Years ago in craft class in junior high I made a wood helicopter toy. I wanted to see if it was possible to make a similar toy out of foam core sheet with simple hand tools and a glue gun.
This is my attempt....
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Tools and Materials
Foam core sheet
1/2 inch diameter CPVC pipe, about 8 inches
Two 1/4 inch nuts (not shown)
Hot Glue Gun
Plastic pipe cutting tool or saw
Straight Edge (not shown)
Step 2: Cut Out the Hub Piece
Cut out a 2 inch square piece of foam core. Trace the CPVC pipe in the center and cut out a hole.
Step 3: Fasten the Hub to the CPVC Pipe
Push the pipe though the hole in the hub. Apply hot glue and slide it up until it is flush with the end of the pipe. Cut a 1-1/4 by 5/8 inch rectangle of foam core and glue it onto the hub and top of the pipe, centered over the pipe.
Run a bead of hot glue on the bottom joint of the hub assembly.
Step 4: Add Spacers to Provide Angle of Attack
Add 1-1/4 by 1/4 inch foam core rectangles (spacers/shims) to the top of the hub as shown. These bits of foam with space the leading edge of the blade upward to provide the angle of attack for the blades so they can provide lift.
Note: I inadvertently placed my spacers at the 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions on the hub. This created an angle of attack that requires the toy be spun counter-clockwise. When holding the toy you pull your left hand toward you and push your right hand away thereby spinning the shaft counterclockwise. Usually we (I) like to spin things so they go clockwise. It's not a big deal, just take some time getting used to it. So I give fair warning that you can place your spacers at the 3 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions to get your toy to spin clockwise.
Step 5: Cut Out Blades and Attach Them to the Hub
Cut out two blades, each 1-1/4 by 8 inches.
Hot glue the blades onto the hub, positioning them so the leading edge of the blade at the hub is on top of the 1-1/4 by 1/4 inch thin spacer.
Step 6: Add Weights
I found that the foam core is so lightweight that it provides no inertia to keep the blades spinning. So I hot glued a 1/4 inch nut onto the blade out at the tip. This seemed to help but did not totally solve the problem.
Step 7: Give It a Whirl
There you're done!
Place the shaft between your palms and pull your hands in opposite directions to give the shaft a spin and let it go.
It does work, but not nearly as well as the original all wood toy I grew up with.
In the near future I will have to post an instructable on making the 'vintage' all-wood edition!