5 Trace patterns for roughing out the approx shape of a new prop.
6 Culver props in shown in four stages of trimming and sanding.
7 New prop with finish applied being put into curing cabinet.
8 Jaunita Smith holds a prop stained and finished with a dark walnut look for that special look some customers desire.
9 Prop carving machine. Pattern on top, new prop being carved on bottom.
10 Prop carving machine. Pattern on top, new prop being carved on bottom.
11 New prop on balancing fixture.
12 New prop with finish applied being put into curing cabinet.
13 Rough sanding hub after carving and trimming.
14 New prop on balancing fixture.
15 New prop on balancing fixture.
16 New prop on balancing fixture.
17 James rough trimming hub after prop carved on machine.
18 James rough trimming hub after prop carved on machine.
19 Prop after James trims the hub.
20 Sanding the hub after trimming.
21 Prop carving machine. Pattern on top, new prop being carved on bottom.
22 Drilling Bolt holes.
23 The final step is the application of the finish to the propeller. The propeller is then allowed to cure in the sealed finish cabinet. After the propeller is cured, the balance is checked one more time before the propeller is declared "finished".
24 The final stage of the process is the balancing of the propeller. In this shot, a prop is setting on their propeller balancing fixture. During this process, all fans in the shop are turned off and no one is allowed to even walk by the fixture as just the wind from a person´s passage will have an effect.
25 If there is any adjustment needed of the tracking, the propeller is carefully shaved in this fine adjustment planer to get the tracking exact.
26 Once the final hand-sanding is done, the tracking of the propeller is checked. In this photo, Larry Smith shows Tom Glaeser, Sharon Starks and Monty Graves how they check the tracking of the propeller.
27 Then the final smoothing of the blades of the propeller is done by power sander followed by final smooth hand sanding.
28 After the "rough" propeller is removed from the carving machine, the hub is carefully shaped by hand by one of our skilled craftsmen.
29 In this shot, you can see how a block of wood slowly becomes a propeller blade.
30 As the propeller blank is turned over and over, the sharp saw blade exactly follows the lines of the template and you get an exact copy of the blade on top.
31 In this shot, Gene shows Sharon Starks of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol the propeller carver in action.
32 New prop on balancing fixture.
33 Now the fun really starts. Here Gene Smith stands with our custom propeller carving machine. His left hand is resting on the propeller template. Beneath that is the propeller blank that will be transformed from a long block of wood into a beautiful propeller.
34 Antique style prop being carved in the carving machine.
35 From our collection of over 300 propeller templates, we then choose the template exactly matched to your plane´s engine and performance characteristics desired.
36 Tracing out the basic shape of the propeller so layers can be rough cut out of the blanks before gluing. Larry Smith shows Mark Pierce and Tommy of The Dawn Patrol of Kansas City how it's done.
37 Here is a propeller blank after lamination and ready to be cut into its basic shape.
38 After talking to you about your aircraft and engine combination and the performance you anticipate from your aircraft we start the process by laminating select layers of hard maple and birch wood together to the thickness we need for your propellers diameter and pitch. The laminations are glued together in our custom designed press. The pressure used in the press is calibrated exactly to the type of wood and number of laminations of the propeller blank.
39 Culver Props can also modify your 'other' prop to meet the demands of your plane. In this photo, Gene Smith and Shane Stark look at Butch Witlock's prop from his Nieuport 12 and show him how they can recut it to meet the requirements of his new Valley Engineering firewall-forward engine package.