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View Full Version : Another shop fan bites the dust WTF? Any DIY options?



gellfex
07-08-2011, 03:47 PM
So another fan (Flow-Pro) lasted 2 1/2 years before seizing. I once had a dumpster dive industrial fan last a decade, do you really need to spend a fortune to buy a fan with decent bearings? Am I better off spending more money on a fan of dubious better quality, or taking the blade and cage and adding a better motor, or perhaps a belt drive like my blower? I'd also like it variable, which I assume means it has to be a shaded pole, which should be enough power. Ideas?

JoeLee
07-08-2011, 04:21 PM
Look around for some old Hunter fans. They last for ever.

JL......................

Evan
07-08-2011, 04:29 PM
They still need oil every few years.

gellfex
07-08-2011, 05:01 PM
If I get no continuity at all with it switched on it means the internal thermal fuse is gone, right? This bastard is riveted shut too. I think I may have been mistaken about the bearings, it may have been the cap instead. It was struggling to start.

Forrest Addy
07-08-2011, 05:51 PM
When they say "oil every 6 months" they MEAN it.

A.K. Boomer
07-08-2011, 07:01 PM
I haven't ran across an appliance of any kind let alone a fan that says "oil every 6 months"
That's a thing of yesteryear - if today's average hillbilly was walking through wal-mart going to buy a fan and it had a sticker on it that said "oil every 6 months" I can just imagine the conversation between Jed-phro and his hillbilly wife ------------ ughhh hunny - what's oil? do we have any? uhgg - yeah but don't see a drain plug babe so I don't know wut they want me to do - uhhh well then maybe we should pass on that one - one over there says maintenance free and has ribbons on it so it lets u know its workin...

lakeside53
07-08-2011, 08:10 PM
Most small (like on small fans) motors still don't have ball bearings - just bronze bushings and a felt-like mass that's oiled. My fresh air fan for the fireplace says - oil yearly. Well... it's 18 years installed... and I guess I forgot ;)

On larger fans, the bearing "seals" aren't that good; crud and airflow will take a toll.

lakeside53
07-08-2011, 08:12 PM
If I get no continuity at all with it switched on it means the internal thermal fuse is gone, right? This bastard is riveted shut too. I think I may have been mistaken about the bearings, it may have been the cap instead. It was struggling to start.

"Struggling to start" can also mean a bad bearing.

wierdscience
07-08-2011, 08:22 PM
They used to sell box fan kits,you got the blade hub,the shaft,a set of pillow blocks and a set of pulleys.You supplied your own plywood for the blades and box.Used to sell for $20 in the late 70's.
I've got two in my woodshop and another one sitting on the shelf in pieces.

sasquatch
07-08-2011, 08:41 PM
Most bushing motors that are just dried up,(not all egg shaped/wore out,) can be dismantled then cleaned and re oiled and will run for the longest time again.

Found a number in the landfill like that, all they needed was some cleaning and re oiling.

Gravy
07-08-2011, 08:43 PM
Go to flea markets and garage sales and antique stores until you find an ancient desk fan that weighs at least 10lbs and looks like it belongs in a Humphrey Bogart movie. It will have no plastic, and it will have oil cups and probably some rust and the remains of black enamel paint. Drive your best bargain, but if it runs at all, buy it anyway.

You might have to clean the switch contacts and replace some wiring. It will happily chop off anything stuck into the blades. But it will move a bunch of air quietly without fuss or noise for a very long time. You will have to oil it every few months or years, depending on the length of your hot season.

In all likelihood, it will outlast you (even if you are an under 50 youngster).

I got my rusty ugly old Emerson desk fan back around 1978. I spent several whole hours and several whole dollars bringing it back to working condition. It has served well ever since. I think I've oiled it once or twice per decade.

The last time I paid attention, similar fans were going for $50-$100 in decent condition at big flea markets and antique stores. If I needed another, I'd pay that in a heartbeat.

I wish my Heavy 10 had held up as well...

sasquatch
07-08-2011, 08:57 PM
Gravy is right,, some excellent old fans around cheap with decades of running still in them!!

