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Old 22 May 2011, 06:17   #1
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I dinged my prop!

After over 12 years of boating it had to happen one day I guess.

Nothing too bad, just lots of jaggy bits over the leading edges of each blade. I'll be able to clean this up OK with a fine sanding disc on an angle grinder, but my question is about balancing the prop: Is this something I can do myself, or am I going to have to take it to a prop shop and get it done there?
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Old 22 May 2011, 06:29   #2
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I suspect you'll lose performance now,even after cleaning it up.

I'd send it to a prop shop anyway.
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Old 22 May 2011, 06:51   #3
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Andy, yes you can balance your prop, I do all mine and it's surprising how far out they are from new. I have a wheel balancer for motorbike wheels and use it. It is very simple and you could fabricate something or borrow one if necessary. You will need to turn up a mandrel to be a very close fit inside the prop so it effectively has a spindle. I don't remove metal to balance the prop, I add a wee piece of stainless and tack it inside the rear of the prop. The initial balancing I do using a dod of blu tack then cut the stainless weight to match this. It sounds bothersome when written here but once you're set up it's fine and it'll surprise you the accuracy you can achieve this way. I've balanced other stuff too using this method, crankshaft pulleys, flywheels etc.

If your prop is aluminium I guess you'll need to invent some other way of attaching the weight.

Cleaning up your blades will be fine. If you need to remove a slither at the front edge of a blade to contour it, take a template of that blade and reshape the leading edge of the others blades to match. Radius the leading edge when it's done. It's not as black an art as folk would have you believe.

Good luck.
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Old 22 May 2011, 08:44   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
After over 12 years of boating it had to happen one day I guess.

Nothing too bad, just lots of jaggy bits over the leading edges of each blade. I'll be able to clean this up OK with a fine sanding disc on an angle grinder, but my question is about balancing the prop: Is this something I can do myself, or am I going to have to take it to a prop shop and get it done there?
Snap i have to send mine off,who ever had it before ,jaggered right up.
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Old 01 June 2011, 09:38   #5
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Newbie question.

Would you go to those lengths for an ali prop or just a stainless one?
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Old 02 June 2011, 12:50   #6
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If you're just taking off small amounts of metal (cleaning up little snaggy bits) I wouldn't worry too much about balancing. If you're taking off enough to affect the prop's balance, you're going to be missing a decent amount of blade area from that blade, which would probably affect performance to a higher degree, and that would require welding more metal on and reshaping - means a prop shop in most cases. For a blade cleanup, I'd smooth it up and be done with it.

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Old 02 June 2011, 16:59   #7
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It's not completely unknown to slightly ding the prop and find it's faster.
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Old 02 June 2011, 17:54   #8
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Dont take a grinder to it .. (fine disk or not) if its a little roughing up like you say, I use a good new square file, so I get good purchase on the blade for the roughest parts, but my motion is like an angel , holding the file across my thumbs with the blade between my knuckles and I HARDLY REMOVE ANYTHING but I gradually work to the curve and restore the edge and thats for stainless .. never had a problem yet, and no expensive prop shop balancing bills either.. or problems asociated .. sometimes a hammering is required for more extensive 'dings' to restore the cup edge , but thats easy enough
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Old 02 June 2011, 17:56   #9
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I find a flapdisk on a grinder is quite good - less harsh than a normal disk, easier than doing it by hand.
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Old 03 June 2011, 18:01   #10
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I have used a dremmel with good results

liking the new smilies
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