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Old 01-09-2009, 15:06   #1
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Best Tool for Cleaning the Prop?

What's the best way to buff out that bundle of barnacles at the end of my propshaft? Drill/Grinder Brush? Flapper Wheel?
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Old 01-09-2009, 15:20   #2
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What's the best way to buff out that bundle of barnacles at the end of my propshaft? Drill/Grinder Brush? Flapper Wheel?
I use a heavy 2.5 inch all metal chisel (like for beating on concrete). The chisel has been ground down to a sharp edge and it gets off the big ones. Next I grind a sharp edge on a metal putty knife (1") and use that to scrape off the remaining "barnacle butts."

If you are hauled out, you can put some acid on the growth and that will dissolve it. Vinegar will work slowly if you soak over night. Toilet bowl cleaner will work much quicker, but don't forget to rinse will when done. For the end of propshaft you can soak a rag in acid and wrap it around shaft. Rag keeps acid from evaporating and will continue to work for longer time. Don't forget to wear gloves.
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Old 01-09-2009, 15:46   #3
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Sand paper on a strip....you can get it at Lowes "Marine" or "Marine" Depot in the plumbing section
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Old 01-09-2009, 16:14   #4
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No belt sanders, huh?
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Old 01-09-2009, 19:13   #5
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Brightwork on toe rails and hand rails....yes Virginia...I have a story about that. It will curl your.......

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No belt sanders, huh?
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Old 01-09-2009, 22:52   #6
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Flapper?

So no more 80 grit flapper disks on my angle grinder...
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Old 01-09-2009, 23:51   #7
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Clean the prop while in the water or directly after haul, when it's still wet.

We use those 5-in-1 scrapers you find in hardware stores. They have curved sections for the shaft, mean pointy end for hard to reach maxprop parts etc. They rust like crazy though but we rinse with fresh and spray some Boeshield and put it in a ziplock bag for next time.

During haulout, after cleaning the prop we polish it like there's no tomorrow. This doesn't keep growth off but makes it easy to clean.

Also, we love to use the 3M metal finishing pads. They look much like scotchbrite but these are purple-ish colored.

ciao!
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:16   #8
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Once you've got the large lumps off, a wire brush on an electric drill works very well. Don't forget the safety specs.
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:19   #9
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Once you've got the large lumps off, a wire brush on an electric drill works very well. Don't forget the safety specs.
But make sure that the wire in the wire brush is brass not steel




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Old 02-09-2009, 06:36   #10
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Clean the prop while in the water or directly after haul, when it's still wet.

We use those 5-in-1 scrapers you find in hardware stores..
These scrapers can be great but there's a huge difference in quality of these tools. When you go after barnacles you need a stiff, sharp tool. The cheap scrapers have a bendy blade, like a putty knife, and that's not going to do you any good at all.

I use a 1 1/2" wood chisel these days. I've made a custom handle for it that's about 14" long. It allows me to get both hands on it for those stubborn critters. It works very well on barnacles...now the occasional oyster is a different story.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:32   #11
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I have tried a variety of tools, the most effective has been a HD 3" angled chisel scraper. Ace hardware sells a non SS version w/ plastic handle; after each use rinse w/ fw and coat w/ corrosionX or the like and it will last for years. Remember to wear gloves. If anyone finds a SS version, please post a source.

Steve T
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:39   #12
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I use a 1 1/2" wood chisel these days. I've made a custom handle for it that's about 14" long.
You can get cheaper wood turning chisels that have a double handed handle, and would achieve what you want.

Personally have yet to find any critter that can hold onto a prop when hit with a really powerful water jet washer (commercial - not the ones for the general public)
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:28   #13
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How's about I knock off the majority and dump the prop in a bucket of 20% phosphoric acid and water for a bit. (We doan need no steenking props!)

Just kidding! (NOT!)
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:14   #14
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For in the water use I find a Cetmi bayonette works best. I have a lanyard that goes around my wrist so I don't loose it. It is pointy enough to get into all the little places and as it has never been sharpened(Yes Virginia, only bone heads sharpen bayonettes, they aren't knives you know) it pops the little devils off without scatching the heck out of my prop. With my toes tucked under the keel and my heavy(6mm) wet suit as floatation I can work with both hands.

I don't know if the prop drag makes much difference on my boat but I DO know that even a light covering of small critters will make a HUGE difference in my speed .........m
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:29   #15
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I have to agree with Nick. The 5-in-1 scraper works great in or out of the water. Mine belonged to my Dad, so it's old and a lot beefier than the one in this pic. It'll get enough off so that a wire brush and sandpaper can polish off the rest.
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