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Barn find

I was given two blowers and a forge that were my grandfather's and uncle's. I do not know who which one owned which blower or the forge. They have been stored in a barn for over 50 years. Both turn great, are very smooth with no grinding noise, I can turn both by hand using the end of the shaft, but both are missing the counterbalanced crank handles. If anyone knows of replacement parts for sale or can provide the crank length and weight of the counterbalance so I can build them I would appreciate it. I would prefer to have original manufacturer's parts for them, but will make them if original is not available. 

Thanks,

Les

P.S. If the pictures are too large please point me towards the directions to resize them, I tried to find them to check size, but I am not very good on a computer and couldn't find it.

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I resize pictures by doing a "Save As" and selecting a smaller file size in my pictures file on my computer. I rename the resized pic by adding 01 to the existing file name. 

The handles on blowers were designed to be easy to replace and I think often got tossed to save space in a move. Just cut a length of bar stock that slips easily through the connector on the shaft then drill a hole for a bolt and make a wooden handle. Old shovel handle ends work a treat. If you want a counter weight, mine doesn't have one, be creative. A cool forged fist maybe? 

If you're missing the shaft connector the hunt is ON. can often find a broken "parts" blowers for cheap almost anywhere. I'm having to keep my eyes open, my old trusty blower seems to have developed a broken worm gear though until recently it's been too cold in the shop to break it down that far. Good thing I rarely burn coal eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,

Thanks for the help. Everything is there except the handles,  I'll work on cleaning them up and making handles this weekend. Work has me on the road most of this week.

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I'm on the road for work quite a bit as well, but I've been lucky in that my rambles have given me the opportunity to get together with a number of IFI members and even to spend some time together forging.

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That's the best part of travelling, unfortunately my travel for  work doesn't give me the time to visit, but that will change in a few months when it will be for my enjoyment and I will be setting the schedules.

I hope to be able to meet and visit with some of you on IFI in the near future.

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I would pull the covers off and clean out the gear box to check the gears, then lightly oil them (just enough oil that the lower gear runs in it) and check the fans for critter nests and mud dauber hives, they love old blower housings.:)

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Irondragon,

Thanks for the pointers, I appreciate all the information everyone is providing .

I cleaned the dirt daubers and cob webs out of both fan housings before trying to turn them. Pulled the top cover off the 400, there was a light film of oil on all gears and they were in great shape. I'll check the grease on the bearings and add the oil to it this weekend. Currently researching the maintenance on them now. The Canedy Otto was full of 90 weight, I had to lay it down to bring it home and oil ran out. I'll work on it after I finish with the 400 and get it hooked up to the forge.

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90 weight is way too heavy anywhere that gets chilly! "Light machine oil" is what I use---in fact the squeeze bottles they sell for oiling swamp cooler bearings. I get a new one every year and the old one(s) go to lubing post vises and hand crank blowers.

Also check that film; if it's "sticky" you probably want to clean it off and refresh it.

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I oil mine with a couple drops of chainsaw bar oil, it's formulated to be both sticky and remain fluid at low temps. Then again the lowest temp you probably have to worry about is mid 30s in dead of winter. If I put 90w in mine it would be a solid block on cold days. If I put more than 1/4c in mine it runs out on the floor so work your way up to enough lube or you might find out how far oil will spread on a concrete or whatever you have, floor. :o

Frosty The Lucky.

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Old machinery with "flow through" oiling is great for keeping the dust down on dirt shop floors!  I've seen some hand crank blowers with a pan of kitty litter under them after their owner over oiled them.

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But the cats track oil all over the place.:( I only tried filling the case to the "level" plug ONE time and that spot in the old tarp tent smithy is the only place with nothing growing on it. 

I'm betting an old school blower would be perfectly happy with a little dollop of bacon grease for lube. The things are from a time where "remote" machinery was intended to work well for decades on whatever was at hand. Heck, I've turned cranks on blowers that were dry as your yard and they just hummed around and made air. Any oil, no grit and they'll last centuries. eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I got the 400 cleaned up and oiled and put a handle on one of the cross peen hammers I found in the barn with the blowers.

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That's a world of difference from the way you found them. Looks like there's still a lot of years of service left in that blower.

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Well it's the status of the gearing that determines uselife left....If the innards match those outerds they will go a long ways!

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That was my attempt at being optimistic and upbeat.  ;-)

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It is an act of optimism whenever we put a piece of steel in a forge to make something from it.

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I like that thought. I also like your use of the word outerds. Reminds me of a story Cratis Williams would tell about an Appalachian preacher who'd use sisteren as the feminine version of brethren during his sermons.

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I come from a long line of hill folk and it hasn't all worn off---and hopefully never will!

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Me too. I love Appalachia and most of what comes with it. Unfortunately I haven't been to the home place in a few years. 

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It was a lot of fun, 100 year old crud doesn't want to come off! The other one is worse, I've been squirting degreaser on it every day for a week and it hasn't made a difference yet.

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Sometimes things take time. I recently cleaned up an old machinist's bench vise that took several electrolysis sessions, a lot of PB Blaster and WD-40, and (eventually) some judicious sledgehammer persuasion to get the slide unstuck.

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A soak in ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) and a strong solvent like acetone is good at cutting ancient solidified oil and grease. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I used the 50/50 mix to free up the engine in a Bronco that I picked up a couple of years ago. It had sat parked in a field for 20 years, couldn't turn it over with a 3' cheater on the breaker bar. I filled all the cylinders, let it set for a week and turned it over with an 18" breaker bar. Didn't think about using it to clean the old solid grease off, I'll mix some up tonight.

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