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Small antique motor running rough, lubricant? suggestions as to a product Answered

I have a small antique desk fan that I am refinishing the art deco base on.  Now keep in mind, in another life I was an antique dealer.  I know messing with it drops the value, however the base was all ready badly corroded.  The motor runs, though rough.  I think it is most likely bearings, and or possible winding's could have a small short, though that is doubtful.  Lubricant for the bearings?   And keep in mind cleaning it with aggressive chemicals like acetone could melt the varnish off the winding's, then I'm really hooped.  Now the obvious would just be to replace the motor, but pieces like this were built not to ever be opened again, at least without hope of putting them back together the same way.  Thanks


Most times all you need is some light machine oil, such as sewing machine oil (steveastrouk!) or 3 in1. I have an old metal Westinghouse oscillator fan from before I was a kid and a healthy Mimar Dynafan (ducted) metal fan (unknown age) that I use quite frequently. All they require is a periodic lube from one of the above mentioned types of oil in the appropriately labeled oil deposition spots. Keep 'em clean and oiled and they will last more than a lifetime.

If you cannot find these oils, use a light, non-detergent motor oil. The 3/4 horse motor on my house heat specifies 30 wt non-detergent. Just a couple of drops...


Maybe you could add a photo.

I think probably that little motor has not bearings but hubs (I don't know the English word), it is the most habitual.

If it is the case, the hubs waste after some years running. I've fixed that sometimes (not always) with thin paper. Yes, paper. The noise reduces markedly during a good time. You can repeat the treatment after five or six years.

perhaps you can give provide HELP. How Can I Post a question? to get help on an items such as a pottery wheel. I type in the question in the first box -limited space, provide details in next box. it asks me to review question details, when i click publish --- it brings up overlay screen, telling me I need to have a title and it removes the question I had entered in the first box area.
what am I missing?
have no idea where your reply will show up so will check back on this item later today and tomorrow
SORRY to come into the middle of this, but I am at a loss. thanks

I know best answer has been given but before you oil it, use high pressure air to blow out any dust, dirt, or grit. Might fix it without the oil, but from what you describe you'll still need oil.

3in1 over here tends to go really gummy after a bit. I wonder if ours is the same as yours ?

I would think its the same, but... Now is it the oil itself as it ages, or is it accumulations trapped within the oil after a period of wear time

It can, but that is why only a few drops, and keep it clean. Everything lasts longer with proper maintenance. My fans get so much use that they receive a yearly cleaning, if not more.


Light oil yep. Not a lot.

Try sewing machine oil.