Oh the joys of Spring. I thought I was going to get off easy this year, but I discovered two fairly large projects. One of them is my mast.
The mast is 35 feet, hollow box construction, spruce, 30 years old. It has heavy blocking starting from about a foot and a half above the base and going up past the spreaders, with a channel cut in the blocking for the wires. (It's a heavy sucker.) The lower foot or so is only partially blocked, with a hollow portion in the center from the step up to the hole where the wires exit. The purpose of this hollow is to allow drainage. All of the glue joints from the bottom up to the wire exit hole have let go. The gooseneck, just above the wire hole, is of heavy bronze strapping and wraps around three sides of the mast. It appears to add significant strength and acts like a permanent clamp around the mast. Above that, the mast is sound and the joints are tight.
Upon discovery, I stripped the paint from the bottom three feet so I could inspect the condition of the wood. The wood was extremely wet under the paint. The blocking inside this portion of the mast was also wet. The original glue was resourcinal. There were two small soft spots on the surface, which I gouged out and will fill with epoxy. Fortunately, the weather has been very dry for the past week so the wood has dried out thoroughly.
I suspect the water got in through two places. The mast is stepped on a tabernacle and the drain hole at the bottom of the mast was too small and did not run free. I think water got into the wire exit hole and collected in the base. I also think that water wicked up through the end grain at the base when the water did not properly drain from the tabernacle. I do not think water got in through the outside, as the paint coating was sound and all fittings are properly bedded and fastened.
Here's how I plan to repair it. Clean the joints and faying surfaces as best I can using sandpaper, scraper, knives, etc. Soak all surfaces in CPES. To reach in to the hollow that runs about a foot and a half up the mast, I'll tie a small brush on to an extention handle and slosh it around up there as best I can. I'll use a syringe to squirt it into all of the joints and on all of the faying surfaces. I'll remove the fittings and apply it to the outside and into the fastener holes.
The next day, I'll glue it up using slow-cure epoxy thickened slightly with cabosil. I'll inject that liberally into the joints with a syringe. Clamp and let cure for a couple of days.
I don't want to use resourcinal because I can't be sure of getting tight fitting joints--and I'm not about to take the entire mast apart just to check. Also, I can't be sure of warm enough temperatures to get a good cure. Since I want to seal everything with CPES, I don't know if resourcinal will work on CPESed surfaces. I don't want to take the chance of failure.
My goal is to get stong glue joints and seal the wood in this part of the mast from water.
Anyone see anything wrong with this? Have any better ideas?