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Sturtevant #8 Propeller Fans...  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2017 12:57 am
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David Allen
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So - this week I have gone on a wild goose chase fan hunting expedition.  These fans were listed on Craigslist a few years ago.  Another member who lives nearby expressed interest in them, and we communicated about them.  He made a site visit but decided against a purchase. He was kind enough to take pictures and describe the condition of the fans to me.

Due to the outdoors storage of the fans, we were worried that the motors would go to ruin. After talking to the owner, I planned a road trip to recover these fans.

I am still en route home with them so expect some more about them in a few days!

They are Design 5, Size 8 Propeller Fans. They have a 1/2 HP motor, 42" blade, and carry 12,850 CFM of air.

The fans were part of the Rivoli Theater in Chicopee, MA and were removed as part of a renovation project which was started bout 10 years ago but was never completed. The fans have not run in 30 years. That will change within the week if things go as planned.....

Sitting under the eaves outside the barn in Hampden, MA:


Loaded on the trailer. Fans are bolted to the wood boards, and those are bolted to the trailer. Headed to Alabama!

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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2017 01:01 am
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Andrew Block
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:D:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Can't wait!

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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2017 01:09 am
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Lucas Beshara
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That is gonna be some project David!  Looking forward to your continued post about them:up:

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 Posted: Mon Nov 27th, 2017 06:44 pm
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Duane Burright
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Those are impressive.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 02:14 am
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David Allen
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Duane Burright wrote:
Those are impressive.
Thank you guys.  I agree they are impressive! Visiting friends on the way home so it may be a few days before any further posts - but it will happen sooner rather than later...

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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 03:40 am
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Luke Skelnik
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Haha what a sight to see, that little Buick pulling those monster fans!

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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 04:43 am
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David Allen
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Luke Skelnik wrote: Haha what a sight to see, that little Buick pulling those monster fans!
Thanks!  I have got some funny looks on the road with this setup. Don't be fooled - that little Buick has got it where it counts....

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 Posted: Tue Nov 28th, 2017 04:51 pm
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Richard Daugird
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David you so crazy.

Luke, I believe that little Buick has a Grand National engine, so if it pulls up next to you at a red light, you may want to think twice...

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 02:15 am
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David Allen
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Richard Daugird wrote: David you so crazy.

Luke, I believe that little Buick has a Grand National engine, so if it pulls up next to you at a red light, you may want to think twice...




Please note that no Grand Nationals were harmed in the  building of this car!  The engine is based on the specifications of the GN but it was not taken out of a GN. :D

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:03 am
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David Allen
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So today I finally got home from my epic 2400 mile fan hunting expedition!  I managed to get in and out of the northern states without encountering any winter weather or road salt, which was my goal!
About to begin unloading.


First pick it straight up off the trailer....


Then begin lowering one side of the fan, to move it to a horizontal axis position.


And there is is, in a more workable position!


These fans are HELLA HEAVY. The literature states 600 pounds shipping weight. I would assume that would be the fan and a heavy wood crate. The fan its self is probably 450 - 500 Lb.

As expected - the fan is well made. The hub is an iron casting with the steel wings riveted onto it.



The motor is mostly sealed, and well supported by the shroud via 3 arms. It has an oil-bath reservoir at the rear and front for the bearings.


After a little cleaning, the nameplates are looking good. Will be sending these to the Sturtevant historical site webmaster so he can help date them.


The motor nameplate... This is a thing of beauty.



More to come!

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:12 am
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Levi Mevis
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Those fans have 3 phase 220 Volt AC motors, so you'll really need a hefty power supply to power those fans! 

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:16 am
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Duane Burright
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Levi Mevis wrote: Those fans have 3 phase 220 Volt AC motors, so you'll really need a hefty power supply to power those fans!
Pretty sure David has this covered.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:18 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Those fans have 3 phase 220 Volt AC motors, so you'll really need a hefty power supply to power those fans! 
Yes they do have 220V 3-phase motors!  It actually is a small power motor (1/2 HP) so it will probably work with a small VFD. I think I have a 1/2HP VFD that was sent to me by mistake. It may be perfect for this.

Also these are prime candidates for a static phase converter and single-speed use.

I'm uploading a video now!

