Irondragon Forge & Clay

Estate sale barn find…

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On Saturday at our BOA meeting one of our members said that she thought she had found a forge blower and wanted me to look at it to see if she had wasted her money because it didn’t turn. I asked her how much she paid for it and she said 40 dollars.

Went with her to her truck and in the back was what I thought was a Champion 400 blower complete with stand. Upon getting it out and looking it over it is a Champion Lancaster model 40 that looked to be in good shape. Inspecting the air intake and fan reveled it was full of mud dauber nests. I took my pocketknife and chipped them all out and was able to turn the fan and handle although it was very stiff. It didn’t feel like the gears were stripped, so I carried it up to the shop to see if I could get the cover off. I told her if the gears were bad I would give her double her money back to have it for spare parts.

At the shop we drew a crowd and everyone was amazed at the outward appearance of it, just surface rust and barn dirt even the legs were in very good shape. I sprayed WD40 on the fan and soaked the shafts and screws with it and PB Blaster. In short order the fan was turning with the crank handle and the cover was off (it was missing one screw). The gears looked brand new and there was no play in the shaft bearings. The PB Blaster and WD40 had cut through the old dried up oil and the handle would make 2 ½ turns when let go.

We told her to take it to a car wash & pressure clean it inside & out. Let it dry and oil it with chainsaw bar oil or 30-wt motor oil to the proper level. Clean the surface rust with a wire brush and go to a hardware store to match up the existing cover screw. Sure wish she had taken me up on the offer to double her money.:)

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Nice find on her part. Good on you for helping her out. 

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You told her to fill it to the proper level?! :o  I trust you told her the proper level was a few drops of oil through the oil ports. I've never heard of one that didn't leak more than a few drops out on the floor. You have a WICKED sense of humor SIR! 

Great score, glad it was so easy to get working. Good job getting it working for her..

Frosty The Lucky.

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13 hours ago, Frosty said:

You told her to fill it to the proper level?!

Yep, just enough oil for the bottom gear teeth to be in oil and they will spread oil to the other gears and bearings. It really does take just a little more than a few drops for a splash system to work. After the initial oil charge is in, then a few drops to replace oil that always seeps out of the shafts will do.

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Your blower case must be a much better fit than any I've run across. Then again I live a sheltered life, it's not like there are many folks with hand crank blowers around here.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Plenty of cranks, though....

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Grrr. <_<

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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And bears.

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Not my preferred position in the food chain if I can avoid it thank you very much.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I've known folks to clean the mating edges very carefully and then use a thin smear of the "make a gasket goop".  A lot of the older equipment used to use pretty much flow through oiling.   I once read an early 1900's era boys book, something like the "Airplane Boys in Florida" where when they were designing their airplane, one of the crew positions was for an oiler to oil the engine during flight....

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I actually got to look at an airplane with an oil pump handle by the engineer's seat.

Frosty The Lucky.

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ISTR that some of the early cars you had to repour the main bearings every couple of thousand miles. They don't make things like they used to!

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There's an interesting scene in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath where Tom Joad and Jim Casy do a field re-babbitting of a broken connecting rod bearing.

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The oiler on the old radial engine aircraft would pump oil stored on board into the engine oil tanks to maintain the correct oil level. Sometimes oil consumption was the range limiting factor for the aircraft. Pratt &Whitney R-4360 Quite a piece of mechanical engineering, 28 cylinders 4360 cubic inches of supercharged turbo compound engine.

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Oooooh horse power, what a monster! Is that a counter rotating engine? I LOVE the sound of a big radial engine, a pair of T34s flew over a couple years ago to do a Fly By of (buzzed) the Wasilla Airport. The engines were at a RPM that was music, not throttled down and backfiring of a descending glide or that hammer down roar of take off but the beautiful throaty burbling of easy cruise speed. And a PAIR of them. It gives me chills.

Frosty The Lucky.

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14 hours ago, Frozenforge said:

Pratt &Whitney R-4360

How often do we have to say it: CHARCOAL DOESN'T NEED THAT MUCH AIR!!!

 

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:o!!

Frosty The Lucky.

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My dad used to work on the 4360's. The B-36 was one airplane my Mom could identify by the sound alone, they had 6 of those engines plus 4 jet engines.

 

And if you look at the left side on the back wall you see the master and slave rods for a radial engine. My Mom machined the master rods during WWII

 

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You could access the engines in flight thru a passage in the wings. Each engine had a 100 GALLON oil tank! The people building and maintaining these engines were specialists indeed.

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Uh . . . I've . . . ridden in airplanes! :ph34r:

During WWII Mother was an instrument setter and her Mother was a rivet buck in the wing tips and tails because she was small enough to fit.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've been on a number of prop planes commercially back in the 1960's...(and still remember our scout troop camped near the end of a runway at Wright Pat when the SAC wing came in at 5 AM...)

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One of my all-time favorite memories was flying from Anvik to Aniak in the summer of 1987, when there wasn't enough room in the passenger compartment and they put me up in the co-pilot's seat. Best view I've ever had.

The pilot only said one thing to me: "Don't touch anything." He needn't have worried: I was too busy looking.

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Yeah, riding the right hand seat is the best way to fly. Great view and you don't have to fly the plane.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Nice find!! I went to my first farm auction a couple weeks ago and got a champion 400 and a buffalo with the tube. Paid $70 for both. The champion works perfectly but no stand. The buffalo needs a new fan. Anyone interested in trading the buffalo for a stand??

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Greetings Eric,

       Pictures of your blowers might help.. I might just have a stand. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

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