Wooden Propeller Forum  

Go Back   Wooden Propeller Forum > Wooden Propeller Identification > "Early" Wooden Propellers

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,514
Default How others see us!

I thought you all might be interested in a recent insight I had into how others regard my passion for WW1 propellers.

The local county paper contacted me with a view to writing a local boy makes good sort of article about me buying, selling, restoring, researching and writing about WW1 Aircraft Propellers.

A young female cub reporter arrived.

She asked me to confirm that my interest was WW1 aircraft propellers. I confirmed.

What did I like about them? I told her about the shape, the woods, the nearness to early aviators that I felt when I touched them.

She asked to see some. I showed her props from WW1 fighters. I described a Sopwith Camel, a DH2 and an SE5A aircraft and what they did. I showed her a four-bladed DH4 propeller and explained that this was from a bomber aircraft.

I got to the end and asked if there was anything else. Yes, she replied, 'Do you know which ships these propellers came from.'

With kind regards to you all,

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2009, 10:39 AM   #2
Dave
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vermont
Posts: 2,832
Default



That's a riot!
__________________
Dave
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
Bitz Dr1
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Funny thing is, I overheard a young man asking quite genuinely, "You mean they had propellers on military aircraft too?"

"Yes they did, and not that long ago" I said, walking away shaking my head.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2009, 07:37 AM   #4
Marc Hill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default To restore or not to restore...that is the question..?

Hello to all, This is my first post on here but I've been collecting Wooden Props. as well as RAF Clocks and Gallantry Awards for some 35 years!
At one time I had 29 wooden props. in all sorts of states and even I had to admit enough was enough!
My work brings me into much contact with restorers of warbirds, classic cars and my other passion, old motorcycles.
I have to put an alternative slant on the Restoration of these wonderful propellers! I have restored over 20 props. in my time, all to as near as possible the condition which they left the factories, these range from Helice Normalle to WW2 Cheetah powered props. As a rule this restoration is where the props. are either damaged or simply deteriorated from damp storage, some are due to the fearful "varnishing" that had been applied over the last 90+ years. To take a sad and distressed piece of history back to the bright and clearly artisan made item is both satisfying and historically justified. I have been assisted by some leading airframe restorers for the fabric tip covering and a Ferrari restoration friend to manufacture the brass/bronze leading edge and tip sections. I have steamed, split and re-laminated as well as used stripper and other chemicals to remove the grime and mistaken applications of many years, an yes even used abrasive paper (by hand only!) where I thought it was essential!

I fully understand Bob's preferance to originallity and have several early props. that I would not think of restoring.....but only because they do not need it! I am not trying to be contraversial but simply putting up a case for the sympathetic restoration where it is deemed beneficial! My late Father not only served a full tour on Wellingtons and Halifaxes but spent much time post war restoring wonderful ancient furniture to its original splendour.....I have every reason to respect all airmen and believe there is an alternative to simple originality.
I much respect Bob and the wonderful restorations he carries out on Sector and Wall clocks and fully understand his point of view on retoration of props.

Kind regards,

Marc Hill

Kind regards
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 06:38 AM   #5
oinkitt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Restoration/conservation

I really depends on the condition of the Prop you are "looking" at.

If it is already stuffed, it doesnt really matter what you do with it.

Personally I would only be interested in owning something requiring restoration if it was supper rare/unusual, and there was little or no chance of finding the same item in good original condition.

Now conservation is a different matter - see my post under restoring your prop for info re that matter - the word restoration frightens me!!!!

Remember something old, should look old, but well looked after.

YOU CANT BEAT BEAUTIFUL OLD PATINA!!!!!!!!

I have spent most of my life perfecting the recreation of old finishes. I can tell you it is generally differcult and time consuming.

I have refused to sell things to people I thought were going to remove the original finish.

