Thread Number: 9623
Rare Electrolux Turb-O-Tool
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Post# 105329   8/7/2010 at 02:57 (3,592 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

This is the second time this has been listed. Someone really should get this as it is quite rare. It's the first version of the updated Turb-O-Tool (as it was called at the time), introduced with the late run of the Electrolux E-Automatic and finished in matching hammertone blue paint. It was sold in this color for only a very short time, maybe only a few months, before the new white and gray Automatic F was introduced and its colors were updated to match the Model F.

The first time I saw one of these was in an article about it in a 1957 issue of Popular Mechanics. It showed all the cool things this air-powered tool could do, including scrub and polish floors, sander, power-drill, circular saw, even hedge trimmer! Any accessories that could be attached to a standard drill chuck could be used with this attachment.

I looked and looked and LOOKED for yeeeears for one of these before I finally found one. I have two complete sets and one that's just the floor polisher. I also found one from the U.K. in dark hammertone gray.

It was not until the Model AF version came out that the rug shampooing kit was added.

So, someone please rescue this from a trip to the recycling bin, which is probably where it will go if it doesn't get any bids the second time around.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK on eBay

Post# 105333 , Reply# 1   8/7/2010 at 06:20 (3,591 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Would LOVE to see the drill,hedge shear and circular saw attachments for this turbo tool.Usually air tools are not very efficient-Ex to run a 2 hp air circular saw-120PSI-90CFM-you would need a 20HP air compressor!Black and Decker and Rockwell-Delta made such saws-they were like the electric counterparts-but had an air motor instead-were touted to use in explosive or wet areas.Or they were good in large factories that had large "House" air compressors.Factories could have ones that were 100 hp or even much more.Despite some of the shortcomings-air tools are kinda neat to use.

Post# 105348 , Reply# 2   8/7/2010 at 12:26 (3,591 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Several years ago I scanned the article and still have it on my hard drive. Here it is. Unfortunately, with most of my vacuum cleaners and archives in storage, I can't get to my Turb-O-Tools to get any photos of them.

Of course the saw, drill, etc., don't really work -- as with most "novelty" attachments, it was all just a gimmick to sell the unit.

Post# 105393 , Reply# 3   8/8/2010 at 02:20 (3,591 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Too bad the tools really don't work-they do look interesting.I wouldn't think the air power from a 'Lux vacuum would be strong enough to work a saw or drill.Looks like the floor polisher works though.'Luxs answer to the Kirby HandiButler!Looks like the Lux tool may be much better than the air powered Kirby HandiButler tool.Another thing about the air motored tools-you can't burn out the motor from an overload!The Kirby motor powered HandiButler was more useful.

Post# 105427 , Reply# 4   8/8/2010 at 12:04 (3,590 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Well, I should say, the Turb-O-Tool accessories work, but not very well. Certainly not as well as the actual tools designed for the various jobs. I mean, who would want to run a long extension cord outside, haul out the Electrolux, hose and Turb-O-Tool power unit to prune their hedges with a set of clippers about 10 inches long?!

The polisher does work very well if the user remembers to insert a clean paper bag. btw, in the early version of the Model E manual, it suggests that the bag be removed altogether when using the polisher!

Post# 105428 , Reply# 5   8/8/2010 at 13:08 (3,590 days old) by luxg ()        

That is very interesting Charles, I am surprised the E would even run without a bag. Any idea when Electrolux added the safety feature of having to have a bag in it to run?

Post# 105453 , Reply# 6   8/9/2010 at 00:33 (3,590 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

The safety feature was introduced with the Model F. A spring-loaded latch was added inside the front cover that keeps the cover from closing unless there's a bag inside for the latch to press against and disengage when you close the cover.

You can run the E-Automatic without a bag, but because of the way the hinge is designed, open at the bottom, you lose a lot of suction.

With the Model LX and LXI, if the bag is ejected you can't close the cover or turn the machine on because of the way the way the ejection system works. However, if you push the ejection arm down into the bag chamber, the front cover will close and you can turn the motor on. But, similarly as with the E-Automatic, you won't have any suction because a large part of the front is wide open unless there's a bag inside.

With the XXX, the machine will turn on without a bag but because the bag's rubber gasket provides a tight seal, it doesn't work properly.

The E, R and S will all run without bags and produce very high suction pressure because the flow of air is so free, but obviously you wouldn't want to do so because dirt will get into the motor. I don't know why on earth Electrolux ever recommended using the E without a bag when using the polisher!

Post# 105454 , Reply# 7   8/9/2010 at 01:03 (3,590 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The 'Lux circular saw and hedge shear remind me of the similar attachments for electric drills-these sort of attachments were popular in the 50's and 60's-the electric drill touted as the center of a home workshop-yes the smaller saws and hedge shears won't work as well as a full size tool-but seem to satisfy many "DIY" hobbyists.The drill powered circular saw may not cut a 2X4-but did OK for shelving or plywood.Could the suction of the cleaner collect the dust that say the saw or drill produced?I would imagine the dust would fill the 'Lux bag quickly-the reason for an empty bag-as well as for max airflow-the air tool gets full air power rather than being wasted in dirt already in the bag.I can see that regular tools would indeed be easier and more efficient to use-the air powered ones are sure an intersting novelty.Speaking of interesting tool attachments-I remember Chain saw attachments for portable hand circular saws-the chain saws actuallly would work-Workman that did heavy framing liked the chain saw attachments for the circular saws-esp for the Skil worm drive 77's.The tool was good for 4X4's,6X6 beams,and cutting LOTS fo firewood.Cleaner and easier,quieter than a gas chain saw.A tool place where I used to work sold the Prazi saw attachments.You could buy the Skil 77 saw from the place too!I have worked on MANY of those.For a circular saw-the BEST!!

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