My Wooden Airplane
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10/23/2012 - 11/6/2012

Propeller, Part 5

Here is how I used the templates. First, I made sure that the hub was level. Then, I lined the template up with the trailing edge of the blade at each station, and sanded the rest of that station until the top of the template was level. I repeated this for all 8 stations on both blades, then flipped the prop over and did the same thing for the back side of the prop.

Once all 8 stations were the correct shape, I smoothed out the areas between the stations
and used a profile guage to make sure both blades were identical. This is actually where
I ran into some problems. Sometimes I got a little too agressive with the sander
and went too far. At that point, I had no choice but to go back to the other blade
and make the same "mistake" to that side. This repeated itself several times. In fact,
the stations closest to the hub ended up being pretty far off from the templates.
I'm not too concerned however, since that area will be covered by the spinner anyway.
At least the two blades are identical now (or at least as close as I can get them).

I can definitely see the value of a prop duplicator now! All the time and effort I
put into making sure both blades were identical could have been spent making
a single "master" blade, and then using a prop duplicator to make two
identical copies. The next step is sealing it with varnish or resin.

Total Time: 31.5 hrs.