Shaping the Mast

 Pick up a quality hand plane and take a few passes…it is such a rewarding experience.

I absolutely love my Lie Neilson low angle block plane and wish I had about three more.  There is something special about hand planes.  In a world full of digitized complexity, the hand plane stands out as a beacon of simplicity.  They reconnects us to the manual world of yesterday.  They do such a tremendous job, all quietly and smoothly without noise, electricity or complexity.  They alway impress me.

After checking the mast, I decided it was time to start shaping it.  Two hours later this is what I had.


This was so satisfying to build.

I added a touch of thickened epoxy to one 6″ section that had a slight gap in it, otherwise all looked solid and well glued.

 I see the following advantages of the wood mast:

  1. Much warmer than aluminum when handling.
  2. Much quieter than aluminum with a halyard slapping against it during a breeze.
  3. Easily rigged and altered when needed (just fill holes with thickened epoxy).
  4. Provides floatation on a knock down.
  5. Fits the Old World look of the Scamp.
  6. Gives the builder the distinct satisfaction of having built their own mast.


I wondered if I was going to need an electrical hand planer for this stage, but it was entirely unnecessary.  The simple hand plane was completely up to the job and offered a quiet experience for rounding the mast.  Two hours max and you’ll be as round as your going to get it without sanding.  I actually don’t plan to go much smoother or rounder.  I really like the Old World hand-hewn look of the mast.  Next, I will cut to length, plug both ends, round the top and then set aside until I have a better understanding of the rigging and finish.

2 thoughts on “Shaping the Mast

    • Murray, The hand plane comment actually came from me. I am hoping to acquire a few more larger planes in the future. Thanks for the comments regarding the name…it just sort of made sense to me. Looking forward to receiving my foils kit next week.
      Brent from Idaho

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