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-   -   BIG prop and a huge mistery - PLEASE HELP!!! (http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=1641)

princefritzfirst 02-24-2011 05:37 PM

BIG prop and a huge mistery - PLEASE HELP!!!
5 Attachment(s)

I'm writing you with a question and asking for a huge favor/advice.

I recently purchased the propeller pictured below and can't in any way figure out what it is and where it might come from - absolutely nothing! If possible at all, I would like to ask for your expertise in trying to figure out what this might be. As you can see from the pictures it has no markings on it what so ever, the finish is very worn out as if it sat in the sun for a very long time - it was purchased in Los Angeles, and that might be a clue to that part.... Other than it looking very nice and worn out it tells me nothing. Would you be able to help me out and determine, from the pictures and dimensions, what this might be?

I really appreciate any help/advice you can give me.

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you.


- screws 9/16" or 14mm.

Dave 02-24-2011 05:52 PM

It looks similar, but not necessarily identical, to the "toothpick" style propellers used on the OX5 powered aircraft in the late teens and twenties, such as the JN4 and the Standard J1 (also powered by the Hall Scott engine). The next step is to carefully measure the hub dimensions and compare it to the chart referenced on that page.

It's nice that the metal hub is intact. It might be reasonably valuable if it's an original OX5 hub, although I'm not sure how much those are worth.

princefritzfirst 02-24-2011 06:48 PM

Dear Dave,

Thank you so much for the reply.
I've just done the math and it does point to the Curtiss OX5 measurements except for the center bore, if I'm doing it right, which comes out to 2" not to 2.690". Is the center bore measured on the outside? If yes then it's 2".

So, from all the other numbers given below it seems like it's the OX5 - what do you think? What can you recommend I do to be 100% certain? (I wouldn't want to disassamble the hub if you think that might ruin something or make it less valuable historically....??)
As you can see the finish is completely sun burned...

Thank you very much for your help!!!

- hub thickness: 4"
- hub dia.: 6"
- bolt size: .375
- bolt circle: 5.250


Dave 02-24-2011 07:06 PM

If you're measuring the diameter of the metal hub it won't reflect the charted measurement of the center hole in the wood. My guess is that's the correct diameter for an OX5 engine and that the prop was used on something powered by that engine, possibly a Jenny.

Personally, I'd leave the hub where it is and not try to improve the finish except perhaps by waxing it. You can only decrease its value by making attempts to improve its appearance.

princefritzfirst 02-24-2011 07:09 PM

Thank you so much!
I've read the "restore" post so no. I would not want to do anything to harm the way it looks now.
Can you recommend any waxes?
What value would you personally put on this propeller?


Dave 02-24-2011 07:20 PM

It's hard to know value in the present marketplace, and I have no idea what the metal hub might be worth, but something in the $1000 range wouldn't be surprising, despite its rather rough condition. Just a wild guess at this point, however. The market is not very large.

princefritzfirst 02-24-2011 08:00 PM


$1000 for the whole thing or just the hub?
So this would be from around 1915-1920's - right?

Can you possibly say if there's anything special about this one?
And, what kind of wax should I use?

Thank you kindly!

Dave 02-24-2011 08:46 PM

I was thinking the whole thing. There's really nothing special or particularly sought after with that one. The toothpick design was developed to save expense, as many props were destroyed in various training and other activities. It's more likely early twenties and very unlikely to be mid teens. That model was fairly common.

I'd use linseed oil, let it dry and harden a bit, then apply beeswax. Don't expect much change in the appearance, though.

princefritzfirst 02-24-2011 10:46 PM

Great! Thank you very much for all your help!

oinkitt 02-27-2011 07:02 AM

Conservation of prop
I do not recommend using linseed oil. This prop has areas where the finish is missing.

You should first seal the prop with a thin coat of shellac; use a soft paint brush to apply it.

When the shellac dries (1 hour) apply Liberon dark oak wax with a boot polish brush. You may have to apply it reasonably thickly (experiment) Let it harden for 1 hour then polish off the excess.

It should give you a consistent darkish finish.

The finish currently on your prop is caused by the item being left in a hot dry place - maybe a tin shed. We furniture conserversí call it crocodile finish and people who appreciate original finishes find it very desirable.



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