Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mizzen Mast Assembly

Moving at what seems a snail's pace...

This morning I taped the #4 and #8 staves using Dow tape used for the seams on blue-board insulation (the contractor's crew is re-siding the house this week so I got a roll of tape from them). The tape is very thin and very sticky (but I tested it on a short bit of DF to make sure it'll come off - it will). Since the tape is about three times as wide as the staves, I trimmed it flush with the staves. It took two razor blades per side per stave as the blades gummed up with adhesive off the tape.

(Okay... as I look at that photo I don't understand it and I was there; how in the heck do I expect anyone else to make sense of it?)

While waiting for my helpers, I realized the work set-up was all wrong - we'd have to apply the epoxy and then lift each stave over our heads to get it to the assembly table. Not such a good idea… So, I rearranged the space to eliminate the up-and-over maneuver.

(Apparently my photography skills lag behind what I think I've done as I don't have the "Before-and-After" photos I thought I had...)

Half my help forgot today was the day so when Dave showed up at I described the process (neat epoxy, thickened epoxy, assembly and clamping) to him. Things went amazingly well and we had the mast glued up in less than an hour (including the instruction time. We got good squeeze-out (not too much, but enough). Checked the alignment - found a slight bow - but, with light pressure, managed to slip everything straight. The mast is fully supported - including the taper - and it looks good. It will sit untouched until tomorrow afternoon when I'll fit the plugs, coat the inside of the mast with epoxy and glue the whole thing up.

Things went well today - better than I expected. One improvement would be to have two people applying epoxy while a third mixed the next batch. That would speed things up and give us a bit more working time than we had today (one concern was the epoxy would kick before we started assembly; it didn't but I suspect we were close).

Next up: Plugs, gluing, sanding/rounding, varnishing... And then on to the Main Mast...

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