It’s Big Stick Time: Gluing Arabella’s Main Mast

We are back in the boat house with Steve and crew from Acorn to Arabella along with special guest Keith Mitchell of Shipwright SkillsIn today’s featured video, they are using High Performance Epoxy on one of the biggest glue ups on this project to date: Arabella’s Main Mast! 

Keith Mitchell is a skilled boat builder and talented craftsman.  He joins the Acorn to Arabella crew to work on Arabella’s main mast.  The mast will be 41 feet 11 inches when it’s done it will be 7 inches at the base and it tapers to around 2 inches at the top.  The lumber they will be using comes from Steve’s great-grandpa’s Norway black spruce that he planted many years ago in the yard there, making this the perfect use for an heirloom tree. It has been drying for the last few years and it’s ready to be glued up.

While they start to assemble the mast, Keith routes out a hollow channel in the center and use a flexible conduit for the electrical items that will be needed at the top of the mast: navigation, VHF, and navigation instruments. He glues the blue electrical conduit right up the middle to make it easy to chase wires. Next was time to reassemble the disassembled tree into a final glue-up.

First they needed to mix up a large batch of thickened High Performance Epoxy with Medium Hardener. The team works quickly to pour it over all the pieces and use a notched spreader to get an even distribution. They all continue to work together in harmony pouring on the epoxy, rolling it, spreading it and clamping the pieces together.  It is an incredible sight seeing this huge glue up and build come together.  

Be sure to like and subscribe to the Acorn to Arabella channel to follow along with this build.  Next week, Keith will be putting the final touches to the main mast putting the taper into the top and rounding off the whole length!  Thank you for watching!

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