Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

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Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby Pasi in Finland on Fri Dec 29, 2023 6:14 am

Hi all,

EDIT: Apparently I had erroneously used "stave" instead of "rabbet". Apologies, now corrected. English is a second language for me and so far in my life the need for woodworking and marine terms has been rather limited :-)

My build is slowly but surely progressing, and hopefully I’ll be building the mast in the near future.

I have a bit of a problem as my workshop is too small to push the full length stave through a tablesaw for tapering and rabbet cutting. As the staves will need to be scarfed from two shorter pieces anyway, has anyone cut the taper and rabbets to the shorter pieces first and then scarfed them to make the full length? That would seem to make things easier but is there something I am overlooking?

Pasi
Pasi in Finland
 
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Re: Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby slash2 on Wed Jan 10, 2024 5:55 pm

Hi Pasi,

I’m not quite sure what you mean. Can you explain in a bit more detail? Like what part you are working in exactly and detail the problem a bit more?
Steve Sawtelle
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Re: Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby Pasi in Finland on Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:39 am

Hi Steve,

Sorry if I was not clear! Let me try to explain in a bit more detail:

I am building the mast and as it is hollow it consists of four sides that are called staves (I've just learned).

Each of the four staves is fairly long, and is therefore be made of shorter pieces that are scarfed together. All staves are also tapered and two of them have rabbets cut into them.

The instructions call for scarfing each stave to make them full length, and only then tapering and then rabbeting.

My problem is that in a small workshop it is difficult to do all those operations to a full length stave, and I was hoping to taper and rabbet the individual pieces BEFORE I scarf them together.

Now having done a lot of thinking, I think the challenge is getting the two pieces scarfed together while ensuring the stave stays absolutely straight. Especially the front and back pieces have both sides of the stave tapered, so there is no straight edge to refer to. Possible, I am sure, but a bit more risky.

Let's see what I end up doing. If someone has pondered this before me, I'd be very glad to hear what they ended up doing and why.

Pasi
Pasi in Finland
 
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Re: Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby slash2 on Fri Jan 12, 2024 10:05 pm

Ah, ok I think I see now.

Funny how we forget details, but yes, I think I spliced the lengths before tapering and rabetting since I had the room. I don’t see why you couldn’t do it your way if you take some care. I would think marking the midline of the staves and lining them up with a masons line (or equivalent) down the center when joining them would work for the double tapered sides. You’ll just have to keep your clamps out of the way.
Steve Sawtelle
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Re: Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby dbeck on Sat Jan 13, 2024 3:40 pm

Hi Pasi,

if your workshop is too small .. what about hijacking some other place (EXCEPTIONALLY!) to do the rabetting somewhere else? If your living area (living room plus corridor) is too small, what about doing that outside, later in a few weeks, once the weather gets warmer?

Cheers,

Dietrich
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Re: Rabbeting the mast staves before scarfing

Postby Pasi in Finland on Mon Jan 15, 2024 1:13 am

thank you for your comments!

I might ask around, there is a commercial wood workshop fairly close that might rabbet the long staves for me, but transporting them is a bit of a problem in the winter.

Opening the large workshop doors and using outside to get more space is out of the question for at least three more months. It was -28 C this morning at there is a LOT of snow. :-)

At the moment I think I will scarf the front and back staves that are tapered on both sides. Using portable tools like a reciprocating saw and hand plane I think I can manage them even at full length. Careful marking might also work, was thinking of using a line laser, but trying to find the easiest way.

The side staves are tapered only on one side, so I think I will rabbet them in halves and use the straight side as a guide to scarf them straight. I don't trust myself rabbeting with hand tools.

Good time to build, not much you can do outside in these temperatures ;-)

Pasi
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