Author Topic: Making laminated propellers from paper  (Read 5057 times)

Offline Des

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Making laminated propellers from paper
« on: July 09, 2017, 09:35:02 PM »
apauling from LSP has allowed me to post his tutorial on making laminated propellers from paper.

Back in 2009 when Wingnutwings released their first kits I was inspired to build their LVG C.VI kit. At the time I puzzled how to re-create the multi-colored laminated wood propeller. Keeping the lamination lines straight when viewed from the side makes painting them very difficult. Eventually I decided to laminate different colored sheets of wood together and carve my own prop. This worked at recreating the lamination pattern but I was never really satisfied with this method. When viewed up close the grain pattern of the wood looks out of scale and creating the very thin pieces of wood needed involves a lot of work with the planer. (a tool that a lot of modelers probably donít have). Eight years later I have decided to try again for my build of the Wingnutwings Roland D.VI.
 Reasoning that a sheet of paper is like a very thin piece of veneer I decided to make my laminations out of colored paper.

I got some brown and tan colored paper at the craft store and cut it into 1Ē by 4Ē strips. The paper I used took three strips to build up the thickness of one of the seven layers. 21 strips stacked up makes the full thickness of the prop in 1/32nd scale.
Next I ran a bead of super glue down the center of each strip and quickly stacked them up on the pad of a wood clamp. I tightened the clamp until the layers were nicely squished together and let it cure overnight. (there is a small fire hazard with super glue and organic matter you might want to leave the clamp outside while the glue cures.

I traced the kit propeller onto the top of the paper stack and drilled a hole for the propeller shaft.

Next I cut along the outline with a scroll saw.

Next I carved the taper into the blank. The stack of paper will carve a lot like wood so cut from the hub toward the tip. Think about the pressure of the tool pushing the layers together as you cut.

After you have the taper established, carve the twist into the blades. If the paper starts to shred, switch blades or use a little thin super glue to solidify the area you are working on. The paper can be filed and sanded like wood but pay attention to the grain so that you donít pull the laminations apart or tear out chunks of paper between the glue lines.

I sealed the prop with Tamiya clear tinted with a little clear orange.

top: a basswood prop I made back in 2009                                             bottom: a new paper propeller
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 06:44:16 AM by Dave W »
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Online RLWP

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 09:42:07 PM »
I'm really pleased to see this here, I came across it elsewhere before

I shall have to give this a go


Offline lcarroll

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 10:47:02 PM »
    Despite having carved my own props from wood veneer for years this idea is growing on me! There's always room for improvement, and the results shown here are spectacular!

Offline Jamo

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 10:08:12 AM »
Really impressive result, I like it better than wood props I have seen. Thanks for sharing this!

Offline Edo

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2017, 03:40:38 PM »
the results are quite outstanding! Besides I have always thought that wood prop would have been a pain to carve, maybe paper is easyer...
very realistic, indeed!
thank you for sharing!

Offline Bughunter

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 03:40:42 AM »
I like wooden props more ;) May be paper its easier to finish, I don't know.
But for comparison against a wooden propeller he take one made from basswood. In my experience this kind of wood is unsuitable for propellers, so it could look much better!

Wikipedia says: A model is a simplified representation of reality.
So I create downscaled originals.

Offline Nigel Jackson

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 07:21:28 PM »
Such enterprise! Thanks for sharing more excellent ideas with us, Des.

Best wishes

Offline kensar

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Re: Making laminated propellers from paper
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 09:49:47 PM »
I must thank Des for this posting.  I made the prop for my Fokker scratchbuild using this technique and it came out excellent - no out of scale woodgrain.

Ken M.