Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Telescoping poles have a huge range of applications! Simply looking around in your home or office, you're likely to find multiple examples of telescoping poles making your life easier in some shape or form. If adjustability is desired (or required) in your project, sometimes a telescoping pole can fit the bill perfectly. Creating a telescoping pole out of electric metallic tube (EMT) conduit is an excellent choice due to its wide availability, low-cost, and weather resistance!
Here are 5 projects for telescoping poles made from EMT conduit!
1. Deployable Flagpole
To make a telescoping flagpole from EMT conduit, first cut to length the pieces of conduit you wish to use with a rotary tool cutter. For a telescoping pole with 3X expanding/collapsing, we used three separate pieces of 1/2", 3/4", and 1" conduit. Tighten the cutting tool on the conduit, and continue to rotate it until the cut is complete. Remove sharp edges and burrs on the inside and outside edges of the freshly-cut conduit using a deburring tool, a file, or sandpaper.
For this project, we used 3 x 5 foot lengths each of 1/2", 3/4", and 1" EMT conduit. The flagpole stands at 15 feet tall when deployed, and around 5 feet long when collapsed. We utilized the two Cinch telescoping couplings from Elation Sports Technologies to nest the conduit pieces into one another, reduce wiggle, and minimize wiggle/looseness in the telescoping pole when extended. Installing the Cinch telescoping coupling is accomplished in three easy steps:
2. Virtual Reality (VR) Base Station Stand
For this project, we created a stand for one of our virtual reality (VR) base stations. Certain VR products require the use of remote base stations to track the positions of the VR headset and controllers. To make our own stand, we 3D-printed a simple base, and used two pieces each of 1/2" and 3/4" EMT conduit, joined using our Cinch telescoping coupling. A second 3D-printed part mounts to the top of the pole, and features a 1/4"-20 stud onto which the base station is installed. To adjust the position of the base station, the telescoping coupling can easily loosened/re-tightened.
3. Decorative Light Stands
We used 2 x telescoping poles made with our Cinch telescoping system to install string lights on this balcony! The telescoping action is useful to adjust the height of the lights, or to store the poles inside during inclement weather. For this kind of project, ensure that your telescoping poles are securely mounted so they don't fall or tip over!
The string lights were wrapped around each of the two telescoping poles, and elastic bands were used to temporarily attach the strings of lights at the tops of the two poles.
4. Selfie Stick
Creating your own telescoping photography or audio mount of out EMT conduit is easy with the Cinch telescoping system from Elation Sports Technologies. A straightforward project, simply create your telescoping pole and mount your device to the end of the pole accordingly. For our case, we used a flexible-leg tripod mount for smart phones to make this collapsible selfie stick!
5. Grabber Arm
We took the concept of a popular children's grabber arm toy to the extreme by installing a 3D-printed grabbing claw system onto the end of a telescoping pole constructed using our Cinch telescoping coupling! 2 x 1/4"-20 screws serve as the hinges for the two grabbing pincers. A long piece of 3D printer filament is fed through the telescoping pole. When that filament is pulled by hand, the grabber claws close, enabling far-away objects to be picked up!
If you want to make your own telescoping pole out of EMT conduit, Elation Sports Technologies offers the Cinch Telescoping Coupling system, which can create a telescoping pole from EMT at a length of your choosing. This conduit is low-cost (around $3.50 for a 10-foot length at your local hardware store), easy to paint, drill, cut and bend, and the cost of shipping is zero if you pick it up yourself! EMT conduit's galvanized coating makes it weather-resistant, so it will resist corrosion when used outdoors. Our telescoping couplings feature a UV-stabilizing filler material, which makes them suitable for the outdoors, too! Check out our store page to see our offers!
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Founder and Owner
Elation Sports Technologies LLC