Fan Blade Hoarding Pays Off

So, over the decades, I have accumulated a lot of Fan Blades, (from hanging my new fans and other people’s). Rain through a window in back actually damaged a dozen once, so I tossed them, but I still have a couple dozen that were in the inner workroom.
Decided to see if they were a cost effective resource. Looking at the prices on-line, I could see $10 to $15 for a cheap set of 5, and this compares well with 1/4 inch hardwood. These are tapered, 5 to 6 inch wide at 20+ inches long, so a goodly plank.

BUT, while examining the on-line ones, they are all MDF with a veneer face. So that meant I needed to tear into these old blades and see what I really got.
Sure enough, the one checked was MDF on both sides of a wooden core and thick veneers on the outer sleeve. So the pricing would have to compare to MDF costs, not hardwood planks.

Okie Dokie, it all burns, so on to phase three. I had already made a 1/4 basswood Dragon and Phoenix medallion from an image I had found in stock pictures and manipulated for a deep engrave, so I tried it on a fan blade.

It was harder to cut through than the basswood, but the engrave detail came out fine. Even though the basswood one has not been cleaned yet, you can see the details are similar.

End story, I like the basswood better because it cleans up well and cuts through with less fuss, but if all you got are a bunch of old fan blades, then you are golden. The blade does not want to warp up as much as 1/4 wood when cleaning, so there is that.
Anything that requires a beefy stock will do well with these.

If nothing else, I got a lot of scrapper stuff to experiment on.


So your plan is to laser a set of fan blades so that when they spin around it creates a cool, possibly psychedelic, effect? Please tell me that’s your plan.


Had an overhead fan stop working on me Sunday. Thought about repairing it but turns out I had a new still boxed identical fan in the attic from when the house was built 13 years ago. Quickly replaced.

Saw the extra fan blades and immediately thought laser material. So they are sitting next to the Glowforge.


Could possibly also design in such a way that it makes a sound as it spins. Each blade could be designed to harmonize with the others creating a nice, meditative tone for which to relax by. :slight_smile:


Knowing my luck I’d wind up with fan blades that said Alexa or Okay Google.

I have both a Pixel and the latest generation nVIDIA shield. Have you ever tried to talk to two devices at once? I pretty much don’t. I’m amused enough by the TV and Alexa trying to have a conversation.


Or drive you completely insane :rofl:


It all depends on how far the drive is?

Seriously, exotic blades on old fans sound really awesome! (Even when not humming a tune) add a fiery light fixture with dragons circling, or as simple as looking lika a raffia weave, and you could sell faster than you could make them. and if many folk with a Glowforge made them there would still be each a unique design and still sell faster than they could be supplied


Fun idea! :smile:


Acrylic inlays…a few leds and it’s time to DISCO !!


Can you do that for wind turbines?

Unless you are talking engraving it would really mess up the carefully calculated airfoil shape on a small one, and the big ones would not fit on the crumb tray. Running as slow as a good ceiling fan just stirring the air you can really appreciate then.

Engraved on a small wind turbine folk would get dizzy and fall over trying to read them!


Probably make the cows stop giving milk as well…


Probably whipped cream…

Interesting use of materials there and a very Feng Shui image to boot!