If you are unfamiliar with the construction of a bird's mouth mast you may wonder how these pieces of spruce...
become this this.
Although I had seen a cross section of such a mast, I had never seen the construction from start to finish. The completed mast for the Danish Spidsgatter Smil would be 40 feet tall with a taper from 5" at the base to 2"at the head of the mast.
|James did the math to determine the taper of the staves from the top of the mast to the base.|
|Measurement and calculations of stations and tapers to shape the staves|
|The stations on the strongback are covered in plastic so that the glued staves do not stick|
|This is the top end of the mast, the circumference will be planed down to a 2" radius.|
|This is the first dry fit using hose clamps assuring tight connections.|
|Shawn is putting protective plastic down on staves #5 and 8#. So that when #1-4 are glued together they only stick together forming one half of the whole mast.|
|The staves are glued together with a paste of epoxy and wood flour. |
The stave on the top of the picture shows a scarf joint.
16-18' boards were joined to make them 40' in total
|James walks to the end to turn glued stave #3 to abutt with #2.|
|Hose clamps are added to the smaller end first|
|As Shawn tightens the clamps down the line James watches for extra epoxy to squeeze between the staves.|
|the second half is glued up and curing|
|Andy planing an octagonal brace|
|The two halves lay side by side. They are ready for wires, bracing and the addition of the mast step piece.|
|The octagonal brace is fit for structure at the position of the spreaders.|
|The octagonal piece is transformed into a crown brace on the bandsaw|
|A crown brace distributes the stress load.|
|Mast light wires are strung through the inside before the final glue up of the two sides.|
|The white tub protected the wires from being glued together. After the glue was cured the wires were pulled out the side of the mast, through a hole, about a foot up from the bottom.|
|Piles of shavings from the initial rounding of the mast. Next, concave pieces of styrofoam and sand paper|
were used to sand it even and round.
|Purpleheart wood 'hounds' where the mast bands set for rigging and sail track mounts|
|The mast gets its top coats of varnish.|