Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Making a mast and painting

I had a small but heavy spruce mast and spars from an old balance-lug from which the sail had long rotted-away. However, she needed a mizzen-mast of about 9' long and I decided to have a go at making one. I had a couple of 18' lengths of 3/4" by 1 3/4" douglas fir left over from the repairs to the boat and these were cut down and glued together.
Three lengths of fir glued together
Taper marked
These were planed square and then marked with a taper..

Planed clean

The mast taper was planed on with the spar still square.

Taper planed
A spar gauge was made up to mark the spar for planing and it then becomes eight-sided.

Spar gauge - two pencils and guide pegs
Marking the spar
Corners planed off to the marks - now its eight-sided
The faces were then numbered 1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15 with odd numbers only. This was done to avoid missing one corner whilst turning the eight-sided spar to sixteen..

Numbered faces
Spar planed along its length till it became sixteen-sided. Then re-numbered...

Numbered faces 1-16

Planed again on every corner till it is now at least 32-sided...

Nearly round
Finally a good deal of sandpapering with a coarse grade produced a smooth, round spar.

Finished spar
Well, not quite; it required the head to be rounded and a sheave cut and a taper and heel cut to suit the step and it was given a few coats of Danish Oil.

Now with the boat in the shed I was able to get on and finally paint her. All the new wood was sanded and primed and a couple of coats of white undercoat applied to the above-floor areas followed by a coat of white gloss. The bilges had previously been painted with grey 'Danboline'.
Seats and thwarts had a coat or two of 'woodskin' over the previous coats of 'Sikkens' - I'm trying this in place of varnish - not so glossy but might be easier to maintain.
The topsides were undercoated and painted with a gloss and the bottom painted red. There was no waterline marked on the boat and I spent a whole day with a tight string, level, square and rule transferring a line to the sides of the boat based on where I think she was floating.

Clean glossy white
Thwarts and brightwork treated with 'Woodskin'.
Topsides having two coats
Rubbing strip picked-out in red
Bottom painted - two coats
Finally she's finished and rolled out of the shed..

Floor-boards were given a coat of some non-skid grey

Final jobs are to complete a rudder, step the masts and make some sails...

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