Disassembling a Sunbeam CG / CG-1 Waffle Baker & Grill

The Sunbeam CG and CG-1, made in the late 1950s are simple and ruggedly built appliances.

I tried to find repair and disassembly information on the internet, but could not, so hopefully this will help some.

Things you can do with simple hand tools and a little care are: clean the temperature indicator, replace the light bulb, install a new power cord, rewire the unit, and fix a unit that isn't heating properly, or maybe not working at all.

Before you do anything - UNPLUG IT.


Lower Element Plate Parts

After removing the waffle grids or grill plates, the first part to remove is the control knob.

Use an allen wrench to loosen the set screw on the knob and remove

Next remove the 4 screws (2 on each) that attach the handles.

Then remove the two 11/32" nuts at the hinge end, and push out the bolts. If you don't have the right size socket, a small adjustable wrench, or careful use of pliers should do.
If the bolts don't pull right out, use a screwdriver and turn counterclockwise.

With the screws and nuts removed carefully lift the element plate at the hinge end. You may need to gently pry it up with a small screwdriver if it is stuck.

When the plate is above the lower body, slide it backwards, being careful not to let the control knob shaft get stuck, until the thermostat control shaft is clear of the lower housing.

Underside of Lower Element

Lift up the lower element and remove the wire leads indicated. These are the main electric wires to the lower element. If it doesn't pull right off, gently wiggle the lead end while pulling back on it.

Now the lower element plate can be removed.

Temperature Lens Cleaning

With the lower element plate out, a number of repairs or cleaning needs can be done.

The temperature lens can be cleaned while in the unit, or remove the two screws to take it out for cleaning.

Bulb Replacement

The light bulb can be accessed on the underside of the lower element plate

Slide back the bulb contact insulator and the bulb can be removed from its socket and replaced if needed.

Thermostat Related Problems and Cleaning

The thermostat mechanism is very simple and made of beefy parts. There are no electronics or computer chips to fail.

Problems can be diagnosed and fixed pretty easily if you know how it works.

Your unit may have the thermostat screwed in, which is easy to remove, or riveted, which requires the rivets to be drilled out. If you had to drill them out, the thermostat could be reinstalled just using some nuts and bolts.

Fortunately, you can clean the thermostat without removing it from the heating element plate.

The thermostat consists of metal pieces that expand and shrink as they heat and cool. This is attached to a piece of spring steel with an electrical contact on it.

When you turn the knob on, it moves the thermostat assembly so that the contacts engage creating a circuit and electrifying the heating coils.

As the unit heats up, the metal in the thermostat expands. As it expands it starts loosening the tension against the spring steel contact until the contacts separate/open, and the electricity flow stops. This is when the light goes out on the front.

As the unit cools down, the thermostat metal shrinks pulling the contacts together, starting the unit to heat again, and turning the light on.

What can go wrong?

Since the contacts are open when the unit is not used, many decades of moist air can cause oxidation to build up on the contacts.

If this happens, it can cause the unit to not turn on at all, to work intermittently, or to heat up initially, but not reheat as it cools.

These problems all can be fixed by cleaning the contacts so they get a solid connection.

First, rotate the temperature control shaft counter clockwise (slide the control knob on to make it easier) until you see the contacts separate.

The contacts can be cleaned with a spray oxidation remover, such as Deoxit, which is not inexpensive, but can also be used on other things. An alternative is white vinegar. Dampen a 1/2" strip of paper towel or thin cloth and slide it between the contacts, so it touches both upper and lower contacts. Let it stay there for about 10 minutes or so. Then slide it back and forth over the contacts and see if the towel look dirty. Repeat until it comes off clean.

If the contacts are really oxidized you may need to use a fine Scotch pad or very fine (600 grit or so) sandpaper to remove the oxidation and polish the contacts.

Be careful not to force the contacts apart much or it could bend the attached metal strips and alter how it works. Be sure to clean any residue off the contacts.

Reassemble the unit, and plug in to see if it is fixed. If you used the contact cleaner and it still doesn't work, you may need to UNPLUG it, open it up again and use the Scotchpad or sandpaper.

Control knob alignment - Prior to reassembly, the control knob shaft needs to be adjusted so the knob will be at zero when the unit is off. Take a look at Thermostat Contacts to see if they are open or closed. You want the contacts to be just past opening (able to see light between them from the side) Place control knob on shaft, without tightening. Turning the knob clockwise closes the contacts, counter-clockwise opens them. Rotate the knob so the contacts are just closed, then counter-clockwise so you can see light between them. It is in roughly the right place for reassembly.

If you are careful, you don't need to totally reassemble to test. Just reattach the two electrical leads underneath, slide the lower heating element back in the case, slide on, but do not tighten, the control knob, plug it in, rotate the control knob, plug it in and see if it works, or works correctly if it had been intermittent.

If it still doesn't work, UNPLUG, and try cleaning the contacts some more.

If it's working properly, put in handles with screws, nuts and bolts, and the knob. Put them all in loosely until you have all the screws and nuts started, then tighten them up. That way you won't have to unscrew everything if the last one doesn't go in. Just tighten them to "snug" plus a little. You don't want to overtighten.

Adjusting the control knob and turn on point

Prior to reassembly, you should have done the rough setting for the control know described in the box above.

Plug in. The unit should be off when the control knob is at zero, and turn on somewhere between 0 and 1. If yours is not doing this after reassembly. If the knob is at zero and the unit turns on when plugged in, remove knob, place so pointer is about 3 and turn knob clockwise to about 3 - 1/2. If light goes out, take knob off and put it back on so pointer is at zero.

If unit does not turn on until pointer is passed "1", remove knob, place at "3" and turn counter-clockwise to about 2 1/2, remove knob, then place knob so pointer is at zero. Repeat as needed.

Then tighten allen screw on knob.

Power Cord Attachment

On the underside of the unit is the power cord junction.

Remove the two screws to replace a power cord or begin rewiring the unit.

The power cord is attached to the waffle makers wiring with two crimp connectors.

Upper Element Disassembly

Of course you have UNPLUGGED the unit.

Remove two screws, two nuts, and two bolts.

Lift element from handle end.

Underside of Upper Element

When reassembling the upper element, you will want to have a magnet tipped screwdriver, or some type of magnet, because chances are at least one of screws will slide into the space between the upper element and body.

If this happens, just tilt the unit so the screw is visible in the space where it slid through and use the magnet to retrieve it.


By this point, you will know if you have the skill to rewire the unit if it needs it.

please email us with comments, suggestions, or if you have sources of parts for the units