Tapering Boom and Rounding Spars

Being a bit obsessive, I'm a little uncomfortable with CLC's directions relative to finishing the boom on my Northeaster Dory.  A simple paraphrase of those instructions is, 'You may want to taper it a little for looks.'  Any thoughts on how much taper will look good before I start whittling away on that square length of wood.

Also, having spent what feels like an inordinate amount of time and effort in tapering, rounding, and finishing the mast, does anyone have any shortcuts to making a clean, even job of the boom?  For the mast I used a hand saw (power) to start the tapers, a power planer to take them down even more, and then a belt sander to finish the job.  I managed the edges with a 3/4" roundover router bit, a 5" orbital sander, and a couple of hand sanding blocks.  Due to variations in the grain of the wood it seemed like I chased one "bump" after another up one side of the mast and down the other with only satisfactory results in the end.  Any thoughts on how not to do the same thing with the boom?


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RE: Tapering Boom and Rounding Spars

I went a bit more old school the spars for my Goat Island Skiff.  Marked the tapers along the length then planed down with power planer and/or hand plane.  Next I made them eight sided with hand plane, then 16 sided.  For final rounding, I found that cutting a 24" (or longer) 80 grit sanding belt and sanding with it wrapped around the spar at a 45 degree angle to be very effective.  I used pencil scribbles to see the low areas that needed mor sanding. 


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