Starting to sand a B&B Yacht Designs Lapwing 16 birdsmouth mast to circularThis month I continued working on the masts for my Lapwing. I decided to sand the first mast before planing the second, and made some handles that could be clamped onto a length of sandpaper. It was then just a matter of working my way along the mast, pulling the sandpaper back and forth until an area was sufficiently rounded, and then rotating the mast to work on the next length.

It was slow, dusty work, but very satisfying to see the masts take shape and the colour of the timber reveal itself.

I started off with blocks screwed together at each end of the strip of sandpaper, but eventually made a couple of handles to replace the blocks. The masts were worked on over a few weekends, and I estimate that I spent well over 20 hours sanding them. With some finishing sanding, and mast caps to make, there’s probably another 6 or 7 hours to go.

Once the sanding was complete I cut the masts to their finished lengths, which more clearly revealed the details of the offset birdsmouth.

Two additional 1250mm long  birdsmouth sections have been made, and next weekend these will be glued inside the base of each mast, to reinforce the masts at the partners. Then I will finish sanding the masts at the foot and partners to as close to perfectly round as possible, to let the unstayed masts rotate freely.

Whilst I was set up to cut the timber for the reinforcing sections, I ran the offcuts from each mast strake through my saw bench, making the strips to be used as laminates for the wishbone booms I want to try on this boat. I’ll get onto these once the masts are finished.