Friday, April 3, 2009

The Zen of Scarfing

I tried, I really did..., sharpened up the planes, and tried some practice scarfs on plywood. I then tried some practice scarfs on the mast staves using a power planer and a belt sander. Close but no cigar. The scarfs just weren't good enough. Either the learning curve is a little too steep for this first time boat builder or my scarfing skills just aren't up to snuff. Whatever the reason I have reluctantly resigned myself to resorting to "scarfing jigs". What a godsend! I made one for the circular saw that duplicates what the $90 Gudgeon Brothers one does and made another one for the table saw to scarf the mast staves and rub rails. Pictures of both jigs are shown and a link to the instructions on how to build them.

If you are a first time boat builder looking for a way to easily create scarfs I highly recommend both these jigs, easy to build, and they consistently create scarfs much more accurately
 than I was ever going to be able to recreate manually.

One day maybe I will achieve nirvana and the zen of handcrafted scarfs but for now I will be satisfied with taking the non-traditional approach and be happy with my nice , quick, accurate jig created scarfs.


george_zip said...

Is that a 7-1/4 inch blade or did you have to use a larger blade to scarf the 1/4 inch plywood?

Dave C. said...

Just a 7 1/4 inch blade. You would need to use an 8 inch blade to scarf 3/8" plywood. An 8 inch blade will usually fit on a 7 1/4" saw.