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An antique fan I missed out on yesterday  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2017 01:33 am
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Levi Mevis
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Hello everyone, yesterday I was at Fandango over at Mike Mirin's Place and had a wonderful time, but at the same time my Church had a huge yard sale yesterday from 9am until 2pm and from what I heard is that they had an old Brass Bladed Westinghouse Tank for sale there and one of the members of my church bought it with her neighbor lady for the neighbor lady's daughter for a Christmas Present, I was also told that they had a couple of old Zero or Eskimo Box fans there from the 1940s for sale but they already sold as well. They had tons of stuff left over from the sale and I was hoping that there would of been some fans left over but there wasn't.
But the good news is that one of my friends from church offered me an old Menominee fan if he can find it in his place, so while not a Westinghouse tank the Menominee fan should be an interesting fan in of itself. According to my friend at church who's offering me the old Menominee fan he said that fan didn't work when he got it, so he had the motor rewound and it worked for a while but then quit working again, and I'm wondering what could possibly of been wrong with this fan, unless the fan was a DC fan and he tried plugging it into an AC outlet without a Rectifier and fried the motor, but I've never seen the fan let alone the tag on it so right now I'm just speculating on what could be wrong with the fan.

Any thoughts or ideas would be awesome. 

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2017 03:08 am
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Jamie Williams
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Possibly the speed coil? Or details of the rewind? It would help a lot to post pics or at least a model number of the fan. An "old" Meno spans at least 40 years.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2017 03:55 am
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Levi Mevis
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That's the thing I have no idea, he just told me what he had, which he said he had an old Menominee Fan, he didn't say what model it was or have any pictures, he said he had it put away somewhere in his house to keep his cats away from it, but other than what he told me about it I don't know anything else about it. I'm basically going sight unseen. But seeing as the Menominee Fan company was only around from the 1880s to the 1930s  it still puts it at being an extremely early fan and at that one of the earliest fans I've ever owned. BTW I havn't gotten the fan yet in case you're wondering I only learned about the fan this morning at church when he overheard me talking about how I collect vintage and antique fans with another fellow church member.

Last edited on Mon Aug 21st, 2017 03:58 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 12:13 am
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Levi Mevis
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OK So I finally got the Menominee Fan today, and just as my friend said the fan is dead in the water it won't power up or anything, its an AC/DC model but has no model number stamped on the ID Tag anywhere, The fan seems pretty early as its got a brass cage (with one broken s-wire on the cage) and it also has a brass blade. Its a 3 speed model with oscillator, and its either an 8" or a 9" model. I have pictures of the unit posted below. Maybe someone on here could give me an exact year of manufacture for the fan and also a model number maybe and also anymore additional information about this fan. Currently this is this is the oldest fan I own.
Thanks,

Levi








Also the brown stuff you see on the fan isn't rust but saw dust and dirt build up from being stored, the fan is actually in fairly decent shape yet and will clean up nicely. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 12:17 am
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Austin Ko
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What you have is a Menominee staghorn oscillator. Very desirable fan with a good gearbox like you have. More then likely the commutator and brushes will have l be looked at. Commutator is probably dirty and the brushes may need replacing or are not even there. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 12:21 am
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Levi Mevis
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OK Thanks, So is the commutator and brushes something I can deal with myself? I would love to get this fan going again, as like I said this is currently the oldest fan I own. So when was this fan made? Early 20th century?

UPDATE: So I took the brush holder apart and it appears that there are brushes in the fan but not sure how to tell if they're good or not. Pictures of the brushes posted below.



These are the brushes from the fan, they appear to be in good shape but like I said I don't know how to tell if they are actually any good or not.

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 12:28 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:00 am
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Austin Ko
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They are good. They have plenty of life left in them. Check the commutator. I bet its dirty and will need cleaning. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:02 am
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George Durbin
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Are the springs for the brushes there?

