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Harbor Freight Telescoping Flagpole


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I did talk to a few manufacturers of telescoping flag poles at a home and garden show a few weeks back.  They were quite
skeptical about adding excessive amounts of weight to the poles as most of them are only held up by 1/4 inch pins running through one wall of the inner an outer material that itself was quite thin.  The pins also transferred all their weight just into the surrounding material (Aluminum) and not into a bushing made out of a harder material.  I'm not saying it can't be done or that it's not being done successfully, just that it was highly recommended by the two manufactures I spoke to to not do it. 

 

What is it that you are seeking with this item?  Are you looking for something that is easier to raise and lower, or are you looking for
compact size, reasonable cost?

 

 

-RainyOregonchriStmaS

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been there done that and don't really recommend it.  I have used two different brands, Sunsetter and Tele-Pole.  Tele-Pole is the better made of those two but the issue in both case is the springs used to lock it in place.  The Tele-Pole ones are stronger but still have issues with more than 16 strands of lights.  There is also a weight issue, we had 48 strands of lights and it took four of us to raise it and lock it in place.

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I've been using a Sunsetter for 10 seasons now, using flex couplings at the joints to hold the weight (the spring pins are NOT designed to carry weight).  Pole has been up for the entire decade (as a flagpole the rest of the year) and all I've had to do is replace a few plastic parts now and then as they age.

I trust Harbor Freight products for a lot of things, but carrying the weight of a mega-tree on a product designed to be a flagpole would not be one of them.

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As a fromer H.F. Emoloyee that sold many of these as flag poles, I wound NOT recomment this pole for lights. It is designed as a light weight flag pole and will likely NOT be able to handle the weight and stress of lights and guy wires. 

The flag pole is good (not great) as a light pole as it was designed.

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As Tim above, I have used a 23 ft sunsetter with couplings for several years with no issues.  I tried a HF 16 foot pole and it did not work well at all. I also agree that a JUMP unit might be the best way to go.

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I used the Harbor Freight Flag Pole this year for my Mega Tree. And it was fine, although I made some adjustments to it. I took and drilled holes above the joints and put in 3in lag bolts.. 1/2in diameter to use as "pins" I also had 5 ancor lines attached to it. 2 at the top and 3 about 2/3 way up. I used about 32 strands of lights on it and it held up just fine. Oh I bought the hook head from Christmaslightshow.com and attached it to the top. It is a little flimsy and such but for a smaller mega-tree it worked just fine. 

 

-The key here is to "Pin" the joints so it does not collapse and then also secure it with Guy wires really well. Mine was also cemented into the ground about 1.5 feet (well in a sleeve that was 1.5 feet deep)

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I used the Harbor Freight Flag Pole this year for my Mega Tree. And it was fine, although I made some adjustments to it. I took and drilled holes above the joints and put in 3in lag bolts.. 1/2in diameter to use as "pins" I also had 5 ancor lines attached to it. 2 at the top and 3 about 2/3 way up. I used about 32 strands of lights on it and it held up just fine. Oh I bought the hook head from Christmaslightshow.com and attached it to the top. It is a little flimsy and such but for a smaller mega-tree it worked just fine. 

 

-The key here is to "Pin" the joints so it does not collapse and then also secure it with Guy wires really well. Mine was also cemented into the ground about 1.5 feet (well in a sleeve that was 1.5 feet deep)

 

So, after all of these modifications. In both time and cost of materials. Is there a difference in cost for this or one or two galvanized pipes? There is a time when something cheap and ready to go or with minor work is worth it. But if you have to do major modification work and with enough extra hardware. Then I have to stop and ask myself is it worth it?

Edited by Max-Paul
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  • 2 years later...

My question from another thread was answered here...

.

I was thinking about a HB flag pole for a mega tree... I will go with the joined galvanized or JUMP pole..

 

I want to make mine a Spiral tree though and want to try to get it more then the 12 ft that I have now which I made using PVC and with the star on top is just over 12 ft .. 

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Tried telescoping flag poles for a few years and have found that they just don't hold up under the weight of the lights, had issues with the pins they use to keep it up.  I am guessing the design was for the weight of a flag and loaded with lights its a hundred times that.

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