The Big Glue

Before today, when people would ask to see a picture of the mast that has been taking up many weekends I sheepishly passed them a shot on my phone of the four long pieces of wood stacked neatly on top one another.

“Oh, cool” was the standard-polite answer, said through disappointed and surprised eyes.

I looked forward to putting that behind me as it was finally time for Jim and I to glue the mast together. To accomplish something like this Jim explained that we were going to need clamps, and a lot of them.

No problem, I thought as I looked around the carpentry shop that had clamps lying everywhere.

As if reading my mind, Jim said, “no, not those clamps. We are gunna have to make some,” without putting any emphasis on the word we. I would spend the day scouring the shop for scraps of wood to stick threaded pipe through to make 35 homemade mast clamps. These cheap clamps would end up being much better than small metal clamps because you didn’t have to worry about the glue damaging the tools.

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When we were ready to glue all four sides together Jim enlisted the help of a couple of his employees. Together the four of us slathered West Epoxy on 140-feet of wood. I wish I could say this was done is a clean assembly line like format, no this was very much a free for all. Running from one end to the other cover making sure we didn’t miss a spot. Working together, we clamped the sides of the mast to the sides of the blocking and then placed the top piece down.

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The hand made clamps would be put into place and tightened just like the blocking, with a little pressure being adding to the clamps one at a time. With each turn glue would ooze from the seems, dripping down the mast until they either landed on the clamps or the floor below.

Before this process began I donned a pair of disposable gloves which, didn’t do one bit of good. My hands were so sticky it felt as if I can finger-paint the glue onto the mast. From my Sperry’s to my hair (epoxy works as one tough hair gel) I was covered in the super-strong glue.

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I began to wipe up the glue covered mast when Jim suggested that I “just leave it, it’ll keep dripping like that for a while.” If this sounds familiar to you, like a similar situation had happened in my last blog post, than you are a quicker learner than I am.

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