Posted by: Wayne | January 30, 2011

Lots of sticks

Since the last post, I have cleaned up the corners and rounded the mainmast.  I have also ripped, glued up, tapered, and rounded all of the other spars.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures.  With the exception of the mainmast and the bowsprit, each spar is laminated up from two staves, to hopefully minimize warping.  The bowsprit is one big stick of wood.  The mainmast is obviously birdsmouth, as discussed previously.

This afternoon, I laid all of the spars out in the basement and took a family photo.

From left to right: bowsprit, mainmast, main sprit boom, main yard, mizzen mast, mizzen sprit boom, and boomkin.

I did find a few small pitch pockets on the boomkin that will need a little work.  I plan to heat and clean out the pitch, then to fill the cavity with thickened epoxy.  I think there is one small pitch pocket on the mizzen, but that will get the same treatment.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky with the bowsprit.  The wood looked good when I cut it out, but as I planed the taper, I found a little surprise.

Bowsprit other side.

There is a rather sizable knot right in the middle of the lower side, about a foot from the forward end.

Bowsprit knot. Numbers are dimensions in inches.

Now I need to figure out how to deal with this problem.  I do not have enough of the Douglas Fir to cut a second one, and I hate to waste a chunk this large.  I am considering using a chisel to carefully excise the knot, leaving a nice shallow taper on each side, then create a “scab” to match the taper and glue it in place.  The taper should serve the same purpose as a scarf.

Update: Looking closer, it looks like this may not be a knot, just the mother of all pitch pockets.  Either way, it needs to go.

That’s all for today, folks.  It has been a busy week, but a productive one.


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