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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 04:30 am
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Dean A. Leonard
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Hello there,  I'm a brand new newbie.  Over the last several years I have spent some time working on and restoring old record players from the 50's. I'm not educated on the electronics of them...but could figure them out. I truly enjoyed working on the mechanics of the changer along with the motor .....and lately I have become interested in old fans.  I have had a couple modern fans apart to clean old grease/oil and re-lube, but never a vintage or antique.  
I am wondering if there are a few brands or models of fan (or even type?) that might stand out as an excellent beginner project?   I may share a couple pics of some locally advertised fans, to get some thoughts as to which may be the best way to go. ...would that would be allowed here?

I looked at a few of the restoration threads and it seems like there is an enormous amount of knowledge here....and I bet I will be needing to take full advantage, if my interest grows.   I appreciate being able to tap into and use your shared experience.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 05:10 am
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Dean A. Leonard
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Both of the Eskimos











are offered for $50 obo each...different sellers, but both local.   The Westinghouse and Wizard are $40 for the 2 of them.  I've done a bit of looking, but not real informed on prices. 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 02:37 am
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Mike Kearns
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Hello Dean, Honestly, I think you could do much better than any of these fans pictured. Start looking on the forum buy-sell-trade and EBay, there are often bargains to be had of the more common varieties, which are much better fans and less problematic, both to run and to restore. If these pictured float your boat, by all means be happy, but I would strongly counsel that you sleep on it. Emersons are very easy for a first timer, and are great fans to start on, for example.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 03:11 am
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Dean A. Leonard
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Thanks Mike, that is just the kind of info I was looking for. I am not in a hurry and don't have any particular interest in any of these..they were just about the only local ads, and I thought I would ask. I was also wondering if an antique might be easier to work on? But they might be a bit pricey to be learning on? I appreciate your reply, and will pay heed to your advice. Regards, Dean

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 11:44 pm
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Lane Shirey
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If you hang out and aren’t in a rush, look for earlier GE fans with a CAST IRON motor. All stamped steel motors can be a challenge for new restorers. All GE cast motors have brass blades but not all GE brass blade motors are cast motors.  You can tell if it’s cast by looking at the vent holes. A thick housing is cast, a thin housing is sheet metal.  Beware of fans that have potmetal components in the base, pivot, or motor. . These components are non metallic and that’s how you can tell.  Of course brass is too, but you can tell by the color. Brass is...well, brass colored.  Pot metal is silver.  

You can learn a lot by using the search function in the forum to get familiar with the older fans I’m referring to.  If you’re patient and know what to look for, these fans can GE found for about the same price as the less collectible , lower quality fans that you posted pics of. .  


Best of success with your new hobby! 

Last edited on Sun Dec 15th, 2019 11:48 pm by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Mon Dec 16th, 2019 12:01 am
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David Kilnapp
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What Lane said. In the end, this hobby is for your enjoyment so the fans that you choose to work on will of course depend on what catches your eye and what you like to collect. I started by going to local antique shops and flea markets to see what was available and what I could afford and more importantly, what appealed to me, visually. I learned pretty quickly about what fans were the easiest to work on and what fans were much more difficult. I also started to get a sense of what I should be willing to pay. And finally, as the number of fans that I worked on increased, my tasted got much more specific as to what I wanted to work on and what I wanted to keep. By all means, reach out to this community when you find a fan that you think you may want to buy and work on. Lots of friendly folks here will help and guide you (me included). After all, everyone here loves to talk about this hobby and it's great fun for all concerned. Hope to hear from you soon.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 16th, 2019 02:51 am
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Dean A. Leonard
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Thanks, Lane and Dave. I'm not in a hurry, so I will do some looking. What is the general thinking on buying on ebay?...I know I didn't want an old radio shipped (I restored/fixed a few radios, too)....lots of not good things can happen in shipping I would think fans might be a bit tough to ship without the grills getting bent up, etc. ...but there seems to be lots of fans listed to sell.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 16th, 2019 10:50 am
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Lane Shirey
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Dean A. Leonard wrote: Thanks, Lane and Dave. I'm not in a hurry, so I will do some looking. What is the general thinking on buying on ebay?...I know I didn't want an old radio shipped (I restored/fixed a few radios, too)....lots of not good things can happen in shipping I would think fans might be a bit tough to ship without the grills getting bent up, etc. ...but there seems to be lots of fans listed to sell.
I buy almost no fans from eBay due to the problems you cited. And most of them are overpriced.  I don’t know what part of the country you’re in, but there are local AFCA regional fan meets across the country. Some require you to be a member of the club, but most don’t.  

They are a great place to pick up reasonably priced fans from reputable people.  They’re also a great place to meet some great folks.  

We host one in Southeastern PA,  but there are others in NJ,  Lehigh Valley, PA, New Orleans, Houston area, Aiken, SC, and then our national meet which moves around each year.   Keep an eye to the events calendar here on the forum.  

Antique stores, flea markets, and the like are also good sources, but the fans at these places are fairly scarce in the winter months.  The vendors pull them from their booths until warmer weather.  

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 Posted: Sun Dec 29th, 2019 10:18 pm
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Jeff Whitfield
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I agree with Lane. Keep your eyes out for an early GE cast iron fan. Also, you might consider a GE "loop handle" fan and research those models.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 1st, 2020 10:15 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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Emerson fans from the 20s-30s, Junior Models are plentiful, oscillating and stationary - - Or earlier Brass Blade Cast Iron for a bit more money

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 Posted: Thu Jan 2nd, 2020 07:03 am
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Tom Morel
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I'm by no means a restorer, but I strongly encourage that you find a working fan or are easily able to get the fan operational before painting, polishing, etc. You don't want to have a beautiful, freshly painted fan only to discover that it doesn't run. Stay away from stamped steel-they are far more difficult to work on, especially when you remove the stator. Stick with cast iron. The GE AUU is a great and underrated starter fan-it has no oscillator to deal with and is a dead simple fan to work on. Its predecessor, the GE SMY (small motor yoke) wouldn't be a bad choice either but will be slightly pricier than the AUU.

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