Monday, April 25, 2011

Sails Up


To figure out exacly where the boom needs to be attached, you need to raise the Main Sail.


And to figure out where the jibsheet leads need to go, you need to raise the Jib.

It helps that there was virtually no breeze once it started to get dark.

A splash in June looks at least credible now.
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The mast is Up

With a little help from my supervisor.
I managed to get the mast upright.
And I made up the wire stays in place.
It all worked quite well.
But it could do with a little varnish I guess.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Awkward big feckin' stick

My first attempt to step the mast ended rather quickly when I realised I had no way of stopping it from swaying from side to side. It was a bare inch out of the bracket when it became obvious that disaster was beckoning.

For all the remaining lifts, I moved car more than 20' away from the boat !!!

I used a 4 part block and tackle and a 5' gin pole to give me leverage.

Round 2 involved putting 2 dead eyes into the deck. (Since the mast base is over a beam, the dead eyes are screwed into oak, with 1 1/2" screws (ie they ain't coming out any time soon). A pair of tangs about 6' up and some 8mm double braid sorted out the whole side to side thing.

For any such braces, they must be attached in line with the point where the mast pivots.

My second attempt left me realising that a certain amount of give in the two mini side stays would help a lot.

Eventually after a lot of raising and lowering I had the mast approximately vertical, and in it's step.

The step suffers quite badly from the whole operation, I see the need for some form of pivot.

I used some light rope as temporary stays until I get the wire ones sized. But I am now a little concerned about how I would adjust the side stays with a 20' mast hanging out of them.

I am leaning away from peg and pin adjusters to just using good old fashion lashings which can be infinitely adjusted, and can be loosened or tightened without disconnecting them.

Photos will follow, hopefully of a vertical mast, rather than a scene of devastation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A mast Step...

I made up a mast step. It's just half lapped joins, on a plywood base. The plywood is mostly just to give it an extra 1/4" of height, but the alternating grain won't hurt the strength of the step. I thought it turned out quite well.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ticking them off

The todo items that is
  • Glue the mast
  • Plane the mast after gluing and & Round the corners 
  • Sand the mast 
  • install the hardware
    • rudder fittings need bedding
    • standing rigging
The mast step's mostly done.
Varnishing a 20' long mast out of doors is going to require a little bit of thought...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Plaining the Mast

When you glue up a pair of 20' long sticks to make a mast, there's going to be a bit of work with a plane to be done afterwards.

You could use a Power Planer, except that :
  • It's noisy
  • You have to wear Ear Protection.
  • You can't listen to music.
  • It makes a mess (dust and chippings by the bin load).
  • The wood dust means you need to wear a mask.
  • And the dust gets right into your very soul.
  • Your neighbours won't feel the love if you fire up a power planer in the late evening.
  • Power Planers are about as subtle as a Felling Axe.
So out came the Stanley jack plane.

It does have a Hock Blade, (a +4 sharpness modifier).

And I have gotten to the stage where I can sharpen and hone a blade to the point of shaving with it.
You'd be surprised at the difference this makes.

After about 2 hours, swapping between each arm, and alternating between pushing the plane, and pulling it Japanese Style I now have a mast which would no longer looks like builders waste.

That may be an easy task for a Full Time Carpenter, but a 2 hour workout (with breaks to hone the blade) is a lot for a guy who pushes keys for a living.

One thing to note:

Everyone says it 'cause it's true: sharpen more often. 

Every time I honed the blade, I thought "damn, I should have done that 10 minutes ago".

However, as you need to take off the Plane Iron Cap to sharpen / hone, you need to reset the blade each time.

To reset the blade, put the plane down on a flat wooden surface, put the blade into the plane but do not clamp it. Adjust it so that it's resting on the wood. Push it gently down into the wood with your thumb. Clamp the blade. Now that the blade is more or less in the right place it's just fine tuning.