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Old 29-11-2008, 19:16   #1
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Wood Worker Needed

I'm going down Tuesday to look at a storm damaged boat with a broken bow spirit. I need to find a woodshop in the Kemah TX area that can turn a bow spirit should I decide to get it. I'm trying to get some kind of rough ball park on what it will cost to get it back in the water. (If anyone can help with that.

I also need the name of a good surveyor in that area.

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Old 29-11-2008, 20:37   #2
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IMHO...This should be a laminated piece with several orientations of grain for strength and resistance to warpage and cracking..spook shaved into close tolerance and then planed and sanded to final profile..It is somthing anyone with some time..desire and a little research should be able to accomplish..Mounting and rigging hardware if available from the previous one will dictate its girth ..length etc...A good epoxy glue should be used and stable woods chosen..turning one from a single stock is not with out risks of splitting and checking..

Just my opinion as a home wood lessons learned in the school of hard knocks... whom has watched many hours of labor go down the drain for just such reasons..take it for what its worth.

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Old 29-11-2008, 21:18   #3
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Good advice, it will be laminated. I have read where other's whom had made their bow spirits were laminated, gluing three pieces together. The original was turned and I was wanting to keep it as close to original as possible. Once laminated a lathe that can handle a piece that long sure would come in handy.

The old one is still there, (broken in half, but still there), and will come in handy for measurements.

As for what wood to use. I've seen some very pretty bow spirits made from teak and varnished, mahogany a very nice wood. I know mast are made from sitka spruce. The original was painted and I want to keep it that way, eliminating the need for the beautiful expensive woods.

What other type's would you recommend
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Old 30-11-2008, 06:35   #4
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one option would be structural fir. The exotics would work but may break the bank! By no means is structural fir cheap it is VERY strong. Most laminated beams are fir!! You are looking for something with a straight tight grain.
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Old 30-11-2008, 08:03   #5
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Making round...

I clothes-pin scarfed a wood mast about 10 years ago on a tight budget. Rounding the the balk would have required a fairly large lathe which we couldn't find. So we hand planed the corners (simply mark each face at 1/3 and relieve to the marks, or calculate the taper and mark that way.)

Going from the octagon to the round by eye - using planes and some electric sanders - didn't result in a machine-perfect circle, but it was surprisingly close. And surprisingly quick.

There was a great sense of satisfaction when that job was completed and the mast stepped again. All the biggest problems had been of our own making, but we'd solved those and the ones inherent in the project on our own. And it looked good.

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Old 30-11-2008, 09:34   #6
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Alaska yellow cedar might be worth looking into, very hard and rot resistant. You could call the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle and I'm sure they could give you a recommendation. Contact one of the boatwrights: Center for Wooden Boats - Contact Us

Good luck, John
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Old 30-11-2008, 09:57   #7
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If you're realy watching the $$$ Yellow pine is also tough.....It does have a very high resin content....not sure how that would efect the final painted finish.
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Old 30-11-2008, 10:19   #8
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You can buy a "propeller blank" out of Spruce. Most wood masts were made of Spruce and it was (is) used for AIrplane propellers! I made a sprit once this way, it was not round though. It is strong, light , but a little soft and dings up pretty easy with the anchor. Next time I would laminate a piece of teak to the top. Why dont you remove the sprit and take it home and get a new one made to match? Or are you too far away?

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