Instructables

Airplane propeller ceiling fan

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Picture of Airplane propeller ceiling fan
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I had found this old propeller to add to the collection of airplane parts I was displaying in my garage. I didn’t know at first what to do with it, but once I got the idea of converting it into a ceiling fan… There was no turning back.

 
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Step 1: Take it apart

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First I disassembled the propeller for cleaning and painting.

Step 2: Ask for help

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I then gave the center hub to a friend from work who I knew had the skills required to fabricate a mounting bracket. I gave him free reign in designing the bracket, and he created a vertical mount with a six inch pulley at the top.

Step 3: Skipped a couple of steps... Sorry.

Picture of Skipped a couple of steps... Sorry.
Like many projects, I got so involved in getting things done, that I forgot to take photos… Here the mounting bracket has been hung on a vertical 2X8 that I attached to the rafters in the garage. The prop had been painted, new manufacturers decals have been added, and it was mounted to the bracket.

Step 4: Make it spin!

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To spin the propeller, I bought this motor that was originally used in a mobility scooter. It is a 24 volt 6 amp DC electric motor that turns at 300rpm.

Step 5: Make it spin... part 2

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I removed the original geared pulley. Painted the motor mount black, rotated it 180 degrees and remounted it. I then added a three inch v-belt pulley. It was mounted on the 2X8 above the propeller bracket, facing down, so the three inch pulley on the motor lined up with the six inch pulley on the propeller mount.
 

A v-belt connects the motor to the mount, and a 110volt AC to 12volt 3 amp DC power supply is used. The prop turns at roughly 75rpm.


 

Step 6: IT... IS... ALIVE! (For fun, I added some sound effects to the beginning of the video.)

Step 7: My other aircraft part instructables!

Picture of My other aircraft part instructables!

My garage is becoming a bone yard of used airplane parts. Here is another of my aircraft projects…

http://www.instructables.com/id/1940s-airplane-wheel-table/

 

ArsenioDev1 year ago
dude you could add a sound effects module for that!
Mr_Anderson2 years ago
That prop when new is worth several thousand dollars! if it is airworthy - it is worth several thousand dollars! Please help me find one too! :)
goaly (author)  Mr_Anderson2 years ago
The prop is not airworthy. I was told it had been used as a training aid at a technical school. I purchased the prop on ebay for the opening bid, which was under three hundred dollars. Also, it was located within two hours driving distance, so I did not have to pay to have it shipped. I believe that I was lucky to find this, but deals are out there.
Holy $#!* I wish I could find a good propeller like this, Do you know how much they cost to make! Especially Aluminium and steel blades! Nice use for it but If I had one of these I don't think I would be able to bring myself do anything to it other than display it on a wall or something.
Definitely a nice "subtle" way to show your friends how much of a aviation enthusiast you are!
goaly (author)  awesomecreations1 year ago
Thank you,
Awesome! your project is so much better than the typical static clock!
Very good find!
Cheers!
hms10182 years ago
SWEET!!!
Tumunga2 years ago
That looks cool as you know what.

Reminds me of the ceiling fan in Restaurant Depot.I have to go to Restaurant Depot in Indianapolis to shop. Inside, on the warehouse ceiling, is the biggest friggin ceiling fan I've ever seen. It has 3 blades on it. I bet they're at least 10' long, if not longer. They almost look like aluminum air foils. The fan looks like it's running about 60rpm. From being about 35' from the ground, the breeze it creates on the floor is pretty good.
Look up Big Ass Fans. These are probably like the one you saw.
goaly (author) 2 years ago

Thanks for the compliments! I added another step to this instructable (at the end) with links to two more of my projects that used airplane parts.


hbannink2 years ago
Are those the tail feathers of a radio model??? Figures I am green with jealousy brilliant
goaly (author)  hbannink2 years ago
The tail feathers are from an RC plane that I bought at an estate auction. It did not have an engine or radio controls, but I got it for just a couple of bucks. So I put a wood prop on it and hung it in the garage.
dmaratt2 years ago
Love it - Looks great!
Do you plan to paint a red stripe around the room to warn bystander on a ladder that they are in the sling-blade zone? :) .

Sweet wing tip , with a strob too
l8nite2 years ago
thats just awesome but I thought a propeller moves air to the rear or up in this case, do you run it backwards ?
Yes, to your question.
but
The blades can be placed to push the air flow forward of the hub but then the prop looses its curb appeal. Props look better when they are in the working pitch while in static.
VadimS l8nite2 years ago
It's a feathering prop.
l8nite VadimS2 years ago
I don't see any feathers ........................ = S
goaly (author)  l8nite2 years ago
I did try running the prop backwards. But blowing the hot air down from the top of the garage was very uncomfortable. Forcing the air up to the top seems to push the hottest air out of the garage vents and works a lot better. I also prefer the look of the prop spinning in the right direction.
l8nite goaly2 years ago
smacks self in forehead... That makes sense, we run the ceiling fans in that direction in the summer
gjm2 years ago
This is very cool.
Is this a variable pitch propeller?
Yes, always when one is able to see a taper or splined shaft for inserting into the prop blade or when you see a protruding prop hub.
Damn...

I HOPE you bolted it all up, properly and to the SOLID timber in the ceiling....

"It's only fatal if it lands on you!"
velojym2 years ago
Those things aren't cheap, either... but once they're deemed un-airworthy, I'd say this would be a great use for it.
Robot Lover2 years ago
The heaviest (and coolest) ceiling fan ever!
dreamberry2 years ago
I covet thy awesome fan.
batman962 years ago
I spy Evil faces in one of those pictures!

Great Ible, I would do this if I had a airplane prop.
goaly (author)  batman962 years ago
Those "Evil faces" are foam Jack O'lanterns. I use the electronics from this instructable to light them up during Holloween.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Beer-Bottle-Color-Organ/
batman96 goaly2 years ago
Yea, I knew what they were, just was wondering if anyone else noticed them.
Dr Qui2 years ago
Pure quality!

That's one ceiling fan Steveo from jackass wont try jumping into.
rimar20002 years ago
AAAGH, I'm dying of envy!

I was going to make the same observation I8nite did...
heathbar642 years ago
that's awsome! but where do I get an old prop?
goaly (author)  heathbar642 years ago
The prop, electric motor, and manufacturers decals were all ebay purchases. I was the only bidder on the prop, and bought it for a very reasonable price. It was within driving distance, so there was no shipping cost. Additionally the seller was a great guy to talk to, and he gave me the wingtip that you see in the photos and video as a gift when he heard that I was using the parts to decorate my garage.