Sunday, September 20, 2009

Final Mast Assembly

So far so good on the mast assembly.  It looks like the mast is straight to +/- 1/8 inch or so.  The two halves separated nicely and there was ample epoxy squoze out from the joints.

I made plugs for the base, partners and tip.  The practice mast section I made earlier came in handy as I just traced the interior octagon onto some scrap timber and bandsawed the plugs slightly under-size in a few minutes.

 The mast base plug is a bit smaller due to the taper but I did not bother to lay it out accurately, just eyeballed it and it fits fine.  The mast tip plug started out as a tapered octagon but I quickly gave up on that and just hit it with a belt sander to get a tapered roundish shape.  All the plugs are set in thickened epoxy so the shapes and fit are not critical.  The base plug is about 1.5 inches thick.  The partners plug is two 1.5 inch thick plugs back to back.  And the tip plug is about 6 inches long.  That should be strong enough.  I drilled holes through the partners and base plugs for ventilation if need be.  I might make a little screw in plug for the base hole to use while sailing and leave it out when mast is in storage, maybe.

Base and partners plugs dry fit

Looking at the partners plug from mast base, dry fit

Mast tip plug dry fit

Mast interior coated with epoxy prior to assembly

Lots of thickened epoxy on plugs

I keep being surprised at how much epoxy this is taking.  I used about 12 oz total for the interior coating, bedding of plugs and joining of the two halves.  That brings the total epoxy used on the mast so far to about 26 oz.  That's 2 pounds of epoxy,  lot of weight!

Total time to date:  93 hrs

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