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Old 15th Sep 2019, 4:34 pm   #1
Clouddreamer
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Default 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Hi,

Iíve just joined and looking at the wealth of experience hope you can help.

I have purchased a very beautiful but very sad fan that I want to repair myself.

A vintage mid 20th Century 1940's industrial desk top table electrical fan raised on a circular base with brass blades. The blades contained inside a wire cage. Measures 32cm tall by 28cm diameter.

No idea on make as there are no details except at the back 110 =

Is this feasible for someone who has never done this before?

If it is can you please help me?

Kindest Regards
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Old 15th Sep 2019, 11:32 pm   #2
The Philpott
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Well..the numbering on the back MIGHT mean it was designed for 110volts which would give you an extra problem over and above the restoration issues.

With this i would be tempted to start by stripping then repairing the cage (brazing or more likely silver-soldering), cleaning and polishing all visible parts. Depending on your own perspective, at this point you should know whether you want to proceed further, or leave it as 'decorative only'.

(These sorts of queries inevitably inspire a certain amount of caution on this forum due to safety and liability issues. Because of this there is a disclaimer on this 'site which must be read.)

Much depends on your own experience of repair, but the chief issues are:
-Ageing insulation will almost always require replacement.
-Selling on the appliance as a working item would not ever be viable, it would have to be sold as a curio, with the mains lead removed prior to sale.
-As you no doubt already know, as a working fan it would have to be out of reach of children, dullards and sleepwalkers, and preferably strips of fabric attached to the front which flutter to indicate the blades are rotating. (Fans of this age can be extremely quiet in operation)
-3 core wiring and a plug in RCD would be minimum requirements for restoring/using this fan. All metal parts of the appliance MUST be earthed.
-Switching on and off should be done remote from the fan, not by using the switch on the side. (In my opinion.)
-There may be additional requirements/recommendations that i have left out!

Overall i would say that if you lack experience you need someone with electrical restoration background in the room with you at critical points to assess the viability of repair and use. If the motor is tested and found to be faulty this could mean the fan is 'dead' from a realistic perspective. But i do wish you luck with it...and if i sound patronising it's entirely unintentional!

Dave
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 9:35 am   #3
Clouddreamer
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Dave, thank you for your prompt reply, yes I had assumed 110 pertaining to voltage. Which I had already marked as a problem.

What I shall do then is strip it back clean and see where I am from there.

Just a question but regarding to to refurbishment would I be able to bounce ideas in this forum or is this not the place as you stated the disclaimers

Kind Regards
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 9:50 am   #4
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

This forum exists so that members can bounce ideas around. However, as a beginner and new member you need to be aware that everything said here is just somebody's opinion. Most of the advice given will be good, but you should not exceed your level of competence just because somebody here suggests something. Electricity can be dangerous, and old fans can also be physically dangerous - you can easily slice the end off a finger. These dangers are even greater if there are children around.

Dave's cautions in #2 should be taken seriously. If you don't understand them, you should just keep the fan as a static exhibit.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 10:10 am   #5
PJL
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Looks like there is a cap missing on one of the brushes.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 12:46 pm   #6
David G4EBT
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Apart from the safety advice given, if there's no data plate on the fan, you won't know what the Wattage rating is. Don't therefore be tempted to power it from one of the 100 Watt US/UK adaptors, which in any event are intended for intermittent use. Despite the instructions making that clear, there are lots of adverse reviews from idiots who complain that 'they powered an oven or a hair dryer from it and it burnt out right away'. (Why would it not do?).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Step-Down-C...gateway&sr=8-6

Modern fans of a similar size to yours are typically rated at under 50 Watts, but you've no way of knowing unless it was powered from a metered 100V power supply to see what current it draws.

If it was put back into safe working order, something like this, rated at 500 Watts, which has a proper transformer, would probably suffice, but would no doubt cost more than the fan is worth:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bronson-Tra...ateway&sr=8-14

Given the obvious mechanical work needed (brazing/hard soldering the wire fan guard), the insulation needs careful visual examination and checking with an insulation tester ('Megger'), and rewiring, if you don't have the competence and experience to do that, in my view the fan is beyond economic repair and should be considered a decorative curio of a bygone age.

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but good luck with it anyway, whatever you decide to do with it.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 2:00 pm   #7
mike_newcomb
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Hi Cloud,
Brown Sauce left on Brass can restore the finish rather nicely.
Leave Sauce on for a few days, moving around occasionally.

This is an old Navy method which I sometimes use on old Plumbing Fittings.

Good Luck - Mike
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 2:03 pm   #8
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

I imagine that the markings mean 100v DC, although the motor looks to be the universal type.
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 2:28 pm   #9
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

I took the markings to mean 110V DC too.

A wound-field commutator motor (which this looks to be) might be 'universal' (runs on AC or DC) or not. If it's shunt-wound (field coils in parallel with the armature) then it will be DC only. If it's series-wound then the field core can be solid for a DC motor but has to be laminated for an AC (or universal) one. Until the motor is in bits we can't know.

I noticed the missing brush cap (and brush?) too. It is worth pointing out that the the brush holder/brush will be live when the motor is in use, so the cap has to be an insulator. The chances of finding the original are close to zero, a cap could be made on a small lathe, but do you have one?

It's the sort of thing that I would be preparted to fiddle around with _for my own use_ and not use it for very long at a time or leave it unattended. I could probably come up with a suitable power supply based on an double wound transformer and rectifier diodes, and I would know (I hope) the risks and what to watch for. Even then I wouldn't trust it to be run without a technical person present. I certainly wouldn't consider restoring this for somebody else.
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Old 17th Sep 2019, 1:36 pm   #10
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Arrow Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_newcomb View Post
Brown sauce left on brass can restore the finish rather nicely.
Leave sauce on for a few days, moving around occasionally.
The following link is relevant to your above suggestion:
https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-hom...rass-naturally

Al.
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Old 17th Sep 2019, 1:39 pm   #11
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

If it was mine, the lack of suitable finger guards would immediately make me declare it as a 'display item only'.

Al.
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 9:07 am   #12
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywave View Post
If it was mine, the lack of suitable finger guards would immediately make me declare it as a 'display item only'.

Al.
I take it you don't have an interest in mechanical television, then?
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 9:10 am   #13
TonyDuell
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

A mechanical TV (a 'Disk Visor' as it's called in some books) _is_ a display item. It displays a video signal.

[Sorry, could not resist]
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Old 18th Sep 2019, 12:30 pm   #14
Skywave
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Default Re: 1940's industrial desk top table fan help needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywave View Post
If it was mine, the lack of suitable finger guards would immediately make me declare it as a 'display item only'.

Al.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigham View Post
I take it you don't have an interest in mechanical television, then?
Correct.
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