coloured pole

It wobbles in the wind!

StoryKettle » Bucknell » coloured pole

Copyright © 2009, Michael M Wayman

coloured pole

I have a coloured pole in my garden, about four metres high, and you are going to tell me what it is and what it is for.

I've taken several pictures of the pole and most of them are useless. A single vertical streak in the garden, not much more interesting than a picture of a telegraph pole.

But you say, pictures of long railway trains and snakes look OK. Yes, but the train is probably in a curve and the locomotive up front is foreshortened, that is, it appears much bigger than the rest of the train. So I lay on the cold and wet grass and took a picture up the pole – this helped to confuse the neighbours.

coloured pole

The pole is the inner cardboard tube from a roll of carpet that I found in the attic. It is about four metres long and ten centimetres in internal diameter (14 feet by 4 inches). You can see them lying horizontally in any carpet store – they are normally thrown away.

I painted the tube inside and out thickly with a can of cheap white enamel paint (used for doors and windows) several times to seal the cardboard for outside use. I pulled a rag sodden in paint through the tube to coat the inside. This took several days.

coloured pole

Now came the fun bit!
I dribbled/painted red and green and yellow and black and silver and blue blobs on the (horizontal) tube. I let the drips run. Several more days.

I rammed a rod (an old pipe) vertically into the lawn – I used a spirit level – about one metre in the ground and two above. I put some cleaned plastic yoghurt pots on top.

I ate a Fray-Bentos cow-pie out of a dish-shaped tin can, and then three big tin cans of ravioli, each ten centimetres in diameter (a good push-fit in the tube). After cleaning, the cans were painted inside and out with thick silver hammer-finish paint, as were the two ends of the tube.

coloured pole

1: On the bottom of the first can I pop-riveted the up-turned pie dish and pushed it open-end first into the top end of the tube; this keeps the rain off the pole.

2: The second can was pushed closed-end first almost two metres (Measure it first!) into the other end of the tube, so that the tube would rest on the rod without touching the grass (20 centimetre gap). It is held in place with three screws from the outside (Paint the screw heads!).

3: A hole just bigger than the diameter of the rod was made in the bottom of the third can. It was pushed open-end first into the bottom end of the tube. Another coat of silver hammer-finish paint on both ends.

coloured pole

Big surprise! I held the tube vertical for the first time. Yes, it was a coloured pole. I mounted it on the rod in the garden.

Big Tone said that he was going to put four half length poles in his garden with a double length pole in the middle that rotated slowly by an electric motor driven by...

I asked him how he would fit lightning protection to it.

The pole wobbles in the wind. You have to see it to believe it.

People often ask me what the pole is for. I ask them what it is made of. I tell them what it is made of. I ask them what they think that the pole is for. I tell them that they are right.