LumberJocks

Wood prop for a boat?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by thudpucker posted 1013 days ago 1959 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View thudpucker's profile

thudpucker

35 posts in 2026 days


1013 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: humor

The Wright brothers first prop was Bent Wood. They had a Steam Bender and a Wind tunnel. The Wind tunnel was also made of Bent Wood.
Later on the props were laminated. Glued/laminated must have been the first choice till metal was in vogue.

I got to thinking of homemade stuff and wondered about a Wooden Prop for a boat.
The question is moot of course since metal is the best of all worlds, but if a prop of wood were on the menu, would it be Bent twisted, or would it be layers of wood, bonded and carved to shape.

Honestly, I’m not going to make one :) I’m just curious about what you guys think of it.


20 replies so far

View thudpucker's profile

thudpucker

35 posts in 2026 days


#1 posted 1013 days ago

LOL, yeah on Airboats. We had them in AK. Lot’s of funny stories there but I do not recall any on the Prop’s coming apart.

Naw, I was just interested in what anybody knew about Props for a boat.
Not paddle wheels etc, but spinning screws.

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1577 posts in 1897 days


#2 posted 1013 days ago

As fast as a boat prop spins, and as much resistance as water has, I would think it would wear out really fast. Ever see what rain (just rain) can do to a wooden airplane prop?

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2594 days


#3 posted 1013 days ago

You could laminate some blades that would work. Then just wrap the leading edges with brass sheet material. That would solve the wearing out problem.

BTW my grandfather used to make wooden propellers at Pratt and Whitney during WWI.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View thudpucker's profile

thudpucker

35 posts in 2026 days


#4 posted 1013 days ago

I’d think Cypress slabs laminated with wood dowells.
I wonder what the Paddle Wheelers used for wood?
They probably never gave Rot a passing thought and went right out for the Oak.

View BurtC's profile

BurtC

89 posts in 1735 days


#5 posted 1012 days ago

I have a boat and I wouldn’t even think of using a wooden prop. RPM can hit 3K easily. Even the cheap powder coated cast aluminum props do not last long. Best available is stainless. And when that wooden prop breaks, it’s a long row home…

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2086 days


#6 posted 1012 days ago

I agree that I dont think a wooden prop would last long on a boat….especially if it has some horsepower. I have a 250 hp engine on mine and I cant imagine it lasting more than a couple of blocks across the lake. My prop is stainless and I know it takes a beating.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View thudpucker's profile

thudpucker

35 posts in 2026 days


#7 posted 1011 days ago

You guys are completely correct. Any Wood prop would be a Slow speed, low leverage device.

I just had the thought when I saw a Wood Prop of laminates, and the Airplane prop’s of both Laminates and carved/Bent of a single piece of wood.

I’d sure be careful if I had a wooden prop!

I think I’ve learned all I need to know about wooden props. Maybe I’ll make a small boat with an enclosed Paddle wheel? :)

View Kayinde's profile

Kayinde

3 posts in 633 days


#8 posted 633 days ago

Hurricane sandy gifted me with what I believe is an antique wooden boat prop about three feet in diameter with four blades. Does not look like an airplane prop at all and had pitched blades similar to a metal prop. Having a heck of a time researching it

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2369 posts in 2043 days


#9 posted 633 days ago

The edges would round after a short while then it would get smaller and smaller from wear.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1577 posts in 1897 days


#10 posted 633 days ago

Would love to see some pictures of that, Kayinde.

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View thudpucker's profile

thudpucker

35 posts in 2026 days


#11 posted 633 days ago

IF the Wood props wear, how about the Aircraft wood props? Dont they wear?
Maybe you’d need some stainless on the leading edge of the blade?

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

882 posts in 715 days


#12 posted 633 days ago

All airplane propellers wear, even metal examples. Props have their own maintenance logs, separate from the engine and airframe, and a set of inspection and maintenance requirements. It’s surprising how much wear an aluminum prop gets flying through rain.

As far as I know, the reason propellers moved to metal was more about ease of manufacturing and repairing a more consistent and predictable raw material, as well as overall weather resistance. Most airplanes with wooden props or other parts, have to be stored indoors.

Anytime a rotating aircraft propeller makes contact with anything stationary, all kinds of inspections to the engine and prop are required. I would imagine that wood, a natural fibrous product, would be capable of hiding internal damage and stresses, too. This would make it subject to unpredictable failure.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1577 posts in 1897 days


#13 posted 633 days ago

I had a flying instructor tell me that wood propellers are always to be left horizontal when the airplane is parked, so if there is any water in it, it won’t be pulled by gravity toward the tip pointing down and throw off the balance. Then again, this instructor stubbornly refused to use a headseat, claiming you could hear detonation better without one. I never did hear a word he said while the engine was running.

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5281 posts in 2191 days


#14 posted 633 days ago

wooden prop fine untill your prop hits a stone or mud etc then it will disintegrate.The reaction with water is not a problem as I see it look at paddle steamers all wooden props of a kind .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Kayinde's profile

Kayinde

3 posts in 633 days


#15 posted 633 days ago

Here is the prop in question. Does it look like a boat prop to you?

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase