Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spar Making - Part 2

 I already cut out all the pieces necessary to glue up the mast.  Next comes nailing and gluing all the pieces together.  I pre-drilled all the nail holes to prevent wood splitting.  To make sure that there was enough time to glue and nail the mast together before the glue cured, I tapped all the nails in to start them.  Then I mixed the glue and nailed it all together.  Not a very complicated process, but it was a lot of work and did take me the majority of a Saturday.

That's a lot of bronze nails that will hold the mast together.
 Here is the mast after gluing, but before shaping and sanding.  The slot running down the length of the mast is for the bolt rope of the sail to slide along.

The aft side of the mast with the bolt rope groove, (before shaping and sanding).
The base of the mast, before shaping and sanding.

And here is the mast shaped and sanded.  Most of the work was done with a belt sander and hand sanding.  The mast is 18 feet long.  This is a good photo to give you an idea of how long it is.  The boom, (shown in the last blog post) is 9 feet long and also pretty much finished.  Both of them turned out pretty straight.  Since they are held together with nails, I didn't need to clamp them to a workbench with dozens of clamps like I have seen pictures of some people doing.  And the nails will prevent the glue seams from splitting like some people have complained about with this mast design.

Me and my mast.

Oar Making - Part 3, Finishing

   The 8 foot oars are now finished.  A 6" section of the oar is reinforced with 1/8" diameter rope which is wrapped around then epoxied in place. The size of the rope is selected so that the finished diameter fits nicely in the oarlock.  And the position of the reinforced area is carefully selected to match the beam of the boat. 
   Then the oar gets one coat of epoxy and 2 coats of spar varnish (including the epoxied rope), except for the handle, which only gets some lindseed oil.  (The varnish would hurt hands when rowing).  Some bungie cord is braided above the oarlock to make a "button".
   Also shown in the first photo is the 9 foot boom, which is also pretty much done.