2017.03.18 - Starting the Spars

The task for the day was to glue up the three spars for which the timber was cut yesterday. I expect the task to take most of the day, at least the morning and afternoon. No work the evening as we are having a meal out to celebrate my 60th birthday.

Each of the 12 strakes was planed on two adjacent sides. Here you can see the top and right sides have been planed...

...whilst the left and undersides have not. This is because the outer sides will be made circular so there is no point is planing the outer edges and it would just be a waste of time and effort.

Each stack of four strakes was then laid out on saw horses which had been set up to be pretty much in line so as to get a straight spar. The arrangement of the strakes was also carefully set out to make the glueing easier.

The gaff and bowsprit strakes can rest on one set of horses.

Where necessary pieces of wood were used to raise the top surface of the saw horse and all the horses were covered in plastic.

I also cut a lot of pads to be used to spread the pressure of the cramps across the spars...

...and a whole lot of small plastic pieces that will stop the pads from sticking to the spars.

The first two strakes were clamped together with the planed surfaces uppermost and innermost and then epoxy was spread on the top of the two using a notched spreader.

It is important to use a notched spreader otherwise a lot of the epoxy will squeeze out. Doing it this way means that when the two surfaces are clamped together, the epoxy is squashed and fills in the gaps left by the spreader. You do get some squeezing out even so, but it is a lot less than would be the case otherwise.

The other two strakes are then laid on the first two, this time with the planed surfaces lower most and inner most.

Cramps are use to hold pairs of strakes vertically...

Then the horizontal cramps are removed and the two pairs of strakes split apart. Now the inner surfaces are glued and the upper surfaces are ready to be glued.

The process is repeated. Epoxy is spread on the top surface of one pair of strakes with a notched spreader, then the other pair placed on top of the first with the planed surfaces mating. The whole thing is then clamped together.

And it uses a lot of cramps!

You can see the pads and plastic used on most of the cramps. Cramps were used at intervals until epoxy could be seen oozing out of the joins along the entire length of the spar.

The boom took most of the cramps I had.

I only had enough cramps left to glue up the bowsprit so the gaff will have to wait until tomorrow. The same procedure was followed for the bowsprit, it was just not so long.

A good day's work.