Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Building ‘Sharpy’ Part 9

Rounding the Mast

Top of the Mast

Bottom of the Mast

The Mast

The forecast was for showers in the afternoon, and there certainly were heavy ones and a clap of thunder, but that did not stop me working on the mast. Between 1000 and 1230 I did the general shaping of the mast, without imparting a curved circumference; i.e., I planed the laminated Douglas fir so that it was tapered from one end to the other. The building plan gives very precise measurements to 1/16 of an inch, and working to that tolerance requires skill with the plane, but slight irregularities can be smoothed away by using a sandpaper hand tool.

After a lunch break lasting half-an-hour I was back on the job; this time I planed away the remaining edges to shape the mast into a tapered spar with a circular cross-section. I finished the shaping by using the sandpaper hand tool. Meanwhile heavy showers periodically drenched the piles of shavings from the morning’s session, but I had moved the workbench into the garage where I could continue working.

About mid-afternoon, my daughter and her three young children arrived on the scene. The tiny boys have got to that stage where they ask many questions and when you answer them, they invariably ask ‘Why?’ So you patiently explain why, only to be presented with another ‘Why?’ and so on. As I’m a natural teacher, I had to show the trio how to use the tools lying around on the floor and the bench. I was then saved from further distractions by my daughter taking the boys to the woods to look for conkers, nuts, etc. Needless to say, they returned about an hour later, drenched to the skin, but they were overjoyed with their finds wrapped in plastic bags.

I persevered and finished smoothing the spar before rounding the top and squaring the bottom so that it will fit into a socket at the bottom of the mast box – yet to be made when I build the hull. The mast was completed at 1645, which meant I took six hours and fifteen minutes to do it.

The timber and the plywood for building the boat arrived yesterday; therefore there’s nothing to stop me cutting out the hull panels and assembling them. The arrival of cold weather could make using epoxy problematical, but I’ll try dealing with that situation when it arises, which it is sure to do.

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