Simple Propeller Repair Tools
How I repaired Propellers from start to finish - Watch all 6 Youtube videos
Ideal for small outboard shops, light engineering shops or the home handyman already familiar with welding. These simple tools are used in averaging out the propeller pitch and rake to give very speedy repairs. Practically all outboard and sterndrive propellers to 20 inches in diameter can be aligned with this kit. This is the perfect stepping stone for those who wish to get into the propeller repair industry then move up to a more advanced system as their needs grow.
What items are to be made?
The Rake Gauge - Probably the most important tool in the kit! When we think of balancing a propeller we automatically think of weight balancing (dynamic). But it's way more important to have the blades straight and in alignment with each other (statically balanced). Blades that are bent or missing pieces will cause vibrations because they are not holding equal water pressure on each blade. This tool assists in showing you where a propeller is bent and we can also use them to compare rake against new propellers.
The Pitch Gauge - I use this after I align the blades. We have to ensure each blade is cutting through the water at the same angle at different radii. Lastly we check the cup on the trailing edge of the blade. We need to have the cup slightly higher than the leading or cutting edge for it to work efficiently. I have spoken about cup on another page on my web site, but for now let's think about the cup as being there to hold water pressure on the blades. If one cup is lower than the others we will find it to have a vibration effect. So, how important is it to have the pitch measured accurately? Consider this, If I wanted to change pitch on a 15" diameter propeller I would have to physically twist the whole blade around approximately 2 mm to change 1" of pitch. Impact damage bends the blade alignment (rake) it won't twist the blades around. Straighten the blades first then the pitch usually follows.
The Backing Plate - This is a neat little concept. We clamp the backing plate into a vice in either a vertical or horizontal position. Our propellers are mounted to the backing plate in the vertical position for the straightening side of the repair and once we have finished we turn it to the horizontal position for the welding, sanding and finishing off process.
Misc bits & pieces - Included in the box are several threaded rods and mandrels for mounting the propellers to the backing plate. You will also find a spacer and bushes for centralizing the propellers. Oh, and not to forget the steel ruler for measuring pitch.
Measuring Software - You could do all the calculations to measure pitch manually but I created a neat little flash interface for entering the information into to give us our pitch.
What propellers will these tools work with?
Nearly every outboard and most stern drive propellers on the market! Yamaha, Mariner, Mercury, Evinrude, Johnson, Tohatsu, Suzuki, Honda, Chrysler, Volvo. Make some adapters up and repair Volvo Duo props, Mercruiser Bravo propellers etc. This little box contains a business nearly all boat shops could use.
Other equipment required?
The main equipment you will require is an AC/DC TIG welder. The operation and use of a TIG welder is not included with this information. These are readily available on eBay for less than $1000. A standard vice mounted to a work bench, 7" / 5" sanders, file, hammers, welding consumables and a pc to run the measuring software if required.
- Cad Drawings
- Tool Construction Videos
- Pitch Measuring Software
Download the CAD drawings in PDF format so you can start building these tools straight away! There are 4 videos describing how I built the Pitch Gauge, Rake Gauge, Mandrels and the Misc equipment required to use with them. Also included is the pitch measuring software and an explanation on how it works plus a few of my extra tips that kept my sanity when I was running my own business. If you would like to view a demo version of the propeller measuring software included I have sample interaction software here
*** Software download ***
The link to your purchase will be emailed to you within 24 hours of receipt of payment
Software Minimum System Requirements
Windows PC running xp and up
Minimum screen resolution 1024 x 768
Has been tested to work fine on a single core xp netbook with 1 Gb ram
Note: Software user interface is packaged with a 3rd party software that includes Adobe Flash interactions. Due to OS advancement, web browser security settings and anti-virus interventions on newer PCs this package may require advanced user interactions to run or installing it. As we are unable to supply advise for all scenarios we recommend you download and test the operation of our free simple pitch measuring software to verify it will install and run on your system before purchasing the above software.
Simple Propeller Tools ready to go!
A limited number of tools are available.
Before proceeding with purchasing please ensure you have read this article fully to understanding the limitations and advantages of the information I am providing plus you have downloaded and tested our simple pitch measuring software to verify it works on your system. No warranty or refunds of any purchase can be made on the grounds that the software didn't work on your PC or the information was not suitable for your purpose. If you have any questions please contact me for further clarification. The tools and software were designed to give reasonable accuracy in the repair of propellers to 20 inch in Diameter. If you are wishing to repair heavily damaged propellers, stainless steel or propellers to ISO standards then I would highly recommend purchasing an alternate propeller repair system using pitch blocks and computer measuring devices. The information I am providing is based on my own process of "How I repaired propellers" in my own successful propeller repair business and you would need to investigate the suitability of this information, software and equipment for your own applications and country legal requirements. It does not, and is not intended to provide a complete understanding of all aspects of propellers repairs. A true reading and comparison can be easily made against a new propeller. With experience a repairer should be able to achieve a very satisfactory result. Some manufacturer's sizes may be different from actual size measured because of progressive pitch and cup size. It is impossible to list every variable on this web site which would relate to the many scenarios you may come across. People’s lives are at stake if you send them out to sea with a faulty bush a poor blade repair or bad advice. You need to set your standards very high and let’s keep in mind the safety aspect of boating. Make sure you are competent enough in your advice and to make those decisions about what’s a safe repair and what should be basically thrown away. Having said all that the system I used worked successfully for years in a professional propeller repair shop.
The information in this article is subject to change without notice.