Thread Number: 44136  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Restored Westinghouse Upright
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Post# 459604   1/20/2023 at 00:17 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

After going through the pile of vacuums that Jon Durfor didn't want, I snagged this Westinghouse Upright. Despite how bad it looked (Sorry. No before pictures), the machine was complete and the brushroll looked to have been rebristled.

I took the thing apart down to the last screw as the wiring fell apart in my hands. The dry rotted cord was replaced with one that was scavenged from an Oreck Magnesium that was thrown away at work. Thankfully, the original strain relief was in great shape and I was able to reuse it.

The wiring coming from the field was a challenge however. It was cloth covered wire that was as brittle as spaghetti. Since there was some good wire right before it went into the field, I was able to amputate the brittle wiring and solder on some fresh cord using heatshrink afterward.

One of the screws holding in the handle fork was also broken off. One cut with a Dremel gave me a slot to be able to remove the screw with a screwdriver. The unit received a buffing job and was all done. So I thought.

I went to power on the machine and the bag had literally burst in half since the stitching was so fragile. Ray came like an angel from heaven and graciously sewed the bag back together using his serger which completed the project.

Upon seeing the fabric tube attached to the coupler, I had the idea to take a bag connector from a Sanitaire F&G outer bag to use paper bags. Now I can use Hoover C bags which are just the right size.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 459605 , Reply# 1   1/20/2023 at 00:58 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

hoover300's profile picture
WOW! That looks great!! Where was it to become in such bad condition when you found it? Also, how does it sound? I've never heard one. My only suggestion would be to put a strain relief here(below) so it fits more snugly.

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Post# 459606 , Reply# 2   1/20/2023 at 02:12 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

You beat me to it! The original plastic bushing had cracked. I plan on replacing it with a grommet when I get a chance.

All of the steel parts had some kind of coating that turned to rust. Hours on the wire wheel took care of that. The cover above the strain relief was an example of this.

I'll post a video soon. I also greased both bearings and it is very quiet.

Post# 459613 , Reply# 3   1/20/2023 at 08:57 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

bikerray's profile picture
What a stunning vacuum

Post# 459628 , Reply# 4   1/20/2023 at 16:54 by wstonehockertv (North Carolina)        

I'm glad it ain't the Westinghouse machines that are clones of the Iona-era Fantoms when that company went belly-up in 2001.

Post# 459632 , Reply# 5   1/20/2023 at 21:10 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Nice job on the restore. Thanks for sharing.

Post# 459633 , Reply# 6   1/20/2023 at 21:10 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

Here is a video of it running.


Post# 459637 , Reply# 7   1/20/2023 at 21:33 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

hoover300's profile picture
Wow! That sounds really nice! What kind of grease did you use in the bearings?

Post# 459640 , Reply# 8   1/20/2023 at 23:20 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

I use TriFlow Grease. It comes in a 3oz tube and is clear in color.

Post# 459642 , Reply# 9   1/20/2023 at 23:52 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        

hygiene903's profile picture
Congrats on a beautiful restoration, and it sounds great too! And remember, You can be SURE...if it's Westinghouse!

Post# 459645 , Reply# 10   1/21/2023 at 00:27 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

Thank you Jeff. I appreciate the kind words. Any approximation of when this unit is from? I'm guessing 40's?

Post# 459661 , Reply# 11   1/22/2023 at 04:26 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        

hygiene903's profile picture
I think you're probably right on the age. Early 40's at that, or maybe even 30's, but definitely a pre-war machine. Post-war models would look similar to my F1-46, which was made about 1946. Here's a picture.

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Post# 459986 , Reply# 12   2/2/2023 at 14:28 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

what a great looking restoration, glad you rescued another piece of history. Any idea what the raised 8 represents on the blower beneath the bag? Model 8?

Post# 460813 , Reply# 13   2/28/2023 at 23:52 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

If you're referring to picture 4 in the upper right corner, that is the rivet used to hold the bag collar into place. Think of the three mounting lugs on a Kirby for securing the emptor. This has one.

Post# 460819 , Reply# 14   3/1/2023 at 09:48 by myvacsrock (USA)        

This restoration is so amazing....what a STUNNING little machine. Thanks for sharing this! 

Post# 460830 , Reply# 15   3/1/2023 at 14:54 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
stunning, indeed

gottahaveahoove's profile picture

Incidentally, I have one too... totally unrestored. Any takers?  I'd gladly sell it cheap.

  I should list in Supermarket.


Post# 460844 , Reply# 16   3/1/2023 at 21:10 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

Thanks again to everyone for the kind words. I have some cloth covered wire on its way for it as I'm not too crazy about the Oreck Magnesium's cord. Looks too generic.

Post# 460846 , Reply# 17   3/1/2023 at 21:54 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Cloth covered cord

human's profile picture
I don't have any vacuums that old for cloth covered cord to be appropriate, but I've rewired a few of vintage lamps with it. Visually and aesthetically, it really does make a big difference. I miss being able to to buy that stuff off the spool at places like Lowe's and Home Depot. The last couple of times I've needed some, I've had to buy it online.

Post# 460848 , Reply# 18   3/1/2023 at 22:16 by Repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

I buy my stuff from Sundial Wire. I either get the two wires twisted or the pulley cord which fits well with coffee can Hoovers

Post# 460849 , Reply# 19   3/1/2023 at 22:55 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

hoover300's profile picture
Gottahaveahoove - I'd be interested!

Post# 460855 , Reply# 20   3/2/2023 at 08:07 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

gottahaveahoove's profile picture

I've had it for years.  We should converse.  I'd LOVE to see it go to someone who'd really appreciate it.  It really needs to go from here.

Post# 460868 , Reply# 21   3/2/2023 at 13:44 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

hoover300's profile picture
Email sent!

Post# 460869 , Reply# 22   3/2/2023 at 13:45 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I hope you sent it to:

gottahaveahoove's profile picture




Post# 460948 , Reply# 23   3/4/2023 at 16:01 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

hoover300's profile picture
I sent it to there.
Repairman, could I please see a pic of the handle clicker thing? I just got the headlight version of this vac and it is missing the bit that locks it upright. Thanks!

Post# 460978 , Reply# 24   3/5/2023 at 15:02 by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

Are you referring to the release pedal? I'll take some pictures tongiht when I'm not busy.

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