Could I make props (propellers) out of Balsa wood for a drone?
Pic related, I'm going to make them for an Eachine H8.
I'd think the issue with wood as opposed to plastic is that it deforms plastically instead of elastically so that as soon as you push it in the hole will expand and there will barely be any tension around the shaft to keep it in sync.
But it might work with harder wood, it might even work with balsa just fine, only way to find out is to try it.
Sure. It's a pretty common practice for rubber free-flight models where weight is important and large, slow-turning propellers offer the best flight times, but it could certainly work for electric too. But as [>>7839340] said, press-fit might be tricky, and a harder wood like birch or bamboo might be better since the prop is small enough that weight isn't a huge issue.
>I'd think the issue with wood as opposed to plastic is that it deforms plastically instead of elastically
But that's not really true. Cellulose is not a ductile material, and any permanent deformation is the result of partial rupture, not yielding.
In any case, one trick I've used with balsa wood for local stiffening/hardening is to impregnate parts with glue, including press-fitment. The easiest way to do this is with thin CA glue (drill a hole, drop glue into hole, and re-drill out to size), but epoxy and wood glue work too if you're after a less brittle joint.
I agree with this one. Props are parts that have to be very efficient and making your own isn't worth it. Make the rest of your drone yourself if you want, every single part, but buy the motors and especially the props.
Also balsa is very soft and will make for horrible props for anything other than a glider or very l ight slow-flyer with RPM less than 2000
OP assuming you're planning on actually carving these yourself it's just not gonna happen, getting the airfoils similar enough that you can correct imbalance with trim is going to be damn near impossible.