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General Electric AOU Duo. Need help with parts identification  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 05:40 am
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Alex Rushing
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So, after regaining interest in fan recently(not that I ever lost it - just took a break), I got out the two GE AOU Oscillators I have in the workshop. Upon inspection, it appears one of them may be a survivor fan. But, that said, I'd be very appreciative of y'alls opinion on the thought. And the other is an obvious basket case, but my OCD is compelling me to not let it become a parts fan.

The possible survivor first:


Fan runs well on all three speed settings(considering it need to be cleaned and lubed). Oscillator behaves as if it were brand new. Possibly original wiring?:?
Paint appears to be in good condition and really the only obvious things to do are these:
Rewire with appropriate head and lead wire.
Clean and resolder switch/choke.
Recover base.
New oil wick.
Clean out and regrease the oscillator housing.
Clean blades, or strip/polish if necessary.
Clean the brass cage parts and lightly polish.
Touch up the paint on the steel support ring.



















Video of it running.


https://youtu.be/Ng_15X5ioP8

Am I missing anything with that one?Does anything look "not right" about the fan?


_______________________________________________________


And the basket case:


Definitely needs to royal restoration treatment.
But, that said, I cannot find the style oscillator setup that is on it. The oscillator engagement shaft was bent badly, and I straightened it, but the gear on the engagement is seriously worn. The train looks good though. 
I wired in the motor and switch after cleaning both, with just temporary wire nutted leads, and the motor runs nicely. However, there is notable vertical play in the front motor bearing. Could this be sleeved up, or will it need to be replaced?




























VIDEO OF MOTOR RUNNING.
https://youtu.be/EzJ0ahHJCZk


So, question about these is this:
What am I getting into? What are some things to look out for on these types of fans?


I have only done a true restoration on an old Emerson recently, but have no experience with GE fans. I do love the look of the AOU fans though, ever since my father bought one that was professionally restored when I was just a teenager. I've been envious of his restored 12" GE for too long. Time to get moving on getting these two GE AOUs ready to service again.


Any help and advice will be much appreciated here. The only reason I know a tiny bit about fans is because I have read a smidgen of topics here about it. Lots more knowledge and direction needed to embark on acquiring experience.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 10:14 am
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Lane Shirey
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Use the search feature on this forum to view old posts.  There’s a wealth of knowledge there and you can find out nearly anything you want to know if you take a little time to search.
Best of luck with them! 

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 03:00 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Lane Shirey wrote: Use the search feature on this forum to view old posts.  There’s a wealth of knowledge there and you can find out nearly anything you want to know if you take a little time to search.
Best of luck with them! 
Your Form AD is from 1924 and should have the brass bell oscillating disc of the other fan which looks to be Form AB from 1923.  Neither should have come with the wrapped cage on the Form AB.   I'm wondering if the two fans had parts swapped around years ago when in a shop.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 14th, 2019 07:16 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Thanks, Lane! Hopefully they'll cooperate throughout the process. 
Thank you very much for the information, Steve! 
Will be on the lookout for the correct cage for the AB since the AD cage is pretty bad off. The AD would look awesome with a fire engine red base and motor case(and osc housing) and red cage mount ring/red hub, with brass blades and cage front polished up. :D
I can go ahead with the resto and change out the worn parts later, since it is oscillator related.

That would make one fairly original looking fan(for the house) and one hot rod fan(for the shop).

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 Posted: Fri Aug 16th, 2019 12:15 am
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Alex Rushing
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Decided to go with the red/brass combo on the rough AOU. Ordered the paint, wire, grommets, oil wicks, and felt. Going to just prep and paint the base first to get an idea of how it will look. Saw a few red painted fans online and didn't care for them. But, that said, they were more mid-century, so that doesn't indicate what an older fan will look like. I have an antique fire engine in mind. Red paint on all non-brass surfaces, and polished brass anywhere possible. Ordered bronze-gold wire and gold felt for it as well. Worst case scenario is a stripping and refinishing later on. But, as I love to see old red/polished brass fire trucks(and loved them as a kid), the restomod may end up being a favorite. 

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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2019 12:57 am
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Alex Rushing
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Made some adjustment to the plans. After seeing some of the gloss black fan restos with brass blades/bits, the beater AOU has gone black.Got started today with the windings/rotor/switch and what-not(cage work/paint and base work/painy

Here is the imgur gallery the pics from today went in with short descriptions of the work.
GE AOU 1927 Antique Fan Progress https://imgur.com/gallery/f7prJYX

And I know from reading around the AOUs aren't worth putting so much work into, but keep in mind they will be as rare, as pancakes are now, in 15-20 years. Well worth the trouble in my opinion. Might as well invest in an obtainable market before it shifts to unobtainable. :)
Plus, and this is just my opinion, the AOU series with brass blades are just stunning when restored well. :dude:

Last edited on Mon Aug 19th, 2019 01:01 am by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2019 01:25 am
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David Kilnapp
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Loved the pictures Alex. My very first restoration was a GE AOU (a 12 inch AOU similar to the one below). I have found them to be one of the easiest (if not THE easiest) fans to work on. Thank goodness my first restoration wasn't a stamped steel westy or I might not have continued. Anyway, your work is wonderful. Love to see pictures of the fan when it's all done. The AOU's aren't worth a lot of money but the oscillation is slow and steady and they run relatively cool. Nice fans!

