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My FIrst R & M Fan!  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri May 4th, 2018 10:36 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Hello everyone, today I went to Niles, Michigan to visit a couple of antique shops up there and the first shop was a bust when it came to fans but the second one had 2 nice fans there one was a 1940s vintage 9" Vortalex single speed oscillator (which I passed on even though it was within my price range) and the other fan was a 1920s vintage Nickel Plated R & M Model 3804X 12" 3 speed oscillating fan that was just way too cool to pass up, and for the price it was too hard to resist. The sucker was heavier than all get out and the Nickel Plating is a little corroded but not too horrible looking. I paid $75 for the fan which was actually way less than the antique mall down in Goshen wanted for the GE AOU from the same time period (and that fan was in worse shape than this one is) and is a better fan as well. Anyways I have some pictures posted below of the fan in question. 
Enjoy.

Thanks,

Levi






Also how does one engage the oscillator mechanism on this fan? I know the knob on the side of the oscillator wheel is for adjusting the sweep but how does one turn on and off this particular style of oscillator mechanism?

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 Posted: Fri May 4th, 2018 11:58 pm
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Alec Burns
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Congratulations Levi. If you bust out the 0000 Steel Wool, WD40 then some Simichrome that baby will shine!

Last edited on Fri May 4th, 2018 11:58 pm by Alec Burns

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 12:14 am
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Steve Butler
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Nice find Levi. Just run the screw all the way so there is no oscillation. It just free wheels. 

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 12:26 am
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Levi Mevis
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Thanks, and I figured out.that there's a thumb screw that is on the shaft of the oscillator wheel that when you unscrew it it makes the fan oscillate. Now would this be considered a scarcer model? Because all of the other fans like this were mostly black.

Last edited on Sat May 5th, 2018 12:27 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 02:48 am
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Jamie Williams
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Levi,

The "X" fans are not common, congrats on the find. I submitted a 5204X fan for the gallery and it was (and may still be) the only plated R&M in there. I hope you will submit this one at some point too.

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 02:56 am
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Levi Mevis
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I thought so, I didn't think they were very common seeing as I didn't see any others like it when I did a Google search on the fan. I will see about submitting my fan to the forum so that your 5204X isn't lonely anymore Jamie.

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 06:46 am
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Levi Mevis
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OK, So now that I know I scored a fairly rare fan, the biggest question now is, how did I do price wise for the fan, in reference to its potential value? Did I actually score big or did I overpay for the fan? I'm just curious because if it turns out I scored a big one with this fan that would make twice that I've scored a rare and valuable fan the first time being with getting my 1914 Menominee Staghorn Oscillator for free...
So yeah, just googled the 3804X which is the model of my fan, and yes it seems that my fan is extremely rare (as are any R & M fans with the "X" suffix it seems as Jamie pointed out) because the only pictures that came up with my model number entry into google and google image search was the pictures of my fan from my post in the forum and that's it nothing else showed up...  not even any  ebay listings current or previous.

Last edited on Sat May 5th, 2018 07:02 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 07:20 am
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Levi Mevis
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Also another thing I noticed about this fan, is that when I have it switched on to high and medium the fan works fine on those speeds but when I switch it to low the fan shuts off and the low speed thus non-existant on this fan, is that a pretty easy fix or will I need to do some troubleshooting to figure out if I have something like a loose wire on the speed coil and headwire causing problems or a bad speed coil? I did have to put a new cord on the fan as the previous owner of the fan at some point in time had replaced the original worn out cloth cord with a more modern cordset from a drill or something so I took that cord off and wired on a normal 12 AWG rubber cord with an original period correct Hubbel Bakelite plug end and in order for me to replace the old industrial strength cord I had to remove one of the headwire leads from the speed coil and switch assembly which I hope that all that happened was that somehow the headwire lead didn't get hooked up right and that's why the low speed on the fan doesn't exist currently. 

Last edited on Sat May 5th, 2018 07:20 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 06:49 pm
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George Durbin
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Nice find Levi!Price was right!

Geo...

