View Full Version : S&S Prop Refurbishment

01-16-2015, 02:44 PM
Hi there,
I received a very weathered S&S Propeller (mfg in winnipeg for the Avro Anson I believe) - the wood is cracked in spots, all varnish has worn off, the S&S labels are barely legible, etc.

Wondering what the best way is to clean it up and restore it. Can you get replacement S&S labels to put back on? How do you sand down and re-varnish? How do you clean up the metal blade tips?

thanks so much,

01-16-2015, 05:09 PM
My personal opinion (likely shared by others) is that "restoration" attempts are probably unwarranted. True, it's pretty well battered, but no amount of restoration brings it up to be nearly on par with an original, and once an attempt has been made to do so, you can never go back.

Frankly, it's not particularly valuable now, and may well be even less valuable after putting in a lot of time and effort into trying to make it look more attractive. You don't have much to lose, but if you do attempt to fix it up somehow I would stay completely away from sandpaper, use just shellac to varnish it, and consider ordering decals from nostalgicreflections.com (http://nostalgicreflections.com/), although they will likely be costly.

01-18-2015, 02:52 AM
Hi Dave,
Thanks so much for the quick response and recommendation. I would like to bring some life back to it (both color and protect it) - what kind of 'schellac' varnish would you recommend? I am not familiar what that type of varnish vs the typical stuff at a hardware store. If you could provide a bit more insight on where it can be purchased and how to apply it, that would be wonderful.

thanks again for your help,

01-18-2015, 04:36 PM
I should also ask - what is the best method to clean up the metal leading edges?

01-18-2015, 05:15 PM
Matt, I get shellac flakes from shellac.net (http://www.shellac.net/) and mix them with alcohol, but I think you can get it already in solution at paint or hardware stores. I would simply apply it to the existing surface without doing any real prep work. You can always remove it with alcohol later if you don't like how it looks.

I wouldn't do anything to the metal sheathing. You WANT it to look old. You're not going to make the wood look new (nor would you want to) so shining up the brass makes it look weird.

By the way, if you're dying to have an S&S propeller with clean decals and a fresh looking varnish, they are not that hard to find, sometimes on eBay and maybe a few have been offered here on the forum.