I bought an old rusty electric heater at a flea market because I liked its vintage style. The blower motor was frozen and the heating coils and wiring looked dangerous, but the cabinet was sound, although it had a lot of surface rust inside and out. This instructable walks through the steps I took resurrecting this old heater.
Step 1: How it all began
I forgot to take a photo of the heater before I began, but from the disassembled cabinet you can see the condition this old heater was in. The cabinet parts are shown in the first photo, and the heating element/blower assembly in the 2nd photo. There was a lot of internal and external rust on the cabinet panels, the fan motor was frozen, and the wiring was old and falling apart. Plus, since these old heaters were made with no safety systems I really didn't want to try and repair the parts that made heat.
Step 2: Materials required
The rebuilding materials were fairly simple. I bought a new inexpensive electric heater ($24) that had a heating element that would fit within the old cabinet. I removed the heating assembly and controls from the new heater and saved the empty cabinet for a future instructable (it will become something other than a heater!).
In terms of supplies I used sandpaper, 14 gauge wire, wire nuts, and spray paint. The tools used were a soldering gun (and solder), drill & bits, screwdrivers, and a metal cutting saw.
Step 3: Dis-assembly & rust removal
Dis assembly was easy -- I removed 24 sheet metal screws and the cabinet (photo 1) and heating assembly (photo 2) were all apart.
The first thing I tackled was to remove the heavy rust from inside the cabinet. The cabinet's insides are not visible when the cabinet is assembled, but I wanted to stop the rusting. I aggressively wire brushed the insides of each piece of the cabinet until all loose rust was gone (photo 3).