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Thread: Not a major project, but fun

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    13,791

    Not a major project, but fun

    I was looking for something simple to make for the two kids next door and my youngest two grand kids. What I decided to try was a hand launched flying toy. I've seen these toys before, but had never made any. It took several trial and errors to figure out the best way to get equal angles of pitch on each side of the blade. I tried layout lines and hand cutting, but the thin blade wanted to follow the grain too much. I ended up making a jig for my band saw that allowed me to cut each side of each blade at the 10 degree pitch angle I wanted and then reduced the thickness of the trailing edge with a small spoke shave, hand plane and bastard cut file. You need to reduce the blade weight as much as possible and balance it so each half weighs the same relative to the dowel axis. I also found out that the balance between the blade weight and the length of the dowel is pretty important. A dowel that is too short and it tumbles in flight and too long and it just sinks instead of flying up.
    Hand helos.jpg
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 10-13-2021 at 12:02 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,064
    Great idea, funny how what looks simple can be quite complex to build.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Aurora, IL
    Posts
    141
    Looks like you did a great job. I'd be interested in seeing what your jig looks like.
    Dave

    Nothing is idiot-proof for a sufficiently ingenious idiot!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    13,791
    Quote Originally Posted by David Dockstader View Post
    Looks like you did a great job. I'd be interested in seeing what your jig looks like.
    The jig is pretty simple. I used a piece of scrap pine. Tilted the band saw table to 10 degrees an ripped off a strip such that one edge tapered to zero.
    20211013_175318.jpg20211013_175337.jpg
    I marked lines on the end of one of my pieces for the thickness I wanted for the blade plus a little. Then I placed the jig guides on the saw table using double sided tape, so the saw blade was aligned for the bottom cut line on both ends of all the pieces. After I made those 8 cuts (for four propellers), I moved the fence and large guide piece closer to the saw blade to make the upper cut on each propeller. The waste for each propeller was cut free from each hub with a fine tooth trim saw. After that it was all hand work to create an airfoil shape on each side of each propeller. Once I was close to the shape I inserted a dowel and balanced the propeller with the dowel laying flat on my drill press table by removing additional material from the heavy end.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 10-13-2021 at 7:19 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    Pretty cool. I had a friend who made them and I was amazed how they take off.

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