Making a birdsmouth hollow mast for Gwragedd Annwn part IV

We have had over 20cms (almost 8″) of rain at the house.  It has been very rainy and more rain is predicted.  I decide to wet sand the mast tomorrow.  Well, it is now tomorrow and it is supposed to rain all day today.  I was all set up to wet sand the Mast and Masthead plug in the rain.  Would you not know it…no rain today, but the temperature is just over 13° C.

Wet sanding the mast in the not raining.  I am using 350 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

I have a margarine container with some hot water with a little dish soap.  I really want the varnish to stick to the mast, so I am making sure that the mast has a good bonding surface…the soap will wash off any “anime Blush” that there may be on the mast.  

While sanding, I find a seam that still needs to be filled.

Well, there is a change of plans.  I am going to fill a few minor flaws that I have found while sanding.  I will live to varnish another day.

I mix up a small amount of epoxy and a touch of sanding dust and go around the mast, filling the few flaws that I have found.  To keep the epoxy in place, I put a piece of packing tape over the epoxy.  Sort of like a band-aid.

Fixing a few minor flaws.

Well, this is a change of plans.  I decide that since I cannot varnish the mast until the epoxy cures, I might as well go all the way with my other “idea”.  Generally, the base of free-standing masts are reinforced on the inside, as there is a lot of stress placed on the mast base while sailing.  I am going to wrap my mast base with epoxy & cloth to reinforce it.  This will also keep the mast from being damaged where it goes through the mast partners (the thwart).  I will still leather the mast at thwart level. (about 16″ up) to reduce chafing.

A layer of cloth for the base of the mast.

I used 6oz. cloth left over from “Paul’s Canoe build”.  I am putting epoxy & cloth from the mast base to about 27″ up.  

Cloth epoxy saturated.  As before, I am rotating the mast every 30 minutes or so.  No epoxy drips yet!  I have brought my shop “plant-pot” heater over to keep the epoxy a little warmer to speed curing.  
Just for fun, I throw a coat of varnish on to the Masthead sheave plug.

I intend to wrap the Mast/Masthead plug joint with silver reflective tape when I am done.  Hopefully I can wet sand the mast base, the filled minor flaws and start to varnish tomorrow.

Good rowing to you,

Mike

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