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we take it apart

Toaster-body shell

Inner toast slot

Control knob and buttons (11)

End plate Plastic clips

Crumb tray assembly

Spring-loaded slide carriage (7) Element assembly: mica sheets with nichrome wire (1)

Grate (9)

Copper contacts (4) Springs (8) Plastic wedge (2) Bread-lifter handle

Power cord Base

Metal tab (6) Electromagnet (5)

Circuit board for toaster settings and LEDs (10) the Inner workings

Bread is toasted by infrared radiation, which comes from nichrome wire (1) wrapped around a mica sheet. As you press the handle down, a plastic wedge (2), (part of the bread-lifter assembly [3]) pushes the copper contacts (4) together to supply power to the electromagnet (5) and nichrome wires. A metal tab (6) is attracted to the electromagnet and holds down the spring-loaded tray (7). At the

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same time, springs (8) pull the grates (9) together to hold the toast in place. The toasting time is regulated by a variable resistor (which slows down the current) on the circuit board (10). Adjusting the resistance – with the settings knob and buttons (11) – changes the rate at which a capacitor (a device that temporarily stores charge) charges. Once this reaches a certain voltage, power to the electromagnet is cut off, and pop! Your toast is done.

Main circuit board

Bread-lifter assembly (3)

text and photo editing: bruce farthing

deconstruction

DECONSTRUCTION: ELECTRIC toaster

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