Thread Number: 72195  /  Tag: Wringer Washers
the thor 32 h axis by way of Ohio to N.Y!!! is here!!!
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Post# 954686   8/26/2017 at 19:00 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        

Hello from Bill the drycleaner. We just got back from a very long trip to Minnesota by way of all of the mid west states. I finally got my thor 32 h axis machine!!! I haven't tried to power it up yet. Needs a new cord. I am putting a new one on tomorrow. everything else on it seems to be in fair shape for its age. I gave the body a clear coat of acrylic rustoleum. after brushing off the loose rust. My wife doesn't think I should paint it. I looked up a product called penetrol that is said to slow down rusty metal and preserve the patina. I would welcome advise along with info on the machine. and could I use the pentrol after having already using the clear coat? thanks Bill the drycleaner

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Post# 954708 , Reply# 1   8/26/2017 at 20:46 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Was actually thinking about you and that Thor washer

launderess's profile picture
Just this week; wondering whatever happened.....

Now that one has the answer to that question am happy that you finally nabbed a long desired appliance.

Have wanted a Thor "cylinder" washer for ages as well, but never could find one in half way decent condition. Closest one has come is a vintage catalog and price list (circa 1925) from Hurley Machine Company for "Thor Washers, Ironers & Vacuum Cleaners".

Your model is "Thor #32 - Cylinder Type Electric Washer".

Even early as 1925 Thor realized and marketed these machines as "The Reversing Cylinder Principle is the time-proved *CORRECT* method of washing clothes *clean without wear*". Again commercial/industrial laundries in North America, Europe and pretty much world over long had (as they still do today) used H-axis washers. But there you had things operated by "steam" power (that drove machinery which powered belts/pulleys), and or had powerful enough electric motors to run the things.

As for construction reason why the lid has not rusted is because it was made from stamped zinc. Body/cabinet of washer sadly was made from steel (16 gauge), which explains all that rust. Inner tub is copper which explains why it hasn't rusted and the various "green" coloring you see. As for the cylinder it was made from a patented substance Hurley Company called "Luminoid". Fact it hasn't rusted and given what one knows and or has seen of other vintage laundry appliances am going with it is made from some sort of Aluminum.

Copper though expensive will not rust and is largely immune to harsh alkaline substances which is a good thing given the salts/soda, soaps and other chemicals used for washing in early part of last century. Same can be said of aluminum, though it is harmed by acids. Do *NOT* use any modern cleaner or polish on the cylinder without testing in a small area first. Made that mistake with my Simplex ironer only to have an instant darkening/blackening because the part was aluminum and reacted with the acid pH polish.

Not having the wringer/mangle is no huge loss IMHO. Just use the machine as commercial laundries did until the 1950's (or later in some instances); that is for washing and rinsing. Once all that is done move wet wash to an extractor to spin dry.

As for the cabinet sadly you have your work cut out for you. The rust must go otherwise it will continue eating away at metal. Maytag company leased or allowed dealers/repair persons to have an entire kit that included special machines that applied spray paint and or buffed/sanded. That however was for *after* rust was removed. To get at that stuff they suggested sand blasting or putting the outer cabinet into a tank of caustic chemicals. If neither was available there was always sanding, sanding and more sanding by hand.


The copper will clean up well with any standard copper polish or cleaner. Same for the cylinder.

Here is what the machines looked like when new, and have also included a thread we had awhile back on these machines.


CLICK HERE TO GO TO Launderess's LINK


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Post# 954712 , Reply# 2   8/26/2017 at 20:54 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
And another thing

launderess's profile picture
Before even thinking about putting this washer into service you'll need to clean out the gear boxes and repack with fresh new grease.

Something like this:







Post# 955722 , Reply# 3   9/2/2017 at 10:00 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
launderess,what is the poundage of my washer?

Thanks so much for the info on my machine. I do have the wringer.it was in my shop when the machine was still in the garage. can you tell me how many LBs the washer was meant for? it seems like maybe 10? In the dryclean biz all washers and drycleaning machines always went by pounds of capacity. thanks Bill the drycleaner

Post# 955723 , Reply# 4   9/2/2017 at 10:01 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
launderess,what is the poundage of my washer?

Thanks so much for the info on my machine. I do have the wringer.it was in my shop when the machine was still in the garage. can you tell me how many LBs the washer was meant for? it seems like maybe 10? In the dryclean biz all washers and drycleaning machines always went by pounds of capacity. thanks Bill the drycleaner

Post# 955725 , Reply# 5   9/2/2017 at 10:04 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
sorry it posted twice!I

so sorry that went on there twice. MY internet service is arhcain here.

