Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Input on Clothespin Scarf

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Greetings, at my summer place I've got (had?) a really nice flagpole that my Dad made in 1974 from a boom off a Friendship sloop. Originally the pole was 32 ft long but time & rot had shortened it to 27 ft. It broke for the first time the winter after he died (2003) and needless to say my Mum wouldn't let me replace it so I fixed it. Poorly apparently as it broke about 4 yrs later. That time I scarfed a couple pieces on either side of the break and it's lasted until this past week. It was very windy, gusting 40ish, the flag was up and it was raining and needless to say it broke again. My Mum's gone now and at the insistence of my wife & son the pole was moved from her place (sold) to my place, and I now understand why she wouldn't let me replace it ... I guess I'm as sentimental as she and I don't want to replace it now either. Soooo, it needs to fixed properly this time. I believe the best fix is to scarf on a new 6ft bottom section since it has broken 3x a couple feet above the tabernacle. Given it's a flagpole and kinda like an unstayed mast I'm figuring a proper clothespin scarf is the way to go. Unfortunately I've never done one of these and would like any sensible advice so I get it right the first time. I'm concerned with my ability to get a decent fit.

    What I know - the wood is old, probably pushing 100yrs as it's been a flagpole for 50 yrs and it came off an abandoned Friendship. Spruce? It is just a slight oval shape about 4" x 4.5". There's a little dampness in the wood near the break but it is not rotten at all. Attached are a couple pics.

    Thanks for the help.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    59,627

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Having got the two pieces as close as you can, put the scarf together dry, then run a hand rip saw between the mating faces. That should take off the high spots, then glue it with thickened epoxy. Epoxy loves crappy joinery. Make sure it is well dried out before you apply the glue, though.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,485

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Yes to clothespin scarf, 12:1. The joinery is a piece of cake if you laminate the male side. Thusly:

    IMG_4569.jpg

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lake Champlain, Vermont
    Posts
    3,401

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    I would put the male side on the bottom (new wood) and female on top. I the pole laminated? If so, maybe tru to take that into account when laying out the cut?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    12:1 - is that based on the diameter or the radius? I’d think the radius as that would be a 24” scarf both sides of the clothespin based on the 4” diameter of the pole.

    Good suggestion to use the rip saw to even out the scarf joint, makes sense and I’ve used that technique setting a breast hook on a couple small boats.

    Interesting idea to split the male side. I’ll think on that one.

    Why the male side on the bottom piece? It’s probably how I’d have done it anyhow but what’s the advantage?

    Material - what should I use? I’m not positive what the original wood is. Spruce is my best guess but it could be pine, it has a sappy smell at the fresh cut. Would doug fir be appropriate?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrib View Post
    12:1 - is that based on the diameter or the radius? I’d think the radius as that would be a 24” scarf both sides of the clothespin based on the 4” diameter of the pole.
    Neither, from what I know of it. It's the overall length of the scarf that counts; what the ratio describes is the pitch or angle, in this case 1" of change in 12" of the length of the scarf. For a clothespin scarf your 24" number is correct as the scarf itself is split between both sides, not a single continuous joint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrib View Post
    Good suggestion to use the rip saw to even out the scarf joint, makes sense and I’ve used that technique setting a breast hook on a couple small boats.

    Interesting idea to split the male side. I’ll think on that one.
    May make assembly easier depending on what kind of wood you choose for the addition.

    (I have to take exception to jpatrick's referencing the split part as the male half here. By every other definition it's the projecting part defined as male, the portion shaped to receive said projection is female in nature. In his drawings the portion split in the middle forms a female V-notch that will receive the wedge-shaped male end of the new addition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrib View Post
    Why the male side on the bottom piece? It’s probably how I’d have done it anyhow but what’s the advantage?
    For your intended use I'm not sure it matters. With a carefully made clothespin scarf nicely cut & carefully glued up the dynamics ought to be the same regardless of orientation. It's the surface area of the joint that counts most, not so much that in this case it's split between both sides of the spar.

