PVC Flag Pole Instructions
All of these items can be picked up at the local hardware store. I picked up all of the these items at the local Home Depot store. The total cost of all items including tax was under $7. In addition to the items on the list you will need a ruler/tape measure and a hacksaw. A hacksaw may not be required depending on the cotter pins that are purchased. When I went to the store they did not have a cotter pin that would fit properly over the ½ inch pvc pipe without some modifications, meaning the hacksaw. If you are able to locate a set of cotter pins that will slide over the pvc pipe then you will still need something to cut the pvc pipe with, but not necessarily a hacksaw. You can purchase the cheapest hacksaw that the store has should you still need a hacksaw. Linked at some of the steps are photos of the flag pole and parts for you convenience.
Here is the list of supplies that I picked up and the cost or each item for comparison:
10 foot piece of ½ inch white pvc pipe - cost $0.79
Small can of clear pvc cement - cost $1.97
One (1) ½ Tee fitting - cost $0.24
One (1) ½ Slip coupling - cost $0.15
One (1) ½ clip end cap - cost $0.19
Three (3) male adapters (one end slip the other end threaded) - cost $0.19 each
Three (3) female adapters (one end slip the other end inside threaded) - cost $0.24 each
Two (2) cotter pins - cost $0.56 each
Depending on the size of your carry-on luggage might change the size of each section of the flag pole. Our carry-on luggage allowed for up to 20 inches in length, but I made the flag pole so that it would fit comfortably in that carry-on luggage, so it should fit most carry-on luggage. But measure your luggage first to make sure.
Take the 10 foot piece of ½ inch pvc and cut four (4) lengths of pipe that are 17 inches in length each. They do not have to be exact, but do not make longer or they may not fit in your luggage.
With the remaining 10 foot piece of pvc, cut one piece approx. 3 inches in length, then cut two more pieces between 4 and 6 inches in length. Closer to 6 inches would be a little easier to deal with on the beach but the piece at 4 inches will also work fine.
Part A: If your pvc pipe has printing on it (most generally do) it can be cleaned off with either pvc cleaner (available at the hardware store) or you can also use some Comet type of powdered cleaner and a rag and a little bit of scrubbing to remove the printing. Also at this time remove any very rough edges where the cuts were made on the ends of the pvc pipe. You can take a regular household kitchen knife and basically brush around the edges of the pipe to remove any loose pieces and or burs that maybe present. The edges DO NOT have to be very smooth.
Get all of the piece together and dry fit them before glueing them. Once glued you will not be able to get them back apart and will have to cut them off, etc.
Take one (1) male slip on connector with the threaded end and glue on the end of one of your 17 inch pvc poles. Repeat this step two more times. You will now have three (3) 17 inch poles with male threaded ends attached.Male PVC Fitting
Set one of these poles that you have just finished aside. That pole is complete.
Take the other two (2) poles that you have finished and glue the female threaded slip connector on the opposite end of the pole.Female PVC Connector
Set these poles aside, they are finished.
You should now have one 17 inch pole, one female threaded slip connector, one slip connector, one end cap, one Tee fitting, one 3 inch pipe and two 4-6 inch pipes left.
Take the 17 inch remaining pole and glue the last female threaded connector to one end.
Take the 3 inch piece and push on the end cap - this does not have to be glued, but you can glue this piece if you want.
Close the glue and you are finished with the glue.
Depending on the cotter pins that you were able to obtain from the hardware store will determine if you have to make any cuts or not. I had to make two cuts on each cotter pin to be able to attach the flag and allow for the pin to slip over the pvc pipe. The store was out of the exact size that I needed at the time.
Make cuts to the cotter pins if necessary to allow them to be able to slip over the pvc pipe and to be able to attach the flag thru the grommets.Cotter Pin after cuts attached to TT Flag
Take the last pole that you glued (the one with the female threaded end and nothing on the other end). Slip the cotter pin (with the bottom grommet of the flag) over the plain end. Now take your slip pvc piece that you have left and put it on the plain end. Now take your 3 inch pvc pipe with the end cap and slide it thru the other cotter pin that is attached to the top flag grommet and push this into the slip joint. These parts are not glued. This way you can remove the flag for cleaning or storage if you wish.3 Inch pvc with top cap and cotter pin attached to TT Flag
You can now assemble your flag pole, by simple screwing the remaining pieces together. The height will be approx. 5-6 feet high.
The remaining piece that you have are the two (2) pvc pipes approx 4-6 inches in length and the Tee fitting. These you will use at the beach when necessary for stabilization.
The winds at Orient can be strong from time to time and the bottom stabilization will help keep you flag pole from getting blown over. You will push the two 4-6 inch pipes into each end of the Tee fitting. When at the beach, you can use it to dig a small trench that this Tee fitting will set in, then push the bottom of your flag pole into this Tee fitting and pack around it with sand. This will help keep you flag pole stable against the best winds that SXM can through at your flag. You can also remove one of the poles to shorten your flag pole if desired.
Yes there has been a design modification of sorts. The cotter pins allow for the flag to move around the pole depending on the wind direction. However, based on the winds at Orient, which are always present and can be pretty steady and stiff, the flag will rise up the pole in a very stiff breeze. So if you are encountering a stiff breeze then to prevent this you would do the following.
The design modification is as follows:
Go to the store and get a white shoe lace or small string. Attach one end of the string to the bottom portion of the cotter pin and then tie the other end around the pole at the first screw joint. This will prevent the flag from running up the pole. It is extremely effective in even the strongest breeze. In a light breeze, the string would not be needed at all.Eric Hill
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