Propeller duplicator plans

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Hephaestus

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I did some attachments to hold up to a 60" in my current machine.

Once I get the vanguard back in the spring - was planning to cut a bunch of props. Still working my way through the books on the art of prop design.
 

raymondbird

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Has anyone here built their own propeller duplicator or do they know someone who has done so. If so were any plans drawn up or obtained elsewhere for such use.

I have been researching propeller building options and found a number of sites offering pictures of such duplicators and even showing them under construction but have yet to find a set of valid plans.

I have no great urgency on this, but it is a project that I'd like to prepair myself for a little further down the road.

My take is you don't need plans either. It is indeed a very simple device. I built mine just from looking at pictures of others on the net. Just a few lag screws, 2x4's, bearings, big pipe, router, clamps and glue is all you need. It worked great for the 3 blade (air boat hub) ground adjustable 3/4 scale ME109 propeller that I had to make for my project.IMAG0116.jpg IMAG0116.jpg IMAG0259.jpg IMAG0270.jpg
 

Tiger Tim

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Exactly, these days a 3D CNC router would be far easier, cheaper, and more accurate. Probably cost not much more than a new prop... hmmm...
A friend of mine has had a Granby prop laser scanned and has made 1/4 and 1/2 scale prototypes on his home CNC. He doesn’t have a big enough machine to make one full size... yet.
 

pfarber

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Exactly, these days a 3D CNC router would be far easier, cheaper, and more accurate. Probably cost not much more than a new prop... hmmm...
Well "3D" doesn't really cut all the way around the glued up boards... you'd need an indexer for Z rotation. Now you're 4D, not cheap at all.

With extruded aluminum rails, a lead screw, some gears and motor you could easily make a pantograph/duplicator type setup.
 

pfarber

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My take is you don't need plans either. It is indeed a very simple device. I built mine just from looking at pictures of others on the net. Just a few lag screws, 2x4's, bearings, big pipe, router, clamps and glue is all you need. It worked great for the 3 blade (air boat hub) ground adjustable 3/4 scale ME109 propeller that I had to make for my project.View attachment 91370 View attachment 91370 View attachment 91371 View attachment 91374

This is a pantograph really.
 

Hephaestus

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Well "3D" doesn't really cut all the way around the glued up boards... you'd need an indexer for Z rotation. Now you're 4D, not cheap at all.
Not quite that hard... One blade at a time, mechanical indexing a center bore for the hub, cut top rotate, cut top again, flip, cut bottom, rotate cut bottom. Same system as you'd use on the duplicator - you're indexed at hub and ends. Final mechanical removal of the indexing tabs at the end by hand.
 

Dana

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Not quite that hard... One blade at a time, mechanical indexing a center bore for the hub, cut top rotate, cut top again, flip, cut bottom, rotate cut bottom. Same system as you'd use on the duplicator - you're indexed at hub and ends. Final mechanical removal of the indexing tabs at the end by hand.
Right, and with a largish ball end tool you can get pretty much around the leading and trailing edges. Regardless of the machine, the final finishing and smoothing is done by hand.
 

Jay Kempf

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CNC router is the perfect tool. In fact you can put an axis on the bed, do one blade, rotate stock 180 and run the program again. So whatever your longest axis you can make a prop twice that size. Hardest part is to really get the design correct, not just looking about right. Blending hubs in CAD is not trivial to do right. You can get the whole surface to a few thousandths before sanding and by rotating in a proper fixture you will guarantee identical geometry side to side. Then you are only balancing due to material variations. Same method for making mold halves. Cut, rotate, flip cut rotate. If just making blades to go in a hub even easier.

One could build a prop specialized router to make up to 10' propellers for a few thousand out of DIY parts or less if you are a good ebay scrounger and know the basics.
 

pictsidhe

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I like the Culver machine. The cutting is done with a circular saw. Probably a lot faster than a router. Though it's a more complex machine than raymondbird's. A CNC version of the Culver is very tempting.
 

mcrae0104

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This is a pantograph really.
A pantograph uses an entirely different mechanism. I have never seen one that duplicates at the same scale (although I would be interested if you could point me to one that does).

Here is a duplicator similar to the one posted above:

 

stanislavz

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In simplest form you *should* be able to have the prop rotate on its longest axis with the spanwise travel of the tool geared to that, like on a mechanical duplicator. Then the only thing that needs actual fine control is the plunge depth of the cutting tool.
And write an not so simple code to mage necessary commands from drawings.
 

dog

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I have colection/disease of flat belt gear , one bit is a rocking cradle copy lathe, bit better than four feet between centers.It would be an ideal candidate for
cnc conversion as a single axis of control would be all that was nessary to carve a propeller.
Works like this , "cradle" holds a blank and a pattern,which rotate in cync, the cradle is free to rock six or 8 inches, underneath this is a cutter head that is mounted in a cariage that travels on ways.
Will turn a canoe padle or a hoe handle, ax handle, fancy table leg etc.
Stupid heavy.Still in servicable condition.
The neat bit is that it only requires a single axis of control to turn something like a propeller.
 

paraplane

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To Raymonbird if I sent you a couple blanks glued up and the propellers to copy could you rough out two, 2 blade propellers for me? To Dog would you be interested in selling you're Propeller duplicator machine? I see that you say its very heavy. If you would sell it how much would you want and where would it have to be picked up from?
 
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