Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update to Styrofoam Airplane Propeller for VBS

After I made the last propeller I found an easier and faster way of making it.  This way saves a lot of sanding and shaping.
It ended up looking like this.

 I took three paint cans, one gallon, one quart and one pint.  I traced around them onto a piece of 2" thick styrofoam.

I cut them out and glued them together with Gorilla Glue.

Then I took a 3/4 inch paddle bit and shoved it down into the center of the biggest circle.  The paddle bit keeps the styro from stopping and makes it easier to sand. 

Then I hooked it up to my drill press. If you don't have a drill press don't worry you can just clamp your regular drill to the side of a table or something so it would be stable.  I don't really think that it makes a difference if it is going up or down.

Next I turned the drill press on and used a piece of 80 grit sandpaper and sanded it down.  The paddle bit keeps the styro from spinning around the middle while it is being sanded, and the smaller circles mean you don't have to sand so much.

I also cut some grooves in the nose once I had it sanded smooth.  I just folded the sandpaper with the grit side out, and stuck the folded sandpaper into the styro and left it there.  It carved a perfect groove without me having to struggle with it.

After I got it shaped into the cone, I glued it to the propeller so it looks like this


  1. Where is thick cheap styrofoam readily available? Awesome article, BTW.

    1. I get my styrofoam at Home Depot. Lowes also has it but the stuff I have found has a silver backing on it (that has to be peeled off), and it is twice the price.

    2. Update to this reply. Home Depot has quit selling styrofoam in the 2" thick sheets. So now my only option is the stuff from Lowes with the silver backing on it.