This week I have made and completed the main masts and bowsprit.
I used a hardwood dowel for the masts, and turned each section down on a lathe. I then pinned each section together, being careful to keep masts straight.
The hardest part was to gluing the masts into the deck. I used a super araldite which takes three days to dry, yet once stuck is impossible to ‘unstick’. Gluing the masts is tricky and time consuming because the masts must be positioned at the correct angle when viewed from the side and must appear upright and square when viewed from the bow.
I have taken care to include the Harris conductors on the masts, copper strips running from the top of the mast to the deck of the ship, a special feature that saved the Beagle from lightening strikes many times. The conductors channeled the electricity from lightening strikes to the copper sheathing of the hull, thereby earthing the ship to the sea.
Next week I will start the rigging, possibly the most difficult, but yet most rewarding challenge of the whole project.
Contributed by model maker Mike Bass.