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.

Summary:

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.