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:02 am
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Levi Mevis
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so how do I get to the commutator? Will I need to take the motor apart to get to them? Also Sent you a PM back with a picture of the speed coil assembly from this fan and it looks like it might of gotten burned up but not sure.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:03 am
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Levi Mevis
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Yes George the springs are there, although one of the springs is slightly bent on the end but don't think that would cause any issues.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:19 am
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Steve Butler
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Awesome fan Levi. If I was you I would consider it your lucky day missing the tank and getting the Staghorn instead. I'm not going to lie, I'm jealous! 👍

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:45 am by Steve Butler

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:26 am
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Levi Mevis
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Thanks, I'm kind of happy I got this fan too now, after hearing that this is an extremely valuable fan and I just got it for free. Anyways I'm still kind of stumped as to what could of caused this fan to be dead in the water like it is. According to my friend at church who gave this fan to me, he said the fan worked great for years and then suddenly just quit working, so he had the motor rewound in the fan and it worked fine for a while after that and then it suddenly quit working again, and from what I can see of the stator from the vent holes the motor don't look burned or damaged, so I'm wondering if its got something to do with the brushes and the commutator like what Austin said, but like I said, I'm not sure how to go about checking the commutator to see if its dirty and needing to be cleaned or not.

Also I took the speed coil assembly out and looked it over and took a picture of it and from what I could see it looked like the speed coil's outer windings were black like they might of gotten burned somehow but I have no idea if that's the case or if they're supposed to look like that.




The fan's speed coil assembly, notice how it's blackened on the outer windings of the speed coil, is it supposed to look like that or has the speed coil possibly suffered from being miswired?


Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 01:28 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:25 am
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Levi Mevis
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OK So I took the motor apart as well as the oscillator mechanism apart and it seems that the oscillator gearbox was regreased recently as the grease seems pretty fresh and not gummy, but I can't seem to get the rotor out of the motor because one of the main drive gears for the oscillator mechanism is holding the drive gear on the back of the rotor shaft into place and I can't get that drive gear out because there doesn't seem to be any way to get it out, no screws or anything holding it into place from the top side, there is a nut underneath that seems to be tied into that main drive gear and holding it into place but when I removed the nut and went to try and remove the drive gear it wouldn't budge almost as if there was still something else holding it into place besides that nut underneath, also I saw that the drive gear on the back of the rotor shaft going into the oscillator gear box had what appeared to be a set screw on it to release the gear from the rotor shaft but when I went to try and release the set screw the set screw broke off and I was trying to see if I could just remove the whole oscillator gearbox assembly itself from the back of the fan, thus releasing the rotor shaft, but only one of the screws would come out the other two were stuck tight and wouldn't budge no matter how much force I used on the screwdriver, it would just act like the screw head was going to strip out.
Any ideas as to what I can do to release the rotor? Seeing as the normal means aren't working.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:37 am
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Jim Humphrey
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Levi,
I suspect there's a broken wire in the speed coil or one of its attachments to the terminals on the porcelain plate.  If you disconnect one of the headwires at the speed control you can check for the ohm reading between terminals.  The ohms should rise between high speed-medium-low.  Here is a pic of the resistance ring on my staghorn, it's the same as yours but you have an older fan.  The S/N on mine is B 14350 O.  The "O" signifies that it's an oscillator fan.  I'll include a pic of mine after cleanup.  I had to repair a broken resistance wire in the ring on mine to get it to run.  Edit: just remembered you've got the brushes out, so you don't need to remove a head wire from the speed control.

Jim









Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:39 am by Jim Humphrey

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:41 am
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Lucas Beshara
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That speed coil looks suspect for not running. Looks burned up. Can't help you on the gear box removal but I'd say soak in pb blaster and let it sit for a day or 2. Good luck!

