Intro: Do-It-Yourself $130 Flag Pole
I have always wanted a flag flying in front of my home and it has been far too long around our place without one. I finally had the time to come up with a simple, inexpensive yet very strong flag pole that cost less than $130. This project can be completed in one afternoon with parts that are readily available at your home center and will change the look of your home forever.
Take a look at the project video on our YouTube channel, you can find more detail and process description there.
Step 1: Flag Pole Hardware
All items for the Flag Pole can be gotten at your local home center, I have included the part numbers from The Home Depot as that is where I got the items for my build. Not all stores carry the 2" galvanized pipe, I was lucky that my local store does.
Step 2: Sleeve Prep: Cut
The sleeve to hold the flag pole in the concrete pylon will be made from a 3' section of 3" PVC.
Issue with this is the 3" ID of the PVC is way bigger than the 2" galvanized pipe. To make the sleeve fit you will need to cut 1 3/4" inches out of the PVC.
I used the table saw to make this cut. If you use a table saw MAKE SURE to have a splitter or riving knife otherwise there will be a major pinch point and kickback. You can see in the image below how the splitter prevents pinching on the blade. You can see how I made this splitter here.
Make sure to account for the blade kerf when making this cut.
Step 3: Sleeve Prep: Form
Once I had the proper cutout I used a heat gun to soften the PVC and wrap it tight around the 2" galvanized pipe.
I worked my way from one end using duct tape to clamp the PVC in place until it cooled.
I also bent a shoe across the bottom of the sleeve to prevent the pipe from slipping though the sleeve into the ground.
Step 4: Digging and Leveling
I dug the hole for this flag pole 36" deep and about 8" in diameter. I would have been more comfortable with a 46" deep hole so I was below the frost line but I did't want to sacrifice that much height, we will see if that is a fail or not. It was REALLY warm the day I decided to dig this!
When I had the hole finished I sprayed some dry lube on the pipe so that I have a chance of removing this later on.
Used some ratchet straps to level the pole in place.
Step 5: Concrete Time
I like to skip the cleaning step and mix my concrete right in the hole, I have had lots of success with this in the past so why clean if you don't need to! Pour in a few inches worth of quickrete.
Add some water.
And mix thoroughly with a crowbar.
Step 6: Making the Flag Pole: Cleat
First step for making the actual flag pole is to measure to a point that will be comfortable for you use the cleat for tightening the rope, be sure to take into account the 3' that are in the ground. This is on the 2" pipe.
I made a small jig to help me drill the cleat mounting holes straight.
And drilled two 1/8" holes.
Fastened the cleat with two self tapping screws.
Step 7: Making the Flag Pole: Eye Bolt, Pulley, Cap and Reducer
I than used the same jig to drill a 1/4" hole all the way thought the 1 1/2" pip at the very top mount the eye bolt to hold the pulley.
Fasten in place with lock washers and make sure the eye bolt is oriented as shown below, this will prevent the bolt from opening over time and dropping the pulley.
I than bent the eye bolt open a bit, mounted the pulley and squeezed tight with channel locks.
Add the pulley.
Now is a good time to put the 1 1/2" cap on the top of the flag pole.
And connect the two pipes together with the 2" to 1 1/2" reducer and tighten as much as possible.
Step 8: Making the Flag Pole: Rope
I strung the rope through the pulley and down to the cleat but did not cut anything yet as I was not sure how long I needed the rope yet. The spring clamps that hold the flag are tied to the rope using a simple loop knot.
And the spring clamp is simply connected through this knot and clips onto the flag.
Add the top clip first and then be sure to stretch the flat tight before adding the second clip.
After the flag is mounted cut and knot the rope at an appropriate length to allow you to tie the rope down.
Step 9: Clean Up
Before putting the pole up I cleaned off the lettering on the pole using some high grit sandpaper and mineral spirits.
Step 10: Raising the Flag Pole / Lighting
I added some more dry lube to the bottom of the flag pole and slid it into it's sheath, clipped on the flag and raised it.
Added a solar light to shine on Old Glory throughout the night.
Step 11: Enjoy
Be sure to check our the project video on our YouTube channel as I go into more detail there. Thanks for checking out our stuff and have a good one!