The finished article

The finished article

Why have a dull pole sticking out of the top of your tent when you can have something a little more interesting? Here I describe how we put a Gardman metal weather-vane (squirrel design) on the top of a main bell tent pole.

The original top of our tent

The original top of our tent

We have a British Army 10 man arctic Bell tent which comes with a central pole that sticks out of the top of the tent fabric. The first thing a sane person would do is make something from rubber etc to stop rain coming down the pole, and that’s how this project started as something interesting to hold the rubber piece in place. Of course I finished this before the bit of rubber was even bought……

As can be seen from the image the tent pole has an odd smaller part protruding above the main pole top. I guess this is for some accessory we don’t have, so in order to make the weather-vane fit I cut this off.

The pole after cutting the top off - as can be seen the top is one solid piece

The pole after cutting the top off - as can be seen the top is one solid piece

The outside of the weathervane fit with a little room to spare

The outside of the weather-vane fit with a little room to spare

The top of the pole is one solid cast lump, so it’s OK to remove this part. Next I compared the size of the weather-vane with the remaining protruding bit of pole; the external part fit wonderfully, even with a little space to spare, but the internal piece did not fit.

To make it fit I cut off half of the pole it is mounted on. As the bar of the weather-vane is secured with just a spot weld it does make it a little fragile so exercise care when handling (if it does break I can drill out the top disk on the external bit of the weather-vane and wire lock it into place).

Inner part cut in half

Inner part cut in half

I cut mine exactly in half but I really should have done it off centre to make the remaining tab overlap with the securing bolt. Even so it is a very tight fit and certainly won’t go anywhere.

Packed down for transit (click to enlarge)

Packed down for transit (click to enlarge)

Finally carefully deburr. As can be seen the whole thing packs down easily for transport (the tiny little rubber bit to protect you from the spike disappeared the first time I used the weather-vane, something to remember).

Oh and remember to line it up with north (by twisting the pole from inside the tent before you tighten the guys)!