Wooden mast repair

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PeterV
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Wooden mast repair

Post by PeterV »

I've just carried out a repair on the top of my Bruder wooden Finn mast which has been disintegrating for several years and had got to the point where there was more epoxy filer than wood. That's now done but I've found some cracks further down, and before I revarnish the mast I'd like to be sure I'm doing the right thing.

The cracks are 3 longitudinal parallel cracks around 5" long in the leading edge of the mast about a foot above the boom. This part of the mast is a fairly thin walled hollow C section which would normally be under tension when sailing. I feel they're not too serious as they run along the grain but I feel I ought to do something about them. My thoughts are to open out the cracks in a narrow V and then glue with epoxy. Do the wooden mast experts think this is the right approach?
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash
chris
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by chris »

Have replied to your message.
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PeterV
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by PeterV »

Thanks Chris. I scraped out the cracks with the back of a Stanley blade and realised they've been there quite a long time as there was old varnish in the cracks. Having cleaned them out I've filled with stiffened epoxy and I'll see how that goes.

The rest of the mast seems good, it used a black glue which is still very strong, unlike the Enterprise boom I cut up for the top repair, the two halves of that pulled apart with almost no resistance at all.
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash
chris
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by chris »

The dark coloured glue would be resorcinol glue, completely water proof and good UV resistance. Certainly an adhesive you can still have confidence in.
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PeterV
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by PeterV »

I'm glad the glues good, the mast is made up of over 10 pieces so it would be pretty difficult to glue back together if needed!
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash
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Ed
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by Ed »

Reckon those cracks have been there for ages....

I am sure I remember them from when I had the mast. Like you, I wasn't too worried as they were running with the grain and just varnished over them.

Most probably about time they were looked at though.

BW

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PeterV
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by PeterV »

Thanks Ed, I wonder if it will creak and groan as much now (or is that me?).

Next question, I'm sanding it down to the bare wood now before revarnishing. Much of the dark staining is coming off together with all the white bits where the varnish has lifted underneath. But I'm left with some dark marks where the mast has been bruised. Should I try taking these out with oxalic acid (if I can get some) or just leave them? I haven't tried removing dark marks since the days of Colorback (is that what it was called) and I can't remember it being very effective.
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash
chris
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by chris »

I think colorback contained oxalic acid anyway.
Personally I would leave the marks as part of it character.
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PeterV
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Re: Wooden mast repair

Post by PeterV »

That's what I was thinking, I just didn't want to sand it all down then start varnishing and think I'd made a big mistake.
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash
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