Monday, 26 August 2013

Birdsmouth Mast - Day 2

Today I managed to clean down the scarf joints armed with my Farriers File - Thanks Andrew for the hint!  The scarf joints turned out well and the staves dead straight, thanks to the aluminium ladder which I rigged up hastily as a bench.

The duck tape worked fine to hold the scarf joint together while the epoxy set over night.  Additionally I lightly clamped all the staves together separated by polythene sheets against the side of the ladder which further ensured that everything was held straight in both vertical and horizontal planes.

Then assisted by Brian, we ran the staves through the planer to clean up the saw marks and reduce the staves to their final thickness, 13.6mm.   Once again the ladder made for a very serviceable outfeed table.

Once we had the staves dimensioned we cut the lengths to the approximate size of 23' which allowed us remove several feet from the least attractive ends of the staves and also resulted in the scarf joints being positioned more randomly along the mast.

Next came the process of cutting the birdsmouth V notches in the sides of the staves.  We set up the table saw using two featherboards which resulted in a consistent clan notch cut from the staves, except for the last few inches where the stave ran past the feather board.  This shouldn't cause any issue as we have cut the staves extra long by some 7 inches.

The featherboards kept manners on the staves as they were passed through the table saw, however on the second pass of each stave the saw produced needle shard cutoffs one of which was expelled into my finger with some force, resulting in a badly swollen finger...So my advice would be to be watchful for this and wear gloves, which I subsequently did and benefited from their protection as further needles were projected from the saw.

So next on the agenda is to cut the taper into the staves on the side opposite to the V notch.  I have not yet decided whether to make up a jig for te table saw or simply place all the staves side by side and use an electric and hand plane to cut out the tapers.

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