Where do I find a replacement for a (rare?) 1957 Crane sink?
Here's a picture of it that I took a few minutes ago:
Eleven days ago, a plumber broke the porcelain drain component of my only
bathroom's Crane sink (yes, we've been without a sink for that long and will
probably be without one for several more weeks!).
It and the vanity are somewhat custom configured (for example, the sink
overhangs -- and is somewhat cut into -- the front of the vanity), so the
plumber wanted to charge my wife $1,100 to fix the problem. After I called
him, he was willing to use his insurance, but both of us would like to find
a win-win scenario if possible. To avoid expensive (and less attractive)
vanity work, we would like to locate a replacement sink. How could we do
Markings are as follows:
July 19, 1957
PACIE/C (the "IE" is a bit difficult to read)
77 (this is stamped all by itself)
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
e - m a i l a d d r e s s
i s d b m at e x e c p c . c o m
You're in for a tough hunt.
Maybe start here:
Call some of the listings and ask if they have resources they
can call upon to help with the search.
You are correct -- it is a tough hunt! I followed the link that you gave
me, but most of them don't directly deal with Crane sinks. I sent one
dealer an email message, but I am running out of ideas. Milwaukee's yellow
pages lists only one used plumbing supply dealer and I didn't see anything
close to plumbing under salvage.
I tried to search under Crane and found a "Crane Plumbing" and although
their logo looked familiar, I'm not sure that they are the same company (I
thought that they went out of business or stopped making sinks in the 70's).
I hope that my plumber has better luck than me, I had to tell him that the
sink was made by Crane!
Anyway, thanks for your help.
I would love to be able to put in a regular sink, but to do that, I would
1. Replace the vanity top.
2. Fix or replace the vanity that was cut on the front to hold the extended
3. Worry about the custom sized vanity (it's a relatively small space that
extends out and beyond the corner).
4. Worry about removing the vanity without breaking the tile wall.
5. Worry if the mirror will fall down (some of its weight appears to be
resting on the vanity).
That's why the plumber would want to charge $1,100 if nothing else went
Take another look at the photo and you'll see what I mean.
FYI, I was having this work done to delay a $16,000 bathroom remodeling job
by a year or two.
I'm confused- exactly what is broken, again? I can't see any damage in the
picture. Is the cast-in overflow tube underneath broken, or something? You
could always just mud the crack and the overflow inlet over with expoxy and
Just Be Careful, to tide you over till you get a proper solution.
I agree with the others- an architectual salvage yard is your only hope for
an exact replacement. But I don't think changing out the vanity top would be
that big a deal. Unless some idiot glued the mirror to the wall, pulling a
few clips should take it loose. Unhook sink, and lift it out, and unscrew
the screws through top of vanity into countertop. It probably was not glued
down in 1957. In picture, tile runs behind countertop, so that is probably
not an issue. A little utility knife work to break any caulk lines, and some
careful prying with a flat prybar, and it should pop right out of there.
Then just carry the top to the local Formica place, and tell them to make
you one just like it, but without the big notch. If you carry the new
drop-in sink with you, they can even make that hole. On the front of the
vanity, just make a faux drawer front to match the others, and mount it over
the notch, and paint to match. A PITA, to be sure, but not that big a deal.
I love that late '50s modern look- makes me feel like a kid again. I'd
hesitate before nuking bathroom and putting in ultramodern- it won't look
right with rest of the house. And if cast-iron tub is as clean and shiny as
the sink, it'd be a sin to junk it.
That's true. The damage is under the sink. When the plumber was removing
the old drain and installing a new one (Crane's drain assemblies are
proprietary), he broke the fitting.
I just added a 2nd picture to the web page. It shows the damage.
I like your idea of attempting a repair. If it works, that might be the
easiest, cheapest and highest quality alternative. I couldn't find the
pieces that broke off (I hope the plumber didn't dispose of them; I told him
to save all parts), but if I do, I will consider epoxying them back. I've
used that method very successfully for a garbage disposal problem. It might
just work with the sink. Do you know if there is any difference between
Crane's "all china" material and normal porcelain?
I appreciate the support. You've given me some great suggestions. Thanks
Actually, I like the bathroom's appearance, too. I just wish its components
weren't so rare! For example, my toilet is a Case 1000-1100. It's a great
toilet. One website even says this:
"CASE one-piece toilets, the 'Cadillac' of it's day! No mamby-pamby 1.6gpf
for this baby. A Toilet in the tradition of Al Bundy's 'Ferguson' without
the noise! A toilet known for it's style and quiet efficiency. As we enter
the new century, this classic is a rare and valuable find."
Unfortunately, the toilet is listed under "hard to find parts". When I
searched Google's Usenet messages for the toilet, I was not encouraged to
read things like:
"OhmyGawd! This has to be one of USENETs GREATEST MOMENTS! I own FOUR Case
Toilets Model 1000-1100 in my home and not only that...I have invested HOURS
in renovating them..."
Every 5-years or so when it needs to be fixed, I have to pay about $500 to
replace all of its brass fittings!
Anyway, thanks very much for everything you've said. If you have any more
suggestions about how to fix that ceramic drain, I'd be all ears!
Have you thought about a repair? I'm thinking epoxy and fiberglass cloth or
something along those lines. It is not a pressure fitting so there may be a
good way to fix something like that.
Your sink is retro looking and "outdated" by today's standards, but it looks
to be in perfect condition. This style is very fashionalbe in the right
house and should be saved. Doubtful you'll find another used one anywhere
near as nice. There must be an acceptable way of fixing what you have. Talk
to a renovator or restorer if necessary.
Oh, yeah, I would definitely try epoxy to repair. At this point, you have
nothing to lose. If you can find the chips, great, but even then I would
just mud the drain assemply in place with the epoxy, to ensure a good water
seal at the bottom. When you finally remodel, you'll have to cut it out with
a saw, but at that point you won't care. Scuff up the shiny part of the
china to get a good bond, and use the fiber tape to tie it all together.
Impressive quality on the pictures, by the way. Wish my toy Nikon digital
did as well on closeups.
Thanks for the pointers. I'm not sure how it's all supposed to fit together
for the overflow to work correctly, but I suspect that my plumber (i.e., the
experienced father who replaced his son who broke my sink) and I will be
able to figure it out.
One more question...
I wonder if there is a way that I could cut some wax paper, use it to shield
the pipe fitting and encircle some epoxy putty so as to form a perfect
contact to the wax-protected pipe fitting? After the epoxy putty cures, I
could remove the wax paper and proceed with the installation as if the sink
never broke. Thoughts?
Thanks! :-) It was taken with an old 2-megapixel Toshiba and then
processed with Paint Shop Pro 8.10. I am waiting for the perfect camera to
appear on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews , but that might be a while!
This sink and vanity are very similar to the ones in the Johnson
County, KS museum's 1950's Electric house which was built in 1954.
I thought when I saw it that it was a pretty cool sink and was
wondering myself where I could get one. A couple of elderly women
who were touring the house at the same time commented that they
remembered having exactly the same type of sink years ago.
It has a lot of character.
"We need to let the working class know that we
Thanks very much for that bit of trivia, Elizabeth. I'm learning a lot more
about my bathroom sink than I ever thought possible! I like its looks, too.
I just wish it was easier to fix or replace!
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