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Old 08-25-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
Alastair_P
 
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Default Restoring Propeller

Hi

I have one blade of a FE2B propeller that came off my Grandfather’s plane when he crashed into a church tower.

It is not in a great state as three of the blades were sawn off the hub as they were damaged and the remaining blade is rather dented and has old paint marks etc.

I would like to restore it to a better condition for display and wondered if anyone can give advice for cleaning and/or getting the propeller back to a good state.

Many thanks. Alastair
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:05 PM   #2
Dbahnson
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I very strongly advise that you leave it as it is. It's got a defined history attached to it and the history involves your own family. You can't do anything to it that improves on its value.

You're better off finding a blade that's already been hacked up and doing whatever you want with that.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:39 AM   #3
Alastair_P
 
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Thanks for the reply. But as it stands, it is only fit to sit in the garage. I am not going to sell it so the value is not a consideration. It is a family heirloom which should be displayed as it is our history. It is a beautiful piece of mahogany underneath and it would be a shame not to display it. The various paint marks etc. Do not add to its storied past as they are very likely post WW1 and due to where it has been stored by various family members. I appreciate that the propellor would have been in a very different state when it was in use. Likely bound with linen or similar and possibly painted.but cleaning and restoring it does not remove the defined history! It just means that the future generations will want to keep hold of it as they understand what it was and where it came from.

Any assistance in that endeavour would be much appreciated
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:06 AM   #4
Dbahnson
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I think of "value" as something that is passed down to future family members, not just liquidation value, but if you choose to try to "restore" it my only advice is to use solvents rather than abrasives to remove the existing varnish, then use shellac to coat it once the existing varnish is removed. You don't need the protection of a urethane or oil varnish, and shellac enhances the beauty of the mahogany. Look up the French Polish technique for applying shellac.

Years from now your descendants will probably curse you, and maybe me as well.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:11 AM   #5
Bob Gardner
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Alistair,

Your prop relic is at its best in its present condition. It is a direct link to your antecedents. If you restore your prop you are very likely to reduce its value, both in terms of money and also its value as a family historical item.

One way of protecting your prop from your desire to restore it, is to put off the process for a day at a time until the urge to restore goes away. Always bear in mind that an unrestored prop can always be restored in the future but a restored one can never be returned to its original condition.

Well intentioned restoration of historical artefacts is often a form of vandalism.

With kind regards,

Bob
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