Fairest Wheel questions

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Fairest Wheel questions

Postby Rick-okc » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:20 pm

Guys,

I just picked up another Fairest Wheel.
I'm curious, did they make these with different woods?

PICT0327.JPG
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Re: Fairest Wheel questions

Postby Rick-okc » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:26 pm

Damn it, hit Submit instead of Preview.

The one of the left is a Fairest Wheel that I've had for years. It appears to be white oak.
This "new" one appears to be a darker wood, mahogany maybe?
As you can see, I'm going to have to either make or find the top piece with the brass coin slot piece.
It's also missing one of the two sheet metal coin chutes that sit either side of the coin opening up top under the top piece.

Has anyone reproduced parts for these machines?

Rick
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Re: Fairest Wheel questions

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:48 am

Hi Rick:
The Decatur "Fairest Wheel" came in several variations and wood grains over their 12 year production span.
The first models with the round coin compartment base, began in 1896, and came in two different sizes.
Some had different style coin entries, as well as a cast version. There were also a few wheel design changes.
After the introduction of the square coin box base in 1888-89, they had a very long production run. Most had
three glass panels, with a wood back door, but some of the copy-cat mfrs. had an all-wood box. This style
was being copied through 1906-07. The original Decatur patent date, was May 7,1895, which is stamped in
the wood base on many models. Some have been found with a different date.

Your machine shown on the left, with the light oak case, has not been reassembled correctly. The coin drop
shutter below the view window, should be to the back, above the door. So, you will have to 180 the top of
the coin box, but do it as one unit, with the wheel frame as well. As it is also facing the wrong way. The frame
side with the screws at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock, belong at the back. As you can see by your darker case.
Actually, it will be easier to 180 the base wood.

As for parts, the only thing that I have seen from time to time, is the coin box door, but they were not made
the Exact style. They look close, but 'no cigar'. I used to have a small stock of doors, locks, coin entries, and
wheel glass, but no longer. The center hole in the glass, had to be done by a special process, as glass shops
did not have a hole-cutter that size. The correct style door lock & key had to be made-from-scratch, as they
have never been available anywhere. There were also single and double coin entry style. It appears that your
dark case is the double style. I also notice that you have an extra coin-box base, off to the side. Do you have
the wheel & frame for that one?
Bill
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Re: Fairest Wheel questions

Postby Rick-okc » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:13 pm

Bill,

As usual, you're a wealth of good information. Thanks for the info.
The light oak machine is one I bought several years ago. It was missing the coin box and coin box shutter.
Those parts, shown in the picture, I made based on pictures. I wasn't sure which way it should have been attached to the wheel.
Thanks to your info, I'll turn things around to match your description.
The extra coin box, off to the left, I bought a few years ago off eBay to replace my home-made coin box. I've never got around to switching them out.

You say that these things came in different woods? I've only noticed the white oak ones, like my first one.
This second one appears to be made from mahogany. Does that sound right? How rare are mahogany versions?
You also mentioned it should have a double coin entry. Can someone please post a picture of a double coin entry?
I'm going to have to make that top wood piece, along with the brass piece, with the coin slot(s).

Rick
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Re: Fairest Wheel questions

Postby SLOT DYNASTY » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:01 am

Rick:
I do not have any pics of a two-slot "Fairest Wheel" in the PC files, and my other one is behind machines, that I can't
get to at present. I will have to look through my 35mm print files. I am sure that I have shots of one or two there. It
actually has two separate brass coin entries. When you drop a nickel into the single-slot model, you never know which
direction the wheel will spin. On the two-slot model, the wheel will only spin clockwise with the right slot, and so forth.
Will let you know if and when I find something in the files.
Bill
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