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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2019 02:05 am
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Alex Rushing
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Thank you very much, David!

Beautiful fan in the photo! Similarto what I am picturing as a result of the AOU in progress.

I feel like the Emerson I restored for my father was a bit easier. That said, I did not go to the level I am with this AOU. The Emerson stators are definitely easier to remove though.


I still have the late teens Westy oscillator that turned me off of fan resto for 13 years. You aren't kidding about those things. It will run and oscillate, but only with a push of the blades to start. Some reading has shown it to be starter windings related. Not looking forward to getting the stator out of that one to attach a proper head wire.


There is one piece I need for the AOU I'm working on. It is the gear on the oscillator engagement post. It is pretty buggered from the steel worm. But, that can be fixed later on when the part can be found cheaply enough.

Last edited on Mon Aug 19th, 2019 02:06 am by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2019 11:22 am
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David Kilnapp
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Check with Chad Baker at http://www.antiquefanparts.com. I bet he has the part you need. He’s a good guy!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 05:07 am
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Alex Rushing
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Thank you, David! :cool:I've been surfing that site a lot recently and hadn't thought of contacting him.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 05:20 am
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Alex Rushing
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Day two with the AOU.
Cage badge reattached. A real treat that was to do. Probably should have left it on and taped it off. Turned out alright after some time though.



Sanded and smoothed the motor casing.


Cleaned and prepped for paint.


Very happy with the resulting dried paint.


Cleaning the bits and doodads for the mount and swivel of the fan.


Sanded and smoothed mount. Forgot to take a photo after paint, but it turned out similar to the struts below.


Struts after cleaning and prepping.


After painting. Not perfect(slight pitting in the flat areas showed up where I didn't notice it during prep), but good enough not to fret over.


Strut clips painted. Note: The one with the jacked up hole is one I had to make, because one was missing. It will work though.


Strut clips dried.


Cleaning and straightening the badge.


Brass doodads and bits polished on wheel to a high polish finish. Left some background on the cage badge to give it a certain "clean patina".The three black phillips-head screws were the only ones I could find for the strut clips with similar threads. I will buy three brass screws as soon as the fan parts site has them in stock.


Brass doodads and bits after 3x coats of gloss lacquer.





Next week(Sunday), this will be tackled. Everything is painted and/or polished now. Will let the paint cure until Sunday. Had no luck getting antsy and assembling stuff the day it is painted before.
This should prove to be a fun(not) job. Wings bent to and fro and some slight dents on two wing tips.




Last edited on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 05:27 am by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 11:31 am
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David Kilnapp
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Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Great progress!! You are wise to let the paint cure over several days. You don’t want your finger prints permanently etched into the paint (I’ve done that)! Looking forward to seeing it all finished!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 01:13 pm
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Alex Rushing
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David Kilnapp wrote: Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Great progress!! You are wise to let the paint cure over several days. You don’t want your finger prints permanently etched into the paint (I’ve done that)! Looking forward to seeing it all finished!Thank you very much for the encouragement, David! It has been a serious learning process for sure. Most of what I work on doesn't have moving parts and lubrication, so working with that in mind has been a bit tedious.
Next AOU won't need that kind of process.....hopefully(famous last words). It has a tapping noise, so I am concerned, but hope it is in the Oscillator box(new grease).

Maybe after all of this, the Westy can be tackled. O_o

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 01:55 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Hmmm, a tapping noise? That’s a noise I haven’t heard on any GE from the 20’s that I have worked on. I’m guessing you’re probably correct that it is emanating from the oscillator. Mine whines a bit which I might try to mitigate by varnishing the stator which has been effective on GE Vortalux fans that I have restored. I would do that while you have the fan disassembled as a preventative measure. It certainly won’t do any harm.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 04:06 pm
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Don Tener
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Alex Rushing wrote: David Kilnapp wrote: Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Great progress!! You are wise to let the paint cure over several days. You don’t want your finger prints permanently etched into the paint (I’ve done that)! Looking forward to seeing it all finished!Thank you very much for the encouragement, David! It has been a serious learning process for sure. Most of what I work on doesn't have moving parts and lubrication, so working with that in mind has been a bit tedious.
Next AOU won't need that kind of process.....hopefully(famous last words). It has a tapping noise, so I am concerned, but hope it is in the Oscillator box(new grease).

