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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2018 10:40 pm
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Ed Trembicki-Guy
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The good news: I've finally finished restoring a Diehl desktop oscillating fan (late '30's early '40's)
The bad news: It only hums on fast and medium and makes a few slow rotations on slow before just humming.

I started this project last year, when I posted topic_id=47942 looking for a replacement switch. When I found the fan, it was badly rusted, but worked fine on the one speed the old switch was stuck on. I took it completely apart so that I could sand and paint the stand, the fan blades, the cage and the motor housing.
I reassembled it and soldered the throttle coil wires to the switch: black on slow, white on medium, red and one lead from the fan motor to fast, the white wire from the outlet cord to the remaining switch pole, just like the previous switch, then connected the black outlet cord lead to the other fan motor lead with a wire nut. 

I'm not sure if I did something wrong, or if leaving the motor parts lying on a workbench for almost a year had an affect.

Any troubleshooting suggestions are welcome. I have a multimeter, but don't know much about electrical motors.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 2nd, 2018 10:33 am
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Lane Shirey
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Does the blade spin freely when spun by hand? If not, you’ll need to figure out what’s binding it. It might have self centering bearings that might be cockeyed. 

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 Posted: Tue Jul 3rd, 2018 03:46 am
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Ed Trembicki-Guy
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Lane Shirey wrote: Does the blade spin freely when spun by hand? If not, you’ll need to figure out what’s binding it. It might have self centering bearings that might be cockeyed. 
I don't recall how freely it spun before I disassembled it, but it only spins about a quarter turn when I give the fan blade a nudge now.

I don't know the correct terminology, but the center shaft with the big barrel magnet seems to be interacting (magnetically?) with the collar of copper wirings when inserted through it, causing some resistance to spinning. One end of the shaft has large threading and it fits into a cup inside one end of the motor housing. The other end of the shaft protrudes through the other end of the motor housing, where the fan blade is connected with a set screw.

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 Posted: Tue Jul 10th, 2018 04:15 am
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Jeff Jones
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That definitely sounds like an alignment issue. Either one of the ends is not fitting on squarely and is causing the bushing & rotor to fit in cockeyed, or possibly 1 or more stator shims fell out.

The rotor will bind on the stator when only 1 end is on...you have to have both ends on for it to run freely. Try this 1st... once you have the end back on, and if its still tight try tapping the shaft from all directions with a rubber mallet or the back end of a big screwdriver. If it has self centering bushings this will align them. See if it spins more freely after doing this. Give the shaft a pretty good hit but don't slam it like you were driving a nail into a board. But give it a firm but gentle tap from all different directions, top/bottom, left, right.

The part w/ the big barrel magnet is the rotor, and the other part with the coils is the stator.

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2018 03:03 am
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Ed Trembicki-Guy
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Thanks Jeff, getting closer. I partially disassembled the motor housing, removing the front face and the rotor. I don't think the rotor shaft had been fully in the receptacle inside the rear face, so I tapped the rotor shaft in with a rubber mallet. When I reassembled the front face, the shaft seemed to spin more freely. When I turned it on, it began spinning, but when I moved the switch to the middle position, it stopped and just hummed, and in the third position it moved slowly. When I went back to the first position, it no longer spun, just hummed. I reconnected the fan blade to the shaft and spun it by hand. It would turn a few revolutions, which was better than the quarter revolution previously. When I turned it back on and put it in the third position, I spun it by hand a few times and it began spinning on its own, eventually close to normal speed, but making quite a bit of noise. I could make and post a youtube video if that would be helpful. I also noticed that the shaft appears to move in and out a bit, maybe a quarter of an inch travel. Is this an issue or normal behavior? The oscillation appears to be working ok when the fan is spinning, but the grease is thick and black. Should it be repacked?

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2018 03:43 pm
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Richard Daugird
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First thing I do when I get an old fan is clean and re-grease the oscillator.

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