Compass
Box 1748 Conway, NH 03818
Phone: (603) 447-2344 Fax: (603) 447-8377

Rectangular Marquee Poles

Making your own

Overall Height Perimeter Poles 1/4″ Rope Dog Bones Stakes
8’6″ x 11’3″ 9’3″ 14@ 6’3″ 18@ 10′ 18 14 Small, 18 Large
8’6″ x 14′ 9’3″ 16@ 6’3″ 20@ 10′ 20 16 Small, 20 Large
8’6″ x 16’10″ 9’3″ 18@ 6’3″ 22@ 10′ 22 18 Small, 22 Large
11’3″ x 14′ 10’3″ 18@ 6’3″ 22@ 11′ 22 18 Small, 22 Large
11’3″ x 16’10″ 10’3″ 20@ 6’3″ 24@ 11′ 24 20 Small, 24 Large
11’3″ x 19’8″ 10’3″ 22@ 6’3″ 26@ 11′ 26 22 Small, 26 Large
14′ x 16’10″ 10’9″ 22@ 6’3″ 26@ 11′ 26 22 Small, 26 Large
14′ x 19’8″ 11’3″ 24@ 6’9″ 28@ 11′ 28 24 Small, 28 Large
14′ x 22’6″ 11’3″ 26@ 6’9″ 30@ 11′ 30 26 Small, 30 Large
14′ x 25’4″ 11’3″ 28@ 6’9″ 32@ 11′ 32 28 Small, 32 Large
16’10″ x 19’8″ 11’3″ 26@ 6’9″ 30@ 11′ 30 26 Small, 30 Large
16’10″ x 22’6″ 11’3″ 28@ 6’9″ 32@ 11′ 32 28 Small, 32 Large
16’10″ x 25’4″ 11’3″ 30@ 6’9″ 34@ 11′ 34 30 Small, 34 Large
16’10″ x 27’2″ 11’3″ 32@ 6’9″ 36@ 11′ 36 32 Small, 36 Large
19’8″ x 22’6″ 11’9″ 30@ 7’3″ 30@ 12′ 30 30 Small, 34 Large
19’8″ x 25’4″ 11’9″ 32@ 7’3″ 32@ 12′ 32 32 Small, 36 Large
19’8″ x 27’2″ 11’9″ 34@ 7’3″ 34@ 12′ 34 34 Small, 38 Large

Preparation is everything. If you are building your own poles you will need to purchase pole stock (wood!) Look at the chart above to determine what you need for your marquee. Use these dimensions only as a guide and a place to start. As you read on you will notice we have filled in the dimensions for your unique tent. We are going to describe how we would build your pole set, if you choose different dimension lumber be sure to factor that into the dimensions given.

Main Pole System: We use Douglas Fir for the stock in our main pole system. Douglas Fir is stable, does not check or twist as much as some soft wood and is very rot resistant. We use “4×4”s (measuring an actual 3 ½” x 3 ½”). Pick them carefully at your lumberyard remembering you only want to do this once and good poles will cost as much as knot filled, twisted poles.

Marquee Ridge Pole

Vertical Poles: For a “quick” set of vertical poles set your table saw to 2 ½” and rip your pole stock to 2½”x 2½”. Reset the fence and blade to rip the stock to an octagonal shape. Find the overall length of your upright from the dimensions we have supplied, subtract the thickness of your ridge pole and cut the pole to length. Drill a ½” hole directly into the center of the top end. Cut a ½” piece of round stock steel to 10”, radius the ends and place into the hole. Make two.

For a fancier set of poles adjust your table saw to rip your stock to 2 5/8” x 2 5/8”. When complete run your stock through a thickness planer to a finished 2 ½” x 2 ½”. Find the overall length of your upright from the dimensions we have supplied, subtract the thickness of your ridge pole and cut the pole to length. We like the look of poles with a “stop” so set your jointer fence at a 45 degree angle and the feed table to remove enough wood to make the pole octagonal after four passes. BUT FIRST, figure where you would like the stop to be, usually 9 to 12 inches from the end. Run the stock into the jointer stopping at the same point on each cut and lifting directly up from the table. CAUTION: this is incredibly dangerous as it leaves the cutter blades exposed and ready to take off a finger tip, etc. Pay attention, you will only need poles once in awhile but you will need your fingers every day. Cut a ½” piece of round stock steel to 10”, radius the ends and place into the hole. Make two.

Marquee Ridge Pole GrommetSleeves: If you are using sleeves on your vertical poles (to make them more transportable) you may want to cut the stock before you do all of the above. This will allow you to work with shorter pieces of wood and allow you to leave both the top and bottom of the pole “in the square”. Whether you have cut your poles before or after the process you will wind up with two pieces for each pole. Fit a sleeve to pole piece to determine just how much larger your pole is than the sleeve. Set your jointer to take the minimum off of each face of the octagon. Mark the table so your cut is 6 inches on each face. Fit the sleeve and repeat until the sleeve fits snugly. When you are happy with the fit leave the sleeve on one pole section, drill a hole to accept a nail or screw to secure the sleeve in place.

RIDGEPOLE: A “quick” ridge pole may be made starting with a “4×4” Douglas Fir ripped to 2 ½” x 2 ¾”. Cut to length. Chamfer the two top edges by setting the table saw at a 45 degree angle and ripping again. Measure the “short point to short point” and cut the ends to shape. Measure, mark and drill the holes using a 9/16” drill bit completely through the pole.

For a fancier ridgepole adjust your table saw to rip your stock to 2 5/8” x 2 7/8”. When complete run your stock through a thickness planer to a finished 2 ½” x 2 3/4”. Cut to length. Chamfer the top two edges on a jointer set at 45 degrees. . Measure the “short point to short point” and cut the ends to shape. Measure, mark and drill the holes using a 9/16” drill bit completely through the pole.

Sleeves: If you are using a sleeve on your ridgepole you now want to cut your pole in half. Fit a sleeve to a pole piece to determine just how much larger your pole is than the sleeve. Set your jointer to take the minimum off of each face. Mark the table so your cut is 7 1/2 inches on each face. Fit the sleeve and repeat until the sleeve fits snugly. When you are happy with the fit leave the sleeve on one pole section, drill a hole to accept a nail or screw to secure the sleeve in place.

PERIMETER POLES: (OPTIONAL) Douglas Fir is our choice. “2×2” (measuring an actual 1 ½” x 1 ½”). Hand pick them one at a time for poles you want to work with and look at.

You need a bunch. Set up a system so you are not doing them one at a time. First; cut each pole to the length we have given you. Second; drill a 3/8” hole in one end roughly 3” deep. Third; set up a router or shaper table to cut the pole stock with a 45 degree chamfer bit. Starting the cut about 9” from the end of the pole, chamfer the edge to a point 9” from the other end. Repeat for each edge (4 times for each pole). Cut 3/8” steel stock to 6” pieces. Radius the ends and place one in each perimeter pole.

Yes, you may make a “quicker” set by eliminating all the chamfering and leaving the stock just a “2×2” but it would not be near as impressive.

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