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 07:21 pm
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Levi Mevis
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And the best part was that I didn't Find it in Indiana!  :P So I'm in the clear George!  :D So George, How do I submit fans to the Forum Gallery? Jamie Suggested I submit my fan to the Gallery so that there's a record of another R & M  "X" fan being located.

Last edited on Sat May 5th, 2018 07:23 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Sat May 5th, 2018 10:12 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Alrighty then everyone, I managed to do some cleaning and polishing on the fan and and it looks tons better than it did when I first got it, there are still some imperfections in the plating on the motor housing and the base and the cage but the blades and the cage actually polished and shined up to a condition that looks a lot better than it did originally, of course the steel wool I had available to me that was still usable was only 00 and 000 grade steel wool rather than 0000 grade steel wool which might be why the base and motor housing didn't clean up as well as it could of but at least it doesn't look as dull dingy and rusty looking as it did when I first got the fan, I made a short video of the fan running through all 3 speeds and in oscillating mode and I also snapped a few still shots of the fan after the polish and cleaning that I performed on the fan, which will be posted on here.

Front View of the fan showing the blades and cage polished and cleaned up.

Rearview of the fan showing the freshly polished and cleaned fan.


View of the base of the fan showing that the speed control numbers and off letters are still intact on the base of the fan.


shot of the motor tag notice it doesn't have the amphere draw listed on the tag anywhere, just the voltage and cycle rating and model number.


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 Posted: Sun May 6th, 2018 06:00 am
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Charlie Forster
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Good  luck getting your new fan up in shape and was a nice find.
No you dont have George to deal with it will be  me .lol I wont charge as much as George dose .

I have a Star Rite that has the nickel pitted and I just cleaned it the best I could and I have it in my computer room and has run good for 5 yrs.
 Fix it up and use it and enjoy it.

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 Posted: Sun May 6th, 2018 11:05 am
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Levi Mevis
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thanks, I will enjoy it, it was a great find and to me more than made up for the extremely over priced fans at the antique mall in Goshen, Indiana that I had to pass up on.

Last edited on Sun May 6th, 2018 11:06 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Sat May 12th, 2018 03:25 pm
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Christopher Harding
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Great fan!

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 Posted: Sat May 12th, 2018 03:29 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Thanks Chris, I was told its a rare model as there aren't many of the Plated R & M fans known in existence in fact I guess there's only one in the archives here that is known of besides mine (which I haven't posted mine into the archive here yet because I don't have the current password for that part of the forum yet.) 

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 Posted: Thu May 17th, 2018 03:44 am
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Jamie Williams
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Levi,

Regarding value:

I think $75 is a fair buy price, as in you did well and should be able to sell it for more than that if you choose to. Condition obviously matters, and I think a minty one of these (or any plated fan) would sell for a song. As you mentioned, and I can confirm with my own fruitless searching, there isn't a lot of info out there on these. Based on what mine sold for on the open market and adjustments for condition I'd say a fair price is $110-$130. Of course if two people both want it the sell price could go through the roof, since there are few to no examples to compare to.

Chrome/nickel fans skew the normal trends due to their lack of availability.

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 Posted: Thu May 17th, 2018 04:00 am
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Levi Mevis
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Jamie Williams wrote: Levi,

Regarding value:

I think $75 is a fair buy price, as in you did well and should be able to sell it for more than that if you choose to. Condition obviously matters, and I think a minty one of these (or any plated fan) would sell for a song. As you mentioned, and I can confirm with my own fruitless searching, there isn't a lot of info out there on these. Based on what mine sold for on the open market and adjustments for condition I'd say a fair price is $110-$130. Of course if two people both want it the sell price could go through the roof, since there are few to no examples to compare to.

Chrome/nickel fans skew the normal trends due to their lack of availability.

Thanks for the additional Information Jamie, I would like to try and get this fan into the database on here eventually but I have to wait until the next fan collector magazine comes out as I currently don't have any current issues so I don't have the current password to get into the database on here to add my fan. 

I've been running my fan a few times and I've noticed that the blades are out of whack as the fan vibrates excessively when its running and is very noisy because of that. Whats the easiest way to rebalance the blades on this fan? I know some people use the dubro propeller balancer to balance the fan blades but there aren't any hobby shops near me anymore as the only local hobby shop near me went out of business a couple of years ago, and the next closest hobby shop is about a half hour away from me in a town that I don't like to drive in because of heavy traffic and the streets are horrible to drive on. what are some of your suggestions for balancing fan blades without a dubro propeller balancer?

