Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Report: 3/1 - Bowsprit Fabrication

This weekend I finally finished shaping the bowsprit. The last task was cutting the tip down to a cylinder that would fit the cranse iron. I made the new one long enough that it will protrude about 3" - I think that will look better than having it cut flush with the end as the old one was. And having it exposed will hopefully make any rot which might appear more obvious.

Cutting the tip was a tedious job - I used a hammer, chisel, sure-form plane and a sander, with a piece of 4" sewer pipe pressed into service as a gauge. I would like to have used the cranse iron itself, thus guaranteeing a proper fit, but it is busy right now, holding up the mast. I made the tip a bit small, because it will be painted, and because it will swell once it gets out into the weather.

Next, I repeatedly bathed the whole bowsprit in "end cut" solution. This is a solution of copper napthenate in some generic solvent, with a little brown pigment added (so you can see where it has been applied? Probably). It is a wood preservative designed for application to the ends of pressure treated lumber when it is cut - entirely appropriate given that the bowsprit is made out of pressure treated lumber! (That's froth on there - the stuff kind of foams up when you roll it on.)

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