Author Options:

Twin-blade ceiling fan (Steampunk-esque) Answered

Hi, I tried posting this already but then couldn't find it so I hope I am not posting twice...

I fell in love with this ceiling fan (http://www.wayfair.com/Minka-Aire-Twin-Gyro-6-Blade-Turbofan-F502-BCW-MKA1488.html) which I can't attach properly to show the image because the uploader doesn't work (either of them) on my computer.

Problem is that the fan is over $800!

I'd like to combine a bunch of pieces and make something like this out of old desk fans and a nice light fixture (or something I can turn into a nice light fixture) to both save money and spare our landfill.  Thing is, although I get lamps and they are very easy, once you add moving parts I am scared sh!tle$$!  

I figure there has to be someone out there who knows if it is even possible to recreate this at home.



I'd be very willing it is easy to replicate, in function if not in exact form.

That's basically two desk fans, with the central stalk removed and replaced with a pair of brackets...

the fans themselves spin too like a ceiling fan :-( so you have to worry about the cords tangling up inside.

What is a slip ring? I am assuming a ring that allows something to slip through, but...

It's an electrical connection that allows wires to rotate through 360º without twisting or tangling.

Ah! I've heard of that sort of thing, but didn't know what it was called. I'm not sure I want the whole thing to spin, but I could use the base from the ceiling fan that is there.

Thinking on it, I could attach the samovar around the existing fan base (blades and lights, except center light globe removed) by the brackets that hold the blades, then have the fans attach to the samovar itself. Now if I can find a light-weight "pot" that even resembles a samovar, I'll be fine, I can run the wires through the brackets, out the samovar-thing to the desk fans and refinish the whole piece to look uniform.

I am certain I can find some decorative scroll or filigree work to weld onto the piece.

Wow, thanks that all just came out this second! I think I have a plan! When I get this done I'll post.

Sometimes all you need to do is think out loud.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make - don't forget to take plenty of photos as you work.

My husband is concerned that by taking off the blades and attaching the fans to only two of the blade brackets might unbalance the entire affair. Is there a way to mitigate this?

Going from 5 blades to 2 WILL unbalance it unless you or him design a bracket to utilize only two brackets that are parallel.

A 4 blade ceiling fan should work if you remove the other two blades and the fans are same weight and they are across from each other.

The bracket will be the easy part, once you take off all the fan blades you can reuse the screw holes that are attached to the motor mount

Could I do three smaller fans to distribute the weight on odd numbered brackets? There are no two brackets that sit across from each other because the existing fan that I wish to use is 5-bladed. I would be willing to go to three to create something completely unique though. If you imagine five blades as a man figure and I were to remove the arms, would the weight be evenly distributed among the three remaining blades?

The weight will be balanced, but the individual fans won't be - you'll have vibration issues in each fan.

Each fan would have vibration issues around its own drive shaft. Not a recipe for a long life.

Darn. I was really hoping this would be viable. $800 is ridiculous!

I've seen those ceiling fans a number of places, but there are a few things you should consider. For one, the fans are very inefficient with an efficiency of 49.51 cubic feet of air movement. For another, the weight is quite extreme and requires a heavy duty electrical box capable of holding it. Further, you need extremely tall ceilings. I have standard 8' ceilings throughout most of my house, and the height requirement alone eliminates the fan as a possibility. If you have tall ceilings and are willing to install the box and put together the fan in a DIY style, I'd say it's possible although, yes, scary because that's still going to be a lot of weight.

If you want to keep items out of the landfill, check on CraigsList, your local Habitat for Humanity store, or contractors/builders that rip out loads of old ceiling fans that are still in good working order.

Outside of that, I'd recommend installing wall fans, and there are a number of antique/vintage/modern ones that can essentially be hung on the wall. I'm sure you can modify fans to hang on the wall also.

There are also pedestal fans and antique ceiling fans (example).

I've personally bought a number of ceiling fans from LampsPlusOpenBox.com which requires a lot of stalking for the right fan, and I've occasionally see that sort of fan come up for maybe $500.

It is for an eat-in 1970's kitchen and would hang over the dining table, so I am not worried about height. I plan to make my own because even $500 is too steep for me, but thanks.

Since you want to put it in a kitchen, there are a couple of other concerns. For one, how easily will you be able to clean it? I've always had to clean light fixtures in my kitchens because inevitably a fine mist of grease coats them which then gathers pet hair and dust and is a general nightmare to scrub off. This might not be a problem for you in your kitchen, but cleanability is something I consider in mine because somehow we always make grease mist even if the stove is 8' from the fixture. The other concern is the width of the table and the width of the fixture (42" for the inspiration). The fixture might be close to the same width of the table and look tiny in comparison, or the table might be larger than the fixture and blow into someone's face/hair with an 8' ceiling. All this might be not phase you or be a problem, but they're things I'd consider when designing for a kitchen.

I was also curious about the center piece and think a samovar might be something I could use to replace the stand part of the fans and house the wires/light. Does this sound like it could work?

once you get the mechanics of the fan to work you can just epoxy or glue what ever designs and ornaments on the outside.


4 years ago

Cool STP fan ... lots of like