Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Return To The Hunt

Hello my friends!  So much has happened, but I don't want to bore you.  I still love fans and pursuing them whenever I can.  I am divorced now.  Bad thing? Not at all.  I have a wonderful girlfriend named Cheri.  She encourages me whenever she can and embraces my passion.

Last weekend we went to an auction as is normal for us.  There wasn't anything amazing and certainly no fans.  When we left she suggested we drive to another town and look for antique stores.... I was like, "yeah!"  My son Griffin was less than enthused.  He is such a trooper though. (I am encouraging his pursuit of the No. 13 Mason Jar)  After driving around a while and finally asking for leads we ended up at some fab antique stores.  One particular was absolutely huge.  Great quality stuff.  True antiques and collectibles.  No bags of potpourri or crafts... PUKE!!!

Now you must understand my knowledge in antiques is much less than Cheri's, so I tend to walk a bit faster than her through the stores.  I quickly survey the booths. I pass on fans that are out of my price range or are completely overpriced.  Like a Brass and Brass Stamped Steel Westy, for 212... Really guys...  I hope your sucker comes along soon.  I continued on looking and found a few really great fans.

One fan particular was sitting there looking all cute and stuff.  Ironically I had just sold one just like a few months ago to my friend Pete.  Since I have regretted and told myself that I would buy a replacement first chance I got.  Then there it was perched on top of a wooden crate or something.  It was at eye level asking me to save it.

It had obviously served an owner who was not interested in it's heritage, a cruel taskmaster, one that was selfishly concerned with the function only because he had "maintained" it by replacing it's cord with the most God-awful combination of wire ties and wire nuts and electrical tape...  No concern for the fan's authenticity at all... I hate those huge thick cords with the rubber insulation!!!

So I decide the fan must be saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I negotiate a price surprisingly easy and away we go.  I will spare you the part about the careless fellow who was cutting off the tape with his pocket knife and scratched the paint!!!! "Where's my pills?"

A couple nights later I decide to spend some time with the fan righting the wrongs that time had impressed on this little electrical slave.  My skills I suppose will never leave because in a flurry of heat shrink and new cord and oil, the fan returned as close to original as it could.

It was certainly good for me to return to what I love.  I decided that my blog, that I once loved and Cheri encouraged me to begin again, had been overlooked for sometime.  So here I am.

This fan was an Emerson Electric Junior.  This fan is featured in the 1924 Emerson Electric catalog.  It was the first Emerson Junior model that was ever produced.  There was no switch...simply plug N play; so to speak.

So here are some pics both before and after.

Thanks guys for reading my stuff.  Hopefully much more to come.  Several years to catch you up on.

Crazy Larry OUT!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Great ole Fan

This little fan found its way into my life in 2008 (I think)  While visiting a friend of mine, he mentioned that he had a fan he wanted to give me.  Ah the magic words!  I was on the outside, "oh really..." but on the inside I was like, "LET ME SEE!!!"  When I saw this fan, I was overjoyed and expressed, as best I can in native tongue, my appreciation for the gift.

When I brought the fan home that day, I oiled it a little and ran it for a while... Then It was moved to the guest bedroom of our old house on a chest of drawers with three other fans for about four years.

Having recently moved and setting up my new shop it allowed me to have a lot more shelf space where all my fans could be on display in my shop.  Now this fan being light colored, just screamed at me, "Clean me next!"  So couple days ago I said, "OK little fan, it is your turn."  I was surprised to see this fan is in even better original shape than I had thought. No paint chips around the base at all.  No dents in the rear bullet.  Like it sat on a shelf somewhere after it was purchased and not moved much at all. 

After a good wipe down with a degreaser and new felt, cord and fresh oil and grease, she was running top notch.  Another wonderful Emerson preserved.

This fan is a 77646 AV.  It was manufactured by Emerson Electric Company in St. Louis in 1949.

