Shaping & Plugging Mast Ends

First order of business was to cut the mast to length.DSC00168You definitely want to measure twice and cut once.

The plans call for an overall length of 16’4″.DSC00166This could make a right nice pencil holder, and conversation piece. 

DSC00167This is the top of the mast.  After applying thickened epoxy to the top plug, I used electrician’s tape to keep the epoxy from running out.

DSC00175Here is what the top looked like after removing the tape.  You can see that the plug drifted a little inward and has what appears to be a hole at the 3:00 position.

DSC00177I started with the hand plane to create the shape.

DSC00179Once I started shaping, it was easy to see that I did have epoxy all the way around the top plug.

DSC00184The tool of the day goes to the Shinto Japanese file.  I’ve never used a file as effective as this before.

DSC00178There is a course side and a fine side.  I never needed the course side.

DSC00183 DSC00180

With the top looking satisfactory, it’s time to plug the bottom.

I am drilling a 5/8″ hole through the bottom plug to allow air movement inside the mast.  I will pour thickened epoxy into this hole and then after it has set up, I’ll drill out the center with a 3/8″ hole.  This will create a nice epoxy seal around the end grain, while still allowing air movement into the mast.  DSC00164The C-clamp worked well to stabilize the small piece on the drill press.  This piece consists of two 3/4″ pine plugs which have been epoxied together.

DSC00172Bottom plug after drilling out the 3/8″ center hole for air movement.

DSC00186I roughed up the inside for good adhesion.  

DSC00187Bottom plug epoxied into position.  Time to go for a bicycle ride!

DSC00200After the epoxy set up, I couldn’t resist flushing up the end with the chop saw.         I also took the rasp to the outside edges to finish things up.  I’ll now set it aside until I’m ready to sand, epoxy and clear coat the outside prior to rigging.

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2 thoughts on “Shaping & Plugging Mast Ends

  1. Looking good, Brent. The Shinto saw blade rasp looks like it worked great. I may give one a try sometime. I just posted a mini-review of the Microplane rasp on my blog (http://woodnmetalguy.blogspot.com) which I also find works great.

    Regarding the hole in your end plug, I have seen arguments both ways on this (whether to have one or not). Was there something that swayed you to including the drain hole?

    Thanks – Dave

  2. Dave, you will love the Shinto rasp. My older wood rasps sort of gnaw the wood off whereas the Shinto cuts and shaves the wood off. I love mine! Thanks for the Microplane review. I may try one of these also…looks like they work very well.

    With regard to the 3/8″ hole in the mast plug my thoughts are: To attempt to totally seal the mast up just doesn’t make sense to me, especially when I will have a hole through the mast top to secure a block. I’m very confident water will some how get into this area. If I seal the bottom, it will have no where to go, so I wanted a hole. I like the idea of allowing air movement. I live in the dessert, so i’m sure things will dry out . It just seems to me that allowing some air movement is the right thing to do.

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