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:46 am
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Levi Mevis
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well it seems I have a bigger problem now, the oscillator linkage gear that's attached to the back of the rotor shaft needs to come off in order to remove the rotor to check the commutator and the setscrew (at least I think it was a setscrew) that held the wormgear onto the back of the rotor shaft broke on me when I was trying to release the setscrew so I could get the wormgear loose from the back of the rotor shaft so now I can't get the wormgear off the rotor shaft and thus I can't remove the rotor now, unless I'm missing something about how that wormgear was attached.... :wondering:

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:51 am
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Chris A. Campbell
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I sent a Menominee to Darryl for new bearings and shaft. He is familiar with these fans.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:53 am
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Levi Mevis
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the only problem is that I don't have the money to ship this fan to wherever he's at or to pay for him to repair the damage I did to the fan unintentionally.
OK So here's a picture of the wormgear on the back of the rotor shaft and the setscrew that was holding it into place that ended up breaking when I tried loosening it.




How can I safely remove the damaged setscrew to replace it with a new one? Also I need to get the rotor out of the housing to inspect the commutator.

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:11 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:15 am
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Chris A. Campbell
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Hard to see in photo but looks like you snapped one side of screw. You could dremel a slot deeper into set screw to form a slot to unscrew. 

If it is that tight that you broke half the head then use penetrant before trying again with a new slot

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:17 am by Chris A. Campbell

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:18 am
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Levi Mevis
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sorry but that's the best I can do with the camera I have and yes one side of the setscrew is snapped off, it somehow snapped off while I was trying to loosen the setscrew. my sister has a dremmel tool but not sure if she has the right attachment to cut the slot in the screw deeper or not, but I'm not even sure how one would dremmel the slot in the screw deeper without damaging the gear.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:37 am
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Chris A. Campbell
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It will take some time and you can use the existing side as a guide to etch your way downwards. I think I got these at Harbor Freight

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IMG_3465.JPG

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:39 am by Chris A. Campbell

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:39 am
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Levi Mevis
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I was actually able to get the screw out using a pair of pliers, now just to clean up the setscrew and take it to Ace Hardware and see if they have any setscrews the same size as the original.
I got the rotor/commutator pulled and I have a picture of what it looks like, the rotor itself has some rust on it and the commutator portion of the rotor was black as soot, which I cleaned it up with some clorox bathroom cleaner which got rid of the majority of the blackness on the commutator, picture of the rotor/commutator below.

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:44 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 05:18 am
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Russ Huber
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Your fan dates 14-16.  The cone base appears for the first time in 14 electrical trade.  In 17 the Menominee 8" oscillator(staghorn) went to overall steel construction in black enamel.


Your fan is a series wired universal motor with a nichrome wound 3 speed switch. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 05:59 am
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Charlie Forster
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Levi,
be careful there you got a nice fan .
That rust on the armature  you can just lightly sand it off and steel wool on the commentator . on the brushes its good to note  how the brush is in the holder so they go back the same way. 
Now on the commentator  those  black looking lines  are micia and need to be below the copper about 1/16 of an inch and be sure that there is  no copper between the copper bars.
When the commentator is turned in a lathe it can push up a burr in the corner where the wires are connected and that can short it out.
 A Stanly knife can be used  or I like a old hacksaw blade and grind off all but one or two teeth  to clean the grooves.  you will want to hold the armature secure  while you are doing this.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 10:02 am
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Lane Shirey
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I realize you said money is tight, but White Armature does a great job and will rewind the armature for around $125 and shipping. Just an option if the armature is bad. 


It looks ok to me visually. I'd clean the commutator with scotch brite pad, then blow it out with compressed air, then clean it and the brushes with alcohol before using it. 



It is important to get the brushes back in the exact position since they wear unevenly and if put in wrong will cause poor contact with the commutator causing sparking and problems with the commutator. 



I hate working on brush motor fans. There is a reason they went to induction motors! Lol. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:39 pm
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Charlie Forster
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Levi,
 the armature look to be ok but  get a couple sticks  so it dosent roll around  and take your meter and check for shorts between the bars. the if it needs clean the groves (THIS IS CALLED UNDERCUTTING THE ARMATURE )  if there is enough of a grove to catch your finger nail it should be ok   If you have to clean the grove then check for shorts again then if ok you are good to go!!
If the mica is even with the copper of the commutator   can build up with dirt and cause a short  maybe not enough to stop the motor but will have a negative effect on it.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 02:53 pm
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Michael Rathberger
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It's a nice fan Levi, and a great one to get for free. In whatever you do to it, be careful, it's easy to devalue a fan pretty quickly. I'm not sure of your skill level, and please don't take this as an insult, but you seem to be friends with Charles and maybe Mike Mirin, my advice would be to ask for their assistance walking through the fan and cleaning it up. I know both have owned the same fan at one point or another. 

