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whirligig propeller hub ? Answered

I have started to try my hand at making whirligigs, but always run into problems when making the hubs for the propellers. Does anyone have any ideas? I had a pdf file on how to make a jig for them. but I do not have a table saw.



6 years ago

I take a 2 inch board [1-1/2 inches] mark the distance on each hub and cut a 45 deg on half of it flip the board cut the other half then move the miter gauge to the other side of blade reset the 45 cut half of it out again flip and cut [slots ] then use my hole saw to cut the hubs out this way i can make equal amounts of oposite rotating hubs and there all the same


8 years ago

There are several ways to make a good Whirligig Hub. I have made Hundreds, over many years. The best and most accurate method I have found is to use a hole saw, (Like the kind for making door knob holes in doors). You can use an electric drill to cut a piece of 3/4" poplar. If you have a small drill press, even better! A piece of wood less than 3/4" doesn't give you enough area on the blade to hold out in the wind and weather. The best hubs are between 1-1/2" in diameter up to about 4-1/2 inches in diameter. I usually make mine, 2.5 inches for an animated type whirligig and 1.75 inches for an airplane type whirligig. After you have cut out your hub, you will need to cut the slots for the propeller blades. This is where it really gets a lilttle tricky, and most people have problems. The trick is to use a table saw and a miter gage with a wooden extension clamped on to it. I call it my "Hub cutting Jig". Clamp a short piece of 2 X 4 lumber ...say ..15" long to your table saw's miter gage while it is in place on the saw table. Hold your hub edge-wise (like you were going to roll it on the table) then slide it flat against your miter gage extension (the 2X4). Stick a 1/4" drill bit or small pencil through the center hole and make a mark on the 2X4. Take the 2X4 over to the drill press and drill a 1/4" hole through your mark. Next take a 3-1/2" lag bolt (Size 1/4" X 20) and push it through the 2X4. Go back to the table saw and hold the 2X4 on the miter gage, slide the Whirligig Hub on to the lag bolt, then use a flat washer and a nut to hold it against the 2X4. Move the miter gage over to 35 or 45 degrees of angle. This becomes your propeller blade angle. Slide the 2X4 in or out until the blade of the table saw looks like it will slice between the lag screw and it's bolt where they meet. That is to say half way through the hub. Clamp the 2X4 to the miter gage tightly. Some table saws have a built in clamp just for this sort of operation. A regular 4" "C" clamp works well. WEAR EYE Protection! Use extreme caution this operation can cause kick-backs if your saw blade is not sharp. Set your blade height about 1/4" below the level of the lag bolt. BE CAREFUL not to set it so high that you cut the steel bolt and ruin your blade! If you just need a two bladed hub you will make two cuts 180 degrees apart. If you want a 4 bladed hub as is usual, you will need to mark your hub every 90 degrees, and then index (turn) your hub to the next 90 degree mark after every cut. This is much harder to write than it is to do. Each step becomes obvious as you set it up. The key is the miter gage extension on the table saw. You can also cut square hubs and other (ball hubs, etc) odd shaped this way! It Works!


10 years ago

Well, you could try drilling a hole in a piece of wood, and run a long bolt through it, and nut it tight. Chuck it in a drill, spinning slowly (so as to not hurt yourself or others) and mark with a pencil or other marking device. Cut circle out with coping saw. Using straightedge (ruler, carpenters square, chalkline, etc) make a line centered on the hole from one side to the other. Make as many lines as you want propellers. Make angle cuts the thickness of the propellers into the hub edge, taking care to make the same angle as possible for each blade. Even numbers of lines make it easier to balance things. This is only one way. There are many more, I'm sure, but this just popped into my head. Hope this helps.