internet, we would have been stuck ironing with a standard iron and that would have eventually forced us to use a napkin service with lame polyester napkins. The linen napkins that Amy uses add a lot of charm to the tea room and it’s yet another touch that the customers really love.

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Patrick Lawrence
By Patrick Lawrence

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