Re: Do I need to protect areas scratched on mast?
No that's not a weld. Just some cellophane wrapped around the mast. As far as a compression tube, I was planning to use a nylon bushing. Drill one of the holes wide enough to accommodate the outside diameter of the bushing. The other end of the bushing would press against the inside wall of the mast. The bushing would allow me to tighten the bolt and nut. The spreader sockets would put load against the bushing and not the mast. All I need to do is have the bolt and its nut snug so that the spreader sockets don't wiggle about too much.
Thanks for info about the paint.