Why Wood?

Oak image

Oak

Composite image

Composite

Douglas fir image

Douglas Fir

Historically all flagpoles were made from timber until glass fibre was developed at which point many people chose to buy glass fibre or aluminium alloy, due to cost and a perceived, potentially longer life.

Glass fibre is a little cheaper to buy but the finish goes "off" after a few years as the picture above shows. They may also have an unsightly plastic looking seam, do not have the handsome traditional square base for your engraved brass plaque and often do not stay dead vertical due to the cheaper base fixings used to support them. Apart from the appearance, glass fibre flagpoles(and aluminium for that matter)are very disappointing to tap when the hollow nature and plastic construction is immediately evident. Glass fibre is also difficult to dispose of and normally ends up in land fill sites which does not help our environment at all. The alternative option of wood is the genuine product, natural and kind to the environment, looks far superior and is the best!!

Wood, however will keep its finish for many years with some gentle TLC (see "routine maintenance" under "faqs". All that is necessary is that the flagpole should be inspected regularly and lowered for a thorough examination and re-coating. It does not suffer from any of the problems associated with glass fibre and because it stands clear from the ground, will not rot.

Wood is environmentally friendly and will out live you and me if rubbed down gently and re-varnished or re-glossed every 3 years or so.

Aluminium has also been a popular cheap alternative to timber but apart from obvious aesthetic considerations many of our customers have eventually switched to timber. This is because they have had complaints from neighbours about the irritaing metallic rattling noises caused by the halyard continually slapping against the hollow aluminium pole.

We are sometimes asked why we go to the trouble of laminating our flagpoles rather than using a solid piece of timber. Historically, lamination as a technique, is widely respected in architecture and furniture making etc. - in fact highly sressed components like wooden aircraft propellors were always laminated rather than shaped from solid timber because of their inherent toughness and reliability.
Despite the considerable extra effort, we have chosen this method so that we have total control over the quality of the timber that goes into our flagpoles.
In an ideal world, we would be looking for a solid piece of timber that has come from a tree that is absolutely straight with no branches for the first 30 foot of its height. We would then hope that this rarity had been very carefully seasoned to avoid any splits, checks and distortion of any kind.
Unfortunately we don't live in this ideal world!
Instead we buy top quality joinery grade timber that has very few defects indeed, but even then we select boards carefully and cut out any sections that contain dead knots, resin glands, wild grain, checks etc.

All of our timber has come from sustainable and responsible forest management schemes either PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Our Douglas Fir is sourced from Canada and our Oak comes from France.

The woodworking adhesive that we use is just about the best that you can get for exterior and marine applications - in fact it is so good that if you try to break the joint between two pieces of timber the wood itself will fail before the joint does!
All of this means that by the the careful selection of boards and the planned staggering of joints, we can obtain the strength, flexibility and longevity that we aim for in a flagpole that will outlive most of us.