View Full Version : Cosmetic restoration ONLY to modern Hartzell wood prop

04-30-2015, 04:39 PM
Hello, I recently acquired an older, modern wooden Hartzell prop. With the help of this website, it was most likely pulling a WACO through the air via a Jacobs 225 horse engine.
My question deals with a minor restoration, or more appropriately, a thorough clean-up of the prop so my wife will approve it's hanging on a wall in our great room. It has what appears to be either brass or copper scalloped leading edging that starts @8 inches off the outer hub extending 36 inches to the tip. The hub appears to be steel or an alloy type of metal.
My goal is to "brighten" the metallic portions of the prop, clean up the wooden areas, but not introduce any chemicals/processes that would damage the prop.
The prop is only in fair condition (I will try to post some photos when I have more time and I become more familiar with this forum and my lack of tech saavy!) and I would like to preserve it's character while making it a bit more eye catching.

04-30-2015, 09:11 PM
I would like to preserve it's character while making it a bit more eye catching.

You preserve its character by leaving the original character in it. When you attempt to improve on that you remove the old character and insert the new.

05-04-2015, 12:36 PM
OK....maybe a more appropriate question is how do I "clean it up" without damaging the prop? I had read on another post, or maybe another web site as I was initially searching this topic, that linseed oil may be used on the wooden portion of the prop. Another site suggested linseed oil may be damaging. Much conflicting info out there.
As I stated in the initial portion of my first post, I want to be very careful with it, but it will be on a wall and needs some cleanup. Thanks

05-05-2015, 09:00 AM
To some extent it depends on what it looks like now. Photos?

If it's been altered or restored in any way in the past, I don't think it matters much what you do to it now. If it's in truly "original" condition, then you shouldn't remove any of its original coatings, whether it be aged varnish or aged oxidation of the sheathing. Accumulated dirt can be removed with mild detergent and high quality wax is protective, without removing the underlying material. I've used linseed oil on some props, because that was advised by some of the antique furniture experts, but I think even that depends on what is already covering the wood. If it's a urethane finish, as yours probably has, then the linseed oil doesn't help.