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 Posted: Sun Sep 1st, 2019 07:51 pm
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Napoleon Valera
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Hi all. Just picked up a GE Fan for $30. Works great but probably needs some cosmetic TLC. Serial# 272003-1. 
Before I clean it up, does one need to perform some basic service or can I just keep running it, seems to work flawlessly. Sorry very new to this. Any suggestions would be great.

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 Posted: Sun Sep 1st, 2019 09:22 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Welcome Napoleon! You'll find lots of friends here willing to help. You got a very good deal on a GE Vortalex. This fan dates to the 1940's (probably late forties) though I defer to some of our more knowledgeable members (Steve Stephens in particular) on the exact date of this model. These fans run very quietly and very smoothly which makes them ideal for use in a bedroom (I have two). It will clean up easily. Remove the cage and use a little four zero steel wool on it (if it is chrome). Remove the blade and wash it with soap and water. If you like, you can put a coat of clear lacquer on the blade to bring back the shine. The body can be cleaned with some WD 40 and gentle wiping. Or you might try some metal cleaner like Flitz metal polish. Then polish it with some Meguiars  liquid wax. Remove the bottom plate and replace the felt. You can get different colored felt at hobby stores like Joanne's in 8" by 11" squares that have adhesive on the back. Open the oscillator housing (where the gears are on the back of the fan). That's usually held in place by two screws. Then turn the oscillator knob counter clockwise and lift the cover off of the case. Clean out all the old grease in there and replace it. Some use wheel bearing grease and others swear by lithium grease as a replacement. Unscrew the oil pot under front bearing and replace the felt wick and refill it with a light oil. You can get replacement wicks at http://www.Vintagewireandsupply.com. I can't tell from the picture, but the power cord looks like a replacement. You can find vintage wire and plugs at the above web site too. Nice people there who ship amazingly fast for short money. The search function in this forum will give you a wealth of information on all of the above.
Below is a Vorty that I bought last spring for $10. It was in sad shape. I did what I suggested (above) and you can see the difference.




One word of caution. This hobby is terribly addictive. Once you get the bug, it is very difficult to stop and before you know it, your house has two or three fans in every room!

Hope this helps and I hope you consider joining this association. It's very inexpensive and you get a members directory and a fine magazine every quarter. The friendships are priceless!!

Last edited on Sun Sep 1st, 2019 09:24 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Fri Sep 6th, 2019 04:49 pm
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Ryan Lemke
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Great find Napoleon! Your Vortalex fan is from the 1940's whereas David's is likely from the early 50's. Yours does not have a chrome or polished cage, it was likely painted, so I would avoid using steel wool on it. It looks like your blade is in good condition, so lacquering it may not be necessary either. The blade as well as the body of the fan and the cage should clean up well with some Meguiars Cleaner Wax (or similar product of your choosing). Just be careful not to bend the blades out of balance, it doesn't take much. Otherwise, it is going to be very similar. Have fun!

Last edited on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 04:57 pm by Ryan Lemke

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 Posted: Fri Sep 6th, 2019 05:44 pm
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David Kilnapp
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I echo Ryan’s comments.go easy on the cage badge too. Some gentle cleaning with some brass cleaner and a sponge should do the trick!

Last edited on Fri Sep 6th, 2019 05:44 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Fri Sep 6th, 2019 08:22 pm
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Napoleon Valera
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Ryan Lemke wrote: Great find Napoleon! Your Vortalex fan is from the 1940's whereas David's is likely from the early 50's. Yours does not have a chrome or polished cage, it was likely painted, so I would avoid using steel wool on it. It looks like your blade is in good condition, so lacquering it may not be necessary either. The blade as well as the body of the fan and the cage should clean up well with some Meguiars Cleaner Wax (or similar product of your choosing). Just be careful not to bend the blades out of balance, it doesn't take much. Otherwise, it is going to be very similar. Have fun!Thanks. I have to paint the cage since it is very rusty.  The blades are in good condition so just cleaned.  However, a part of the base has rust spots that have damaged the paint. I like to keep it as original as much as possible as the rest of the body is fine.  I was thinking of removing the rust, sanding it and just painting that potion. I want to stop the rust from spreading.  Or should I just take the whole base to bare and repaint.  Also, am I dealing with lead-based paint since it's old? Just gloves and a good mask?  Thanks all.

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