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Old Jul 01, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Leroy Gardner's Avatar
Coeur d' alene, Id.
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Build Log
Scratch built scale prop's

I have been requested to post my prop build after it was seen in a couple other threads so here we go.

In my case I'm building a 25" 4 blade for a TF 1/5 scale gold kit mustang. I have pictures and specs on the P51 D to guide me. I used 1" graf paper to lay it all out, you need a plan to follow for accuracy.

Spinner is a blank Zinger 5" and hard 1/4" balsa blades and 1/16" bass wood backing. Blades are 10" long and 2" wide, the spine that goes in hub is 3/4" dowel stock.With the pieces cut it's time to put the 3/4" twist in them. Simple 3/4"X1 1/2" by 2" cut at a 3/8th angle and a piece of oak 12" X 2" make up the simple jig. A couple small quick grips are perfect for holding the wetted balsa blades in the form ( use hot water ) After a few minutes you can use a hair blower to aid in drying then take it out of form and dry the ends. It will rebound but don't worry about that When you clamp them don't crush the ends , just enough pressure to complete the twist. By the way, the twist is a right hand one for all blades.

After all blades are twisted take the bsaa wood backing and drill a series of 1/16" holes in them-see pict. sand them lightly to remove wood burrs. Now line them up on blade and put them back in former and making sure edges are snug CA thin the two through them holes. Look at pictures, I'll try to do them in series

After the bonding is done make a pattern of the shape and mark all blade backs for cutting, Scroll saw works nice here, put a stick across front of blade so the twist can follow it while cutting. shape. I'll explain dowls cut and attachment tomorrow, it's getting late Leroy
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 05:25 PM
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The dowels are 3/4 X 2 1/2 " and a section 5/16"x 1" is cut out of each one. Because the spine on back of blade is not round but oval shaped I cut it down with belt sander leaving a full 1 1/4" long round end. That goes in the hub which is coming up. For some it may be easier to use a balsa dowel that can be carved to produce the same thing. Everyone don't have a belt or spindle sander.

I should have stated earlyier that when sanding blade profile don't sand the full base shape until spine base is glued to blade. Now glue those to the back of blades butted up to back of cut out.I made a simple guide to do this to get perfect alignment with center line on blade back. I used 5 min. epoxy for glue, notice small shallow holes in pieces for bite. I also used a block under blade tip for lateral straighness. There is a pict. of that procedure, wish it was better. Wipe off any glue that oozes out.

With that step done cut a 1/4" thick X 3/4 x 3" and taper 2 thirds of it to 0 and glue to back of blade-centered and butted to oval shaped dowl end, sand profile and double check blade to see if you missed anything.

I spray a laquer sanding sealed on blades at this point, sand lightly then use Dap light weight spackle, put a couple dropes of water in it and fill holes and blend a flair on the splines dings and any other inperfections

Now it's time to fiber glass blades 1/2 or 3/4 oz.mat works well.I used nitrate dope for this. Sand with 320 grit and fill weave with creamy spackle applied with a utility brush, sands nicely and may only require one coat if put on heavy enough. Prime with Dupli-Color high build grey primersand to perfection then spray with dupli-color white primer, sand with micro fine soft pad and blades are done. Hub and spinner is coming up next.

You viewers hang in there for the end, your about to see a work of art and I say that because it's true Leroy
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Last edited by Leroy Gardner; Jul 01, 2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: add a pict.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Well looks like this thread is for Bill J & Jamie, not much intrest in anything pretaining to building these days much less a prop. You guys may want to copy this for text because it will probably end up in a sub-forum in short order.

Upper set of pict's show the Zinger spinner layed out for blade holes and tapered cut outs below them, drill a small pilot hole as a guide for next step. A 3/4" hole saw and cutting fluid was used to produce a nice clean hole. made a pattern for cut outs so they would all be the same size. I cut them out with a micro saw and cutting oil and it did'nt even hurt the blade, the Zinger is fairly soft.

You could use Zinger back plate but I had the 1/2"X5" one drilled to fit engine and was the guide used when upper cowl was built, I saved it for this build. It is marked for center location of the blocks that the blade shanks will go in . Blocks are set back from edge 5/15" to clear spinner, marked and glued in place useing dowel for alignment

Blades are inserted and spinner is set on to check fit and the cut outs are marked on side of plate, every thing had been numbered prior to that for perfect alignment of all pieces. Now those little cut out pieces will be glued right back in location they came from on back plate. I forgot to mention that the spinner plate had to be sanded at same angle as spinner to fit inside it. Now hub is done.

Hubs for P-47's, corsair P-38's and such are made from an assortment of PVC and CPVC pipe and are no harder to make than the one for the mustang.. I need a break , I'll add to this in an hour or so.
I think I could build a more scale one then those molded ones you pay alot for but I'm a builder who does his home work and I enjoy doing this stuff.

I painted blades with Model Masters flat black laquer, the tips are Testors yellow enamel and coated with matt clear enamel two hours after yellow tips were sprayed to prevent any reaction of paints. Graphics were put on prior to the yellow and clear matt. Graphics are part of the www.aeroloft.com 1/5 scale Crips A'Mighty 3rd set for the plane, They are dry transfer not decals. Will base coat clear coat hub and spinners and assemble it tomorrow. Leroy
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Last edited by Leroy Gardner; Jul 01, 2012 at 11:30 PM. Reason: finish post
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Even thought I'll never do a WWII model, I still totally loved seeing this tutorial. Thanks very much for taking the time and effort to post it.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abufletcher View Post
Even thought I'll never do a WWII model, I still totally loved seeing this tutorial. Thanks very much for taking the time and effort to post it.
Thank you fletcher, there is alot of joy for me when I see my finished work. Alot of these building projects are not difficult to do and in showing it it might inspire others to build more. I think it is becoming a lost art to the ARF's, all you have to do is look at the numbers at that site in comparison to the fuel and kit planes.

