How to Make a Cheap and Easy Propeller in 1 Minute (model Boats/planes Etc)

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Introduction: How to Make a Cheap and Easy Propeller in 1 Minute (model Boats/planes Etc)

Couldn't afford to buy 30 x propellers for my science class so I came up with a quick and cheap alternative that actually turned out to work amazingly well and looks pretty cool.

Tested on about a hundred model boats and planes and worked brilliantly. 

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    27 Discussions

    A lighting taper is just a little strip of scrap wood used for lighting candles (and burners in science classrooms) . It's basically just a longer splinter. You could probably just use lollipop sticks for same. If you wanted smaller props you could slit open a lollipop stick with scissors or blade. Or strip off a splinter from a bigger piece of scrap wood with a blade.

    http://www.churchcandlesonline.com/images/Wood%20Tapers.jpg

    I know this is almost a year later but did you think about doing it over a kettle? Steam is not nearly as flammable and should achieve the same effect. But I'm still going to try this with flame on, I have a micro tricopter I'm building and I'm looking to save weight

    Oh snap! Yeah I bet they're made in the same factory. Really good suggestion! You could totally use one of those!

    I wasn't familiar at all with the term lighting taper, being a Yank and all... ;) I'm glad you confirmed my suspicions! I imagine you could soak and/or steam bend tongue depressor for larger models... GREAT idea!! Paul

    hey this will work as like a real propeller

    i think this will not have enough power to fit for boat

    Good work, but pardon: these propellers are cheap and easy but no efficient. In order to decrease turbulence the crossing (pitch) must be decreasing from center to edges. Your procedure would be almost perfect if you make the hole through the width of the body, not perpendicular, but you should reinforce it before.

    You could successfully use this method to make an efficient, cheap and fast propeller. Obviously, you must redefine the blade's profile, and make both blades simultaneously.

    6 replies

    Sorry, Chuck, I can't find another link.

    Years ago I made a 2 blades propeller using very thin layers of wood, the wood used to plate furniture (near 1 mm thickness). I cut many layers identical using a jig, each layer having both blades. Then I mounted them in the axis (a nail) and glued them rotating slightly each with respect previous. Once dry the glue, I sanded the surface until it was even. The resulting profile was almost ideal, efficient and without turbulence. The method requires a little of work, patience and prolixity, but it worth. You can use balsa wood too.

    Nice idea. I might try going through the width of the body next time I make these.

    Some years ago (maybe 30) I made a propeller using leftovers of 1 mm thin wood used for overlays / inlays. I cut many identical shapes with a central hole. Then open them like a fan and shaped both blades with sandpaper. The result was satisfactory: very low noise –equal low turbulence–, lightweight, free, fast and easy.

    Sorry, I watched the video and got distracted by how much I wish I went to school in England.

    ummm, the picture for this instructable I received in email is a lot better than what the video describe, so its false advertising. There ought to be a rule against that :)

    It's always nice to make things yourself and you have made something that works for you. That's great!
    I just find the cover picture of this instructable a bit misleading because your results are very different from the propellers on the cover picture. It would have been better to have a picture of the actual propeller you made.