How to make wooden airplane propellers

Written by elias westnedge
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How to make wooden airplane propellers
Wooden propellers were often attached to radial reciprocating engines. (propeller image by Tomasz Pawlowski from

Wooden aircraft propellers are a recognisable component of classic aeroplanes. Although they were primarily used before World War II, many modern aircraft still use these propellers. Wooden propellers, like other propellers, use horizontal lifting force to produce thrust that moves the aeroplane forward through the sky. Both model aeroplanes and full-scale aircraft can use wooden propellers. You can make a propeller that is safe, reliable, effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Computer-aided design software
  • 2-by-8 inch hardwood board
  • Saw
  • Paper templates
  • Scissors
  • Warm superglue
  • Draw Knife
  • Drill
  • Sander

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  1. 1

    Use the computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a three-dimensional model of your propeller.

  2. 2

    Print out the full-size paper templates onto a large, thin sheet of paper. If you do not have a suitable printer, you can have the templates professionally printed.

  3. 3

    Use your scissors to cut out the templates. Be exact.

  4. 4

    Glue the paper templates to the wood. Cut the wood along the templates using the saw.

  5. 5

    Remove the paper templates from the wood. Remove all paper residue from the propeller.

  6. 6

    Glue the wood boards together. Place the largest board in the centre and the smaller boards on either side.

  7. 7

    Use a powered sander to sand the propeller. Be gentle on the propeller.

Tips and warnings

  • Have your propeller inspected by a certified airframe and powerplant aircraft mechanic before attaching it to an actual aircraft.

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