|I wouldn't want to talk someone into doing something they didn't
feel comfortable in doing, but refinishing and balancing a prop is
easy. In the first place, you are not affecting the structural integrity
of the prop by sanding off the old finish and putting a new finish on. It is
just a protective coat that protects the wood surface from direct contact with the
A very sensitive prop balancer that checks both
longitudinal and lateral balance can be constructed for less than $10 and a
few hours of your time. The balancing is done by putting additional finish
on the light blade with a brush or spray gun. Of coarse, the balancing
must be done in a closed room as the slightest breeze will move the prop
on the balancer. This is not magic or rocket science.
Very true. I know of an old guy who has been an A/P for
about 50 years and
specializes in old Piper singles who uses a lawnmower blade
in a hardware store for $5. It's a cone-shaped thingy that
sits on top of a
pointed pedestal. He claims it works as well as any $500
mil spec machine.
After watching him use it, I agree.
There's no black art in
props and doing your own thing is no problem if good common sense
Many of us have been programmed that if a certified repair station
do the work, you'll end up falling out of the sky.
Also IMO, spar varnish is nice, but doesn't last and has to be
few years. Epoxy 2-part varnish by Polyfiber is much tougher
and will last
A prop balancer can be as simple as this. The theory
behind this balancer is that gravity will rotate the heavy side
down. In this scenario the less friction the better.
I used a 5/16" steel rod centered in the fan with cone shaped
bushings. This assembly rotates on a pair of leveled angled extruded
Since a heavy blade will rotate down. The heavy
blade is sanded or painted in the case of a finished propeller until
the it will not rotate when left in any position. With 4 bladed
fans, it is easier to balance 2 blades at a time. Number the blades
1 through 4 going clockwise. Balance 1&3, then 2&4.