"The phone is a remarkably complex, simple device,
and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

Main Menu

Anyone Collect Antique Fans?

Started by BDM, July 05, 2009, 03:05:28 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


While it will work, I'd prefere and use non paraffin-based oils. Wax build up is never a good things when temps will never allow it to melt away, so to say. The 3-1 blue can oil should be easy to find. My local ACE, Home Depot and Lowe's all carry it.

St Clair Shores, MI


I found "Zoom" turbine oil for my fan.  I've heard yes and no about it.  So far it's helped.  The wick is sending the oil into the bearings.  I ran the fan all day for a couple of days and then topped off the oil cup.

The fiber washers on the armature shaft are fairly well worn.  I could only find nylon washers as replacements locally, but will be ordering all new fiber ones from Darryl Hudson.  I was told nylon may not withstand heat well.  For the time being, I have a mixed bag of nylon and fiber washers in place and I have to say the fan is operating smoother and better than ever.  When I change speeds, it's very responsive and bumps right up or down.  Before, it was slowly whining its way to a higher or lower speed.  I kind of hate to think of taking it apart again when the fiber replacements arrive.  I have this feeling it'll never be operating as good as I've got it now.

I also need to change out the grease in the oscillator gearbox.  I don't know what type it takes but presume it has to have some heat tolerance.  After doing some research on line I've found that my model FM12V1 is from 1946-48.  I really like this fan and have found that there are a lot of Vortalex afficionados out there.  I'm going to be keeping my eye out for more Vorties. 



I have an old fan that I redid.  My mom gave it to me, it's an old one from the fifties that was in the factory where she works.  I took it all apart and polished it and repainted it.  I will have to take a pic and post it, it turned out very nice.
- Tom

Bill Cahill

So, where's the picture?
Bill Cahill  ::)

"My friends used to keep saying I had batts in my belfry. No. I'm just hearing bells....."


Well, after two days of operating for about 8 hours and running beautifully, on the third day my fan stopped oscillating.  I'm sure rotor tolerances are off due to the nylon washers.  I'm putting together a list for Darryl and will wait for new washers from him before pulling everything apart again. 

Maybe I'll hit the right washer configuration on this thing in time for next summer . . .


The bigger question is where's my camera.

Quote from: Bill Cahill on October 26, 2009, 10:35:47 PM
So, where's the picture?
Bill Cahill  ::)
- Tom

Craig T

Well I gotta post my two favorites. I have like 30 fans... ok maybe 40.  ::) First one is the Emerson 16" oscillator in my avatar. Still has to have the black felt put on the bottom of it. The second has a retro flare that I think a lot of you all will appreciate. It is a Dayton circular floor fan. Took many hours to shine it out to what it is now. Lots of spot corrosion on the grills, not a bit now. It has an industrial motor in it (20" fan). This thing will blow the covers up on you  :o.  

Anyhow enough of my wind, here's the fans.  The first pic is before, the second is after.


Nice fans, I can't afford another collection....
D/P :o :o

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson


Wow!  Super nice fans!  And you polished that grill by hand and removed all the spot corrosion???  That's dedication. 

Craig T

The Dayton took me 15 hours. The Emerson took me 25!. Neither are done. The Emerson fan needs an hour, the Dayton 2-3. :P Another labor of love. I am slimming them down right now. I would like to keep 6 of them for now.


You do nice work Craig. I like both of those, especially the Emerson. I only have an old Diehl which is on my list of stuff to repair/refurb. I should have in done in about 40 years or so.
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"

Craig T

Quote from: foots on November 02, 2009, 03:45:26 AM
You do nice work Craig. I like both of those, especially the Emerson. I only have an old Diehl which is on my list of stuff to repair/refurb. I should have in done in about 40 years or so.

:D  I know the feeling, I have an arm's length list of things like that to clean or fix. Of course that never stops me from buying another project  ;D. I am as much a salesman as a collector, so at least some of it comes and goes, WHEW!

Dennis Markham

I thought I'd dust off this topic and post a few photos of a fan I picked up today at the flea market.  Of course I was searching for telephones and did spot a couple.  I even picked up (off the table) a 302 and set it back down again.  It was not cracked, had a #5 dial and a nice original exchange card.  Seller wanted $35.  I thought I'd return later and make an offer.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a nice looking GE fan.   I already own three other GE fans from the mid to late 1950's, but nothing like this one.  It is a Vortalex.  This blue-green colored fan is from the early part of the 50's decade.  The blade has four wings and this one has is a three speed.  The seller wanted $15 and didn't want to budge on the price.  I figured it is worth all of that and but more importantly a cool oscillating fan (no pun intended) that I'll enjoy using.  So I paid the $15 and lugged it to the car.  It weighs a ton.

After I got home I spent the next six to seven hours taking it apart and cleaning it.  I did a pretty thorough job on it without removing the motor covers.  I did remove the grille and blade and also removed the top part from the stand.  It has some minor corrosion but overall turned out nice.  The bottom has a nice felt pad.  I think even the cord is original.

So I took a break from phones today and worked on the General Electric Vortalex.  Now I have a total of six old fans.  I need to find some more room.

By the way, I never returned for the 302.  If it's still there on  Tuesday I may try and drag that home too.

The first picture is the dirty "before" photo.

The wire cage has been repaired at the top where someone welded it.  It has a flat appearance as a result.


That is cool (pun intended). Nice job Dennis, you seem to have the magic touch with everything you do.

Dennis Markham

Thanks Doug, but I don't know about EVERYTHING!  I do like cleaning up old stuff and using it again.