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Charlie Jones

A fun little project

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I'm replacing some winches on the mast of an old Pearson and the new winches have a different bolt pattern from the old ones. Plus one of the old ones was a wire winch with a brake- YUCK!!

I had one cast aluminum winch base but the second, for the main sail was too large. Besides, as I said, the bolt pattern was wrong.

So I got some Ipe and made some new bases today. Took about 4 hours.

The old base-

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The new base square-

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Cutting the cove - Note the guide board. The angle that guide board makes with the blade determines how the cove is formed. That board is extremely important- when coving, the saw tries to kick the workpiece towards the front of the table. So the work piece rides against that board like a fence, which stops it from kicking.

The cove can be quite different if the angle is steeper- but unless you pass the piece across 90 degrees to the blade it will never be exactly round- always a slight oval. I played with it until I got a cut that was as close as possible to the original cast aluminum base. Then I used a large section of very coarse sand paper laid over a large PVC pipe which exactly matched the old base. And sanded the final bit to shape by hand.

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Here's the saw set up, as I left it ;D Didn't have time yesterday evening to clean up- we had a dinner date.Please note the push stick. I NEVER cut anything like this without them. In fact, I don't even rip boards narrower than about 6 inches without using one. I'm quite fond of my fingers ;D

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Here's the underside after coving-

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I had already laid out the circle that the base was going to be cut to, so that was cut free hand to the line, on the band saw. I had left enough on the underside so the coved block sat squarely on the band saw table.

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Clamped the winch base to the base, marked and drilled the holes, and rounded the upper edges, ready for sanding and finishing. In retrospect I could have bored the holes before I cut the circles. Then the whole block would have sat solidly on the drill press table.. As it was I sat it over a block so it wouldn't move.

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today they get the first of about 5 coats of varnish, sprayed on, and next week sometime they'll get installed on the mast. The customer wants to have the boat in the water on Dec 1, and I have new hand rails to make for it, Plus I have to install the new ProFurl system on the mast, and redo the mast wiring, so it's gonna be a busy few weeks. ;D Particularly since the boat is 60 miles away from the shop ::)

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Not mileage- time. I get paid portal to portal. From the time I leave my house till I get back I'm on the clock, except when he decides to buy lunch :D Can't really charge him for that time period- wouldn't be right ;D

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More like a VERY dense teak Greg. Looks and finishes an awful lot like teak.. It's being used more and more as a substitute.

Ipe at $5.50 a foot vs teak at $22 - $25 (or whatever) a foot makes it very attractive.

Be aware- it's extremely dense- will not float. In fact, sinks exactly like a rock.

Here's a picture of one of two  seat bases I built last year for a Condor 40 trimaran. They've been left to weather naturally-

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;D

Steel doesn't float either- and I notice a WHOLE BUNCH of steel boats around

;D

Really makes little difference when used for trim, handrails, etc if it floats or not. The old aluminum winch bases surely wouldn't!!

;D

BUt it IS hard stuff and works best with carbide tools. You should have seen the  stuff coming off the saw blade when cutting the kerf- I wouldn't really call it "saw dust" - more like "saw powder"  :D I saved a bunch in a jar for use as an additive to color epoxy when I'm using wood flour.

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Last spring I got some ipe given to me by a friend who was making a deck out of it.  I tried to make wooden blocks out of it, but when I drove the spindles in, they all cracked.  Boy was I disappointed.  I know from the experience of walking on the two mile lake walk made out of that stuff that it will take any weather as well as parades of traffic for years without any degradation.  As far as working it goes, the closest thing that I could compare it to is trying to carve a walnut shell.  It sure is purty though. 

Al

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;D

Steel doesn't float either- and I notice a WHOLE BUNCH of steel boats around

touche'

I think steel's probably cheaper though.  ;D

I haven't found a janka number for redheart, but it is pretty hard. (It's the hardest wood I have personal experience with)  I'm guessing that Ipe is much much harder though, so I can't imagine working it with hand tools.  Readheart pretty much laughs at my attempts to use a plane on it.

I have to say I've never seen a cove technique like yours, and I'm intrigued.  Now I'm trying to figure out something to do to try it out.  :)

Bill

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