Preservation FAQ's
Should I "restore" my propeller?
NO!  A propeller in original condition is much more valuable than one that has been refinished or restored in any way, even when it shows major evidence of wear or other insult.  Sometimes those imperfections can even add to the character or the provenance of the propeller.  This Bristol propeller is a good example.  Although the blades have been cut off and reassembled, the propeller has all of the original features, and the need to cut it down to bring it home is actually part of its "provenance".    The only exception to this rule is when a propeller has already been "ruined" by someone previously refinishing it.   If a propeller has already been refinished, and if you can do a better job of making it look nice, go ahead, but please acknowledge that it is not in original condition.
How can I improve the appearance of my propeller?
You may be surprised to find out that it looks fine just the way it is.  To  bring out the character of the wood and add some protection to the surface, gently rub the surface with linseed oil and later, after it dries, apply a light coat of furniture wax.  Stay away from varnishes and water based cleansers.
Make a mounting bracket with simple tools and basic woodworking techniques.  Cut a circle of wood the diameter of the hub, lay the hub over the cut-out then carefully mark or even drill the cut-out through the bolt holes.  The holes should be the same size as the bolt holes in the prop.  Then remove the prop and glue dowels that are a little shorter than the thickness of the hub (so they aren't visible when mounted).  I round the tips of the dowels and make them different lengths to make it easier to slip the prop onto the bracket.  Once the glue is dry, simply attach the bracket to the wall with screws or toggle bolts then just slip the prop over the dowels.   Usually one strong screw is sufficient, and allows a little adjustment to level the prop, sort of like a picture.   Additional security can be obtained by using threaded rods instead of dowels, but is rarely necessary.
The same as you would store fine furniture.  Avoid moisture and large variations in temperature.  Propellers are particularly vulnerable to damage just by moving them around, so mounting one on a wall for storage purposes alone is worthwhile.  If you need to store a number of propellers, but don't want to display them all individually, a storage rack constructed of lumber is a convenient and compact way to do this.
How can I safely ship a propeller?
How should propellers be stored?
Should I mount a clock in the hub?
You should never alter the hub in any way to accommodate a clock, barometer, etc.   I'm not sure where the obsession with clocks originated, but I think they actually detract from the appearance of the propeller, which has its own inherent elegance, and doesn't need decoration.
rev. 11/20/12
How can I display a propeller without damaging it?
There are several options available for shipping propellers.  Having shipped quite a few by now, I have developed a fairly simple and inexpensive "crate" which consists of thin plywood and foam insulation along with a few other materials which can all be easily obtained at Home Depot or Lowe's.  FedEx Ground has been my preferred method since they accept the larger dimensions.  As of 2012, most propellers this size can be shipped across the U.S. for under $150.  Click on the image for detailed instructions.