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A.C. Gilbert M1384 KOLDAIR Oscillating Fan

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
My dad had this hand-me-down fan in a storage locker his garage and we thought we’d clean it up and mount it out in the workshop since it runs.
Searched through the Lounge the other day and online and didn’t find any real background info on it, so I don’t have a clue as to the age.

Here is the fan as it is today. Grungy, re-corded, with the variable speed feature bypassed either by choice or because someone turned the fan around and let it cut through the cord itself. Looks a bit more industrial than some of the other similar styles I’ve seen photos of. Should be a fun little project, I’ll post some pictures of the final result here when complete.

- Ben

Fan1.jpg
Fan2.jpg


Fan4.jpg
Fan3.jpg


FanLabel.jpg
 
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B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
You know I never had an Erector set. Whenever I hear his name I always think first of American Flyer, it slipped my mind that he was the Erector guy.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
Disassembly

Managed to find some time to take it all apart today; I wouldn’t recommend wearing a white hat while doing that sort of work. The variable speed components look in order, just bypassed. I hope it works when I get it back together. Next up, cleaning, rust removal, and repainting.

Disassembledfan.jpg
 
Messages
10,046
Location
My mother's basement
That's kool, Hedberg.

Me, I'm inept at that sort of thing. Compounding the problem is creeping senility, so my fear whenever I set to overhauling any old thing, be it ever so simple, is that I won't get it properly back together again.

Thank goodness for digital cameras. Lots and lots of pictures to refer back to, you know.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
Of course you’re quite good at making hats, so it makes up for any perceived mechanical ineptness. :D

Actually, this will probably be the first thing I’ve ever disassembled that didn’t end up in the garbage can after I lost all the parts. This time around I was sure to bag all the bolts together in labeled Ziploc bags. Luckily there is only one gear that has to be in just the right place and it’s a lot bigger than a model train engine, so I think I’ll make it through this one. This is the first project in quite a while that I’ve actually been excited about working on. And boy are you right about the pictures being useful.
 

airgrabber666

One of the Regulars
Messages
105
Location
Bridgeton, NJ
Looks like a good candidate for restoration. I believe your fan might date to the 19-teens to the 1920s. I have an oscillating General Electric fan from that era that looks quite similar!
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
Thanks for the dating opinion airgrabber666. I was wondering what its approximate age might be. My weekend project will be to locate and order some new cording for it.
 

Nobert

Practically Family
Messages
829
Location
In the Maine Woods
I echo the admiration for knowing how to muck about with that sort of thing. I measure the success of any repair or home-improvement project by whether I've managed not to throw out my back or put the tip of a Phillips-head screwdriver through my thumbnail.

I hope you get it up and running.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
Thanks. In reality though there are probably less parts on a fan like this than on a new one from the store so it’s not too bad a project except for having to get all the crevices cleaned out nicely.

I worked on cleaning today and sadly the finish is too far gone over almost all of it, so it will need to be completely repainted.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
Primed and ready to paint

And here we are well past the point where the Antiques Roadshow appraiser would say “It would have been worth $100,000 but….” Hope to get it painted here still tonight.

PrimedPhoto.jpg


I couldn’t get the ceramic variable speed/switch thing to come off the base without wrecking it, so I created a cover for it out of a Welch's fruit snack box and duct tape.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
A dilly of a pickle.

Picked up this diminutive AC Gilbert self-branded fan to scavenge the brass knob off of it to use on my AC Gilbert Koldair fan. Unfortunately the little guy runs well so I almost hate to do that. Perhaps I’ll try to turn an acceptable lookalike out of a dowel for the big one for the time being, and just keep the little guy intact for restoration next year. The Koldair will be going out in the workshop but the little one would look great on my desk. Once I finish with the Koldair I’ll take the little one apart to see what the condition of the wiring and motor is.

Here’s the new fan: (no model number on the tag)
DSCF2055.jpg


Here’s the back of the new fan first, and the Koldair second. Same exact size mounting on the oscillating arm.
DSCF2057.jpg
Fan3.jpg


Planning on ordering new wiring this weekend, perhaps I’ll get enough for both if it doesn't cost too much.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
I was saying that I needed a new hobby, but fans would take up even more room than the toy trains.

I think they said the heat index was 95 or so. Way too humid to do any more painting that’s for sure. I wanted to mow the lawn before heading into the store this afternoon but it never dried out. Still humid when I got back here around 2am.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
The project continues but proceeds slowly. I have been having a terrible time getting a good finish on the pieces even after making some jigs to help hold things in the right position. Too much paint and it runs, too little and it stipples. I finally got the base cover just right when I dropped it and put a scratch across it yesterday. :( Hopefully I’ll have better luck this week; but even with a less than perfect finish, it looks far better than it did. Of course if I didn’t have to wear goggles to protect the glasses, I could probably see what I was doing better.
 

B.J. Hedberg

Practically Family
Messages
528
Location
Minnesota
It has taken a while, particularly as I had to keep sanding things down and repainting, but the base and motor covers have all gotten their final coat of semi-gloss paint, and the blades and blade shield just have a few imperfections I need to work on and they’ll soon be done too. I’ll be done just in time for the first big snow at this rate.

DSCF2254.jpg
 
Messages
10,879
Location
Portage, Wis.
So far, so good! Everything's looking great. I've done quite a few projects like this, fans in particular, I enjoy. I've never had a paint job turn out so well. Nice work!
 

PADDY

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
7,425
Location
METROPOLIS OF EUROPA
As Tom points out, 'that' paint work looks great. Did you 'spray' paint it?
Isn't the transformation just amazing when you take something apart, take your time and work away at something that initially looked pretty awful. Good Feeling eh!! :)
 

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