When I recently spoke with Bill Rapp, the president of Vance Industries, who shared the history of metal sink frames, he clarified that if homeowners need a replacement sink rim aka frame aka hudee ring, you can not only select from his company’s 18 stock sizes, but the company can make you virtually ANY CUSTOM SIZE you need for your vintage kitchen or bathroom sink. As followers of the blog know, “hudee rings” are among the most beloved artifacts of mid century homes here at Retro Renovation. .
Over the years, I have been been fond — in an evil glee way, okay, I’ll admit it– of telling readers “good luck with that” when they asked about replacing their odd-sized sink frames. That’s because there were some 1,062 different sizes of metal sink frames at one point back in the day. Yes: 1,062 — America was rockin’. Now, though, no matter what size problem you have, Vance Industries can solve it. Bill Rapp points out, though, that the radius of the bend is limited — the company, which is the galactic market leader for metal sink frames, still makes them, using the original tooling and there are only so many angles they can bend. He said the basic “rectangle” and “round” should be fine. He says:
Yes, we can do it. We have one employee who spends full time making them… He’s 65…. Nobody retires here anymore. We’re all retro.
Clips are also required to hook the sink to the rim and the countertop from below. Bill says that Vance Industries also can supply those:
There were certain standards, and if somebody needs a pack – we will have a clip to install it.
How to contact Vance Industries to get your hudee ring replacement, or your sink clips, stat: Vance Industries.
Goodness, I love these stories of longtime companies that started up during America’s postwar boom… have endured… and now, may be seeing a renewed interest in their products for preservation, restoration, and in this case, just plain groovalistic reasons.
And may I dispell a myth? I have a hudee ring — the original one — around my 1963 double bowl Kohler kitchen sink. It does not collect dirt or grime or schmutz! I tend to think that if you have these locked down properly, they should not be gunk-catchers — not at all. Don’t be dissin’ on the hudees, people. They are welcome here!
Here are links to my continuing hudee-ring coverage. (I am galactic leader in hudee ring news, history and events.)
- A short history of Hudee rings (June 28, 2011)
- Metal trim to prevent food from falling between your stove and countertop (June 7, 2011)
- Built-in, metal-rimmed cutting boards and trivets to drop into your countertops (March 4, 2011)
- 18 sizes of metal rims for kitchen and bathroom sinks — hudee ring supplier found! (March 3, 2011)
- Where to buy kitchen sinks with metal rims. Update: Kohler Bakersfield sink now discontinued (Nov. 11, 2010)
- The mystery of the hootie ring – first clues uncovered – We learn how to spell hudee correctly (Dec. 9, 2008)
- Can I save my hootie ring?– We discover that metal sink rims are called hootie rings. (Dec. 23, 2008)
- Do drop-in, 50s cast iron sinks need clips? (Oct. 23, 2008)
- Retro kitchen sinks from Kohler – cast iron, metal framed – my new #1 choice if you are buying new! (Oct. 8, 2008)
- Where to get the steel ring that “locks in” a vintage sink, Maggie asks – My first story on metal rim sinks, showing a different model or porcelain sink with no faucet holes (March 20, 2008)
- Retro bathroom sinks – including the metal rimmed Tahoe — still available from Kohler (Feb. 23, 2008)