I have knocked the Handle off my old steel kettle!
We have seen a whole variety of ways to fix this .....
- Glues can work, e.g. Superglue, Loctite, or other Metal glues. Can use a heat resistant glue but the temperature on the outside of the kettle is not particularly high.
- It is quite simple to rivet the bracket holding the handle onto the kettle. Hand held 'Rivet Guns' and Rivets are available in all good hardware stores.
The Rivet size we typically use are: Head 4mm | Pin length can be 6-8mm | Rivet hole is 4.2mm.
If there were rivets there already, or if replacing a rivet, use a drill bit smaller than 4mm to gently drill out the old Rivet head. Drill slowly and gently so that you do not puncture the inner chimney wall. Then insert a new rivet through the bracket (that attaches the handle) into the hole and tighten with the gun. This will fix the bracket firmly to the side of the kettle.
If the brack was previously spot-welded onto the side of the kettle (as is the case with most steel kettles), then it is possible to rivet the bracket on for a permanent fix. Gently drill two holes in the bracket itself, wide enough to take your rivets. Drill matching holes in the outer wall of the kettle. Again, take care not to drill through the inner chimney wall! Drill slowly and gently. Insert your rivets through the bracket and into the kettle wall, tightening firmly.
If you notice a small leak at any of the rivets holding the handle, simply fill water to below the rivet points.
NOTE: Use steel rivets in steel kettles, and Aluminium Rivets in aluminium kettles.
- We have seen large jubilee clips used to strap the brackets on!
- Other people have actually removed the handle completely to make the kettle fit into tight spaces (Kayaks/Bikes/Rucksacks, etc.). We have seen leather straps/old belts (something with grip that doesn't slip easily) wrapped around the top ('shoulder' where the handles are normally attached) of the kettle. When paired with a soft rope or light wire handle this methods works nicely!
- Another useful idea if removing the handle is to place a Neoprene sleeve/jacket around the upper part of the kettle - and attached some sort of fabric/rope handle to that. In addition to packing slightly smaller, users advise that the neoprene helps the kettle boil faster. But 30 seconds or a minute faster really wouldn't put me up nor down when I'm relaxing and looking forward to a cuppa. :-) The neoprene would however give the kettle a little protection against knocks and scrapes. ;-)
- And of course you could spot weld the bracket back on (a local car mechanic might be able to spot weld the stainless steel)
Hopefully you never need to use any of these tips, but if you run into trouble with your handle - know that there are options available ;-)