Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gluing the mast halves

Yesterday I rounded the edges on the sprit with a router which means the gluing table is clear so now we can work on the mast. The plans call for a box section with epoxy fillets which is then rounded using the normal progression of 4-sided to 8-sided to 16-sided to round. 

The first step is to make the two 'U' shaped halves, insert the mast foot and halyard sheaves and then glue the two halves together. Wharram suggests using screws to temporarily clamp the square pieces onto the larger flat pieces then remove and fill with thickened epoxy. Here is our plan to avoid screw holes showing in the final piece, though we ended up angling the screw to provide more depth.

The last thing we want is for the fir to split so each screw location s pre-drilled with a countersink bit. Here is the bit set for the right depth and the angle we decided to use.

To get the spacing right we used 1 1/2" wide cutoffs as spacer blocks. the square pieces are 1" square so that makes a 3 1/2" diameter mast.

Once both halves were aligned and screwed we could back out the screws, coat epoxy and then re-assemble.  It was a long day but getting the spars done will be a huge landmark on the way to sailing this spring.

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