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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 02:27 pm
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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 certain brands or models of fan (or even type?) that might stand out as an excellent beginner project?   I shared a couple pics of some locally advertised vintage fans over on the post-1950 page, to get some thoughts... I initially thought 'vintage' was the best way to start because of availability and figured the prices were better.  I think the fun of this hobby, for me, will be the restoration process...I really enjoy it....but maybe an antique fan might be ok to start with?  I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have on this....

I've 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.     
Regards, Dean

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 03:45 pm
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Dave McManaman
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I’ve found the GE AOUs easy to work on and plentiful. Plus, being GE, there’s usually something that’ll need fixing so you can take more pride when it’s up and running - as opposed to the Emersons that’ll undoubtably run no matter the shape it’s in when it comes to you.😆  Older fans sometimes are the simplest design.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 04:28 pm
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Alex Rushing
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I second the AOU recommendation!
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Or better yet, an AUU. No Oscillator parts to deal with. :)

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 04:36 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Alex Rushing wrote: I second the AOU recommendation!
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Or better yet, an AUU. No Oscillator parts to deal with. :)
Oh yes, definitely what Alex said. Then you avoid a lot of problems, not the least of which is pot metal in some fans. Should be able to find a good starter AUU for a decent price. 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 04:57 pm
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Dean A. Leonard
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Thank you, fellas. My first order of business is to understand what an AOU and an AUU are! :)

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 04:59 pm
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Sean Campbell
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My recommendation would be the Emerson 29646. They are plentiful and inexpensive. Not only that, but Emerson’s excellent single bearing motor can take tremendous neglect and abuse and still will typically run. So far, I have never encountered an Emerson with a bad stator (a very expensive repair) and I’ve found many Emersons. If you want to restore an absolute basket case, by all means look for a GE. However, one of the most reliable motors you can buy will be found on the 29646. For a first project, definitely stay away from Westinghouse. Those can be nightmares to work on. Hope this helps.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 05:07 pm
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Dean A. Leonard
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Yes, Sean...that is exactly the kind of info I am looking for.  Right now, the scarcity or value of a project fan makes little difference to me. Learning is my goal.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 05:09 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Sean Campbell wrote: For a first project, definitely stay away from Westinghouse. Those can be nightmares to work on. That would be for the stamped steel Westinghouse fans made 1912 and later but the earlier 1905-1911 Westy "tank" fans are solid, simple, and great early fans at a reasonable cost.I agree that the GE AOU and many Emersons are great older fans.  Also that many earlier fans are easier to work on than later ones.  Watch out for degrading pot metal as was used on some fans such as Centurys ( but not the earlier 5 speed Centurys) and other fans.

Have a read on my blog; it might give you some insight into old fans.


http://www.earlyfans.com

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 05:32 pm
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David Kilnapp
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I second Steve Stephens suggestion. Read his blog and you'll get a good understanding of early fans. Couldn't agree more with the advice to stay away from stamped steel Westinghouse fans from 1913 through 1917. Lots of pot metal in that housing (which is easily broken) and very tricky to put back together so that the rotor turns easily. And don't even think about removing the stator if the head wires are cut at the opening in the case. I'd rather have a tooth pulled with no novacaine than remove a stamped steel stator. Best bet for first fan restoration are the GE fans as suggested although, as Steve said, the Westinghouse tank fans from the early 1900's are wonderfully made and easy to work on and not too expensive. They can be had for $200 or less and can many times be found at flea markets. With a lot of elbow grease, the japanne finish can be brought back to life. Welcome to the club! Lots of GREAT folks here!

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 08:19 pm
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William Dunlap
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My feelings, exactly. I might take on another stamped steel Westy now that I've got a few years under my belt working on old fans, but reluctantly....I think Pancakes are the easiest fan to work on. Dead simple.
Cheers,
Bill

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 Posted: Sat Dec 14th, 2019 09:02 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Form AQ, 1934-35 in virtually new condition.


Form AS, 1938



GE 3-star fan.   The "star" name refers to the star shaped thumbscrews on top of the gearbox, under the oscillator disc, and on top of the base as shown.  The "two star" changed the star on top of the base to a wing screw.  Through 1916 these star fans had brass cages and the color was black, changing to several shades of green after 1916.





AUU-    This is the non-oscillating version of these GE fans but are usually pretty close in design to the oscillators.  From about 1915 for a few years it was an AU then changed to AUU.    I can't tell you what AOU and AUU stand for.   The AUU fans do not have the loop handle frame.

1920 Form W Type AUU












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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 12:22 am
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Jim Kovar
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Dave McManaman wrote: ...being GE, there’s usually something that’ll need fixing...
Funny and true!   :P   :shock:


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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 01:09 am
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David A Cherry
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 all I can say is stay away from bad rust, pot metal, dry rotted chords, if the outside wiring is dry rotted than more than likely the inside wiring is shot, but not always... Quality over quantity...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... 

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 09:01 am
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Steven P Dempsey
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Early R&M "Tanks" 1911-14

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 09:04 am
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Steven P Dempsey
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Early Tank Oscillator, or Later stamped models (cheaper but still nice)


Stationary

Attached Image (viewed 169 times):

1404 1911.jpg

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 09:06 am
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Steven P Dempsey
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stamped (drawn steel) base. Still has pinstriping and brass blades

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 11:34 am
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NM Whitney Jr.
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I'll second the Emerson 29646 suggestion.

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 01:41 pm
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Dean A. Leonard
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate all your thoughts....I am now on the hunt. :)

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 02:30 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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The hunt is the fun part

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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2019 03:35 pm
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Steve Stephens
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Steven P Dempsey wrote: Early R&M "Tanks" 1911-14Actually the R&M 12 and 16" cast iron fans endured through the 1917 model year alongside the newer drawn steel models which were introduced in 1916, possibly 1915.    Those last of the cast iron fans used the new, smaller round cage badge which started in 1917.    All very good fans but, for a beginner, the aforementioned Emerson 29646 and GE loop handle oscillators would probably be a better choice if, for no other reason, the better availability of parts.  But I would keep my iron R&Ms and sell the GE and Emerson models first.

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