Sanded the prop -- now out of balance??? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-11-2009 Thread Starter
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Sanded the prop -- now out of balance???

Yes, I used an orbital grinder and went at our ugly looking prop. Now the prop looks shiny with a few small copper circles, where the zinc must have come off.

I did one blade at a time, and I got better at doing it as I went, so by the 3rd blade I was able to get to the shiny brass while taking much less of the metal. Part of it was learning how deep the copper circles went and being less aggressive on later blades and not go ing after them as much.

I'm thinking, yikes! Did I just put my prop out of balance? And if so, do I have to send it somewhere to get balanced, or does it not matter?

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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If you took off a lot of metal from one blade and almost none from another than yes, it is now out of balance. If you run it I’m sure you will chew up your cutlass bearing or your stuffing box. Send it to Hale Propeller in Old Saybrook CT. They will balance it to your motor/transmission combination. In the future you might want to consider something WAY less abrasive such as emery paper or 120 grit sand paper.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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What possessed you to use an ORBITAL GRINDER to clean off the prop? A wire brush wheel would have done a decent job with far less damage potential.

Sailingdog

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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HA HA HA, I was not going to say that but I did my very best to imply it. Nothing like using a cannon to kill a fly!

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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Bullhorn-at-mouth...

Sir...put your hands up and step away from the grinder!
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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Bene--

People with a little experience can usually avoid making dumb mistakes. On the other hand, one only gains experience by making dumb mistakes.

Unless you really ground the heck out of the blades you may not feel much difference in the running gear although the cutlass bearing will likely wear a little more quickly. Most folding blade props are not particularly well balanced anyway and adjust somewhat by blade angle. If you've a fixed blade prop and it feels "off", a prop-shop can probably grind and re-balance it at little cost.

Live'n learn. Next time use a little RydLyme or a similar product to remove the calcium deposits. You might also try "Speed Prop" or a similar dressing that limits growth on the prop.

Good luck...

s/v HyLyte

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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What you

What you are seeing is dezincification of the prop and it was already ruined before you touched it..

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post #8 of 13 Old 06-11-2009 Thread Starter
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Correction, I used a sander (an orbital sander) on the prop, not a grinder. I was amazed at how easily it took off the metal.

It's a 3-bladed, fixed prop.

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Last edited by Bene505; 06-11-2009 at 05:34 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-11-2009
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Hey,

I have no idea if you prop is dezincified or not.

I doubt the prop is now out of balance. After the boat has been in the water for a period of time, you'll get barnacles and other growth, and they don't seriously unbalance the prop.

Good luck,
Barry

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Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #10 of 13 Old 06-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

I have no idea if you prop is dezincified or not.

I doubt the prop is now out of balance. After the boat has been in the water for a period of time, you'll get barnacles and other growth, and they don't seriously unbalance the prop.

Good luck,
Barry

Rick
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