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Old 11-15-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default laminating propellers

What glue and prep techniques are best to use for laminating propellers. I've been told that dampening wood with water and letting it dry to raise the grain is a good practice. Is this true?
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #2
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I have the same question! With this rate of answers, we may have to wait a while... (see other post)

Anyways, since some of the old manufacturers of propellers started as furniture carpenters, maybe some old trade knowledge is still available if looking in that direction.
"Helicopter pilots get it up quicker" - Spud
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:51 AM   #3
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Yeah, I think you'll find this is more of a propeller collecting forum than it is one of manufacturing or of design theory.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Default Laminating Propellers

Many of the experimental prop makers are using hardware variety resorcinol glue or a high grade epoxy such as the West System. Some manufacturers use a cascophen G1131 two part resorcinol glue which is much more expensive and can only be purchased in large quantities. Wood should be straight grained and quarter sawn is best. Slope of grain should be no less than 1 to 10. The best prep for the wood is to plane the wood to open the pores the same day as gluing it. Don't sand it and don't put water on it to try to raise the grain. Hard woods such as maple, birch, oak and walnut are satisfactory for props. This subject could take 4 or 5 pages to fully explain. Hope this helps you get started.
I agree this is not a subject for this forum. You can send me a private message if you need more info.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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Hi guys,

In addition to Bob's excellent response, I did a lot of research work on such issues when I was researching the Garuda propeller, of which I am making a replica.

Many, but not all propellers were planed with a toothing plane, which helps to increase the surface area of the planed surface, and removes the compressed, smooth surface left by machines such as jointers and thickness planers. I have also found that compressed air can help to remove dust etc from the grain of the timber, although a freshly planed surface probably only requires removal of excess debris simply by brushing.

I hope this is also of some help!


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Old 06-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default laminating propelllers

Thanks to each of you for you rinsites. I have been laminating sled runners for dog mushers for some 40 years. I have to admit that I do have some delamination problems. I want to solve these for the sleds of course but must solve it before I build propellers. The idea of wetting the surfaces to raise the grain came from Chad Willie of Rhinebeck. In the mean time I visited Iceland where they have very active and skilled aircraft builders. The propeller guy said that glue starved joints are a problem with delamination and to solve that when using West System for instance he applies a layer of resin to each surface and then as it soaks in applies another layer mixed with micro fibers to one surface before clamping. I haven't tried this yet but it does make sense to me.
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