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pavilion poles: a process

A set of wooden stairs, with a 2x2 wood pole clamped to the top one. It's surrounded by tools.

Specifically, the ‘putting spikes into each pole to loop ropes over’ part. Since I’d bragged on Twitter that I’d worked out a process, here it is!

Above, my work area. Yes, that’s the back steps. I’ll be building a worktable AFTER Battlemoor.

Step the first, as pictured above: clamp the piece to the work area.

Step the next, mark where you’re going to drill. In this case, I used one of the long bolts I’ll be using for the spikes. Also, a hammer.

The end of a 2x2 wooden pole, with a small hole banged into the center of it. That's where the drill bit goes.

Next, drill the pilot hole. I bought a REALLY long drill bit, just big enough for the threaded part of the bolts, & marked how far in it had to go with a piece of electrical tape.

A drill with like a foot-long drill bit set into it.

(Note to those drilling a long hole in a piece of wood: Pull the bit out every once in a while as you go. Otherwise all the drilled wood pieces will jam up the bit & it’ll get stuck. Ask me how I know.)

The tricky part: Drilling the hole straight into the end of the pole. I had to buy a Thing. It is a Very Useful Thing. Below, I’m using it to make sure the second, wider drill bit is going in straight.

(Yes, yes, bring on the sex jokes, they’re RIGHT THERE.)

I’d like to add a note here that this sort of thing is SO MUCH EASIER with two drills. I didn’t have to keep switching out the bits. Thank you, Rowan!

A closeup of a much wider drill bit. A hunk of heavy plastic with different-sized holes in it helps keep the bit perpendicular to the 2x2 it's drilling into. Ugh, I hope that made sense.

The second drill bit is the width of the shank, or non-threaded part, of the bolt, but not nearly as long as the other bits.

Now that you have a hole, you gotta put something in it.

A socket wrench, on the end of a long metal bolt being wound into the hole in the end of the 2x2.

& then use the socket wrench to make sure it goes in.

The bolt goes in til none of the threads are showing. But there’s still the head of the bolt, so I cut that off with the jigsaw.

A jigsaw, cutting the hexagonal head off of the end of the metal bolt.

This is BY FAR the most annoying part of the process. I tried using my new reciprocating saw, but it really wasn’t an improvement. Also, that’s when the horses snuck up on me.

ANYWAY after a lot of cutting (& cussing) the head comes off, & POOF it’s a pavilion pole.

The 2x2, with a smooth length of metal rod fixed firmly into the end.

& then I do the whole process seven more times in a row, & then I nap.

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