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Posted By: Ken on: 05/10/2003 15:35:20 EDT
Subject: Repro Flag Pole Specs and Material Sources

Message Detail:
Gentlemen,

In making reproductions, I would go with ash, since it seems to be more readily available at a reasonable cost (about $60 for a 12 foot pole). I agree with Walt that we should go with a three-section, 12 foot pole. This is consistent with Myer’s guidance in his manual in which he describes the “Service Set” for field use using three sections for a 12 foot pole with 4 foot flags. That would mean using the specs for pole sections 2-4 described below. Torch would attach to pole section #3, which would mean you would have an 8 foot pole to operate at night.

For reference on pole construction and ferules, I have two old action flags mounted on the remnants of two original signal poles (most likely from late 19th or early 20th century), probably a wall hanging memento for a signal officer's office or den. Both pole sections have brass ferules that are crimped at the end to hold to the wood. Both short sections (25 and 26 inches) seem to be from the top section of the pole (1/2 inch diameter) and have hand turned grooves cut into them for the flag ties. Brass connections seem to be friction only. The action flags have ties top and bottom and a loop along the center edge to fit loosely over the pole. The material is heavier and of a looser weave than those made by Mrs. Joiner.

Here are the specs of the pole sections from some friends at the OVCWA who built their own poles based on close examination of original poles from the post-war period. Dave Harbin made the joints for the flag staffs from sheet brass reinforced with brass wire and rivets in addition to solder. Brass foil was used on the tip of the third section. All the joints fit together like a fishing pole:

Starting from the bottom pole section;

#1 pole section
bottom: 1.25"
top: 1.10"
length: 48"
brass tube: none

#2 pole section
bottom: 1.10"
top: .90"
length: 48"
brass tube: ID: 1.10" OD: 1.25" length: 6"

#3 pole section
bottom: .90"
top: .70" with 6" long brass clad .10 thick for torch flame shielding
length: 48"
brass tube: ID: .90" OD: 1.0" length: 6"

#4 pole section
bottom: .70"
top: .50"
length: 48"
brass tube: ID: .70" OD: .80" length: 6"

As for sources for making the poles, I've been doing some research into this and I have found a guy who makes 12 to 16 foot ash pike staffs for English Civil War reenactors, and talking with him several months ago he indicated he might be interested in turning out some signal poles:

Mark Supik
1 N. Haven St.
Baltimore, Md. 21224
Phone: (day/work) 410-732-8414
Website: http://www.marksupikco.com

Also, these is a company that produces brass tubing in small quantities that might fit the bill for brass connections:

Online Metals
Phone: (800) 704-2157 OR (206) 285-8603
Fax: (800) 533-6350 OR (206) 285-7836
Mailing Address:
1138 West Ewing
Seattle, WA 98119
Website: http://www.onlinemetals.com/

Hope this helps. Our signal detachment out here in California would be interested in acquiring at least three sets. In addition, if anyone is interested in making torches, you can count us in for one set.

Regards,

Ken
333

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