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Thread: Ceiling Fan Blades

  1. #1
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    Ceiling Fan Blades

    I just hung a ceiling fan on our back porch, one of the cast-iron Hunter models from the 1980s. The blades I have to go with it I don't believe are the ones that were originally meant for it. The irons are brass whereas the fan is black, and I don't know that we're going to be fully satisfied with the color of the blades.

    I've got spare irons from what may have been one of these fans from the '80s or a similar model from earlier, and I believe I may make new blades. Has anyone done this and discovered any special considerations?

    I know the blades need to be balanced, especially as fans of this time weren't secured against rocking, and light weight is probably a good idea. Basswood will probably be my choice unless someone has better advice.

    Thanks!
    Chuck Taylor

  2. #2
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    All the wooden fan blades I've installed (and there have been a lot) have been plywood, usually 3 thin veneers.

    Here's my process for balancing the blades. I clamp the assembled fan so the blades are vertical. The heavy blade will rotate to the bottom. Lead wheel weights work well for balancing. I peel just a tiny piece of the the backing paper off, which allows me to adjust the position of the weight on the lighter blade(s). It usually takes a few minutes of fiddling around to get it good.

  3. #3
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    Is there some reason a can of spray paint won't remedy your dissatisfaction with your current fan blades?

    For blade balancing my ceiling fans have all come with PSA weights and a little weighted clip in order to balance the fan.

    Try consulting with Dr. Google.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    I've changed the color of fan blades with paint. I also have changed the "irons" by powder coating or painting depending on the desired color.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Is there some reason a can of spray paint won't remedy your dissatisfaction with your current fan blades?

    Well, no, not really--except for my fondness for overcomplicating a project. Sometimes a little smack in the head helps.
    Chuck Taylor

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Taylor View Post
    Well, no, not really--except for my fondness for overcomplicating a project.
    Haha! I'm often guilty of the same thing.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Is there some reason a can of spray paint won't remedy your dissatisfaction with your current fan blades?

    jtk
    Also know as a DuPont tune up. Fresh coat of paint makes anything run better. Recently, I've been seeing more 1/4" MDF blades on fans.

  8. #8
    Back Porch? I would go plastic. 100% balance them! I hate seeing a fan wobble.

  9. #9
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    They not only need to be balanced but also straight. Cupping or curvature along the length will induce wobble as well as weight differences. I'd go with the paint if you have a set that works.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all. I’ll keep it simple here and find something else to do the hard way.
    Chuck Taylor

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    They not only need to be balanced but also straight. Cupping or curvature along the length will induce wobble as well as weight differences.
    That's a very good point. Just a little bit of difference will introduce a lot of wobble.

  12. #12
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    I bought one with real wood blades that are slightly foiled. I had often considered making my own blades similar to this. These appear to be cedar- very light weight. Note that this is also one of the more efficient fans on the market, and I believe that has to do with the foiled blades.
    B2921528-B279-4A24-963A-2B97B1599DD7.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    ... Recently, I've been seeing more 1/4" MDF blades on fans.
    I would think MDF would sag with time, and actually pretty quickly. Maybe sandwhiched with a veneer would keep mdf from sagging?
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Taylor View Post
    Well, no, not really--except for my fondness for overcomplicating a project. Sometimes a little smack in the head helps.
    l’ve been known to embrace over complication. For example, I have 6 battery operated, motorized hot dog sticks in a fitted case. I made them as a joke but it turned out that the hot dogs were awesome. I have medical stainless skewers that can be threaded on the end but we discovered that bamboo skewers are easier. I have a fitting that turns the single skewer into a double one for roasting marshmallows. That was an unqualified success too. Then I have some specialized stakes that will hold the thing so you don’t roast your face.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    I would think MDF would sag with time, and actually pretty quickly. Maybe sandwhiched with a veneer would keep mdf from sagging?
    I’ve seen fans that looked like inverted tulips, thanks to blades made from MDF or something similar that was no match for Southern humidity.
    Chuck Taylor

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