I found this post from Spring lurking in my drafts… so here it is.
A beautiful sunny day and no school run = lots achieved on Flamingo. The mast step is finally finished and I scale the ladder with some trepidation partly due to the massive lump of English Oak on my shoulder and the wobbliness of the ladder but mainly because I have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to get to this stage and this will be the first time I see whether it fits. It doesn’t. The mismatched bolts it has to slide over, project from the keel at jaunty angles – mocking me. Undeterred, a bit of work with mallet and chisel and a bit of sweat and grazed knuckles… and it’s on! I have to admit to being slightly surprised. My woodworking skills are ok but copying the crumbling original with no square or flat surfaces to use as a datum there was always going to be a hefty dollop of crossed fingers and guesswork in the process.
Reversing my wobbly progress back down the ladder I applied a generous coat of linseed oil to the Oak. It was a little green when I bought it and sitting out in the sun, wind and rain is drying it a bit too quickly. Hopefully a good soaking of oil will help slow the seasoning down a little.
Having mixed up far too much thinned down linseed oil I cast my eye around for anything else that might also be suffering from Mother Nature’s affections. The rudder, a huge laminated slab of teak was looking a little dry… its not now. 🙂
I spent some time last weekend making some trestles to store the spars. They were languishing under the boat exposed to the elements that the flash coat of varnish was fast losing the battle with. They are now more convenient to access and better supported to limit any unwanted bend in the mast. Lots of sanding and a large jar of thinned down oil later and the Mast, Boom, and Gaff are looking very nice and all tucked up under a roll of DPM to give them some protection. Whilst cursing nature’s effect on my wood, I am of course aware, that I’m working whilst standing in an orchard surrounded by apple blossom and primroses, bumble bees lumbering through the periwinkles, a ubiquitous robin chirping nearby and the rat tat tat tat of a woodpecker down by the stream. So I guess, given the entertainment she’s laid on, I’ll forgive her the depredations.