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Collapsible DIY Flagpole Made from EMT Conduit

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Introduction

Are you a flag enthusiast with a keen interest in DIY projects? Or perhaps, you're simply looking for a budget-friendly, robust flagpole solution? Today I share instructions for building your a DIY telescoping flagpole using Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) conduit. It's easier than you might think, surprisingly sturdy, and a fantastic way to proudly display your flag. And, because this flagpole is retractable, it can be quickly and easily be put up and taken down! This article features 2 x varieties of flagpoles, mounted vertically in the ground, or at an angle.


Angle-Mounted Telescoping EMT Conduit Flagpole
Angle-Mounted Telescoping EMT Conduit Flagpole

Before we dive into the project, let's discuss our main material - EMT conduit. This type of conduit is a thin-walled, galvanized steel tubing used in the electrical industry to protect and route electrical wiring. Its strength, rigidity, and resistance to the elements make it perfect for a multitude of applications, including our DIY telescoping flagpole project. It is readily available to purchase at most hardware stores, and is extremely cost-effective for projects that require metallic tubing.


Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.


Supplies:


EMT Conduit Flagpole Supplies
EMT Conduit Flagpole Supplies

Step 1: Measure and Cut

Decide on the height of your flagpole. Let's say we want a 12-foot pole. The bottom section will be the 1" conduit, the middle section will be the 3/4" conduit, and the top will be the 1/2" conduit. Measure 4 feet on each conduit using the tape measure, and mark it. Wearing appropriate safety gear (e.g. safety glasses), cut your conduit pieces at the marked points using a rotary tool cutter. Remove any sharp edges or burrs using a rotary deburring tool, metal file, or Dremel tool where needed.


EMT Conduit Cutting and Deburring Instructions
EMT Conduit Cutting and Deburring Instructions

Step 2: Assemble the Telescoping Portion

These EMT conduit telescoping clamps make it easy to create a telescoping pole out of EMT conduit! They're made of injection-molded UV-resistant and durable plastic which is suitable for outdoor use, and they clamp onto the outside of the conduit - no drilling required!


EMT Conduit Telescoping Pole Assembly Instructions
EMT Conduit Telescoping Pole Assembly Instructions

Step 3: Add the Pole Attachments

Add the flag clips to the 1/2" conduit using a Phillips head screwdriver. These will serve as the anchor points for your flag:


EMT Conduit with Flag Clip
EMT Conduit with Flag Clip

The top ornament can be affixed to the 1/2" conduit in several different ways:

  1. Use caulk/sealant to affix the ornament to the tip of the 1/2" conduit. Wait for 24 hours to allow the sealant to dry before deploying your flagpole.

  2. Wrap the male threaded portion of the ornament with electrical tape so it fits snugly into the 1/2" conduit.

  3. Drill a hole through the 1/2" conduit, and through the post of the plastic ornament, and feed a #10-32 bolt through both, affixing it with a corresponding #10-32 nut.


EMT Conduit Ornament Mounting - Sealant
EMT Conduit Ornament Mounting - Sealant
EMT Conduit Ornament Mounting - Electrical Tape
EMT Conduit Ornament Mounting - Electrical Tape
EMT Conduit with Flagpole Ornament
EMT Conduit with Flagpole Ornament

Step 4: Paint (Optional)

If you want your pole to have a specific color, this is the time to do it. Apply a coat of metal primer first, then spray paint it with your chosen color (or use a paint + primer combination spray.) Allow it to dry completely before handling.


Spray Painting EMT Conduit
Spray Painting EMT Conduit

Step 5: Mount the Flagpole

This article shares two ways to mount your flagpole: vertically in the ground using a stake, or attached to a vertical surface such as a wall, tree, or other mounting point. For a more permanent mounting solution, you can dig a hole for a bucket to fill with concrete, and position the base of the flagpole in the concrete until it fully hardens.


EMT Conduit Ground Stake
EMT Conduit Ground Stake
Vertical EMT Conduit Telescoping Flagpole
Vertical EMT Conduit Telescoping Flagpole
Attaching the Angle Mount for the EMT Conduit Base
Attaching the Angle Mount for the EMT Conduit Base
EMT Conduit Angled Pole Mount
EMT Conduit Angled Pole Mount
Angle-Mounted Telescoping EMT Conduit Flagpole
Angle-Mounted Telescoping EMT Conduit Flagpole

Conclusion

This article shared an easy way to build your own low-cost DIY telescoping flagpole from EMT conduit! The flagpole can extend and retract, allowing you to easily transport the pole, or bring the flag and pole inside during inclement weather. The telescoping couplings used for this project are available for purchase from Elation Sports Technologies:

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Elation Sports Technologies LLC offers mechanical and electrical engineering design consulting. I'd be happy to discuss your project's needs to see how we may assist you - simply reach out to schedule a chat.


Thanks for reading!


Austin Allen

Founder and Owner

Elation Sports Technologies LLC



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