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Old 12-17-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
PropsToExperts
 
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Default Exciting Barn Find

Have to share my recent find- I have been searching for a real large diameter propeller for years that didn't come from a shop or a recreation. Happened to luck into a post on Marketplace. A lady was cleaning out her uncles barn and selling everything. Of interest to me was an 8' prop with 8 bolt pattern. Attached is a picture from last night as its laying in my Jeep- can post more later. It has some wounds and appears to have little to no lacquer left on it but I love it all the same. This site and others have helped me with the markings (not all clearly visible in the picture) that it was for a
Le Rhone engine
RPM 1210
Part No. 13631
BAP 35033
Plane S4C (Thomas Morse Scout C variant)

I plan to at least wipe it down (dusty and dirt) and then maybe do the beeswax application recommended here but not sure.

Any idea on value? I am keeping this forever- unless its worth crazy money.

Thanks for reading and any thoughts on the prop etc!
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:48 PM   #2
Dbahnson
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The value depends on its physical condition, and that can't be determined by looking at the hub alone. Knowing what aircraft it was designed for is a big help, but condition is critical.

Are there intact decals on the blades?
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
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Totally fair and I read that response on other posts too.
There are no intact decals. Lots of pictures attached. The front is a slightly different stain than the back and also doesn't cover the hub. Not sure if this happened years later in the history of the prop or if that would have ever been down that way originally?

Really I just want to keep it and preserve it the best that I can. So the plan is to wipe it clean with a damp cloth and then possibly the beeswax. Surely that will give some good protection and make it have a little luster.
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File Type: jpg 2.jpg (91.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (90.2 KB, 9 views)
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Old 12-18-2019, 07:30 AM   #4
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Last couple of shots- thanks for looking!
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
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That model has been made by several manufacturers, including Hardman and Peck and Westmoore. A different blade shape was used by Lang of America, and theirs had metal sheathing. The first two had fabric covering on much of the blade, so if you look closely on yours (especially the rear of the blade?) you may see a demarcation where the color of the wood is slightly different from the uncovered portion.

In any case, I'm nearly certain that your prop is not in original condition, even if the attempt to restore it might have occurred decades ago. (I can't explain the apparent sanding of the front of the hub.) So when a propeller has been "restored" it will never be original again, and in that case I think it's perfectly acceptable to do a better job of restoration than what was done previously as long as you do nothing to the underlying wood surface (i.e. no sandpaper or other abrasives).

My preferred method in this case would be to use the "French polishing" technique. If you decide to do this, buy fresh shellac flakes and mix them with alcohol. Don't use canned shellac. The technique involves rubbing the shellac onto the surface in multiple coats and using tiny bits of mineral oil to aid in the rubbing process. Shellac will protect the surface, give the wood a deep lustre, and permit easy repair or repeat refinishing into the indefinite future. It will never have the value of one in original condition, but it makes and excellent display piece and remains "authentic" but restored (as opposed to reproduction).

It's unethical to claim that the prop is in original condition, but you were stuck with that when you acquired it, and it's great that you plan to keep it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the feedback. Its about what I was thinking on originality after looking at it in detail last night. Its in the original condition that I found it in and that's about it! Totally fine with me. To me its a found treasure regardless.

I did take some pictures of the back side of the prop but there is no evidence of the fabric line if you will. And if there was sanding around the hub it does not appear to be extensive as the stamped words/codes are all easily visible but maybe enough sanding was done to remove the layer of varnish/stain from the original condition.

I like the flexibility of restoring it but for now may just clean it up and leave it as is.

Or maybe make the hole bigger and add a clock.
Just kidding!!!!!

I really appreciate you taking a minute to look at it. I got it for very little money and just am thrilled as can be I finally found the type of prop I have been looking for- even if its not the "perfect" specimen!

Ron

***Edited to add- I am not hung up on the market value (I am keeping this thing!)but everyone I have shown this too asks me what its worth? If I just left it as is what do you think the approximate value would be?
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Old 12-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #7
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As it is I would estimate its value as something in the $600 to $900 range. I think with French polishing it would get something in the $1200 range, which is about half of what I would guess as its value in fully original condition. Keep in mind that this model isn't particularly "rare", and many of them were acquired as surplus and never used on an aircraft.

The "market" is small, however and there have been offerings on eBay that are dumbfounding to me, and every now and then one of them sells above market value, usually to someone who may not be particularly savvy.
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Old 12-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #8
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Great to know! Gives me a flavor to tell people on the value- Thanks for your expertise on that!

I may have to take it to a professional furniture person to give it a top tier french polishing. I am more of a mechanical guy- which is probably why I have always been fascinated with props and the like.

I appreciate the time once again gentlemen. I will post a picture once its cleaned up and or polished!

Ron
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