    What probably matters more is the orientation of the scarf relative to the grain of the parts to be joined.

    I'd avoid cutting the V-notch with faces parallel to the grain, otherwise whatever stresses that have to be managed may tend to split the solid portion along the grain beyond the end of the new joint. Fashion the repair piece so it's grain matches that of the original.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrib View Post
    Material - what should I use? I’m not positive what the original wood is. Spruce is my best guess but it could be pine, it has a sappy smell at the fresh cut. Would doug fir be appropriate?
    Looks like spruce to my eye. IF you have pics of the broken ends that may help us some. Spruce, pine, fir... all appropriate I'd have to think.

    More probably depends on what kind of selection you have where you are if you want a single, solid blank of the required length & quality or if you have to 'make do' with typical lumberyard stuff that will be laminated up in thickness to yield a proper workpiece.

    Thicknessing 1-1/2" dimensional stock down to 1-1/8" will be more wasteful than using 5/4" for a 4-up lamination. If the wedge end of your repair runs perpendicular to the workpiece grain a 3-up laminated blank from lightly faced 1-1/2" pieces ought to work fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Yeah, I suspect I’ll need to laminate the new section. No problem with doing that and it means I could use some doug fir from the lumber yard. I’ve also had pretty good luck finding some tight grain in the 2x12 pile. I can also get some top quality wood from a specialty yard not too far away.

    I’m thinking I’ll cut the scarf in the pole (not parallel to the grain) and let it sit 2-3 weeks to be sure any moisture dries up. It’s in a garage that also has the house furnace & hot water heater so the ambient temp stays about 55F.

    Thanks all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    So I've made some progress on the flagpole repair. Using a piece of 2x12 doug fir from my local big box store I cut it down and laminated a blank for the bottom of the pole. On this I cut the male end of the scarf and then roughly rounded it out (oval actually). I then cut the female side of the scarf into the flag pole. The scarf matched "OK" I guess but with a little bit of work it was good enough to glue up w/thickened epoxy. I used the regular System Three on hand along with 403 filler. It's now glued together and waiting for me to grind/plane/sand it down. Actually I started this process but didn't have my power plane with me and the hook&loop sanding pad on my Festool seems to have worn out as the sanding discs refused to stay put so am waiting for a new pad to arrive. Thanks for the advice I pretty much followed along accordingly!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    59,627

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Looks good to me.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    I think you're doing a fine job of this Scrib. Your dad'd & proud of the outcome.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Gotta admit that old spruce pole was a bear to cut with a handsaw even after making a preliminary cut with a circular saw!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Handsaw sharp? Cross-cut or rip teeth? Former'd add to your misery, particularly if either dull or not properly set; with the grain demands rip teeth w/ good set to clear ropey chips.

    I'd have grabbed one of my Japanese-pattern pull saws, coarser teeth the better on the rip side. If you've never used one you deserve the opportunity next time.

    AD5B1CCD-20D3-4167-A9F8-23221A30B24E.jpg

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Kennebunkport, ME USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    The saw is not as sharp as it should be and is a cross cut when I needed a rip but you gotta use whatcha got! I have a japanese pull saw and it's the absolute best for fine work but would not have been useful for the type of job I needed to do. I love that little saw!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Mountains of Ocooch
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: Input on Clothespin Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrib View Post
    The saw is not as sharp as it should be and is a cross cut when I needed a rip but you gotta use whatcha got! I have a japanese pull saw and it's the absolute best for fine work but would not have been useful for the type of job I needed to do. I love that little saw!
    Agree 100% with (what I took the liberty to embold there) as well as the rest of your post Scrib, particularly the love bit!

    (Sometimes what gets offered up in reply isn't as much directed at the post being replied-to's author as it's added for the edification of others who may be following a thread for their own learnings.)

    And as I said before I think you're doing a fine job of your repair to that mast.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •