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 Posted: Sun Aug 22nd, 2021 10:40 pm
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Dave McManaman
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I posted this on the FB page but thought I'd share here as well. I'll likely have questions going forward and want to reach as many as I can for sound advice and to also make sure and share the various answers for the benefit of others. I picked up a Westinghouse Tank (60677) last Friday. It's my first tank and one of my oldest fans. I found it almost in my own backyard, popping up on FB marketplace a handful of blocks from where I live. I rarely see this stuff locally and, when I do, it's either unrealistically priced or I'm too late. This time I lucked out, good price and I saw it just after it posted. So I contacted the seller and out the door I went. Anyway, it has an interesting back story (this may be boring to some, but whenever I can find out the story behind a fan I make note of it). The seller is gutting/restoring his craftsman style house. He bought it about a year ago. It was originally built in 1900. He's been tearing the inside walls down to studs and found the fan behind the wall in a closet upstairs - the result of what sounds like a prior renovation. He said he didn't know if it ran and I forgot to bring my meter with me in my rush out the door. It looked in relatively clean shape. Nice paint (the required paint splatters and a swath of light green on the base), brass with a good level of patina although quite a few scratches on the blade which, otherwise, looked good. The cage was bent pretty good and missing one "s" wire but, other than that, it looked complete with just a little paint loss/rust along the base and several minor paint scratches on both sides of the switch lever. Upon getting it home I realized it's missing a thumb screw for the base/yoke. Other than that, it's complete. It's one of only a few fans that I've ever gotten that haven't been significantly covered in rust so my plan is to take it apart, go through it to see if there are any electrical/mechanical issues to fix, change the head wire (it's in very ratty shape) and coil to wall electrical cord (it's rubber casing and split in several places), clean it up and call it good. I'd like this to be a conservation piece which means I'll be entering new territory for me - learning how to clean the paint, brass, etc, where most of the time I'm stripping a fan down to bare metal to repaint and polishing the brass. Advice so far is that it's likely from 1909. It has screws holding the motor tag in place, the motor tag has no micro date, and the serial number is 153319. Anyway, here are the initial pictures I took when I got it home.











 

Last edited on Sun Aug 22nd, 2021 10:42 pm by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Sun Aug 22nd, 2021 11:49 pm
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Patrick Ray
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Wow that's a great story and you have a fan in beautiful shape under the dirt and grime! The missing s-wire is not a big deal as there are lots of great guys here that can remake that for you.  Alex Rushing has done lots of cage work for me. Reach out to him. The missing parts can be easily sourced from Antique Fan Parts. Tony Clayton can be reached through here and his wire is a masterpiece in itself.  Reach out to him. As for the finish on your fan, I've found a mini air buffer with polishing compound works great. I wipe my fans down with acetone first to remove grime. Then start buffing it to bring back the shine. The Japan on these fans is really durable, no worries about cutting through it. Some people like brass patina, others like a mirror. Maybe you just wanna clean up the brass a bit. Simichrome polish works good by hand to bring out the shine without going through the steps to make a mirror shine. But if you want a mirror shine, a buffing wheel is gonna be the trick. With a replacement s-wire on the cage, you might want to consider the buffing wheel as you'll have a wire that may stick out like a sore thumb. Polishing everything to a shine will hide the fact you have a replacement wire.  Nothing beats original finish against polished brass in my book. Others may have varying opinions, but it's all in the end goal of how you want it to look for you.  

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 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2021 03:47 am
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Dave McManaman
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Took a look at the stator and speed coil, both looked intact and nothing really stood out to me so I checked real quick with a meter since I'd not tried running it. About 32 ohms across the stator and 5.5 ohms across the speed coil, both of those numbers sounded about right to me from some other threads I'd read. So I thought I'd turn it on to see if it would fire up and the only thing I got was a quiet hum. The blade turns freely so it's not a matter of it just being gummed up. What would be the next thing to check? Centrifugal switch? I took a look and both ends look nice and clean, the springs/arms look good, the wiring from the stator seems sound and it doesn't look like the sleeve collar is malformed in the least - both halves look parallel. I tried turning the blade to see if it would engage. Nada, zip, zilch. Thanks for any suggestions!




Last edited on Tue Aug 24th, 2021 01:12 am by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 03:02 am
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Dave McManaman
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Patrick Ray wrote: Alex Rushing has done lots of cage work for me. Reach out to him. The missing parts can be easily sourced from Antique Fan Parts. Tony Clayton can be reached through here and his wire is a masterpiece in itself.  Reach out to him.
Thanks Patrick. I actually texted Alex first thing, had to share my excitement. Alex has been very generous with his time, talking fans and offering suggestions. Tony will be my go to for the wire. I've ordered from him a number of times before, to include some custom color for a GE. If memory serves me right, he can make or has the right stuff for the head wire. Now if I can figure out why all I'm getting is a hum despite good readings on the stator and coil and the centrifugal switch looking as undisturbed as it is. Any ideas anyone?

In the meantime, I went ahead and cleaned up the body of the fan with some acetone, getting rid of all the grease and years of residue. Some minor scratches parallel (above & below) to the switch and then a little paint loss around the bottom of the base but no plans to do anything with those. As much as I can, this fan will be clean and safe but will retain it's storied age. Here are some pictures of how well the cast iron cleaned up with the acetone.





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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 03:24 pm
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Kyle Shelstad
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Dave how is the spring tension on the centrifugal start switch, cause it sounds like thats not engaging to start the motor.  when you turn on the fan with out that working the motor will sit there and hum because its non directional, and can burn up if left not moving. have you tried moving the blades when it hums?  a lot of the really old motors needed start switches to kick the motor in the right direction.  have you tried ohming the start coil in the rotor itself?
id start there and make sure all that is working correctly




Dave if you are looking for authentic headwire for your fan, Tony Clayton is the person you want to contact, he makes it to custom order, and it is most authentic wire i've ever seen.

Last edited on Wed Aug 25th, 2021 03:39 pm by Kyle Shelstad

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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 04:36 pm
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Kyle Shelstad
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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 05:04 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Kyle Shelstad wrote: Dave how is the spring tension on the centrifugal start switch, cause it sounds like thats not engaging to start the motor.  when you turn on the fan with out that working the motor will sit there and hum because its non directional, and can burn up if left not moving. have you tried moving the blades when it hums?  a lot of the really old motors needed start switches to kick the motor in the right direction.  have you tried ohming the start coil in the rotor itself?


Thanks Kyle. Actually the first thing I tried when it hummed was to give the blades a push, nothing, so I quickly shut it down. I looked at the springs when I then pulled the rotor, drawing the arms back and found them to have good tension pulling back toward the collar and, otherwise, be in good shape. So then, after I pulled the stator itself, I put the rotor back into the field with the centrifugal switch parts matched up so I could get a good view from the backside so to speak and the arms seem to be resting on the collar as they should be. Regarding ohming the start coil in the rotor itself, I'm not sure what that process looks like. I was thinking it might involve checking across the female end of the centrifugal switch, checking the connections on each half of the collar where the start winding connect coming out of the stator. But I but could use some pointers in that regard! Thanks again. 

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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 05:19 pm
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Thomas Peters
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It is not mentioned, therefore, here goes?
Another item to consider is that there could be residual gums/varnish on the arbor/shaft, also bearing surfaces. In spite of it appearing to turn freely, a bit of crud may be a contributor to your problem.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 08:47 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Thomas Peters wrote: ... could be residual gums/varnish on the arbor/shaft, also bearing surfaces ....Thanks for mentioning that too. Any and all possibilities! It surprised me how clean this thing looked when I opened it up yet how undisturbed the nuts, etc, seemed. That said, I will certainly be making sure those areas are all free of crud as I suspect it really wouldn't take much.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2021 10:34 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Nice score on that tank and the S wires are easy to source. I'm guessing that the issue might be in the contacts of the centrifugal start. If you have a dremel, get some wire brush attachments at the link below:
https://www.amazon.com/Drill-Warehouse-Wire-Brushes-Accessories/dp/B073YFD5HN/ref=asc_df_B073YFD5HN/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=242034450866&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2552063846573380058&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9002038&hvtargid=pla-446656769279&psc=1

I use these all the time and they help me clean the brass on the centrifugal starts. First you have to remove the start mechanism from the rotor by unscrewing three little screws. Then VERY CAREFULLY use the bottom wire attachment (in the above link) to clean all the brass being careful to stay away from the little springs that hold the butterfly wings against the center energized coil (at the back of the stator).  

