A birdsmouth mast for our B&B Yacht Designs Lapwind 16 glued and held together with gaffa tape. Whilst gluing up the masts, they were located in jigs that held the pieces at the right height for the taper of the mast at that station. These locating half-circles also kept everything located properly from side to side, and kept the masts quite straight.It’s been a slow month in the garage, as work has kept me at my desk for far too long each day, as well as at weekends.

I have managed to glue the masts, and start on planing one of them from 8 sides down to 16, and then to 32 sides, ready for sanding.

The mast staves were dry-fitted and the edges cleaned up with a rabbet plane, and then with help from Kirsty, the mast staves were laid up beside each other, coated with epoxy, and then placed into the half-circle station moulds that had been set to the correct height to take into account the taper of the masts, keeping the masts as straight as possible.

Once the eight pieces were slotted into one another I wrapped gaffer tape around the mast to hold it all together and keep the pieces under a little bit of pressure.

Whilst the epoxy was still soft I scraped off as much of the excess as was accessible.

The following weekend I was able to start removing the tape from one of the masts, and with a bit of help from a heat gun and a scraper I removed more of the excess epoxy that I hadn’t been able to get to with the tape on.

I then marked each stave a quarter of the stave width in from each edge, to show how much of each edge I had to take off to turn 8 sides into 16 sides, using a compass to scribe these widths at several points along the mast, and then joining up these points with a metre ruler.

Last weekend I started planing, which is a time-consuming job, as the epoxy is hard on my planes, and they have to be sharpened very frequently! I was working on about half of the length of the mast at a time, and just over two edges is about as much as could be done before my two planes were ready for sharpening again.

The first mast is pretty much ready to be sanded now. I’m currently wondering whether I should plane the other mast now, or sand the first one. I think I’ll probably do the planing first, just from the point of view of cleaning up the garage…