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:21 am
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Levi Mevis
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Great, that's good to know that these fans should be good to go hopefully as long as the weather hadn't gotten to them first. Also as for a date for when these fans were made I would probably guess early to mid 1920s as the last patent date on the motor tag on the fan is 1916, plus the 1920s was when most of these old vaudville/silent film movie theaters in America were built which most of them (if not all of them) had old Wurlitzer or Kimball Theater Pipe Organs installed in them to supply music for the Vaudville act or the early Silent Films that were played in them.

Last edited on Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:26 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:28 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Great, that's good to know that these fans should be good to go hopefully as long as the weather hadn't gotten to them first. 
Yeah; that was what worried me. I got home today fairly late and had time to unload ONE of the fans. Its motor is not weather damaged.

I had made an agreement with the seller, with two possible different prices; based on testing the motors with a meter on his site and determining good / bad. (will not disclose price)  They both tested good on site and that was a relief to me. 

I had been concerned that I would get hit with winter weather and road salt on the way home. It looked bad on Sunday so I drove very late to get further South out of the freezing weather. Thankfully no rain or road salt at all. 

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:32 am
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Levi Mevis
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Yeah, that's always the problem with buying something like this sight unseen, (or in your case you saw them once you got there but of course by then it was kind of too late.)

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:38 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Great, that's good to know that these fans should be good to go hopefully as long as the weather hadn't gotten to them first. Also as for a date for when these fans were made I would probably guess early to mid 1920s as the last patent date on the motor tag on the fan is 1916, plus the 1920s was when most of these old vaudville/silent film movie theaters in America were built which most of them (if not all of them) had old Wurlitzer or Kimball Theater Pipe Organs installed in them to supply music for the Vaudville act or the early Silent Films that were played in them.
Very cool additional info!  I did see the patent dates.... these are old. I really am delighted to have them.

There is a write up on the Rivoli theater stating that it was a very early theater with sound equipment.

 The Elms Theater opened in 1927 and was the first theater to be wired for sound in the city. The name was changed to the Rivoli Theater in 1932. According to an August 15, 2007 article in The Republican, “The Rivoli was a smaller version of the spectacular movie palaces of the 1920’s, with marble pillars, wrought-iron chandeliers, carpeted corridors and halls embellished with painted murals depicting Greek and Roman mythology and, on the town’s largest stage, a huge movie screen surrounded by rich purple drapes.” Renovations were executed in 1984 and the theater remained somewhat busy until the multiplex boom hit the area. The Rivoli Theater was one of many gilded small town movie palaces that were owned and operated by the Goldstein family. Their once mighty empire has dwindled to just a few existing theaters and one of the last to close in 2000 was the Rivoli Theater. Ronald Goldstein finally sold the massive theater, which claimed to have the largest screen in New Engalnd. The building sustained water damage in March 2001, due to a water main break, but the theater was not harmed. Its original, free-standing, ticket window is a rare sight in the area and its vintage stylings are apparent even to this day. The Rivoli Theater is listed as temporarily closed, but with each passing day, its renaissance seems further away than ever.


I hope someone does put this historic building to use.

As for the motor power supply - it is pretty easy to detemine how much power a motor will need.  If you look at the horsepower rating, this is the most important thing. You can use a transformer to give it the voltage it needs, and capacitors to make the 3-phase power. The size of the transformer will be determined by the motor HP rating. For every HP it requires 0.746 kilowatts. So for a 1/2 HP motor, you will need to supply 375 watts, plus a little for efficiency. Probably a 0.5kVa transformer would do the trick. That's half the size of the transformer on the Ilg 423.

Yeah, that's always the problem with buying something like this sight unseen, (or in your case you saw them once you got there but of course by then it was kind of too late.)

That is true - but thankfully Ryan Nguyen had already recently driven to this guys place and taken recent pictures of them. We had talked about them via private messages in the preceding months. When Ryan decided against purchasing them, I began to plan a trip up there.


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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:50 am
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Levi Mevis
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Well Here in Elkhart where I live we have an old theater that's called the Lerner Theater that was built in 1923 and it has a large "Mushroom" style chandelier in the middle of the main auditorium and it has its original Kimball Theater Organ still intact that they restored when they decided to restore the building to its former glory.The link below takes you to the theater's website and tells about the $18 Million restoration that the building went through and how because of that they are now using the building for lots of things like showing old movies and organ concerts, and balls and banquets and other stuff.