Also what condition was the plating on your R & M "X" fan? Just curious because I know the plating on my fan is definitely a little rough and will need a lot of #0000 steel wool and WD-40 to poslish it back up again.
Also what year do you think my fan is from? Was I correct in guessing the 1920s or is it newer or older than that? I know it was made before the Hunter merger because the fan's tag says Springfield, Ohio rather than Memphis, Tennessee.

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2018 11:28 pm
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Rick Robinson
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Levi,
My records show that the 3804 (12") and the 3854 (16") were produced circa 1922 - 1928.  The List # 3804 was the workhorse of the late 1920s.  I only collect R&M Fans and I have over 200 of them including 4 Chrome / Nickel plated fans.  You got a great deal on this fan.

Rick Robinson

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2018 11:36 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Thanks for the Information Rick! I guess it would make sense that you would specialize in Collecting R & M fans seeing as they were made in your home state of Ohio!  :D So I guess Jamie and I were spot on when we guessed 1923 or so for when my fan was made, and yes my fan works excellently yet, although the blades are off kilter a bit because my fan as a bit of vibration to it when it starts up and when its running, how do I fix the blade? Also I need to source a new screw to replace one of the cage strut screws that attaches the cage strut to the fan motor housing because the head broke off partially on one of the screws, would a steel screw from Ace Hardware be a good replacement as long as I got the same length, thread pitch and slotted head screw as the original?

Last edited on Mon May 21st, 2018 11:37 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2018 11:52 pm
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Rick Robinson
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Levi,  that would work.  The size of the screw should be # 8 - 32.
Rick

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2018 11:55 pm
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Duane Burright
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Nice fan! Also commented on the video.

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2018 11:59 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Alright thanks, I'll see if I can make a trip over there tomorrow to get that screw I need.
Also what are your suggestions for how to fix excessive vibrations from the blades when the fan is starting up and running? I think the blades on my fan are out of balance somehow but not sure how and I've tried bending the blades different directions to try and get the blades fixed but it doesn't work, also I noticed that the cage is bent in several spots which I wonder if the fan took a tumble at some point in its life and that was what screwed up the blades, I also noticed that the blades actually had dimes glued to the black of them which I'm wondering if someone was attempting to use that as a means to repair the blades and their excessive vibrations.

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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2018 12:01 am
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Levi Mevis
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Duane Burright wrote: Nice fan! Also commented on the video.Thanks Duane, sorry about there being no audio on the video, I thought the camera was recoreding sound but apparently it wasn't like it said it was, which it weird because that was the same camera that I used to record the video of my Menominee Staghorn Oscillator, and my Fresh'nd Air Fan as well which both had audio.

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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2018 03:42 am
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Rick Robinson
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Levi,
I always hold my finger on one of the "S" shaped pieces on the front of the cage close to the top of the fan.  Then I turn the blade by hand to see which blade is out of balance.  You should be able to bend the blade that is out of wack.  All 4 blades need to just touch your finger as you turn the blades.  There are more sophisticated ways of doing it but this usually works for me.  You might remove the dimes and start over.

Rick

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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2018 03:51 am
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Levi Mevis
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That's the thing, one of the dimes already fell off the fan before I even got it as I saw the glue marks from it on the back of one of the blades and the other blade the one next to the one that had previously had a dime glued to it but had fallen off still had the dime attached to it, anyways when I cleaned and polished up the fan I took the remaining dime off the fan and cleaned off all of the glue residue from the back of the blades and then polished the blades, and that's when I noticed that the blades were out of whack because the fan was vibrating so much that the fan actually
"moved" with the vibrations.
And yes I did try what you suggest but it didn't seem to work because the blades didn't seem like they wanted to bend back to shape very easily.

But I can try again and maybe use more force than I used originally (I didn't want to use too much force as I didn't want to risk breaking the blades as they are nothing more than polished aluminum blades attached to a cast aluminum hub).

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