Take care and stop back by now and again!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hang on Kiddies

It has been a while since I posted to my blog. That does not mean that I have been dormant. In fact it means quite the opposite. For those interested, I will soon be posting some more stories. Through these entertaining yet informative posts I will attempt to bring you back up to current day. So if you're wierd like me and don't have anything else to do, you have found your new home. Stay tuned same fan fans!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Out of the blue

I get lots of emails from people who are looking to sell their fans or asking value of fans. Usually I figure our that the fan is not something I want. Well that is not always the case.
A few weeks ago, A gentleman emails me discussing some fans that he has come into possession of. He inquires if I'd be interested. Generally people are very vague so I ask for pictures but he was very descriptive. He said magic words to me. I have a 32volt DC Emerson. I wanted to email him back and say, "YES SIR I'LL TAKE IT RIGHT NOW!!! HOW MUCH YOU WANT?" but you see my grandmother and grandfather taught me better than that. I said, "I don't know, send me some pictures and I will see..." When I got the photos, I was glad that I didn't overreact. The fan had some pretty serious damage. The cage had multiple broken welds, the oscillator collar (which is made of pot metal) was broken and the paint was in terrible condition. I threw him out a number and we went back and forth a couple times then we reached a decision. Then I got to worrying about his packaging abilities and wondering if the fan would survive a brush with United Parcel Smashers (borrowed that term) if it was inadequately packaged.
LIGHT BULB!!! I remembered a buddy of mine lived quite near there so I figured to myself, "Self, I bet ole buddy ole pal can do a hare better joba packing then that other fella." So I called up my friend and he said sure. I gave him my best instructions, repeating over and over, "pack it tight so it cannot move inside the box....."
So I wait and I wait and I wait and I track online... Then the day comes and since it is UPS I know it will be an evening delivery. I continue my life with it brewing on my mind, catching a glance of my watch and the clock now and again. Then I hear the truck rumbling to a stop and the screeching brakes as I look out the living room window I can see the silhouette of the truck with the lights shining. I burst out the door and meet the driver at the truck. (I really don't care if they think I am eager) When she finally turns around she is startled. I forgot that I hadn't said anything. I immediately help here with the box because I can tell this was not packaged well at all. The bottom of the box was about open... UGGGG!!! I ran inside with it shouting, "Have a nice evening!!!!"
Once in my basement, I ripped into it. Revealing the same fan in the photos. Much to my relief, there was no more damage than before. I grabbed some oil, cut the cord and applied some temporary wiring to my D.C. Outlet. I check the brushes(check) Then I turned my variac to 32volts and cranked it up. Oh what a rush... Runs like new.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tribute Fan

Earlier this year I received an email from Dick Boswell about a lady who was trying to sell her father's fan collection. His name was Ken Grable. He was a member of the AFCA a few years ago. Ken had lung cancer. His daughter, Heather was wanting to sell the remainder of his collection. She wanted help posting them on the BST forum and Dick wanted to know if I'd help. I posted the pictures and contact information and they did not sell.Last month my wife and I had the opportunity visit some family that lives in Jefferson City, MO. I mentioned to my wife that I wanted to go by and see this collection in person on our way home. I made arrangements with Heather to have someone meet us there. I also mentioned to her that I would like to buy a couple of fans in the pictures and she said that would be fine. So we drove to Camdenton Sunday morning and met a family friend named Joe. He took us to a mini-storage shed that Ken had owned and opened the roll-up door to reveal the fans. Once inside, I quickly located the two fans that I wanted, this Emerson 21666 was one of them. Upon examination, I noticed that the front of the motor housing was not attached and there was no oscillator housing or oscillator shaft/gear. I knew there was no cage or struts but this was a surprise. I decided to take the fan anyway in the hopes that I could find the parts and revive it.

