View single post by Darryl Hudson
 Posted: Sat Mar 1st, 2014 04:14 am
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Darryl Hudson

Joined: Mon Nov 14th, 2005
Location: Aiken, South Carolina USA
Well I guess since Dean addressed this question directly to me, I'll go ahead and give an explanation to my position.  Many of you who have posted above get it (why I don't care to make them).  The kidney fans only bring so much money.  The cost to make the gearbox and all of the components far exceeds the worth of the fan.  I made several of these some 15 or so years ago.  I think Carlton got one or maybe two, and David Senn got one.  I don't remember who got the others.  The gearbox case itself I had cast in brass from an original as well as the top and pointer.  The gears I cut from round bar, and all of the other components including the little spring and ball detent mechanism was custom made.  As many of you know, when you have something cast there is shrinkage involved. (Kinda like George in the pool on that episode of Sinefeld). There's just so many factors to consider when you make these things.  First of all, the gearbox is such an odd shape that even the simplest task of holding/fixturing to do the machining is something to deal with.  There are two standoffs inside the bottom of the gearbox where two holes are to be bored/reamed to accept the two vertical shafts that hold the two large gears.  The distance between these two holes is very critical as this is what determines the tooth engagement of the gears.  With the shrinkage of the gearbox housing, you can't just bore the holes in the center of the standoffs (these bored/reamed holes also have to be parallel to each other, perpendicular to the rotor shaft, and parallel to the machined face of the flange that mounts to the back of the motor) since with the shrinkage the two reamed holes in the bottom of the gearbox will end up being off center (ex centric) to the standoffs.  With any casted part there's a lot of rough excess on the casting.  The top has to be "fitted" which is another pain in the butt with warpage that usually exists.  I could go on and on, but bottom line is it takes a lot of set up, time, tooling.   Those gearboxes I made years ago I sold for $500 each--complete ready to mount, and I swore to myself I'd never make them again.  I stuck to my quote of $500 because that's what I quoted before hand and that's what people were expecting to have to pay.  Like TJ said, if I figured my per hour dollars on those things I was working for peanuts.  If I didn't have any other work, or if I was starving to death, yeah, maybe I'd make them.   But right now, and most always I have some backlog in the shop so there's plenty to keep me busy.    Sorry Dean.  You sound like you genuinely would like to have these reproduced, but I won't do it.  Maybe someone who does fans as a hobby will take the project.  I've got to stick with projects I can pay the electric bill and buy groceries. Phyllis has gotten used to eating 3 or 4 times a week so this is not something I care to do. 

I've tried to seriously explain my position while interjecting a little humor to keep the conversation light.  Honestly, I'd like to see someone take this project and get it done.  The Kidney oscillator is a piece of GEs history in oscillation movement and definitely worthy of being salvaged.  If there's one thing I cringe to see is a kidney with no gearbox, and the worm has been hack sawed off so it doesn't stick out the back of the motor and twist the cats tail when he walks by (ain't that right Steve ?)

Somebody?   Anybody?


Last edited on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 04:38 am by Darryl Hudson