Lerner Theater Link

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:55 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Well Here in Elkhart where I live we have an old theater that's called the Lerner Theater that was built in 1923 and it has a large "Mushroom" style chandelier in the middle of the main auditorium and it has its original Kimball Theater Organ still intact that they restored when they decided to restore the building to its former glory.The link below takes you to the theater's website and tells about the $18 Million restoration that the building went through and how because of that they are now using the building for lots of things like showing old movies and organ concerts, and balls and banquets and other stuff.

Lerner Theater Link

Very nice theater!  You can tell that many people really appreciate that building and the history behind it.  

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 03:57 am
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Levi Mevis
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exactly, and if I'm not mistaken the Lerner Theater had fans just like the ones you had found that were from that theater in Massachusetts that were used to cool the building originally before it was air conditioned.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 04:06 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: exactly, and if I'm not mistaken the Lerner Theater had fans just like the ones you had found that were from that theater in Massachusetts that were used to cool the building originally before it was air conditioned.
Interesting!  They could be more Sturtevants. Looking at the site for pictures....

Video finally uploaded... hope you enjoy it!






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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 04:28 am
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Levi Mevis
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its amazing that the fan works that good after all these years. You leave the modern day equivalent of that fan outdoors for 30+ years and it won't work anymore, it just attests to the quality of the stuff we used to make compared to the cheap crap that comes out of china these days.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 04:35 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: its amazing that the fan works that good after all these years. You leave the modern day equivalent of that fan outdoors for 30+ years and it won't work anymore, it just attests to the quality of the stuff we used to make compared to the cheap crap that comes out of china these days.
Very true. The plastic junk of the new stuff deteriorates with time no matter what. This fan is all iron.....

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 04:39 am
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Levi Mevis
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Did you see my latest fan related find? It's posted in the miscellaneous section very first non-admin  related entry at the top.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 05:06 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Did you see my latest fan related find? It's posted in the miscellaneous section very first non-admin  related entry at the top.

Yep - just now! Very nice white-noise generator. I have to have some sort of sound to sleep myself!

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 03:35 am
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David Allen
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So today I tried to run the fan again and it just fell apart! I am really upset now!

LOL just kidding of course.  :hammer:

The bearings look pretty good. It seems that they have been replaced before. There is a part number in the end of them - and they have damage from some "hammer and chisel mechanic" driving them in using an 'ungraceful' method.


This is the stuffing which makes up the oil wick. It is pressed against the shaft through the "window" in the bearing.


Washed the fan blade - very nice cast hub with riveted blades. 


The bearing stuffing box oil level is maintained by this oiler. 


The stator lead wires were horribly rotten and crumbly. Also, it seems somebody had possibly made a field repair at one time or another and put a bunch of taped-over splices in a really tight area.


So I started by removing all the messed up wiring. Note the blue paint pen dots. Those are my markings to identify the wires.


Sleeves installed on the original wires and new wires soldered into place. This is high temp Teflon insulated wire.


Second circuit wires in place.


All the wiring now routed through the correct hole. I used the heat gun to heat up the original wiring so that it was flexible without breaking. That allowed this repair to be done without cracking the original wiring.


Completed repair from the outside.


So that's how she sits tonight!  

Here is a short video of the same things shown above...





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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 04:07 am
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Levi Mevis
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David, I'm wondering if the reason why the fan shaft has a keyway but the blade doesn't is because maybe the blade on your fan isn't the original blade to the fan, and perhaps the orginal blade assembly broke at some point in time in the fan's history and it was replaced with a new blade that had a setscrew rather than a keyway which if that was the case that would explain why the keyway was smoothed out even with the shaft itself so that it would accomodate the new blade that was held into place with the setscrew seeing as if you left the keyway intact the new blade wouldn't fit.
Just my 2 cents, you might want to check the blade assembly on the second fan and if the blade assembly on the other fan does have the keyway on it and not a setscrew holding it into place then it would confirm my theory. 

