First order of business was to cut the mast to length.You definitely want to measure twice and cut once.
The plans call for an overall length of 16’4″.This could make a right nice pencil holder, and conversation piece.
This 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.
Here 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.
I started with the hand plane to create the shape.
Once I started shaping, it was easy to see that I did have epoxy all the way around the top plug.
The tool of the day goes to the Shinto Japanese file. I’ve never used a file as effective as this before.
There is a course side and a fine side. I never needed the course side.
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. The 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.
Bottom plug after drilling out the 3/8″ center hole for air movement.
I roughed up the inside for good adhesion.
Bottom plug epoxied into position. Time to go for a bicycle ride!
After 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.