Introduction: Homemade/DIY Telescoping Pole From EMT (Electrical) Conduit

About: Hi, we are Elation Sports Technologies! Located in Los Angeles CA, we specialize in designing innovative sporting and recreational goods!

Making your own telescoping pole out of electrical metallic tubing (EMT) conduit is easy using Cinch: The Telescoping Coupling for Prototyping! Telescoping poles are useful for all kinds of projects:

  • Outdoor lighting
  • Indoor lighting
  • Home maintenance
  • Outdoor sports
  • Decorations
  • Crafts
  • Photo, video, and sound equipment
  • Banners and signs
  • Curtains
  • Entry/exit barriers
  • Security system mounts
  • Tents and outdoor shelters
  • Stage props
  • Bird and bat houses
  • Flagpoles
  • Boating push poles
  • Screens for display or privacy
  • And more!

To make your own telescoping pole:

  1. Prepare EMT Conduit
  2. Assemble Pole with Telescoping Couplings
  3. Add Extra Attachments

And that's it!


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

  1. EMT conduit telescoping couplings
  2. 1/2" EMT conduit
  3. 3/4" EMT conduit
  4. 1" EMT conduit
  5. Tape measure
  6. Marker
  7. Rotary tube cutting tool
  8. Deburring tool

Step 1: Prepare EMT Conduit

Collect the pieces of EMT conduit that you want to make into a telescoping pole. EMT conduit is made of galvanized steel and comes in standard sizes. For this Instructable, we used three pieces of 1/2", 3/4", and 1" conduit. A 5-foot length of 1/2" EMT conduit can be purchased from your local hardware store for about $2.50, and a 10-foot length costs about $3.50, with zero shipping cost if you pick it up yourself!

EMT conduit standard sizes have the following diameters. The Cinch EMT Conduit telescoping coupling system is specifically designed to work with these sizes:

1/2" EMT conduit: 0.706" outside diameter, 0.622" inside diameter

3/4" EMT conduit: 0.922" outside diameter, 0.824" inside diameter

1" EMT conduit: 1.163" outside diameter, 1.049" inside diameter

Use a tape measure and a marker to mark the length of each piece of EMT conduit. Wear protective equipment (including safety goggles) before cutting the conduit! Use a rotary tube cutting tool (around $10) to cut each piece of conduit by tightening the tool on the conduit, rotating the tool, and continuing to tighten and then rotate the tool, until the conduit is cut.

On both the inner and outer edges of the cut ends of the conduit, remove the sharp edge using any one of the following tools:

  • Flat file
  • Round file
  • Sandpaper
  • Reamer
  • Deburring tool

If desired, paint or coat the cut pieces of conduit. Now we are ready to assemble the telescoping pole!

Step 2: Assemble Telescoping Pole

To assemble the telescoping pole, for each pair of telescoping EMT conduit pieces:

  1. Install outer coupling onto the smaller (inner) conduit.
  2. Install inner sleeve onto the end of the smaller (inner) conduit.
  3. Insert the smaller (inner) conduit inside the larger (outer) conduit.
  4. Tighten the screw to attach the coupling to the larger (outer) conduit using a Phillips head screwdriver.
  5. Loosen the hand knob to adjust the smaller (inner) conduit, and tighten it to lock its position.

Done! Whenever you want to adjust the pole, simply loosen the hand knob, and re-tighten it to set the new pole position.

Step 3: Add Extra Attachments

To make your telescoping pole usable for your specific project, you may need to add other attachments to your pole. These can include:

  • Clips and caps
  • String/twine
  • Wires, LEDs and other electrical components
  • Custom wooden, metal, and plastic pieces
  • A base or stand
  • Camera mount

To attach any of these items to the pole, in a pinch, you can use:

  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Epoxy
  • Rubber bands
  • String

Extra attachments can also be added to your telescoping pole by hand-drilling a hole in the pole and using machine screws and nuts. Remember to remove the rough edges from any holes you drill in EMT conduit, and wear protective equipment (safety glasses at a minimum) while doing so! Handle the telescoping pole you've made with care to minimize the chance of injuring yourself or others, and be responsible!

The telescoping couplings used to create this project are available for purchase now from Elation Sports Technologies!

Check out our other Instructables articles:

Our website's blog posts offer more inspiration for your next EMT conduit project!

Austin Allen is the Founder and Owner at Elation Sports Technologies LLC, which specializes in the development of novel sports and recreational products.