Building Mast Support Blocks

Back from vacation, I launched into finishing the mast, boom and yard.  I needed to build the mast support blocks to hold the mast within the mast trunk.

DSC00408I hand a few chunks of red oak left over from building the skegs.  I decided to use these to build the mast support blocks.

DSC00412I set my drill press 2.5 degrees off level.

DSC00409I then purchased a 3 1/4″ hole saw.  My mast is a little larger in diameter than others.  I left it a bit rough for a hand hewn look.

DSC00413I clamped the block to the drill press fence for good support.  Happy with the offsets, I continued to drill.DSC00418This piece will just slid over the mast and be glued into position as the upper mast support block.  DSC00422 DSC00427 I worked thickened epoxy into the mast/support block junction using my finger.  I then cleaned up the excess epoxy with a flattened wooden stick. DSC00425I plan to place a fillet around this joint during the next epoxy coating step.

DSC00419This is the bottom mast support block.  I will be adding the 3/8″ plywood to the bottom to:  1-strengthen the block and 2-evenly distribute of the weight of the mast to the bottom of the mast trunk.  I will simply place the block in the bottom of the mast trunk.

DSC00428Glued together but still pretty ugly.  I globded extra epoxy near the thin section.  I plan to cut the edges flush with the block and cut a groove into the bottom for water drainage once the epoxy has cured.

DSC00430While I was at it, I also rolled the first coat of epoxy on all the spars.


I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary to drill the holes at 2.5 degrees off vertical.  It seemed to make very little difference.  If you don’t have the tools to do this, I wouldn’t worry about it.  I think there would be enough movement in the mast to accommodate blocks drilled out vertically.  This is one of those steps that I was dreading, but it really wasn’t hard and seemed to go off without a hitch.