Sunday, October 26, 2008

All you ever wanted to know about tipi poles...

Phone the captain of your local pub quiz team. E-mail Mensa to prepare them. Arrange for Norris McWhirter to visit your house with the Guinness World Records team. Erm...actually, scratch that one as I think Norris might actually be living out his time in the Angel Records department at the moment. Anyway, whatever you ever wanted to know about tipi poles, you can find out here. Boy is that information going to be useful. Well, when I say useful...erm, to me it will be, to you? Quite interesting? Certainly not lethal unless you start caressing a chainsaw and plan a weekend marathon. Moving on.

What we are talking about here are 'loom poles', thanks to my new friend Blue Evening Star. For my first kid's tipi, I reckon I need about 12 feet of poles here and have been a little worried about what wood to use and where to get it from. I wanted to get this right so that when I move to a proper size tipi, I sort of know what I am talking about.

So, what to do, who to ask - well, I decided to go to the experts, people actually making the lovely triangle tents and see what they recommend.

First up, Wolf Glen Tipis. They go for poles that are, "... cut from local sustainably managed plantations, using timbers such as Norway spruce, Sitka spruce and Scots pine when available. The straightest poles are selected, hand stripped and sanded to a silky smooth finish." Sounds good, we're off to a good start here.

Address: Wolf Glen Tipis, Williamhope Cottage, Clovenfords, Galashiels, TD1 3LL,
Tel: 01896-850390

On to Hearthworks. They say, "...Tipi poles are selected from local sustainable pine forests and at present we use mainly Spruce poles. For a Tipi of 18 ft diameter the poles are cut to an average length of 25 feet and can be finished with linseed oil." So, pretty similiar which is always good. Must get me some linseed too. That does sound tasty. Wonder if its lucky ground nut oil? Will my tipi smell like a pizza restaurant?

Address: Hearthworks, 14 Lambrook Street, Glastonbury, BA6 8BX
Tel: 01749 899521

Last of all, its Albion Canvas. They say their poles are, "...locally sourced and sustainably managed Douglas fir which is peeled, sanded and protected with a double coat of linseed oil." Okay, okay, just stop I get the message. So, I need some sort of pine or fir and a ton of linseed oil.

Address: Albion Canvas, Unit 146 Anna Mill Business Park, Wrangaton, Devon. TQ10 9HQ
Tel: 0845 456 9290 (local rate) or 01364 649101

So, now we have a type of wood that the makers use in the UK, where on earth can I get me some? Not really the sort of thing my local DIY superstore is going to stock. Looks like I am not alone in my search too.

"We supply sticks and poles from local woodlands ranging from peas sticks and beanpoles to yurt poles and tipi poles to ships masts and whole trees. These can be prepared or in their natural form." Great, where do I sign?!?  Well, I have e-mailed so hopefully this will bear some fruit but I just have no idea how much this is going to cost me and I would quite like to be able to grab my own from somewhere. Without being arrested or shot for trespassing. Or wood rustling, whatever its called.

Come on ebay, get me a bargain old buddy...

Yikes! Well, I suppose these are hand cut lovely Douglas Fir which does sound nice. I just kind of wanted to go and grab some from a wood somewhere myself. You know, hug a couple of trees first in a forest full of birdsong and fell some beauties. Maybe some of my American cousins have some better ideas...

Or maybe not. I just want to meet Nancy now, today, and pop round for tea under her tipi.

Closer to home, I think this should do the trick. Have sent a few mails off and will await some useful, cheaper and fluffier timber-based replies. Will post some updates here when I hear back. Oh, and will let you know what the taste of linseed oil is like too. Toodlepip for now. Chainsaws set to stun.

p.s. have just found out that London Zoo have their very own tipi up. Well, they did when Google found them the other day. Might pop up and see if I can **borrow** a pole or two without them realising. 

1 comment:

Calv said...

Lol looks like things are still going to plan know what you need, someone to sponsor your tipi lol. That way they could donate the materials in exchange for a mention on your blog! :)

If you're a serious tipi builder, i reckon you also need a hat like Nancy.....come on....if i can parade my pink Bind-It-All on my blog, surely you could manage to knockup a flowery whicker hat! :)