Spruce veneer covering metal mast

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by kellyp08, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. kellyp08
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    kellyp08 New Member

    I have a classic schooner in Palma Mallorca, Spain (see pic). She has awlgripped stainless steel (yes, stainless steel) masts and booms. I was thinking about covering the spars with a thin sitka spruce veneer epoxied over the awlgrip (solely for "cosmetic " reasons). Does anyone have any experience with this? Any advice (beyond leave well enough alone)?
     

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  2. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Experience: no.

    But I would still be worried about different rates of thermal expansion. Have you considered a faux grain paint if the mast has large areas that aren't rubbed in ordinary use? This video shows a fellow making a panel -- http://youtu.be/u_fRpJUyBDg
     
  3. kellyp08
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    kellyp08 New Member

    Thanks

    I also thought of this and rejected it because I thought that it wouldn't look "natural". But the video that you referred me to was very helpful and makes me "re-think" my original idea. Also, the masts are keel stepped, and I could experiment with the method on the "in-cabin" portion of the masts (and awlgrip over it if I didn't like the "look") Thanks very much!!!
     
  4. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    A thought just occurred to me: is there a nearby boat to you with wooden mast made with birds mouth technique? It would give you something to reference. Also, you could try to practice with sections of pipe of similar diameter to your mast.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A faux wooden paint job if done right, would be difficult to distinguish from an actual wooden mast. It's a time consuming job, especially on stick that large, but very doable and aesthetically distinctive. I've done a few and other than the bong made when a halyard slaps the stick, you just can't tell, unless you touch it and feel the cool metal.

    A spruce veneer could work, though you'll probably want to use G-Flex to bond it down, to absorb the difference in expansion qualities. This would add a fair bit of weight to an already heavy set of poles, but likely not much of a detriment.
     
  6. JosephT
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    JosephT Senior Member

    With the flexing of the mast it would seem inevitable the veneer would eventually delaminate. I concur with Par a simulated wood paint job may be a better option. Found an interesting thread on grain painting from a famous woodworker...might be worth a look. Touching up paint would be a lot easier to sand or strip off than veneer in my opinion. The adhesive is typically very gummy and a mess.

    http://www.bobvila.com/articles/2149-grain-painting-brushes/
     
  7. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Thought about a vinyl wrap? I'm not sure if they come in wood grain finishes but they look quite good and there is no real weight penalty. I've seen a few masts done that way now and it looks surprisingly good.
     
  8. kellyp08
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    kellyp08 New Member

    Hi; Your suggestion of getting a section of pipe to practice and perfect the faux wood-painting technique is excellent. Thanks!
     
  9. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    To dress up the section inside use the roll top desk technique. Glue your wood veneer strips to canvas, route out several channels of say 1in. wide by 1/8 deep to accept brass banding. Wrap this around the mast section and band it in place. If you ever have to pull the mast it would be a simple matter to release the banding and remove the veneer. I used a similar technique to cover the center post (one leg) in my custom built one legged dining table. In regard to painting, plasticizing, veneering the exterior section , WHY ?? Too much time on your hands ?Too much money ? I can't help you with the former but I do have a hole in the water that can help with the latter :D . ( Stainless is somewhat difficult to bond paint to, Vinyl is easily damaged, and wood veneer in addition to being a nightmare job is just nothing but high maintenance.
     
  10. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The fake paint job appeals, something of an art, I have tried it a couple of times, a blind man on a galloping horse told me he couldn't tell the difference from real wood. Etch primer should work, though how often does SS get painted, rarely I suppose.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Stainless can be tough, though well abated and an epoxy primer, immediately after cleaning will solve all.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Etch primers no good on stainless ? It is almost a sin to paint it, I suppose, the DeLorean car wasn't painted.
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Etch primers can work on stainless, I've just found the epoxies to work better than anything else. Nope, the DeLorean wasn't painted.
     
  14. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    Mmm, "DeLorean wasn't painted" OOps mine is scheduled to be painted this morning :eek:
     

  15. Rurudyne
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    And once you got it going with sniff-starter it would follow any white line. /very old joke
     
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