close up of motor fan

7 Things to Do With an Old Ceiling Fan Motor

Some people get rid of ceiling fans when they renovate homes. Ceiling fans can help cool a room down, but not everyone loves how they look.

Whether redesigning your room or upgrading to a newer ceiling fan, don’t be so quick to toss out your old fan. You can do plenty of fun projects with the motor.

You can make an old ceiling fan motor into any contraption that spins, for example, a blender, a cotton candy machine, or a small rock tumbler. These small fans are typically safe and simple enough for creative home projects.

Here are seven fun things you can do with your old ceiling fan motor fun rather than throwing it in the trash.

1. Build a Tiny Table Saw

circular sharp saw wooden table

A mini table saw is a creative use for an old ceiling fan. This is a great idea for people who enjoy building models or like to try woodworking every once in a while.

The ceiling fan can be housed in wood, and the right attachments can turn it into a saw that is small enough to make tight corners and perfectly round shapes much easier.

Make sure you stay safe by using a guard and keeping the blade size small to prevent injuries. The motor will be strong enough to let the blade cut smooth lines through wood and other materials.

2. Make a Homemade Pottery Wheel

Why not build a homemade pottery wheel with your old ceiling fan motor?

A pottery wheel moves just like a ceiling fan turned upside down. Change the fan blades into a ceramic wheel, and you’re ready to start making plates, vases, cups, and anything else you want!

A homemade pottery wheel could save you a lot of money. They’re not very complex machines, and you can spend time testing the pedal and see how to control speed settings, depending on what you’re making.

The most important thing here is to make sure no water or mud gets into the motor. To ensure this, build a good enclosure or shield for the motor.

Make sure the wheelbase is heavy enough that it won’t rattle or move when it’s on, so your hands remain steady as you push the clay around.

3. Make a Solar-Powered Motor

mini solar power outside the house

An old ceiling fan is a great opportunity to begin working with solar panels. The motors are easy to hook up to most solar panels.

You can use the motor for a new fan that works on solar power. You can put it on your deck and turn it on when it’s hot outside.

Install a new fan in your shed in the yard by positioning solar panels on the shed roof and feed the connections into the motor.

People use old ceiling fan motors to build solar-powered cars and boats, too. If you are really creative, you can even use solar panels and a fan motor to control your mailbox door!

4. Build a Generator

Building a homemade generator is challenging, but an old ceiling fan motor makes it easier.

You’ll need a lot of magnets to attach to the outer ring of the motor between the coils. Neo magnets create a magnetic field that emits alternating current when the motor spins, like a generator does.

You can use the generator to power light bulbs and other small electrical components. It can be a fun project to better understand how electricity works.

5. Make Halloween Decorations

Halloween pumpkins and decorations outside a house

Another fun thing to do with a ceiling fan motor is to build unique Halloween decorations. We all love those well-decorated houses full of cobwebs and spooky music.

To make decorations, take your fan motor and cut the fan blades down to size.

Then, position the new fan under your “ghosts”, or whatever other decoration you’d like to use. To make these, you can use plastic, or other similar materials.

There are many different decorations you can make, such as a large Styrofoam clock with controllable speed settings, zombies, or witches.

6. Build a Wind Turbine

view of a spinning wind turbine

A wind turbine may not have many practical uses, but it’s a fun project to build with an old ceiling fan motor. It will undoubtedly look fantastic once it’s set up.

You can also try to connect the wind turbine with solar panels, so you don’t use electricity from your house when it’s on.

In addition, you can build the wind turbine on your ceiling and treat it like a generator from an earlier tip. This way, you can create a wind turbine that powers garden or motion-sensing lights.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to be in a place with sufficient wind for your turbine to generate meaningful power.

7. Sell It

young asian worker in machinery parts shop warehouse

You’d be surprised how many people will eagerly buy your old ceiling fan motor.

Take a look online at what your motor and other fan parts sell for before tossing your fan in the trash. You’ll find communities of people building small machines with motors, and it may motivate you to try a project yourself.

Finding creative ways to use old ceiling fan motors can be a lot of fun. Of course, it will take work, but it’s always rewarding to figure out how things work and try to re-purpose them.

Give these tips a try and get more years out of your ceiling fan. Repurposing is a great way to cut down on waste and build things at home.


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