RR 2, Box 325, Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
First, we got the okay to make the fan from the Pioneer
Association. We went to some old fashioned day shows to get some
ideas for a fan. We went to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. There we saw a fan
that was designed the way we wanted. We also bought an eight-inch
wide by sixteen-inch diameter pulley.
When we got home, I drew up some plans, and at the next meeting,
we told everyone what was needed to build the fan. Two members said
they knew of a building being built that might have some scrap
steel left over. They brought more pieces of channel, eight-feet
long by ten inches wide. We needed a little more than what they got
as scrap, about twenty feet more. We used new steel for runners and
I cut the old steel into forty eight-inch long pieces. I clamped
those together edgeways and welded them to make four legs 5′ x
10′ x 48′ long.
Next, I made a fan housing. One night while I was working in the
machine shop, I started with a piece of three-inch tubing, found
two tapered bushings that were for 5/8‘
We belt pulleys and bored four degree angles at each end of the
tubing. Then, I drilled and threaded three holes three-eighths
standard thread to tighten the bushings on this shaft and in the
end of the fan housing. We bored a two-inch hole in the
sixteen-inch pulley and broached a half-inch keyway in it and put
half-inch threads for a half-inch square head set screw. I also
took the two-inch shaft and milled the keyways we would need.
This was all done ahead of time.
We cut the legs at the top end the angle we needed to weld a
frame to it. We cut the lower end horizontal with the floor and
welded the lower end to a ten-inch channel we were using for skids.
After cutting the top of the A frame horizontal with the bottom, we
welded the three-quarter by six-inch bearing plates on the top of
the A frame. We bolted the bearing blocks down on the plates
One of the men found an axle with wheels, brought it over and we
welded it on top of the ten inch channel and under the A frame in
I took the bearings out of both wheels and cleaned them and
packed them with clean grease. We put the wheels back on with a
flat washer and a large cotter key to hold on the wheel.
4-H fair time was getting closer and I needed help to finish the
Some of the Pioneer Club men came to my rescue. They put the
braces on in between the fan blades. And that finished it all but
the tongue for pulling it.
Mike Long and Tom Hedrick pulled the fan to Tom’s shop.
There they painted it white and blue. The finished product got to
the 4-H Fair in time.
The fan looked real good and, even if I say so myself, it was a
job well done and we were all proud of it.
It is heavy enough that the wheels are taken off and the fan is
set on the ground. Then the pulley is hooked up to the fan and a
tractor for operation. The fan is stable enough without being
staked to the ground. It does not move, even during operation. The
first tractor belted up was Tom Hedrick’s W-30. The R.P.H. was
just between 375 and 380. The other tractors mostly pulled about
300, some only if the belt slipped, and not that much as the belt
was extra tight.
That’s how Montgomery County Pioneer Club got their Baker
Fan. If you’re in our neighborhood the third week of July, stop
by the 4-H Fairgrounds in Crawfordsville and visit with us. Besides
the Baker Fan there are over 40 restored antique tractors, antique
toys, and special events like the ‘slow race,’ and
‘barrel race,’ that you’re sure to enjoy. Notice the