Good wood: What's under the varnish

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Less than a week ago, Pax's wooden mast was still in the boat, peeling and looking bruised from wear spots and UV damage that had caused 10 layers of varnish to finally give up and let rain soak and stain start to rot the old growth fir.   Or so I feared. 

Five days of work later, the gorgeous straight lines of old growth native Fir emerge from behind the varnish, mold and surface stain.  After 8 hours of heat gun and scraper and 5 hours of Festool 80 grit the good wood emerges - clean and clear and warmly red beneath the sand paper. 

Hand sanding with a variety of pads and another day of careful prep before I can put away the power tools and pull out the brushes.  

People walking by stop and stare at the wood now. Marveling at the tight, long, straigth bands that show the long life of the tree and the care of the builder.  Pax's mast is shaped beautifully and joined with skill, but it's the wood that stops people in their tracks.  Respect, awe, beauty is in their eyes and most cannot resist touching the wood like a Talisman, like a child, like a heart.