Birdsmouth Spars Part III: The Glue Up(s)

By Shane Hall


The glue up was broken into a couple of different class periods in order to make each step more manageable. After the dry fit and cleaning the glue surfaces with denatured alcohol, we carefully spread thickened epoxy along the length of the birdsmouth edge of six of the staves.



We ran a layer of packing tape along the length of two staves and placed them accordingly so that after we clamped everything together and the glue hardened, we would be able to separate the mast into two sections along the edges that did not get glued together.



This made it easier to accomplish two important steps.  We could more easily fit the solid plugs that are needed where the mast steps into the boat and where structural hardware is attached.  The plug is made with a weep hole to prevent moisture from being trapped inside the structure.  Fitting the eight-sided tapered plug was a bit of a challenge.


Also any large, unnecessary squeezed out glue could be scraped or sanded away and the entire inside coated with a protective layer of unthickened epoxy. After the epoxy cured we completed the final glue up.


We used lots of hose clamps, particularly in the sections that tapered. Next comes the fun part – planing and sanding; stay tuned.