Re: New wodden mast

Posted by Steve Miller on Dec 30, 2005

The Readers Digest Version:

Sitka Spruce is the lightest and normally the wood of choice but can be hard to find. For a 12' boat the mast is going to be pretty small anyway so Douglas Fir is as strong and only a bit heavier and is highly recommened for spars as well as your boom. Use CVG stock and laminate to rough size with growth rings alternating to help keep your sticks straight. Scarf to length before you laminate if needed. I'd use a 12/1 ratio for a spar scarf.

Use epoxy to glue. Coat each side with plain unthicken epoxy, let it soak in for a few minutes then butter one side with epoxy thickened with wood flour to mustard thickness. Clamp with moderate pressure so you don't squeeze all the glue out. Be sure to have your setup so you can clamp it straight and true - saw horse or workbench or even floor. It is suggested to alternate the directions the clamps face to even out the torque.

Once the glue has set for a few days then plane one side flat if needed and cut to 8 sided on your table saw. Now you can use a plane or spoke shave to take it to 16 sides (or your table saw) then plane or spoke shave to 32 sides, 64 then round. A small block plane will get it very smooth and round at the end.

Sand using a cut belt sander belt and put in blocks at each end as handles like you are buffing your shoes.

Pretty soon it will be round and smooth and very pretty.

Finish with oil or varnish.

If the mast is tapered then cut that on your saw when you 8 side it or even before you laminate. I'll leave that to some one else to describe.

Have fun!

In Response to: New wodden mast by Darrell Hilton on Dec 30, 2005