Before:


after:


You should also remove the stator and check for continuity on the head wires with an ohm meter. The stators on these tanks fall out easily but first you have to unscrew the two screws that hold that center energized coil to the back of the case. They unscrew easily and there is usually a paper backing behind that you will have to line up to reinstall it. Polish that center brass part (see below) and also make sure you polish the inside edges of the little butterfly wings that contact it and get the fan started so that the point of contact is clean.



If your ohm meter gives you good continuity on the two stator head wires, then the next thing to do is check the speed coil. All the brass contacts on that should be cleaned by disassembling it and cleaning all the brass contact points.


Remove the motor tag screws (don't lose the little screws) and very gently clean the tag with some FLITZ. It will polish the brass without removing the paint but you have to be gentle (no hard rubbing). Clear coating it with lacquer after cleaning will make it beautiful and bold.

You haven't wasted your time even if none of this works to make your fan start up. All of these steps need to be done anyway to bring your fan back to life. Go slowly and enjoy the process. I'm sure you'll find the problem.
The japanne on your fan is in GREAT shape. Usually the japanne at the bottom edge of these fans is rusted and flaking off but yours looks pristine. Let me know if you need some new rubber feet for your fan and I'll throw some in the mail to you Dave, gratis.

Last edited on Wed Aug 25th, 2021 10:37 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 02:42 am
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Dave McManaman
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David Kilnapp wrote: Nice score on that tank and the S wires are easy to source. I'm guessing that the issue might be in the contacts of the centrifugal start....
Thanks for the advice and link to the wire brushes. So here are the readings in the pics, below. I have to bet you're right on cleaning the contacts all the way around because I think it's all ohming out good. I checked the run windings at 33.5. Then, when I shorted the two halves of the centrifugal switch adding the start coil in parallel with the run coil, it knocked the resistance down to a little over 20.0.

Thanks also for the offer of some feet. I literally just ordered some stuff for another couple fans from Darryl and threw in for some feet but I appreciate it.

By the way, I've got a funny story about the collar end of the centrifugal switch. Last Westinghouse I worked with a centrifugal switch was an early model stamped steel. I worked hard getting that stator out (it needed a new head wire) and worked even harder getting it back in. I sanded the inside of the housing, lightly sanded the outside of the stator, put the stator in the freezer overnight, a little vaseline on the inside of the housing right before I tried getting the stator back in, and eventually had to get threaded rod with oversized washers and draw it in by tightening nuts on alternating sides - like tightening the lug nuts when changing a tire. Then, and only then, did I realize I hadn't connected the collar end of the centrifugal switch, let alone gotten the paper backing sandwiched in behind it through which those tiny screws had to go. :hammer:No way was I pulling the stator back out and starting over so I spent the better part of an hour playing a game of "Operation," maneuvering the pieces with a variety of tools, hooks, etc, through the center of the stator before getting it all in place. Not going to get ahead of myself like that again!






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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 10:52 am
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David Kilnapp
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I know exactly what you mean Dave. For that job I use a ten inch long pair of needle nose plyers. They allow me to put those little screws right where they belong without too much difficulty. Darryl is a delight to do business with. Those readings on your ohm meter look good to me so if the fan still won't start, that would seem to indicate the speed coil is the issue. Are you having fun yet?

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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 08:18 pm
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Dave McManaman
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David Kilnapp wrote: ...Those readings on your ohm meter look good to me so if the fan still won't start, that would seem to indicate the speed coil is the issue. Are you having fun yet?
So far so good. I did fail to mention that I ohmed the speed coil too. I was getting resistance a little over 6, sometimes lower. I think that's reasonable to start with, or at least from what I've read.




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 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2021 08:34 pm
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David Kilnapp
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That reading looks good, Dave. You might try this and I don't think it will hurt the fan. Put the stator back into the case along with the rotor with the polished centrifugal start mechanism. Make sure the rotor turns easily after you get the case back together and make sure you don't have too much play from front to back or open the case and insert some fiber washers at the front of the rotor. Then put power to the two head wires. Make sure you have your finger on the on/off switch (if you are using alligator clips plugged into a wall switch) just in case something goes wrong. The rotor should start spinning. It's my understanding that the high speed bypasses the speed coil anyway so it shouldn't hurt the fan. If it doesn't start up immediately then the wires to that central energized coil aren't getting the juice to the coil and you need to check those connections (two solder joints). Perhaps someone can chime in on this to make sure my thinking is correct. I've never run into this problem with any Westy tank motor and I've worked on a ton of them since those motors show up in R & M's and Western Electric fans of the period. You can't miss those tank motors. They are very durable motors and they are as tough as tanks!

