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Author Topic: wood Mast/spar making?  (Read 6176 times)

bbdave

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wood Mast/spar making?
« on: June 09, 2012, 08:12:08 PM »

Hi what methods are preferred for mast making i am assuming spruce would be good but do you use square stock then shave and sand to shape or build a hollow mast?

Dave
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steam up

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 08:14:30 PM »

Spruce is unsuitable best wood I have used is Lemon wood.
I always start with square stock shaving off the corners

bbdave

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 09:01:22 PM »

Why is spruce unsuitable as it's used on full size masts

Dave
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steam up

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 09:42:16 PM »

Scale, the grain is too open.

rmaddock

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 10:56:51 AM »

Hello Dave,

You can buy dowel in various woods and various diameters if you like: FOR EXAMPLE Cornwall model boats do birch, lime, beech and walnut. There are others suppliers too.

Robert.
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CF-FZG

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 04:19:44 PM »

Laminated Sitka Spruce :-)) :-))
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tigertiger

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 05:38:36 PM »

I am no expert, but for a working model I would ere on the side of performance, over appearance.
I read somewhere that some hardwoods may be too brittle, especially some tropical woods. Softwoods will bend and take up the stresses of bending in the wind better.

I use softwoods, I start with square and then file off the corners, then round.
I did this because I could not get dowling of the size I needed. However one of my models came supplied with softwood dowel for masts and spars.
Many old ships have an octagonal or even square base to the mast. They are then rounded above the base. Using square stock allows this to be copied.
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bbdave

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 07:13:06 PM »

I had thought of laminating some spruce together then making round but open to other ideas the beech dowel maybe an idea

Dave
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Geoff C

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 08:17:22 PM »

I use offcuts of architrave and skirting board which has surprisingly close grain, for planks, masts and spars.     I've also used dowel for the lower masts only, if they happen to be the right diameter.       When you've sawn your stock square and cut to length, put a pencil dot in the centre of each end of the spar so you can check the taper by keeping the dot in the centre of the finished spar.   Regards.
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JerryTodd

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 02:18:52 PM »

I often use clear white cedar which I stain with golden oak, or red oak, or whatever best matches the color of the prototype's spars.  I've also used white pine with good straight grain.

Hardwoods don't give well, and what doesn't bend, breaks.

Sitka spruce is the best wood for masts - model or real - but I find it's very hard to get where I am.

On very small spars, I've used plastic (Delrin) rod, brass rod and tubing, aluminum rod, and carbon-fiber.

I just used the Bird's Mouth mast making method on my 1:20 Pride of Baltimore using scrap cedar left over from Constellation's masts.  The rest of Pride's spars are white pine from a board I've had for a few years.

stringer

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 02:06:30 PM »

Hi Guys
I have built two 52" yachts with masts made from fishing rod blanks, these can be purchased from most angling shops, or old rods from second hand shops, and I have seen them at car boot sales, they are both light and strong, you can taper dowel to fit and glue  in the ends where you might need to apply any pressure such as clamps or if need be small screws.
hope this gives you an alternative to wood
regards stringer
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JayDee

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 03:55:15 PM »

 Hello,

I use fishing rods - - two at a time !, one glued inside the other to give a really strong mast.
You require two identical rods, buy the rod "blanks" which are rods not made up and ready for use.

Decide on the mast height, cut one of the blanks to the correct length.
The other one needs its outer surface roughened up, with coarse emery or a file.
Slide the rough one into the "Mast" and make very sure that it fits and locks into the taper of the "mast".

Cover the outside of the roughened one with Silicon Sealer, just a nice thin layer will do.
Wait for about 3 minutes for the Sealer to start to go off - - - a vinegar smell will be produced.
Slide the rod  inside the Mast with a twisting motion as far as it will go.

Leave over night at least, for the sealant to harden, and you have a Very strong Mast !!

John.  :-))  :-))  :-))
www.john-dowd.co.uk
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roycv

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2012, 07:01:25 PM »

Hi all, Don't forget the very nice purpose made aluminium masts available from model yacht suppliers.
I do however prefer wood and use a shallow scarf / V joint if necessary.

I repaired a mast a year or so ago for an Inga IV yacht.  This had broken at the cross trees and contemplated starting again with a new mast but used brass rod, hammered flat (ish) with sharpened right angle ends.  A channel was made for the rod and araldite used to glue after hammering in the ends of the brass.  (The brass hardens after the hammering and can be used as nails). 
It blends in, no one has noticed the repair yet!  (Or maybe my friends are too polite to comment!)
This mast was a multiple part mast with a luff groove aft and the sails slide into place.

I think I have read somewhere that if you want to use a well seasoned floorboard then split it first along the grain and square up from this.  Most of the ones I have seen have too many knots.

Another consideration is how you are going to hang your sails on the mast.
I have used the tensioned jack line method and small sail cloth luffs glued into the sail.

I have used tiny brass screws screwed into the aft part of the mast and a jackline soldered on and dress hooks sewn into the luff of the sail.  When you are tapering a mast I believe that the aft of the mast should be straight to accommodate the straight edge of the sail.
More subtle sails have a nice shallow S shape but I have never managed to do this.

Lately I have made the sails and mast as one unit and constructed a simple box to carry them in.  I have one sailing boat with mast rings (ex curtain and painted) also all removeable.

I am constructing an older sailing boat which has hounds (is that right?) where the two masts join and overlap.  In this case I have made the main mast semi permanent in the hull and have the upper mast held in place by 2 pins so that it can be dropped for ease of transport.  I think Robbe have used this idea for the kit Valdivia von Altona.

Making a mast is just the start!

regards to all,
Roy
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tigertiger

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Re: wood Mast/spar making?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2012, 12:59:53 PM »

One advantage of wood.
It can be very easy and cheap to attach things to.

Using a very small drill (2mm) to bore through the timbers. Then use a brass split/cotter pin and push it into the hole, secure with CA. If any pin protrudes from the far side, this can easily be snipped. You now have a very convenient eye to attach rigging to. These eyes are great for attaching snap links for running rigging as well as places to run through or attach static rigging.

Brass screw eyes are also easy to attach and cheap, for running rigging purposes.

Cheap, simple, and can also be used for retro fitting. Being brass they soon dull and are discrete on scale sail models.
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