Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tent pole repair

On the second evening of our seven day Fortune Bay trip one of my tent poles broke.  It was a very disconcerting thing because it happened so early on the trip.

If you google "tent pole repair" most results will be tent pole replacement.  I didn't have that luxury because I couldn't get the 5/16 replacement poles in the right length.  Well, I could but it would have been just as cheap to replace the entire tent.

I bought some 5/16 fibreglass poles but they weren't the right length so I was forced to macgyver the repair.  The broken pole was in the middle of the string.  I swapped it with the piece at the end from which I cut the piece that rests on the ground (see last shot).  The repaired piece would then be put on the end as there is less bend there.

Here's how I went about it the repair.  I purchased some 3/8 OD (outside dimension) copper tubing cut off about 6 inches with my pipe cutter and put it into the vice.  I opened the tube up first with a 19/64 drill bit and then used the 5/16 bit.

I checked for fit with a test piece.  I found it tight at first but solved that by running the drill bit at high speed to heat and expand the tubing.  On cooling I had a snug fit so I carried on with the broken tent pole.

I used masking tape to mark off the depth the broken pole had to be inserted into the copper ferrule.  Then I laid out the six pole sections next to a good pole to get the length of the filler piece (grey piece next photo).

I cut and epoxied the grey filler piece into the copper tube and the end thing (? called).

I restrung the bungy chord through the poles and the repair was complete.  The repaired piece is longer than the original but because there is less bend where I placed it, its not an issue.

I'm good to go again and for pennies at that.

The field repair was a large nail retrieved from a burned log, held by gorilla tape.  I'll, however, be taking a few pieces of  PVC on future camp trips to make emergency field repairs.

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