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 Posted: Fri Aug 27th, 2021 10:16 am
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Lane Shirey
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You’re on the mark Dave. A tank motor should run with power applied to the 2 headwires. Check the resistance across the 2 halves of the male part of the cent. switch to check the start coil  . 

Last edited on Fri Aug 27th, 2021 10:19 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Tue Aug 31st, 2021 02:10 am
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Dave McManaman
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While I'm waiting for some materials, thought I'd see what can be done to straighten out the fiber board cover that goes on the bottom of this tank. It's pretty warped, mounding in the center upward where the screw attaches to the base, then gets waiving and hangs down around the perimeter. It's made of a fairly hardy material, almost with a shellac feel to the surface. I imagine at some point it got wet and this was the result. What's a good technique for flattening it out again? I was going to dampen it, maybe put a wet cloth over/under it then apply heat (i.e. an iron) or maybe even moisten it good and set it under a cinder block in the 100 degree weather that's on the way. But don't want to do something I'll regret. Anyone have some tried/true cures?


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 Posted: Tue Aug 31st, 2021 02:29 am
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Russ Huber
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Dave McManaman wrote: While I'm waiting for some materials, thought I'd see what can be done to straighten out the fiber board cover that goes on the bottom of this tank. It's pretty warped, mounding in the center upward where the screw attaches to the base, then gets waiving and hangs down around the perimeter. It's made of a fairly hardy material, almost with a shellac feel to the surface. I imagine at some point it got wet and this was the result. What's a good technique for flattening it out again? I was going to dampen it, maybe put a wet cloth over/under it then apply heat (i.e. an iron) or maybe even moisten it good and set it under a cinder block in the 100 degree weather that's on the way. But don't want to do something I'll regret. Anyone have some tried/true cures?



Try soaking it in water for a little while to hopefully soften it up. Next Sandwich it in a table vice between 2 pieces of square heavy plywood and put the pressure on for a few days.  :D

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 Posted: Tue Aug 31st, 2021 04:05 am
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Dave McManaman
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Russ Huber wrote:

Try soaking it in water for a little while to hopefully soften it up. Next Sandwich it in a table vice between 2 pieces of square heavy plywood and put the pressure on for a few days.  :D
That sure sounds like a more sound idea than sitting it under cinder block. It's been duly soaked and is now sandwiched firmly between two boards in a vice. We'll see where it stands later this week! Thanks Russ.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 31st, 2021 04:56 am
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Russ Huber
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.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 11:39 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Russ Huber wrote
Try soaking it in water for a little while to hopefully soften it up. Next Sandwich it in a table vice between 2 pieces of square heavy plywood and put the pressure on for a few days.  :D

Russ: Thanks for the suggestion on bringing the bottom fiber board back from it's bent/wavy shape. I just took it out of the vice and it is flat as can be!


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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 03:00 pm
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Dave McManaman
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OK, moving on to the blades. They aren't bad compared with some I've started with but there are quite a few scratches (which I can live with) and also heavy tarnishing on the edges and a couple random spots here and there toward the center of the blades, raised crud (which I'm not sure I'm as big a fan of but understand that some people like the scars and all). See the picture, below. I know this raises the question between "patina" versus "tarnish." Having looked at others suggestions on the sight, I've used an eyeglass cloth with WD-40. That basically took the dirt off but not much more. I then used an eyeglass cloth with some waterless hand cleaner (no pumice). That did a better job of it. But they still look rough rather than even. Maybe that's not in the cards with preservation. Maybe no way to take the tarnish without messing with the patina? Not sure what else can be done but I thought I'd ask here. Suggestions?

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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 03:46 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Hi Dave. Looks good so far. I've had good luck with this product. It doesn't remove all the tarnish; just some depending on how long you leave it on. You really need to wear a good breathing protection with good air circulation as this stuff is highly caustic. But it works great without completely removing patina. Just spray it on in a sink or pan. You can cut it with water, I suppose and the result would be something that would work for you if you wanted to keep some of the patina intact.

I follow up with FLITZ metal polish (for the cages) and it does a fabulous job without having to resort to a buffing wheel (which is VERY dangerous with cages). Of course, nothing beats Ron Bethoney's work (New England Brass Refinishing) for the best lacquered shiny brass.

