Jump to content
I Forge Iron

champion blower repair / what to look for when buying


Recommended Posts

Hello,

I am suppose to look a champion blower tonight (June 27) thats for sale. I have never a hand crank blower (mine have been makeshift everything else). I dont want to spend a lot for it and then sink a bunch into it to make it work. So can you give me some pointers on what to look and how to test it out. Where to get repair parts? I work part time at a bicycle shop and from my understanding there are loose bearings and cones to check and that it should turn freely with 0.010 side play in the crank. I am also under the impression that there are fine threads on soft metal so it needs to be cleaned real well and soaked in penetrating oil before attempting disassembly. please correct me if wrong.

I attached pictures, he is asking $200 for the forge and blower.


Thanks for your help and insight,

Karl

post-10280-0-68595300-1309177211_thumb.j

post-10280-0-05002700-1309177227_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not an expert, but these have much sloppier bearings in them than a bicycle. I am fairly sure that my champion #40 uses bushings. When I got my blower, which is in very good condition I slowly cranked it though a few turns feeling for hiccups, gear damage, and the like. I also spun it up and made sure it would coast some, again feeling for hiccups or gear damage.

When I got it home I opened the access cover, which opened easily on mine. I rinsed with kerosene and lubricated with transmission fluid. I got my hands on some light gear oil I am going to try instead of transmission fluid, since that red stuff has a funky smell to me. (yes, even the fresh stuff I am using)

Because this is a non-sealed system, and I expected a partially sealed system I made quite a mess with the kerosene since I just dumped in about 1/2 cup.

On the forge you check for sound metal, completeness, and lack of cracks. The forge pan is supposed to be coated in clay, but the lack of clay is minor, and allows for better inspection.

Phil

Link to post
Share on other sites

if the forge pan is solid (not cracked, rusted through, or previously repaired,) and the blower works then that is a pretty good price.

As far as the bower goes, take a flat head screw driver and remove the top of the gear box housing. Take a flashlight so you can see down to the bottom clearly and check each gear tooth....mainly just to make sure they are there. If it won't spin at all definately open up the gear box. It could be that some of the gears have come loose and slid together. (My hand cranks do that occasionally and it will completely freeze the blower.

If there is nothing obviously majorly wrong with it, I'd go for it! (offer him $150...maybe you can get it for $175 then! ;))

Link to post
Share on other sites

$200 seems a bit high, unless you're interested in the little rivet type forge. See that the crank puts out air going in both directions. One direction may seem a little easier and less noisy. Your blower looks like the small fan case variety. I have one where the fan case is a 9"D overall, and the fan diameter inside might be 6.5" to 7".
That is OK. They put out plenty of air. On the side opposite the crank, there may be two threaded caps on the gear case. Removing a cap exposes a go no-go adjusting nut to ease the gears. If ball bearings are present, don't lose them. This area should be packed with grease. In most all of the old blowers, the gears are attached to their respective spindles with set screws, and the screws normally have a square head. It often occurs that the set screws loosen with use, and that gets the gears out of alignment. It's easy to fix. Line up the gears and tighten the set screw.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a bit on the steep side for that set-up. I have one just like it and it works pretty well for some small decorative work. You'd have a tough time with longer sections like twisting the center section of a fire poker.

I didnd't pay near that and mine looked just the same.

The blower will take a good cleaning. See my tips on this web site under the solid fuel forge section.

The blower normally only needs to be cleaned and bearings adjusted. That .010 inch end play sounds a bit high. I have almost zero play and turns free w/o binding.

Use light oil to lube it and don't break anything!! You wont locate spare parts unless you buy another blower. The bearing balls are .020 or .025 if you'd need them. Don't loose any!

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the smaller of the champion blowers. From what I understand they don't put out enough air to burn coke well. Anybody have real world experience?
The other thing to be careful of is when you go to take the top off. There are 2 screws in the front by the fan and then another in the back that the top slides over. Don't try to pry it up. Remove the front 2 screws then use a screw driver in the very front of the top and CAREFULLY turn it to loosen the top. I have 2 of the 400 series and they both have bushings in the big brass front gear, check that they both have similar slop. The bushing closest to the handle is the one that seams to wear more. The hand crank shaft has bearings in races and the shaft with the fan has loose bearings. I use a good quality grease for the bearings and bushings and then a little gear oil now and again for the gears.

