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Wood prop for a boat?

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Forum topic by thudpucker posted 10-23-2011 12:24 AM 2125 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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thudpucker

35 posts in 2107 days


10-23-2011 12:24 AM

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

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2107 days


#1 posted 10-23-2011 01:28 AM

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.

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JJohnston

1586 posts in 1977 days


#2 posted 10-23-2011 02:21 AM

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?

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

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GaryK

10262 posts in 2674 days


#3 posted 10-23-2011 02:27 AM

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

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2107 days


#4 posted 10-23-2011 06:43 AM

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.

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BurtC

89 posts in 1816 days


#5 posted 10-24-2011 04:43 AM

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…

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SnowyRiver

51450 posts in 2166 days


#6 posted 10-24-2011 03:02 PM

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

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2107 days


#7 posted 10-25-2011 01:13 AM

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? :)

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Kayinde

3 posts in 714 days


#8 posted 11-06-2012 02:52 AM

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

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Craftsman on the lake

2395 posts in 2123 days


#9 posted 11-06-2012 02:55 AM

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.

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JJohnston

1586 posts in 1977 days


#10 posted 11-06-2012 03:31 AM

Would love to see some pictures of that, Kayinde.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

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thudpucker

35 posts in 2107 days


#11 posted 11-06-2012 05:33 AM

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?

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CessnaPilotBarry

904 posts in 796 days


#12 posted 11-06-2012 12:59 PM

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.

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JJohnston

1586 posts in 1977 days


#13 posted 11-06-2012 01:14 PM

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.

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

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SCOTSMAN

5414 posts in 2271 days


#14 posted 11-06-2012 02:19 PM

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

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Kayinde

3 posts in 714 days


#15 posted 11-06-2012 03:26 PM

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

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