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 04:36 am
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: David, I'm wondering if the reason why the fan shaft has a keyway but the blade doesn't is because maybe the blade on your fan isn't the original blade to the fan, and perhaps the orginal blade assembly broke at some point in time in the fan's history and it was replaced with a new blade that had a setscrew rather than a keyway which if that was the case that would explain why the keyway was smoothed out even with the shaft itself so that it would accomodate the new blade that was held into place with the setscrew seeing as if you left the keyway intact the new blade wouldn't fit.

Just my 2 cents, you might want to check the blade assembly on the second fan and if the blade assembly on the other fan does have the keyway on it and not a setscrew holding it into place then it would confirm my theory. 



Hi Levi. Interestingly - they are both identical!

With the motor's excess end-thrust movement, I wonder if the motor shafts were replaced and the shaft may have the keyway whereas the original don't have it.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 07:13 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Looking forward to this one. You rerstore big fans faster than most guys do little fans!

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 08:15 pm
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David Allen
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Richard Daugird wrote: Looking forward to this one. You rerstore big fans faster than most guys do little fans!
Thanks. I enjoy working on them! They have bigger parts but similar design to the small fans. They were never highly polished to begin with, so the restoration is really just basic mechanical work.

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 08:34 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Do you plan on repainting these fans? If so what color?

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 09:21 pm
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Do you plan on repainting these fans? If so what color?
Levi, yes I plan to paint at least one of them black. That was the original color as far as I can tell. To complement the brass nameplates, I plan to highlight the Sturtevant name in gold paint as I did on my Monogram Blower.

I am going to mechanically restore both motors, and build one running display. The second fan I may sell to someone who I think would give it a good home!  I hate to let anything like this go but I have too many big fans.


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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 10:39 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Cool! Can't wait to see it done!

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 02:13 am
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Lucas Beshara
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Amazing that fan runs so well after all the years setting outside!

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 03:31 am
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David Allen
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Lucas Beshara wrote: Amazing that fan runs so well after all the years setting outside!
Made in USA and built like a CAST IRON BRICK SHITHOUSE!!! :thumbup

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 04:55 am
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David Allen
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So today was motor re-assembly day!  I did a long video about the fabrication of new fiber thrust washers for this motor, which is uploading. It will probably be a separate post here due to the upload time.
Motor parts cleaned and ready to go back together! The new thrust washer is shown near the rotor. It was made from a honeywagon vacuum pump vane.


Stator after cleaning and re-varnishing. It has more than 2.2GΩ of insulation resistance. That is like-new condition. Very happy about this!


Motor assembled, with oil stuffing material in the bin ready to be re-installed. This stuffing is saturated with SAE 50 sleeve bearing oil.


Assembling the lube oil tubing. This will allow the single oiler to service both ends of the motor. I believe this may be a better system than the two-oiler setup. This is because of the pipe angles from the front (drive-end) bearing. With the two-oiler system, the front oiler can easily get moved up and out of position, causing it to overfill the front bearing and cause the oil to leak. 


Some paint on the motor. It is looking sharp!


Nameplate and the end cover plugs are clearcoated to stop tarnish.


The motor sounds great... as in no sound at all! 

Tomorrow I plan to install the external parts of the motor with new brass screws that will match the nameplate and end plugs!

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 05:59 am
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David Allen
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Here is today's video! The new thrust washers were made from honeywagon parts. 

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 10:43 am
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Levi Mevis
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that motor is looking good! Man who knew a motor like that could be that quiet!

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 12:00 pm
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Mel Lagarde
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David
Thank you for posting this for us.  This is interesting and educational and the speed that you do this does not keep us in suspense very long.  Great work and keep them coming. 

Mel

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 02:01 pm
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote:that motor is looking good! Man who knew a motor like that could be that quiet!Thanks Levi!  It is quiet because of the low speed and because of the journal bearings. There are no rolling elements in the bearing to make noise. The shaft is literally floating on a cushion of oil.

Mel Lagarde wrote:David
Thank you for posting this for us.  This is interesting and educational and the speed that you do this does not keep us in suspense very long.  Great work and keep them coming. 

Mel
Thanks Mel. I am really happy you find it interesting and educational. I am learning too as this is the first motor I have had with a stuffing box type lubrication system! 

I am one of those people who doesn't want to be a "half completed project hog" and start things I don't finish. I am borderline that way with my car projects but those are all longer-term more complex projects. 

Last edited on Fri Dec 1st, 2017 02:02 pm by David Allen

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