Restoring old 416 Leahy cabinet incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Iziayia, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. Iziayia

    Iziayia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I've bought myself some 'new' (to me) incubators. One is homemade and the other is a Leahy cabinet incubator, model number 416 (I think they were called Favorite Incubator?). Anyway I've been looking for restoration projects but haven't found any where it was easy to follow and or went completely through to the end so I'm going to make my own thread as I go along refurbishing these two incubators.

    The incubators themselves I'm a little ashamed to say came from a very bad place. I found them online and decided to go look at them. When I got there I drove onto a really shabby-run-down looking place but it's not uncommon in our area to have old farms that don't farm anymore look so... let go. Outside I could hear many roosters crowing in a barn that we didn't go into because there was a really mean dog that seriously meant to take my *** off. Anyway, I looked at the incubators and they seemed to work, covered in about an inch of dust and some dirt but they functioned. On the inside I could just see at the front a little eggshells and stuff which I guess is normal in an incubator... so I loaded them and home I brought them home. The next day I felt curious about the little signature at the end of her email that I saw "DC Heritage Poultry" and I googled it. I was horrified down to the bones... I never went in the barn because of the dog. I would have never gave them my money. in 2013 they were the center of the largest puppy-mill bust Canada has seen - 500 dogs seized on that small property with those two small barns. And now, only a few years later, they are doing the same thing again - but with chickens. I kept reading reviews of sick birds and chicks that are in poor health. And I believed it - both incubators were a mess. What I couldn't see until I had removed all the trays at my home - years of caked-on yolk, blood and eggshells from chicks hatching; I seriously doubt that came from one hatch and left because they weren't going to use it anymore. That must have been from years of use and never cleaning it out. No wonder I kept reading about sick chicks coming from this place, with an incubator that dirty those poor babies must have been ill before they even hatched. When I found out that I had given them money... supported them and their unethical facilities. I new it I realized it when I read that that indeed stunk of mill. My heart sunk and I physically became nauseous. I'm still not over it. So as a warning please avoid DC heritage poultry at all costs, and please research who you are buying from if you do. The only thing that makes me feel a bit better is knowing that for once in their life these incubators will be treated with respect and used in a noble manner to ethically breed sound, healthy, happy birds and not in an animal mill.

    Phew... now that that is off my mind here is a link to a dropbox where I add photos as I work on this project. It will make it easier to follow my progress as I go through this project. However I will still be uploading most pictures here and describing what I am doing so that those who have a similar project at one point have an idea about what this process involves.

    Here is the dropbox link

    As soon as I remember how to upload pics I will start describing what I have done so far..
     
  2. Iziayia

    Iziayia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are some before pics. Unfortunately I had already started cleaning out the inside before I though of taking them so 90% of the dirt is already gone.

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    Uiuiuii look at that beautiful wood hiding under there!

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    On the left is the home-made incubator

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    I had to pressure wash the trays to get all that nasty out.

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    Here I took the lid of the heater to have a peak inside.

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    Now I start taking everything apart.

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    A peak inside the electric box to see how the cables work. Needs cleaning too.

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    This power cord is a major fire hazard. I removed it and will put another. you can see I 'broke' the plug so nobody had the idea to plug her before I removed it.

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    And here I'm taking the vent covers off so that I can sand and varnish better, and maybe get them looking a little better too.

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  3. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looking good. The Leahy 416 is a great incubator. I got one last year and got it up and running. It works great.
    You can read about it in the link in my signature.
    I'm currently working on a Buckeye kerosene incubator.

    Looking at your photos, replace the heating element, wafers and micro switches and any wiring that looks suspect. I added a fuse to mine plus an internal power strip and LED light.

    The hardware on the Buckeye was pretty bad looking so I used a tumbler to remove most of the finish. Still had to sand a little but the tumbler got most of it. The finish on my Leahy was still pretty good, just dirty. Cleaned it with wood soap but it still needs more. I bought some Kramer's Best Antique Improver to use but haven't got to it yet.
    The Buckeye had old varnish that had bubbled so it had to totally stripped. I went back over it with Danish Oil and it looks pretty good.

    PM me if you got questions. I'd be glad to talk with you about it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Iziayia

    Iziayia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh man yours looks like it was in waaaaaay better condition wehn you got it then mine was. I swear they must chase never cleaned it. Are the redwoods usually stained? I've not much experience with woodworking so I don't k is if there's a wood stain on it or not. I just know I do have to remove the varnish since got some ugly spots. I'm using a 220 sand paper on a little machine thing to sand down right now - should I be using something else? The heather works fine just dirty so I'm cleaning it out. But the wafers I do not know where to get new ones. The electrical I will probably also change since these cables seem pretty ancient. I will upload pics of my progress when I get to a computer.
     
