wooden mast building...

yeah I know archaic technology. why use wood when you have aluminum and Carbon…

I’ve built a wooden mast for my soling out of bamboo flooring. it has served me well.

this winter I am looking at doing a laminated teak mast.

I am also considering a roll wrapped wooden mast. I have some wonderful veneer… that is almost paper thin… my mast cannot be hollow…
so. how hard would it be to take a dowel as my core and then wrap.

I could take the veneer, soak it to soften it and with fibers oriented vertically wrap around the wood core provided wait until dry, add epoxy, add some pressure wait. and repeat.

I could also take the veneer, and trim it into strips soften it and then roll wrap the solid core on the diagonal… add epoxy, and wait and repeat…

What diameter mast do you need?

I cannot exceed 5/8" fore aft and 3/8" left to right

Does it have to be solid?

I have used some nice, straight grain aircraft spruce, Cut 3/4 x 1/2 and then you can split and thin each trailing edge on inside, then re-glue and space between trailing edges will hold Mylar - then fair exterior and round leading edge.

Teak is too heavy - heavier than a standard maple dowel - while spruce is very strong, but light weight. Gougeon’s used to use for their DN class iceboats before metal masts were allowed. Long, straight grain, and a glass/epoxy covering allowed amazing mast bend (like bow) and after gust it would snap flat and give them a huge acceleration punch. Could also glue up strips with hollow core and then shape round (or foil shape) What class are you building it for? Can you inlay (internally) and carbon uni-directional tape?

ADDED: Can you use spreaders and diamond wires?

dick I have plenty of spruce for a one peice… and teak, and cedar. yeah I could easily make a new spruce mast…

yes I can have diamonds or spreaders…
yes it has to be solid.

I was just thinking of doing something different for my next soling one meter build it will be boat number 4… no glass, no carbon, no kevlar. just wood and epoxy…

had the veneer and though. Hmm…that would be different…dangerous thoughts for the winter time…

I think that your diagonal wrap approach would be the easiest. An idea purely for aesthetics, but technically challenging: could you use two types of wood veneer; make a paper cylinder the diameter of your mast; draw two non-symmetric diagonal spirals; Cut them out; replicate them in wood - one in one type of wood, the other in another type; spiral and glue them to the dowel? I think it would look interesting, you could vary the thickness of the spirals along the length of the mast. The deck could be the same sort of no-symmetric pattern, actually, so could the hull planking. That might be your winter though.

should be interesting, the issue would be if i can get the wood flexible enough to wrap with out breaking the fibers.

Marc - you may have to go directly to a veneer supplier. I know my RG65 is a veneer (ordered on-line) of about 1/20" thick, and it was right on the boarder of being pliable enough to bend. The banding and surface veneers at Lowes/Home Depot/ etc. are a bit too thick to bend, and most come either pre-glued or have a paper back.

Just a thought… you are aware of my interest in crafting hand gun grips, and I have a winter project … using pine or other soft, lightweight wood, I am going to try to shape the grips, and then vacuum bag some birch bark to the surface. We took down an old birch tree and that had a very thick bark, which when peeled offered some great, snow white wood bark. I am going to try/use WEST System clear finish resin/hardener to try to keep the white color, rather than amber from their regular resin/hardener. Having a “birch bark” (covered) pine mast would be kind of neat - and definitely unique.

Just a thought going forward if you feel like an “adventure”. :smiley:


I’m not so sure about the mast lamination with the veneer, with the mast not being round the risk of breaking the fibers, especially on the tailing edge if you go with the drop shape is really high. If you want to make something “different” for the soling, and already have the veneer I was thinking to laminate my soling deck with veneer and replicate a a nice teak deck … The mast I would make out of spruce but a nice varnished deck would probably look really nice and quite different from all the plastic ones around.

Dick, on a side note, I’m not so sure about laminating such a (relatively) small, full of compound curvatures and details object … even with vacuum. On the other hand, my side interest is crafting bamboo fly rods and that’s something a lot of people do fol reel sets, how about carving the grip from a bark lamination?

BTW: do you know about this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khWnntV20II This is officially my next project number 200123 right after the router table, the back yard bannister, the garden …

Hi Gio - Never thought about laminating the bark - but I do usually start with 1/4" thick stock. Will have to take a look at my bark “supply” and give some consideration. Thanks for the link - interesting is that just the other evening I was watching one of the videos by Matthias for a sign pantograph router setup.

Off topic: Gio - Here is a photo of two recent projects. One set is Jabillo (bottom - brown), the other (top) is Red Heart. Came out nice and would/will be my similar pattern for the bark grip. After seeing my photo, I got the idea for the bark grips.

Perhaps we could add a section on the forum for DIY tools/ideas that could aid home boat builders - showing items, tips, or ideas. The link you referenced is “almost” a 3D duplicator, where, if built large enough, could replicated foam hulls, keels and bulbs.

Yeah, the lamination can be a long process … but a 1/4 inch should be a piece of cake compared to this: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQs3mBF64qLm7wGQhT-GDGS44-M3cr-l1jsjB3bmKyzg4nIGm_RTw

My plan for the “almost” 3D duplicator was exactly that substitute the router for a dremel (or like tool) and use it to carve foam for keels and hulls … And I do cheek Matthias website weekly … But your idea of DIY section is something to consider.