Last edited on Sat Sep 4th, 2021 05:47 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Sat Sep 4th, 2021 08:09 pm
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Dave McManaman
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David Kilnapp wrote: Hi Dave. Looks good so far. I've had good luck with this product. 


Thanks Dave. I'll give it a shot. I'm not one to use a buffer on any of my blades, unless you count a small buffing wheel on the end of my drill in conjunction with rouge which I'll break out occasionally on some smaller blade sets. Otherwise, it's normally by hand. Same with the cages. Just enough to get a nice even hue. 

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 Posted: Fri Sep 10th, 2021 03:52 am
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Dave McManaman
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So excited! The wire I had made for my 1909 Westinghouse “tank” fan came in today’s mail. Tony Clayton made it and he is just the best. The bright green is a wonderful replica of what was used originally to connect this fan’s motor to the switch. I have some original threads from where the wire was inside and hasn’t faded and it’s uncanny how close it is. The beige wire with the brown ticking is just plain sharp and will go from the base to the wall plug. I believe the brown ticking may be from antique stock. The beige is new thread but a nice match to antique stock he’s gone through. Can’t wait to get this wired back up!







Last edited on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 03:55 am by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Sun Sep 12th, 2021 05:01 pm
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Dave McManaman
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David Kilnapp wrote: Nice score on that tank and the S wires are easy to source. I'm guessing that the issue might be in the contacts of the centrifugal start. If you have a dremel, get some wire brush attachments at the link below:
https://www.amazon.com/Drill-Warehouse-Wire-Brushes-Accessories/dp/B073YFD5HN/ref=asc_df_B073YFD5HN/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=242034450866&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2552063846573380058&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9002038&hvtargid=pla-446656769279&psc=1

Thanks for the heads up on these tiny wire brushes. They made quick work of it and now all the contact surfaces between the two sides of the centrifugal switch are bright and shiny. I left a wide swath on the arms, to keep clear of the springs. I suppose I could have done the rest and would if this one was going to be completely restored. But as it stands, I think I've got what I needed in making sure the contact surfaces are good to go. Moving on to cleaning and varnishing the speed coil and stator.






Last edited on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 05:04 pm by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Sun Sep 12th, 2021 05:12 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Quick question for the experts. When I pulled the stator, what I believed to be tape on the stator windings was for the most part adhered to the inside surfaces of the housing - both front and back as you can see in the first picture. Some remained on the windings itself as you can see in the second picture. I cleaned all the remnants off the insides of the housing when I was cleaning the rest of it. But I want to make sure I'm replacing it with the correct product and in the right location. After cleaning/varnishing the stator, would I simply use friction tape as I have on other fans or is what I'm seeing here something else? Parts of the windings appear to have a cloth tape wrap that is still very much present and what I'm used to seeing, but what was on the inside of the housing and still, partially, clinging to the winding on the one side is more paper like. Thanks for any info!





Last edited on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 05:13 pm by Dave McManaman

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 Posted: Sun Sep 12th, 2021 09:12 pm
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David Kilnapp
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Hi Dave. I'm of the opinion that if you have varnished the windings in the stator, you shouldn't need to do anything else as far as replacing the paper. The only time I tend to do that is with the paper ring inside the back cover of GE pancake fans but that's because it's relatively easy to make a replacement paper ring with insulating paper. As I recall, the paper is called "fish paper" or "Electrical insulation fish paper". I also recall that it was easy to find and very inexpensive.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 20th, 2021 10:34 pm
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Dave McManaman
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Cleaned up the stator with a good dousing of CRC Lectra Clean. Even though it looked pretty clean, it was amazing how much grease ran out of it. Then let it dry for a week or so for good measure. Hooked up some of Tony Clayton's green head wire, shrink wrapped, then friction tape. Ohm'd again - just to make sure - and it's all good. Bagged the wiring and female end of the centrifugal switch and hit the windings good with some clear Spray-On insulating varnish. I'll let that all dry a good while before reinstalling. Slowly but surely.













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 Posted: Tue Sep 21st, 2021 12:14 pm
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David Kilnapp
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It's coming along nicely and good for you, having patience to wait. More fun that way! I always struggle with that but now that I'm retired, I have more than enough to do so I found that I have more patience. I'm anxious to see if this runs like it should once you get it all back together.

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