Post# 955726 , Reply# 6   9/2/2017 at 10:05 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
sorry it posted twice!I

so sorry that went on there twice. MY internet service is arhcain here.

Post# 955772 , Reply# 7   9/2/2017 at 16:41 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Sorry, but the Thor booklet one has only speaks to capacity rated in number of "sheets or equivalent".

However being as that may eight to ten pounds(more or less) was the capacity of most domestic washing machines early in last century, so would assume your Thor is along that line. Being an "H-axis" washer it will hold more than say one with a central beater.

Of course king sized beds were not invented in early part of last century. So "ten sheets..." likely refers to "Twin" or "Full".

Glad you have the wringer, what do the rollers look like? You can probably keep an eye out on fleaPay or elsewhere for NOS rollers, but you'd have to make sure they were the correct size.

Know you are in the laundry business, so won't try to tell you what is what; but have always felt that capacity measure in pounds is not accurate for washing machines.

My Miele or AEG will hold about eleven pounds of washing, but try to fit that much bed linen into the tub; you can't.

Depending upon the material and size two to three sheets and several pillow slips is about the limit.





This post was last edited 09/02/2017 at 17:00
Post# 956491 , Reply# 8   9/7/2017 at 05:31 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
thanks so much Launderess!!!

thanks so much. I do believe the poundage limit of my thor is about 10 pounds. I do so appreciate the info you have given me about my machine. I have an old ad coming from ebay. its an ad for the thor 32 from 1920. The machine in the ad looks just like mine,however Lee maxwell says that mine is from about 1937 or so. Also can you tell me about how long the h axis machines were made for in home use? How many U.S. companies would you say made these? from what I can gleam from Lees site it looks like about 15 or 20 us companies made these. there are a few I have heard of that Lee doesnt have in his collection. One being an Apex h axis that looked a bit like a large mailbox. thanks Bill the drycleaner

Post# 956492 , Reply# 9   9/7/2017 at 05:32 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
thanks so much Launderess!!!

thanks so much. I do believe the poundage limit of my thor is about 10 pounds. I do so appreciate the info you have given me about my machine. I have an old ad coming from ebay. its an ad for the thor 32 from 1920. The machine in the ad looks just like mine,however Lee maxwell says that mine is from about 1937 or so. Also can you tell me about how long the h axis machines were made for in home use? How many U.S. companies would you say made these? from what I can gleam from Lees site it looks like about 15 or 20 us companies made these. there are a few I have heard of that Lee doesnt have in his collection. One being an Apex h axis that looked a bit like a large mailbox. thanks Bill the drycleaner

Post# 956555 , Reply# 10   9/7/2017 at 16:36 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Cannot say when H-Axis washers ended for domestic

launderess's profile picture
USA, that is the models like Thor, Apex, Locomotive, etc... This would have been until Bendix reintroduced the principle with their models.

Can say with Thor/Hurley do not see any sales/marketing information after 1940's for their cylinder/H-axis washing machines. By then the company had a full compliment of standard wringer washers. By the 1940's (or was it 1950's) Thor had their famous "automagic" almost fully automatic washing machine, you know the one that could also be used as a dishwasher.

One thing that would have likely downgraded Thor h-axis washing machines by the 1940's was their lack of a pump. Housewives were beginning to demand an easier way to get water out of machine rather than buckets or floor drains.

Commercial laundries would not get h-axis washers that could extract/spin until the 1950's. At least industrial laundries had extractors. Housewives in the 1940's and 1950's still largely were stuck with wringers.


Post# 956743 , Reply# 11   9/9/2017 at 08:52 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
how may U.S. companies made ones like the thor32?

I have looked through Lee's washer museum and counted about 15 brands that made what he calls the rotating drum washers. There is one that Apex made that isnt in the pics of his machines. It is an h axis like the thor but the bottom is skirted in like a mailbox. have seen ads for it on ebay. thanks Bill the drycleaner

Post# 956744 , Reply# 12   9/9/2017 at 08:53 by dryclean1 (Walton, NY)        
how may U.S. companies made ones like the thor32?

I have looked through Lee's washer museum and counted about 15 brands that made what he calls the rotating drum washers. There is one that Apex made that isnt in the pics of his machines. It is an h axis like the thor but the bottom is skirted in like a mailbox. have seen ads for it on ebay. thanks Bill the drycleaner




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