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:22 pm
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Levi Mevis
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That's what I'm doing, trying to get advice on working on the fan as this is the first 100+ year old fan I've ever worked on.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:37 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Levi Mevis wrote: ...the commutator portion of the rotor was black as soot, which I cleaned it up with some clorox bathroom cleaner which got rid of the majority of the blackness on the commutator, picture of the rotor/commutator below.

I have never heard of clorox (bleach) being used to clean a fan so be cautious in using it as it could be harmful.   Try using alcohol to clean the commutator, it should be clean copper.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:40 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Would brasso work to polish up the commutator?

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:47 pm
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Charlie Forster
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no on the brass cleaner!!
  scotch bright or steel wool  alcohol or carb cleaner when I turn one in the lathe i dont put any thing on it after  Im done .
 you need a good electrical connection between the brush and the contaminate!
AS Mike says if in doubt dont do anything  til you are sure. That is to nice a fan to hurry it..

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:55 pm by Charlie Forster

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 03:51 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Ok, then I'll need to get some steel wool from my dad's place. Would 0000 grade steel wool work?

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 06:56 pm
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Russ Huber
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Requires a steady hand to keep the wire wheel doing its work on the rusted laminations. One has to be cautious not to slip off and damage armature windings.



The Dremel is a key tool with fan restoration.

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79546_132344_180000000.jpg

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 06:57 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 07:03 pm
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Russ Huber
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Your commutator shows minimal wear.  That may be a good sign regarding wear of the brass oscillator gears.

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4.png

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 07:05 pm by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 07:36 pm
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Levi Mevis
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OK Well That's good I guess. Well My cage's one s-wire that was partially broken off when I first got it, broke completely off, is there any way to repair that and make it look like it never broke off? I know one of the members here specializes in reproducing these old brass cages so I wonder if he could just reproduce the one s-wire and put it on and make it look like it was always there? And do it at a minimal cost because I don't have a whole lot of money to work with but I would like to get this fan working again and looking good as well at the same time. 
UPDATE: I was able to get a new Setscrew for the drive gear that goes on the back of the rotor shaft of the fan, its even a brass slotted screw like the original was, and I just went to the local Ace Hardware 30 cents. 

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 10:20 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 10:21 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Bump.
Does anyone know how I could go about getting my cage repaired on my fan?

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 11:13 pm
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Charlie Forster
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Talk to George D he is set up to silver solder  it and  you shouldnt see the repair. if he uses phossilver rod it will look like brass .
Did you find what killed the motor?

Last edited on Thu Sep 14th, 2017 11:14 pm by Charlie Forster

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 Posted: Thu Sep 14th, 2017 11:58 pm
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Levi Mevis
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No, I haven't yet, I haven't had a chance to check the speed coil yet or to properly clean the commutator yet, as I don't have any 0000 Grade steel wool on me, but I have some at my parents place. I was as I explained in my previous post able to locate the proper setscrew for the wormgear on the back of the rotor shaft.for the oscillator gearbox.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 15th, 2017 12:51 am
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Steve Stephens
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I don't think it's a good idea to use steel wool on your commutator.   Try using alcohol or crocus cloth.  Steel wool is metal which might not be good to have around a motor.  Emery cloth is, likewise, not good as the emery particles can conduct electricity.  Fine sandpaper might be ok but can leave abrasive sand in the motor.  Do a search on google on how to clean a commutator; Google is your friend but find several suggestions that jive so you are not lead wrongly.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 15th, 2017 12:55 am
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Levi Mevis
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I see. Well anyways I will need to buy some alcohol as I don't currently have any.

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