Ship masting techniques, and the biggest lathe you ever saw, were used in the building of a new 85-foot flagpole at historic Fort Snelling inWoodworker’s Journal’s home state of Minnesota.
We sent WJ staffers George Vondriska and editor in chief Rob Johnstone over to see what was going on at various stages of the process. Rob even shot some video of the process.
From beginning to installation, the project took a little over 10 years – including the search for a couple of really big logs, since the flagpole was designed to be built in two sections like old-fashioned ship masts. Eventually, the builders used utility poles.
Dan Gates, one of the woodworkers hired to build the pole, also had to build the lathe to turn it on.
He, Mark Cutter and Charlie Nielsen completed the flag, then it was installed at the fort in time for the flag to fly on Memorial Day.