Gravy
07-08-2011, 09:16 PM
Gravy is right

I'm gonna print this out and show it to my wife:p

sasquatch
07-08-2011, 09:23 PM
:D ,,,,,,,,,,,,, Actually there are antique fan collectors, (probably a forum on them,) like most things.

A number of those old fans are quite ornate, friend of mine just inherited two big ones, a bench model and a floor model, blades are about 24in dia, and really move air!!! (these are like shop or industry fans,) the motors on them are BIG old 1/4 HP.

Gravy
07-08-2011, 09:33 PM
:D ,,,,,,,,,,,,, Actually there are antique fan collectors, (probably a forum on them,) like most things.

A number of those old fans are quite ornate, friend of mine just inherited two big ones, a bench model and a floor model, blades are about 24in dia, and really move air!!! (these are like shop or industry fans,) the motors on them are BIG old 1/4 HP.

I'm not a bit surprised. My old Emerson is at least as well made as my SB lathe. I'd bet there are multiple forums with the same kind of disagreements as PM & HSM, etc.

I had my fan humming away drying paint in my laundry room this afternoon. I just love honest well made machinery.:D

snowman
07-08-2011, 11:09 PM
:D ,,,,,,,,,,,,, Actually there are antique fan collectors, (probably a forum on them,) like most things.


lol...i just got a nice westinghouse this weekend. Restoring it next weekend.

I love the old fans...but at the same time, I have a daughter coming in October. While survival of the fittest sounds good, I'd rather not test it out on my own daughters hair or hands. The old guys aren't guarded very well :-)

Carld
07-08-2011, 11:42 PM
Build your own fan. I have a shop fan that my grandfather made in the middle 1950's that has been used since that time. I had to replace the motor once and bore out the brass pillow block bearings once but it just keeps on running. The only reason I had to rework the bearings is I left it on over the weekend once:eek: . It was rattling like crazy when I can in the shop.

It's a 36"x36" wood box with a grill on the front with bearings, blades, belt and motor all on wheels to roll around.

gellfex
07-09-2011, 12:34 PM
Build your own fan.

That's what I was thinking when I posted. My old loft shop had a 36" belt drive that was immortal. But I want something a little lighter duty than the typical 1/4 hp belt drive since I often run this thing year round just to circulate warm air from the space heater in winter, a variable speed 18-24" is about right for cfm & quietness.

There seems to be several different way to speed control a fan, some motors have multiple coils and some can just be put on a PW dimmer. Anyone have info on this issue, or on belt vs direct?

gary350
07-09-2011, 02:10 PM
I buy old fans at yard sales. The older the better. If they lasted 50 years thats GOOD. I give them a shot of oil and they are good to go.

I bought 2 old rusty Edison fans at a yard sale $5 each. I had to replace the wires and cord, clean the 5 speed switch, lube the bearing then they ran like a brand new one. I repainted one fan and left the other one all rusted. I used them both for 10 years so far and they are still running great. I have about 30 fans some are from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and one from the 1960s. No plastic fans or plastic parts.

Here is my 1917 Hot Air Stirling Engine Fan made by the Al-Cool Fan Company of Chicago. It runs from the heat of a candle or oil burner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J56D56rQV-Q


Here is MY copy of the Al-Cool Fan that I built in my shop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSBXcn4u4es


Here is another Hot Air fan that I built.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBpRl5eF3fc&feature=related

Carld
07-09-2011, 02:20 PM
Just to simplify it use a 3 or 4 step pulley set up to make the speeds. I have thought about doing that for mine at times but now I use it to circulate air in the whole shop.

mototed
07-09-2011, 04:29 PM
The old fans are good, but now they do have some collectors status.
This was my grand-paws fan from the 30's-40's, I don't know when he bought it, but it was used every day. I got it from him in the 80's. Replaced the cord,lubed it up, cleaned up the brass. A few days later it sucked the curtain off the window, rod and all, and didn't stall out until it shredded most of the curtain.
Just a funny story. Hope you find a good fan. Myself, I enjoy air conditioning.
Ted
http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc28/mototed/IMG_0031.jpg

sasquatch
07-09-2011, 06:57 PM
Beautiful old fan ted,, very nice, thanks for a great pic!!!