Those Troublesome Skegs, Scarf Joints

I had to turn 14 foot pieces of lumber into 16 foot lengths for the bottom skegs. To do this we use a scarf joint. According to wikipedia:

The joint is formed by cutting opposing tapered ends on each member which are then fitted together. When working with wood, this gives better long grain to long grain gluing surface, which yields a stronger joint than would be achieved with a simple butt joint. The tapers are generally cut at an angle between 1:8 to 1:10. The ends of a plain scarf are feathered to a fine point which aids in the obscuring of the joint in the finished work.

Okay, so we’re going to cut the ends at a diagonal, fasten them together with adhesive, then sand down the rough parts until it looks like it never happened.

I made the first cut with the circular saw and finished with a handsaw. It was alright, but not as easy or as precise as if I’d had a good mitre box and sharp handsaw.

Then we got out the gooey fiberglass resin and adhered the pieces together.  At this point, it looks like a pretty righteous mess.

After it sets, out comes the belt sander.

And at this point the scarf joint is almost invisible.

The plans called for rounding the aft ends of the skegs to a point.  Here it’s looking good, and I’m starting to have a bit more confidence in these things.

Next, we drill the bolt holes for the skegs and finish them.

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