Birdsmouth mast experiment.

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by powers, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. powers
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 75
    Location: clearwater, fl

    powers Junior Member

    I would like to start off my first post with a little contribution to the forum. Here is my first birdsmouth jointed wooden mast. This is a 12' mast section with a 2.25” diameter tapered down to 1.5”. It was built to replace the missing upper aluminum mast sections of an old Force 5. For those that don't know the original mast is an aluminum tube. It came in 3 sections that fitted together to form a 20' tapered mast. It is free standing (no stays) and the when the vang is tightened it bends the mast back.

    This whole project is based on the fact that I had in my possession all the materials just laying around but no money for the $200 replacement and besides the boat is hardly worth $200.

    I did a 15 minute noob style internet study of other builds on the net and duplicated, well sort of.
    I used some cheep 1X pine lumber from the hardware store clear of knots of course and west system epoxy, probably not the best combinations but oh-well. The whole thing is wrapped with a fiberglass cloth tape. Remember this thing has to be flexed.

    This project was easier that I thought it would be. It took about 10 hours total stretched over about 4 evenings. Any ways here are some pics.
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    homemade table saw.

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    notice what the screws are doing.

    [​IMG]
    cutting the taper.

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    dry fit. Hey that table saw makes a good jig too.

    [​IMG]
    ahh, planing is very relaxing.

    [​IMG]
    mmmmm. fiberglass.

    [​IMG]
    the equation.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    Well, you're off to a good start with your first post; everyone likes pictures. And you made the job look easy.

    Of course, being an old carpenter I'm interested in how people use tools, too. I spent as much time studying your table saw setup as I did looking at the mast....
     
  3. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    LOL,
    Me too, your saw set up caught my eye. A good hand makes do with what's available. All the best. Welcome! :)
     
  4. powers
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 75
    Location: clearwater, fl

    powers Junior Member

    [​IMG]
    cool, well forget the mast, check out my saw. Iv made a few of these, and when im done i scrap them.
     
  5. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
    Posts: 774
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 423
    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    Can do! People like you made this country the place it is. Stepping down from my soapbox before I embarrass myself.

    So I'm just dying to see more of your po' boy shop creations.
     
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Quam prospectum!

    hoytedow Helmsman

    Ditto.
     
  7. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
    Posts: 3,497
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    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I want to try the birdsmouth approach for myself sometime, so your dimension data will be handy, thanks. I like the way the staves self-align.

    I didn't trust my ability to set things up accurately enough for the bird's mouth method so I made my first mast using the method on the right of your figure, except that I bevelled both edges of the staves at 22.5 deg. I set the 8 staves up flat held together by strips of duct tape, applied glue and rolled it up, then added a few cable ties here and there. It worked fine.

    The other difference was, I routed the stave edges before ripping them off the plank edge, one at a time. Router and saw were both hand-held. I was surprised how easy it went and how well it turned out. I didn't apply glass so I didn't round off the corners, I left it 8 -sided to avoid weakening it too much. The thing that amazed me was, the mast was perfectly straight even though some of the staves were not.

    Welcome to the forum: I hope you will post some pictures of the boat under sail!
     

  8. powers
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 75
    Location: clearwater, fl

    powers Junior Member

    Yep super easy and fun to do. I put the sails up today and the mast looked very promising. I was able to crank down on the mainsheet and the sail shaped nicely. I have a few other not so interesting repairs to do before going out but I will conclude this post soon with some more pics and performance notes. Thanks everyone for your replies and comments and please visit my new post on a whole boat design I have been kicking around.

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/boat-i-want-build-sailing-dinghy-design-32386.html

    Yea, I know, the new guy builds a fancy stick and now thinks he's can build a whole boat!
     
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