Anyway I'm glad you enjoy my thread, it will have a beautiful ending.

Stay tuned, Leroy
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 06:38 AM
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Slaton, TX
Joined Oct 2008
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Very nice Leroy, very nice!! You right, building is becoming a lost art. Soooooo, if you decide to build anything else you are now obligated to post it.

Thanks for posting!!

Trey
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Every time I see one of these "where can buy a scale X" questions, I feel sad. Building is so much more satisfying than buying. I've also made dummy props for my WWI models and, while I agree that there's a pride in seeing the final product, the real joy came while building.
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by supercubman View Post
Very nice Leroy, very nice!! You right, building is becoming a lost art. Soooooo, if you decide to build anything else you are now obligated to post it.

Thanks for posting!!

Trey
Thank you Trey for the very kind words and future endorsment. You just may get your wish because when I get the plane done I'll do a finishing and assembly tthread on it.Probably won't be till fall when viewer ship improves.

I'll put it in fuel warbirds under ( An Awsum Finish ) you may really enjoy that one so watch for it in around 4 mo.from now, thanks again Leroy
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by abufletcher View Post
Every time I see one of these "where can buy a scale X" questions, I feel sad. Building is so much more satisfying than buying. I've also made dummy props for my WWI models and, while I agree that there's a pride in seeing the final product, the real joy came while building.
Fletcher I had an idea you might be a builder. You should change the name dummy to scate, that is beautiful and a nice job on hub plates. Gracefull lines of a wood prop like that tend to catch the eye, I bet you get some nice compliments with quality work like that, Makes me want to see a couple of your planes. You can post them here useing them to show off your props.

I am an accomplished wood worker, At first it was a hobby, started when I was 7 yr's old. It wasn't my lifes work I have always loved building stuff from wood and I have a nice shop. Building, like my clock and entertainment center and then filling them up with stuf and workings, they come alive, just like a plane. I really enjoy it and it probably shows. I better get thread build finished. Leroy
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Time to get this project finished. When you build blades I think it's just as important to not leave out the back spine detail and the suttle taper of the whole length of blade, thats what makes it look real in photos and is the scale dimension of all scale and semi-scale modeled things. Keep that in mind when building scale.

I drilled a hole in top of hub blocks to put adhesive in after blades are positioned and aligned. Most dowels are not perfectly round where as the forstner bit holes in blocks are, therefor you have some wiggle room to contend with, not much but enough to make blades off a little. With hub set up on plan insert the small forming block at tip and put what ever spacers required to make blade seem like it's floating in the hole. Line tip up with mark on plan and keep pitch block centered at tip making sure blade is setting flush on it. If blade needs to be moved one way or another use stick pins to align it on plan then put CA thin in hole to secure it and move to next blade and so on. You should have a perfectly aligned set of blades. Give a few minuts to set up and pick assembly up and rim front and inner stubs with the CA and you are done and there is sufficient strength to hold them.

Spinner has been drilled and countersunk for bright #2 flat head screws. I set it on hub aligning the number 1 marks and put the screws in it and it's finished

Now remember a bit back I made a statement: your going to see a work of art ? well when it's on my office wall it's a work of art, when its' finally on the plane it becomes one awsum prop. for now it stayes on my wall. Quite a conversation piece ya think ? Single spinner is the Dave Brown flying 2 blade sweetie. Leroy
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Last edited by Leroy Gardner; Jul 02, 2012 at 10:42 PM. Reason: add text
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 11:19 PM
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Now as a foot note: the spinner cost $35.00 plus 6 bucks freight, the wood cost under $10.00 some paint $4.35 I had the other stuff as most builders do, Sooooo I did it for under $60.00 and it's worth more than twice that. Building is the way to go for me, how about you.

I posted this not to just show my work but to show others who would like to do something like this but did'nt know how to do it. There is info all over these pages that show how to do so many building projects by guys that have been doing it for years, there is alot offered if you spend some time looking for it, not just in these front current pages but back 3and4 years.

I enjoyed doing it and hope you enjoyed watching and learning from it. I'll check back from time to time and be happy to answer any questions

Happy flying and building to all and fly safe plus have a great summer. Leroy
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for the tutorial. Very excellent work!
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Old Jul 04, 2012, 04:46 AM
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very neat
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Old Jul 04, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Hi Leroy-I didn't say anything,because I was speechless !

I agree 100%-it's not difficult,it just requires imagination,which I sorely lack.!

Scale is all an illusion -sorry-just stepped outside..I heard a radial grumbling over,a replica Waco YMF-5,called the Mad Dog...Dad and Daughter giving rides. -and you created another illusion..well done.

At some point,I'm going to need an "Aero Prop" for my Fairchild..Ha !-I built a laminated scale prop for it-30" of beautiful wood-then the owner of the full scale changed to the metal one ! Sheesh !

I still have pictures with the original wood-maybe it'll stay on.
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Old Jul 04, 2012, 06:41 PM
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Thank you Earl, very nice words and they mean something coming from you

Wood working takes on a an art form when you carve a wood prop from it and it's not something everyone can do because it takes a special feel to do it. Kinda like a hand crafted wood boat, props can be beautiful too. " Hey" go ahead and post it here if you have a mind to,I think guy's like to look at builds like that.

Happy 4th,building and flying Leroy
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