At long last, my phone alerted me to a text from Jim Titus, asking me when I could come down to start building. “He’s really committed to having me be there to help,” I thought to myself. I would stop down to the shop that night to begin working.
Our first task would be planning the wood, which basically means smoothing it all out since the stock we got was pretty rough. The process would require Jim to feed one end of the 20-foot pieces through a three foot tall planner while I caught it on the other end. Each side of the wood would go through the planner half a dozen times to ensure the wood was smooth as glass.
For nearly 3 hours we passed the wood through the machine, not saying a word as the machine thanks to the loud machine. My hands would catch a number of spruce splinters during this process, which I ignored as not to look like a woos in front of Jim. At least I could say mast building is in my blood, I thought to myself.
Finally, with the wood smoothed out and restacked, we shut down the machine.
“So what do you think?” he asked looking at the pile of perfect planks.
“I don’t think I can sail with it. What’s next?” I joked.
With a smile Jim said, “I’ll see you this weekend,” in a tone that suggested I shouldn’t have asked.