The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.04.04 - Spars Rounded

The items that I had been waiting for arrived in the post this morning so the task of the day was to round the spars or get as far as I could since I'd no idea how long it would take.

These are long sanding belts, 915mm in circumference and 100mm wide or 36" by 4".

One of the questions I get asked it why I have a heap of rubbish in the middle of the workshop. Well, not all of it is rubbish and until the project is finish I don't know if any of it will be needed or not, so I'm loathe to throw it all away. For example, I don't want to use good wood as a backing pad when drilling holes on the drill press. The backing pad is necessary to stop the bit from bursting through the wood and splintering the edges of the hole and it ends up being perforated with a lot of holes. Gash wood is useful for this. So, once the project is finished I'll sort the pile and bin the rubbish. For now, it is my 'may need' pile.

Today it came in handy as I needed to make a cylinder 5" tall and about 3" wide. I rummaged in the rubbish tip and found two pieces of suitable gash wood from which I cut five discs using a hole saw.

I put a 10mm hole through each one and used two of the pieces of plywood that were cut out of the cabin sides where the port lights are now and these also got a 10mm hole in the middle. Add a handle made from a piece of broom handle with a 12mm hole drilled through it, a length of threaded 10mm studding, some nuts and washers and the tool can be assembled.

And here is the almost completed tool.

I wrapped a piece of latex round the drum, fitted it into my drill and this is then used to drive the sanding belt which is turned inside out. So instead of rotating the spar in the lathe and using a stationary piece of sandpaper to make the spar round, the spar is kept stationary and the sandpaper is rotated around it Does a good job.

This is the bowsprit.

The thick end is not done yet so you can see the difference.

All smoothed off now. There are a few high spots and it is not completely round, but it is good enough.

The boom was up next.

You can see that it comes out really nicely.

And finally the gaff. The whole operation from start to finish, including making the driver took three hours but the spars are now sufficiently rounded to move on to the next stage.

But not tonight!