By the time we were able to visit, Ken had passed away.
I took the fans home and began to tinker, as my usual routine goes. I was curious to see if any of the fans I had bought that weekend actually ran, especially the Emerson. I grabbed some bolts and tightened down the motor housing, then screwed the blade down tight because it had worked loose... Then with a little power and a flick of the switch the fan came right on. It did have one other problem, it ran backwards. As anyone with Emerson experience knows this just means the wires are not connected correctly. It was then that it dawned on me, that apparently Ken was in the process of doing something with this fan when he got too sick to continue. So I made it my goal then and there to start the restoration of this fan. So I tore it down and separated the parts. Then I got on the Internet and put a call out for parts that I needed: cage, struts, oscillator gearbox, oscillator shaft, rubber feet, wire, leather washer...
Before long I had willing volunteers with the parts I needed. Dick Boswell came through with the cage, struts, gearbox and shaft. Steve Sherwood sent me a care package of fiber washers, leather washer and rubber feet. I placed an order for new wire from sundial for the appropriate cord. Then I set about the ritual of paint prep... I have always used basically the same method of wire brushing and chemical stripper followed with a dip in M.E.K. for a day or so. Then I use Rustoleum bare metal primer and paint. This time I decided to try a Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy. Much to my surprise it was easier to apply than lacquer and less susceptible to the environment.
After finishing the paint and receiving all the necessary parts, I had to spend some time with the brass to bring it back to a shine that matched the gloss of the paint. (I respect the purist's idea of preservation, but for me the rule is simple, if the fan is in bad enough shape, it needs a full resto then let time return a patina. Nuff said...) Anywho, this weekend I had time to work on it since my kids had the flu. So last night I polished the brass cage and badge, attached one end of the headwire to the re insulated stator and put it back in the motor housing... Then I put the feet on and put it all back together except the switch and and lower end of the headwire and cord.
This morning after I had my grits I started to work again. I grabbed the rubber gloves, steel wool, and toilet bowl cleaner and headed to the backyard. After scrubbing the blades to remove all the crud, I installed a fresh buffing pad on the grinder and slung some rouge. Apparently everywhere because my kids were laughing at me later because I had a green moustache. Since the hub was all jacked due to the toilet bowl cleaner, I hand painted it and used a little brasso to finish the shine.

Forgive the length of the story and mind numbing detail, but I felt it necessary to explain the process for those who'd ask, "How'd you do that?"

Were in the homestretch now. I grabbed my colored tester wires with clips on them and my wire labels. I wrote down the first combination of color to number for the headwire test. Apparently I am getting really good, because I nailed it first shot. What are the odds...Oh never mind. REASSEMBLE, WIPE DOWN, BOW TO APPLAUSE....

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you... the Ken Grable tribute fan...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Neglect of the Hobby

I know what you're thinking... "So you think you can just blog on here like nothing ever happened!!!" Please forgive me. I know it has been a while, but I have had a few other things going on and I just haven't had the time. I have been fanning though. Take for instance this little beauty. Guess what this is... Oh come on try real hard. Look closely. Okay it is an Emerson 29048. That's right a 29-oh-48. For those of you who don't know. That means direct current only. Cool huh.


This fan came into my possession as a parts fan for another one that I was working on. No blade or switch. Just a beat up stump and bent and broken cage. Enter the AFCA and good fan friends. I had my welder buddy at work wave his artistic Miller wand and repair the breaks. This I reshaped and cleaned up the welds. Coat or two of lacquer and presto. I cleaned the original paint on the motor housing and repaint the base. I didn't have a blade, brushes or the little o-rings that go inside the brush housings. I got these items from some great fan folk.

Keeping the story brief. I pulled everything together and it runs very sweetly. I love it when an old piece destined for the heap bypasses it with glory, don't you?
I will try to keep posting more as I have a lot to catch up on. Hang with me. AFCA members don't forget Pig Picking coming up soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Just the other day on a "nothing better to do" day. I was combing through some antique stores looking for goodies. I found myself day dreaming about a fan I had seen in another store many miles away that I had avoided because the cost was too high... I thought, "Boy, I sure would like to get a nice brown 16 inch Emerson." Well this is the part where you're gonna say, "you are making this up..." I swear it is true. I had been through nearly the entire store and was coming back downstairs and around a corner when I saw it. If it had been a snake.... or something link that. I knelt beside it thinking, "I couldn't be so lucky." I worried the price would be too high or some part might be missing.

I looked at the tag and it was a little different than any I'd seen before 77648-SG. Color scheme is the same as the AS model. Price was almost half the fan in my dream. So I picked up the beast and bounded to the cash register to request my normal 10% off.

I asked if I could test it which they always let me do. The fan came to life like a proud Emerson should.

I paid for the fan and went about our normal shopping before making the trip home. Once back at the ponderosa, I unloaded the cargo including several pounds of ancient wind mover which quickly went into the workshop for servicing. The fan needed new felt, which it got. It got a new cord and plug, fresh oil, blade balancing, and a wipe down followed by a wax job. The original paint is nearly mint. Such a joy to watch these fans operate on low speed. What a find.