Monday, May 13, 2013

Cub Stuff: Flag Stands

Some time ago I put a temporary improvised flag stand together.  After such a lightweight solution, I figured a more sturdy one was needed.

In my last pack when I needed something to hold up our den flag, I stuck a soda pop can in a #10 size can and poured plaster around the soda can.  It did alright for holding up a lightweight flag.  It was compact and easy to store. My recommendation for going that route though is to paint the can as soon as possible after the plaster cures.  The #10 can started to rust after a while and a coat of paint would have prevented that I think.

This time around, I didn't have any plaster handy, since I had used it up for the last flagstands and donated them when I left the prior pack.  However, there were a lot of scrap leftover boards from building our house.  I saw a flagstand at a pack meeting somewhere that was made of four boards connected in a cross pattern and I decided to try it.  My husband helped me out.  We took a two by eight board and cut it in four pieces roughly 15 - 18 inches in length.  He drilled holes into the end of each board and inserted threaded rods with a bit of superglue.  Then setting up the boards on their sides with the bolt ends touching it's neighbor, we drilled more holes to stick the bolt ends in and then secured them with wingnuts.  Our thought was that we could disassemble it for storage or transport.  Well, I did that once and it was difficult to put back together, so it stays put together now.  Unfortunately, we overestimated what the center "hole" size should be.  The flag ended up tipping to one side and dragged on the floor.  We inserted a bit of pipe insulation into which a flared piece of PVC pipe sits.  This raised the flag off the floor just enough and the flag sits more straight.
Hope you can see the wingnuts okay.  They require occasional tightening.  I painted it red, white, and blue so the Cubs would know that the U.S. flag goes in this stand. I think I could have gotten away with a shorter length of board. The flag really isn't so heavy to require such a broad base.

I picked up this flag at a home improvement center.  It was meant to be installed on the outside of a house. I wanted it because it came with it's own flag pole.   The bracket is hiding in the garage somewhere.  The flag is still a little tipped, but not as bad without the pipe insulation/PVC insert.

After making this flagstand for our largest flag, I wanted flagstands for our state and den flags.  I bought a state flag but had to scrounge for a flag pole. I ended up with two stray bits of PVC pipe that together measured about 4 feet in length.  I at first tried drilling holes in the PVC so I could attach the flag with string but was not successful getting the string threaded through.  So I screwed in a couple of screw hooks and attached the flag to the hooks.  The flagstand was put together with leftover shelving material.  It's not real wood - it's kind of a pressboard composite - it doesn't cut with a handsaw very neatly.  Power saws and drills seemed to work better. I built it like the bigger flagstand, but made sure the resulting "hole" matched the diameter size of the pipe so it wouldn't wobble.  I used nails at first with a little wood glue between the pieces to put it together but the nails would work themselves loose. I took out some of the nails later and replaced them with screws.

The shelving material was only about an inch thick. We trimmed them down to about 12 inches long, and made sure the square hole in the middle was one inch on each side.


Unfortunately, my state flag is outdated. It's design was revamped/corrected a couple of years ago. Someday when I have time and money I'll get the correct flag and get a proper flag post to put it on.

 The flagstand I made for our den flag was also made of scrap shelving material. I cut the pieces a little shorter.  I originally nailed that one together, but it got dropped and it all came apart.  The second time I put it together, I used drywall screws in the original nail holes, and put a square plug of particle board in the bottom and screwed that in.  Because of this "plug" the den flag sits a little higher than the state flag.  Oh, well. We're learning as we go!
I have a Wolf den so I painted this flagstand yellow to match the yellow/gold Cub Scout hat/neckerchief the Wolves wear.  When I get time, I may paint a wolf on the white boards.

Here's our Wolf den flag, decorated by our Cub Scouts. The love waving this around before flag ceremony starts.

 After our last pack meeting, we had our first pack flag.  Now I had the dilemma of not having a flag stand for it.  The scraps were getting fewer and smaller, but I managed to find lonely two by six that needed a new lease on life.  I found the thicker boards (2 x 4 and the like) much easier to work with. I guess there is more material for the screws to "grab".  I decided to go really short for the length of the pieces since they were thicker.  I was almost afraid it would not be wide enough when finished to accomodate the pack flag, but it turned out fine.
These pieces are only about six inches long.  Since this stand was for the pack flag, I wanted the Cub Scout colors.  I think I used too bright of a blue though.  Oh well.

Here's our pack flag standing nice and straight.  Both the den and pack flags are on wooden dowels, about 1 inch in diameter and about 4 feet long.
Now, it only occurred to me the other day that I could have had the Cub Scouts help make the flag stands and pass off a rank requirement!  The more the Cub Scouts are involved, the more skills they learn and the more confident they feel to try something new again.  If you have Wolves, you can drill the holes first yourself, and then have the Cubs put in the screws - it will take more time but it will help them pass off Achievement 5c and 5e (Tools for Fixing and Building).  Bears could pass off Achievement 20c (Sawdust and Nails). Webelos could make the flagstand to pass off Craftsman requirement 2.  Remember, CUBS AREN'T ALLOWED TO USE POWER TOOLS!  Make sure you have safety glasses and gloves on hand.  Slivers are the pits! Of course the painting part can be an art elective (Wolf Elective 12a, Bear Elective 9a, Webelos Artist 3 or 4).

So after your Cubs make flags, you need flagstands to go with them!  Have fun!

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