  5. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Other than the cord to plug it in, your wiring looks okay. If it has a plastic sheath over the wires it's modern enough to be safe. Mine had the really old fiber sheath but the wiring was sound. No short circuits, so I wrapped it with silicon tape.

    Your heater looks rough, maybe it is just dirt but if it's rust then be prepared for it to break.

    Here's the wafer thermostat you need http://www.gqfmfg.com/hova-bator-parts/3007-thermostat-wafer/

    The micro switches (or snap switches) might be okay. They are a normally closed switch which means that electrical current will flow through the switch until the wafer expands and pushes down on the little button. You can check them with an electrical meter that will read ohms resistance. Here's the link http://www.gqfmfg.com/hova-bator-parts/3006-snap-switch-15-amp.-125/250-volt/ but according to their website you need the 3006B but they do not have it on the website. You could call them and ask. Or an electrical supply place may have them.

    Generally, the redwood was not stained. Just a varnish coat. Sand it with 150 - 200 git sandpaper. You may need to cut a small piece of wood to wrap the sandpaper around to get down in the grooves. You may even have to use a paint stripper. I had to on the sides of the Buckeye I'm working on. I'd recommend finishing it with the Danish oil in a natural color.

    On the top of the fan motor is 2 small holes. If you have an air compressor, blow off the fan and motor real good. Put a couple drops of household oil or some light lubricating oil in those holes. If the fan goes out, it is supposedly the same type of fan that is in an older range hood.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  6. Iziayia

    Iziayia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yup the power cord is already gone. Definitely didn't want that thing around anymore. They electrical should be fine then as everything has plastic casing.

    And the heater does look rough but it truly only is dirty x) seriously I reeeaaally wish I had taken a picture before I started cleaning it - it was so nasty. They had used it for their hatching incubator and I swear they NEVER cleaned it, ugh. Somethings I just don't understand.

    And thanks! I'll have to give them a call because I can't get the shipping form filled out for Canada online.

    I realized once I started sanding down with a rougher grit (120) that it was just the varnish being all ugly the made it look like it had 4 different colour stains. But after sanding it really is, for the most part, a uniform redwood. Some pieces are fairly pale but I like it, gives it character. For the grooves I'm using a 'hard' sponge where I can wrap the sand paper around to get in those grooves. I'm hopping to be done with sanding tomorrow... And thank you for that suggestion I will try and find that somewhere!

    The fan in there isn't original, it was replace not that long ago but I will nonetheless give it a good blow down and maintenance.


    Here I am tearing the old sheet metal floor out, it's almost completely rust-rotted and just covered in all kinds of dirt. I will be replacing it with something that can either easily be pulled out or that is far easier to clean.

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    Lots of dirt hiding under there (mainly egg shells).

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    Here I started to sand her down with the 220 grit but it wasn't biting enough so I switched to 120.

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    Obviously my helper cheering me on with moral support.

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    Sanding with the 120 grit. Corner is wet because I had to show my dad how nice it'll look when finished. He had a bit of a hissy-fit when I came home with them.. oh and the other incubator is behind it.

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    Un-sanded vs. sanded

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  7. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks good. It takes a lot of elbow grease to re-furbish one of these but you're going to love it when you get it finished.
    I'd just put another piece of sheet metal back in the bottom with a couple of screws to hold it down. If you keep it clean you shouldn't have any trouble with it.

    My water tray is not the original. The previous owner used an old traffic sign that was the exact width needed to fit on the slides. It's pretty thick metal so it doesn't sag any. Then on top of that is a baking sheet that's probably an inch deep. I have to cover the sheet with aluminum foil to decrease the humidity level but it will hold enough water to last 2-3 days.
     
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
    If I can interrupt this great educational thread for a minute...
    I'm using a brownie sized pan (8x11) for my cabinet incubator. should I have more surface area for the water than that ? it's holding fine at 99.5 and 45% humidity .
    Thanks,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  9. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It's the surface area of the water that determines the humidity level. If you need higher humidity, get a bigger pan or stand sponges up in it. If you need lower humidity, cover part of the pan with foil. Here in Georgia, I like to incubate at between 35 and 40%. When I move the eggs to a hatcher I up it to 55-65% depending on what kind of eggs I'm hatching.
     
  10. Iziayia

    Iziayia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ottawa, On
    I probably will, but aluminum or something. Or I will try and find a cookie pan that's maybe the same dimensions that I can easily take out and hose down.


    Continuing to sand down - door.

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    And of course leave it for a minute the cat was already inspecting my job....

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