Pre Stitching Spars Standalone Chunks

Cutting Scarf Joints

I ordered the timber kit but I still have to cut some of my own scarf joints. I’ve not done this before.

I tried three different ways and the third is what I will use from here on. The scarfs I’ve done so far are for the four mast staves.

Block Plane

This is the method the manual mentions and it was faster work than I thought to get to my lines. But I found it difficult to keep my slope uniform and smooth. The culprit here is inexperience for sure.

Japanese Pull Saw

A friend says this works well for him, but for me this made a quick mess. Pic below is before I started cutting. I cut an inch or two and it was ugly so I stopped.

Table Saw Jig

I tried the plane and saw first, since if those were easy, they would be the most versatile methods for any size board or scarf. A table saw jig for one particular board width and scarf ratio is not hard to build at all. It’s only slightly more complex if made to be adjustable for various board and scarf sizes. However, this is only true if you’re cutting boards with length to spare. If you want to cut your scarf on the very end of your boards (which you will if you’ve working with cut-to-length stuff as from the timber kit), then a truly adjustable jig is more than I could figure out. So I really wish I were better with a plane or saw. But since I am not, I made a jig. It will be adjustable but not for any size board or angle on the fly. I have only a few different scarfs setups to cut for the boat so I will build my jig allowing for just those particular setups. Any other scarf setup I might need will require more holes in the board, etc.

So here is my jig with a single setup for a 10:1 scarf on a 3/4″ thick board. This is what the mast stave joints are.

A jig is easy enough to google how to build. I sealed my plywood with one coat of unthickened epoxy just to help keep it from warping. And as you can see I used wingnuts so I easily move my jig fence to any future setup I might add for other scarf cuts. In case you aren’t familiar with how these jigs work, you clamp your board to be cut to the jig fence, and then you have a miter bar screwed to the bottom of the jig that keeps your jig straight as you cut.

With the jig, I cut the joints on all my mast staves in about 4 minutes. The scarfs fit together perfectly.

All mast staves clamped and glued.

These are the only scarf joints for my spars. Next I’ll glue up the rest of my spar pieces and get to work on building them for finishing. I won’t start stitching up the hull until all the spars are completely finished and hanging up.

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