Price is relative to location. I would still try to negotiate lower. $125.00 to $150.00. I paid $75.00 for my last one a few months ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is the smaller of the champion blowers. From what I understand they don't put out enough air to burn coke well. Anybody have real world experience?
The other thing to be careful of is when you go to take the top off. There are 2 screws in the front by the fan and then another in the back that the top slides over. Don't try to pry it up. Remove the front 2 screws then use a screw driver in the very front of the top and CAREFULLY turn it to loosen the top. I have 2 of the 400 series and they both have bushings in the big brass front gear, check that they both have similar slop. The bushing closest to the handle is the one that seams to wear more. The hand crank shaft has bearings in races and the shaft with the fan has loose bearings. I use a good quality grease for the bearings and bushings and then a little gear oil now and again for the gears.

Price is relative to location. I would still try to negotiate lower. $125.00 to $150.00. I paid $75.00 for my last one a few months ago.



I have real world experience in my answer above. The little blower puts out enough air to allow me to do regular work in a Roger Lorance firepot.

Frank Turley
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your help. I looked it over and it is very dirty a little surface rust on the gears but it spins real easy. All the teeth are intact. We filled it up with atf and it flows not drips but flows from behind the fan and from the crank handle. 1/2 a quart in the yard in 5 mins.

Any ideas how to fix this?

thanks karl

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your help. I looked it over and it is very dirty a little surface rust on the gears but it spins real easy. All the teeth are intact. We filled it up with atf and it flows not drips but flows from behind the fan and from the crank handle. 1/2 a quart in the yard in 5 mins.

Any ideas how to fix this?

thanks karl



Yes, don't add so much. Use only a squirt for about every 4 hours of use. They don't have seals. At least you know the bearings were flushed out!

Phil
Link to post
Share on other sites

My forge like the one above will easily burn-up a solid steel shaft of 3/4" dia. I doubt that air flow is a problem.

The blower shaft is threaded and has a key way. That alone is reason enough to make one believe that it simply cannot hold oil. :)

Do you have the clamps that fasten the blower to the forge frame? AS pictured, it would fall off.

I added a 1/4" steel plate to the bottom of mine, made a new (low profile) grate where the air passes through and added the blower shield like the original versions had.

I took mine down the the last bolt and screw to clean and paint. It looks almost like new with the fresh "high heat" gloss black.

I'll have to post up some pictures of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not have the clamps to hold it on. It is makeshifted on with hose clamps. I am hoping to see one complete so I can make the parts to clamp it on or to find the clamps at a swap meet.

Thank, Karl

Link to post
Share on other sites

The clamp is a cast iron bracket set that toghtens against the beam frame and against the base of the blower gear box. It has a notch to coencide with the flare at the base of the gear box.

There is a long through bolt with one of them threaded handles like you see on the other parts of the forge.

post-21170-0-45717800-1309272102_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of your help. I looked it over and it is very dirty a little surface rust on the gears but it spins real easy. All the teeth are intact. We filled it up with atf and it flows not drips but flows from behind the fan and from the crank handle. 1/2 a quart in the yard in 5 mins.

Any ideas how to fix this?

thanks karl


My champion 400 leaks at the fan shaft. After a couple of hours the oil got blown up to the ash drop and smoked. One time the oil caught fire. I tried to figure out a way to seal off the fan shaft but failed to find an acceptabe solution. Finally, I drilled and taped a drain hole at the lowest point of the air pipe to let the oil drain out. The open hole let the oil out but reduced air pressure to the fire. Next, I attached a 3/4" hose to a threaded nipple at the air pipe and the other end of the hose is inserted into an old brake fluid can. This way there is no air pressure loss and the oil is removed from air pipe.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have real world experience in my answer above. The little blower puts out enough air to allow me to do regular work in a Roger Lorance firepot.

Frank Turley




My forge like the one above will easily burn-up a solid steel shaft of 3/4" dia. I doubt that air flow is a problem.



I'll have to post up some pictures of it.



Great!!
I know where there are 2 of them... I think I will go bag them up...

Looking forward to pictures. I made a nice set up for holding my blower on the forge table. I 'll take pictures to post too.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have that blowers twin brother and it puts out a good air flow for my brake drum 55 Forge. I have burnt up a fair amount of iron by talking and cranking at the same time. When I make my new forge, I will also upgrade my blower. I believe for the forge in the picture it should do well. But thats my 1 1/2 cents.

Mark <><

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Forge: Champion No. 401 w/blower

I took it down to the last screw and cleaned/painted. The gear box was in fantastic shape! I removed the spring loaded oiler so as not to break it off, and put that away in a safe place.

The bottom of the forge was slightly modified with a 1/4inch plate and a a low profile grate. One of the leg support clampshad to be welded due to a crack.

It works quite well!

post-21170-0-05809900-1309867807_thumb.j

post-21170-0-79078100-1309867821_thumb.j

post-21170-0-73077900-1309867840_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...