Remember once the original finish/patina is gone, its gone for EVER!!!!!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #6
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,514
Default

The word restoration is the most perplexing and difficult word in the world of antiques. To some restored means that an item has been restored to how it would look when new; to others this means ruined; and there's a whole spectrum between these extremes.

One of the problems is that even gentle restoration leads you down a path that easily leads to returning an object to almost new condition. For example,
if you restore the dial on a clock the rest of the unrestored clock looks shabby, so you repolish the wood. Then the hands and the brass bezel look shabby so you paint and polish; and end up with an almost new-looking clock. Some people like this. Many dealers in antique clocks sell shiny beautifully polished clocks that are 300 years old.

For our part, the dials on the RAF sector clocks that we sell are particularly valuable and we do the least possible to them, generally some careful tidying. This process takes longer than a complete repaint and so is more expensive than producing a shiny restoration. Sometimes casual lookers doubt that we have done any conservation or restoration to a dial. This is at the same time a considerable complement to my dial painter laced with the suggestion that we are deceitful.

Conservation is a much more precise term and means halting the process of decay.

We both conserve and restore our propellers. If we find a WW1 prop of a type that occurs quite often (by which I mean that I see an example about once a year) that is dry, delaminating and has lost its original finish, we will often completely dismantle it, reglue the laminations and repolish the wood. We describe this as a complete restoration. We leave the dents and bruises in the wood so it does not look brand new.

Conversely, I have just found a WW1 prop in wonderful original condition. The original paint, fabric, decals and polish are all there. It does however carry several decades of dirt so we are going to try the gentlest of cleaning to see if we can remove some of this without damaging the original finish.

The irony is that the process of conservation is more expensive than restoration because it is painstaking and slow but this conserved prop will sell for less than a restored prop. This is why I remain slightly perplexed.

Keep up the campaign to persude people that conserved props are better than restored props!

With kind regards,

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2009, 06:00 AM   #7
oinkitt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Restoration and stupid people

Hi Bob,

You are right restoration is a subjective word - it means different things to different people.

I sold a prop on Saturday to an antique dealer, after we did the deal he said he was tempted to remove the canvas and repolish the whole thing. I have been buying and selling what I call "dead peoples crap" for 25 years, so I know most people want items that have a "commercial finish". The guy I sold the prop to just wants to sell it and make some money, so he does what he has to, to sell it. In the end I think I talked him out of removing the canvas as I pointed out the decals were on the canvas. Who knows what he will do - it is now his to do with what he wants - and itís not of any real historical importance so I donít really care.

So what did you say to the reporter - did you slap her? Well at least verbally

I know I would not have been able to let it go - I would have had to of said something!!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,514
Default

G'day Blue!

I had not noticed before that you were an Aussie!

There were perhaps a hundred things that I wanted to say to the Lady Reporter but after half a second's hesitation I realized that nothing could bridge the gulf between my six decades and her youth, between my love of woods, craftsmanship, and history and her cursory attention to her task, where her mind was clearly elsewhere, possibly with her boyfriend or the gossip of her friends and all the attendant excitements of youth. I envied her!

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 05:47 AM   #9
oinkitt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Your reply or lack their off.

I can understand why you took that tact.

Stupid people are lucky - they dont have any problems, coz they dont realise they have any!

As for being an Aussie - remember I bought your disc/book from you - the first one you posted to this part of the world - finished any more since then?

I am actually from New Zealand but I have lived longer in Oz ,couldnt stand the climate back home.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 08:32 AM   #10
Bob Gardner
Moderator
 
Bob Gardner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: The North of England
Posts: 1,514
Default

Ah Yes!

My British prop book is waiting to be published. And my book on German props is about ready, which means its about six months from publication.

With kind regards to NZ and OZ.

Bob
__________________
Bob Gardner
Author; WW1 British Propellers, WWI German Propellers
http://www.aeroclocks.com

Last edited by Bob Gardner; 11-14-2009 at 12:45 PM.
Bob Gardner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.