Old Fan Gets a Retro Makeover 

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know that we moved into a new-to-us house last summer.  You may also remember that it was a one-owner home and retained most of its original detailing.  If you paid close attention, you may also know that management and I decided to run with the vintage theme of the house.  Now if you really have been paying attention, then you know that I keep finding stashes of wood in the attic, pine, maple and mahogany.  What I haven’t mentioned before, is that there are a few other “treasures” stashed in the attic as well.  Essentially the things accumulated over the years that were no longer needed, but still too good to throw out.  I think we all have stashes of this kind of detritus. Anyway, on one of my recent trips into the magic attic I spotted an old floor model box fan and drug it down to the shop.

I looked to be from the late 60’s maybe early 70’s, but I could find no date to confirm my suspicions. The fan looked to be in relatively solid shape.  It was filthy, there was a spot or two of rust and the original power cord had been pitifully replaced with a lamp cord.  The original plastic rotary on/off knob was missing as well.

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Although the electrical work looked a little sketchy, I decided to take my chances and plug it in.  No breakers tripped and I went for broke and turned it on.  To my surprise both speeds worked but it was NOISY!  A quick inspection revealed that the motor had a lot of play in the shaft.  The poor old thing was just worn out.  I almost gave up on it, but I loved how well built this little fan was and decided to put in a little effort to see if I could bring it back to life.

I removed the old motor (took all of five minutes) and put it in the truck.  There is a shop in town that specializes in HVAC and, by default, has a stash of electric motors.  On the following day I paid them a visit while on my lunch hour.  The guy at the counter said he could order me a two speed replacement, but it would be spendy.  For about half the price I could have a single speed model that he had in stock.  Sold!  I grabbed a new toggle switch and power cord while I was at it.

So I dismantled the fan and began cleaning all of the individual parts and prepping them for a fresh paint job.

With the retro theme we have going on, management has decided that the accent color for every room will be coral.  Technically you could call it pink, but calling it coral sits better with me.  So a quick trip to the big box store resulted in a few rattle cans of paint and a couple of new knobs for the pivots.  Coral for the case and white for everything else.

My garage looked liked a back alley paint shop for a couple of days with parts hanging from the ceiling on wire hangers, but everything received a fresh coat of paint.  All that remained was to reassemble everything and see if it would work.

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Not too bad, if I do say so myself.  While far from a perfect and historical restoration, it works great and should last quite a few more years.

Greg Merritt

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7 Responses to Old Fan Gets a Retro Makeover 

  1. Coisas EM'adeira says:

    Great fancy fan….
    I’m a fan (of this type of work) … ;P

  2. Great job like new shall I call you Rick from now on

  3. ericspaw says:

    Changing a two speeder to a one speeder- oh the heresy (heheh). Nice piant job on the restoration. I am in the midst of recovering a leather tool tool chest with Tolex- if it is good enough for Fender and Marshall, it is good enough for me.

  4. Pingback: Shaker Stool 128 Mod-Part 2 | HILLBILLY DAIKU

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