Maybe after all of this, the Westy can be tackled. O_o
Open the lid on the gear box. watch and see if the motor shaft is moving in and out as it runs. I had one that needed the fiber washers on the rotor spaced correctly. It was making a tapping sound until I fixed that. It needed more washers on the back side of the rotor by the gearbox to keep it from moving in and out and making a tapping noise with the oscillator gears.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 05:24 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Thanks Don. That’s good to know!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 06:00 pm
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Alex Rushing
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David Kilnapp wrote: Hmmm, a tapping noise? That’s a noise I haven’t heard on any GE from the 20’s that I have worked on. I’m guessing you’re probably correct that it is emanating from the oscillator. Mine whines a bit which I might try to mitigate by varnishing the stator which has been effective on GE Vortalux fans that I have restored. I would do that while you have the fan disassembled as a preventative measure. It certainly won’t do any harm.Thank you for the information, David!

I did coat the stator windings with the AD1,(though not for the same reason you  do it  to the Vortalux fans)and will do the same with the AB1 now that you've mentioned it.
It needs a head wire anyway.Might as well while in there. 

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 06:03 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Don Tener wrote: Alex Rushing wrote: David Kilnapp wrote: Thanks so much for posting these pictures. Great progress!! You are wise to let the paint cure over several days. You don’t want your finger prints permanently etched into the paint (I’ve done that)! Looking forward to seeing it all finished!Thank you very much for the encouragement, David! It has been a serious learning process for sure. Most of what I work on doesn't have moving parts and lubrication, so working with that in mind has been a bit tedious.
Next AOU won't need that kind of process.....hopefully(famous last words). It has a tapping noise, so I am concerned, but hope it is in the Oscillator box(new grease).

Maybe after all of this, the Westy can be tackled. O_o
Open the lid on the gear box. watch and see if the motor shaft is moving in and out as it runs. I had one that needed the fiber washers on the rotor spaced correctly. It was making a tapping sound until I fixed that. It needed more washers on the back side of the rotor by the gearbox to keep it from moving in and out and making a tapping noise with the oscillator gears.
Thank you very much for the advice, Don!
I have an Emerson Jr. that had to have a couple of fiber washers added recently, though it was only to the front spindle. I could see broken  fiber washers  in the motor case. O_o
Will check it out in a bit and report back. 

Last edited on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 06:04 pm by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 08:41 pm
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Alex Rushing
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I realized I do not have time today to completely go over the AB1, but Don hit the nail on the head. The rear original bronze washer was worn out and sitting over the edge of the spindle. I didn't have any fiber washers around, but the nylon washer I stuck in there should be fine until I can go over the fan properly(this fan isn't being used yet). Also raked out a bunch of dried roach eggs, God knows how old those are, and blew them out. Brushed the heavy dust off the stator as well. With the nylon washer and a bronze washer(spare I had), it runs like a dream. Nothing but the sound of air being sliced into. Woohoo!Went ahead and greased the oscillator case with some new axle grease, oiled the rear bearing, and clipped/soaked the oil wick on the front. Blade was a bear to get off, but some careful heat persuasion helped pull it off. Brushed off the rotor and cleaned up the rusty spindles. Made a couple of polish test spots on the blade and cage to see how difficult it will be to polish. Not to bad. Buffed the badge to see if it was salvageable, since it had flattened places on it. Looks OK.

If you can stomach roach eggs all over the inside of a fan, here is an imgur gallery of the temporary work done today.

https://imgur.com/a/psB84Wi

Thanks again for the help on yet another AOU, gentlemen! :)

Last edited on Tue Aug 20th, 2019 08:42 pm by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 09:04 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Forgot to mention the wire and stuff came in for the GE AOUs. Gold wire(and gold felt on order) for the gloss black and brass AD1. The dark wire and green felt is for the AB1.

https://imgur.com/a/McU0xL3

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 10:01 pm
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Don Tener
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Very cool. I am glad it all worked out. Looks like you got a couple nice fans :bigfan

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 Posted: Tue Aug 20th, 2019 11:05 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Nasty roach eggs....gag

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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2019 03:03 am
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Alex Rushing
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Don Tener wrote: Very cool. I am glad it all worked out. Looks like you got a couple nice fans :bigfan
Thank you much, Don!

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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2019 03:04 am
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Alex Rushing
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David Kilnapp wrote: Nasty roach eggs....gag

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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2019 04:35 am
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Don Tener
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Alex Rushing wrote: David Kilnapp wrote: Nasty roach eggs....gag
:imao:imao:imao:imao:imao

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 Posted: Wed Aug 21st, 2019 11:22 am
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David Kilnapp
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LOL!!!

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