Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Modified Bird's Mouth Method

Thanks to Joel's comment last week referring me to the Modified Bird's Mouth Method, I looked it up on Duckworks. The modification involves cutting the V-notch a little differently: the notch is cut so the corner of the next stave nests flush with the upper tip of the V (placing the point of the V below the center of the stave). This minor change results in less waste and a thicker wall for the spar. These results are clearly illustrated in the article.

I plan to use the Modified Bird's Mouth Method when I mill, assemble and shape the spars for Gardens. Unfortunately, beginning the spars will be delayed until after Memorial Day as we have some (good) family business to attend to (and I will not have much time for boat building or wood working.) It sure seems to be taking a long time for me to get to these spars...


  1. Glad you chose that method. The best thing about it is how much easier it is to round the mast. Just knock off the corners with a hand plane and that's pretty much it. The conventional method more difficult to get perfectly round without using a lathe or taking a lot of time.

    1. I'm sure I'll be glad, too. The samples I've done using the conventional method took some work to take them to round. I managed to tear up the last one on the lathe - I'm just a beginner on a lathe - so I wasn't too pleased. But knocking off the corners of the modified method with a plane shouldn't be difficult. I can use as is or sand it round from there.