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By Ed (Chief Red Bear) Davis - Melbourne, Florida - USA


I've read and reread Andrew Linn's ( how to on making coopers mast and cringed each time hopping for inspiration on how to do it safer. Andrew's plan was for cutting all the sides first then cutting the angle to each side. This gave very thin strips to handle and requiring three cuts for each strip. I didn't have Mr. Scheidaman for 7th grade shop but mine was just as tough. I'm not for giving blood sacrifices to the tool god's; they get enough as it is. I now think I've got IT! We start with a 1 x 10 pine, Douglass fir or whatever you have, 10 to 12 feet long.

Wide Board - First Cut

First we whack off the side to get our start angle (depending on the number of sides to your mast). Flip the board end for end, set your fence for the correct width per side (3/4") and feed the board through. That will give one side with correct angles with only two cuts thru the saw. Our fingers should still be attached and far enough away from the spinning blade that we can breathe easier. Now flip the board again and cut the second side. As we progress we get closer to the blade, our attention should rise with each pass. We just have to keep counting our fingers. The key is to flip the board each pass. That keeps the large flat side to the top and the correct angle to each side.

Nine cuts and eight slats. The rejects on the floor.

I've already tried this and it works as explained. I made one mistake; I had cut ten strips for testing the concept. At glue up I grabbed sticks applied glue wrapped with electrical tape and went to bed.

Next morning I had nine strips glued nicely together. At least it was only a test and just 10 inches long. I've used it as a decoration for my house number.

That's a solar night light on top, it lights my way home at night.

The final product. It just needs sanding and a coat of paint.

As I said at the start Andrew Linn has an excellent article on his web site, so mine is not as through as it could be. I've sent him a preliminary copy of this article for his approval. He agreed with the concept and added safety. Now as for cost, $10 for wood and a bottle of Gorilla glue. $5 for some tape to hold it together while drying.

Ed (Chief Red Bear) Davis USN Ret

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