Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Sampson post post

Yesterday I made and installed Ravn's Sampson post. With the decks finished It's time to put on the mahogany combings, but I had to get the Sampson post in place before I could do that.

I had a chunk of eight-quarter teak I've been hording for years. I jointed one edge and ripped a square length off to make the post. I held it in place and decided how much should stand above the deck and made a mark. Shaping the champers and the characteristic depression for the bit was a lot of fun. Teak is wonderful wood to work with: it carves beautifully and using a sharp plane on it is pure joy. Your edges don't stay sharp for long working with teak because of the silica in the wood, but it's worth the extra trips to the oil stones.

For the cross piece I turned a five-eighths spindle out of a scrap of purple heart. While it was still in the lathe I used the point of my turning tool to etch some rings in the section that will be buried in the post so when I glued the cross piece in place the epoxy will have some purchase.

Before I put the fore deck on I clamped the blank I would make the Sampson post out of in place and drilled holes for the three quarter-inch lag screws that go from inside the bulkhead into the post. Another longer lag screw goes through the Sampson post and the bulkhead into the bulkhead knee that's glued and screwed to the keel.

I mixed up a small batch of epoxy with colloidal silica one-to-one by volume and prepared all of the teak surfaces that would get glued by cleaning them with acetone to get rid of the natural oils that make teak such a great outdoor wood. I had to use a wooden mallet to tap the purple heart cross piece in place. It wasn't overly tight, but I wasn't taking any chances splitting the post I'd put so much work into so I held it in a clamp, just in case. All the screws snugged down tight. The Sampson post is there to stay.

The Sampson post is not in Valgerda's plans. Like the water-tight compartments in the bow and stern, it is a feature I borrowed from the Kari II plans. I think it will be a handy addition to the boat.

While I had some epoxy on hand I installed the screw eye that will secure Ravn's forestay. You can just see it in the background of the photo. It's exciting to start putting some of the finishing touches on the boat.


  1. Great job Brandon!
    My congratulations

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