You asked for a completed product in the YouTube comments and so I put my mind to figuring out a common man approach to making the banded ends for Civil War tent poles. I kept our video deliberately general since octagonal tent poles can be seen in numerous time periods. I wasn't sure how these would have been made originally. I imagine they could have been fitted on industrial lathes, with a fork staff plane, or maybe with a hollow auger and a spoke pointer. I recently picked up and finished restoring a hollow auger but like the other build options, they're not all that accessible to most reenactors. I will do a later post when I figure out a suitable period-correct and accessible method of making these.
Is it 100% accurate? No, but I find it a very reasonable compromise. The ultimate decision is yours to make. I do think this will up any tent impression affordably and with increased durability. I took a few days to think of approaches to the galvanized bands until it dawned on me that the chain link fencing section of the hardware store could hold a fair solution. I not only wanted a band that would not require removing too much wood but also sit nearly flush to the edges of the pole. I found that a 1 3/8" coupler did the trick. At only $2.98 each, a single coupler can provide two bands. Without seeing an original, I have a suspicion the bands may have been wrapped, galvanized sheet iron. If you have a photo of an original, please post it to our Facebook page. That said, the subtle seam that could have existed could easily be missed, making this tubing compromise a fair one. I cut the coupler to length on my metal bandsaw, though a hacksaw would do the same job.
To fit the tube to the pole, I measured down 1 3/4 from the end and cut a knife wall around all 8 sides followed by using a chisel to make a v groove for a small saw kerf all the way around. The corners of the octagon will require a slightly deeper cut. This cut is important to prevent your future chisel work from running out of the piece. With the prep taken care of, offer up your band to the end of the piece and carefully center it. Using a pencil, trace the internal diameter onto the end of the pole to mark your final diameter. Using a combination of a 3/4" chisel and a curved spoke shave, remove the waste. The spoke shave was handy when I had grain working against me. Use some sand paper to fine tune the final fit. Using a mallet, I set the band in place and trued the end on my disc sander. I then cut some 3/8" metal rod, drilled the proper depth hole, and drove it in. Since common lumber sizes vary from the Civil War to the modern day, the 2x2 pole is naturally too small for the required 1" screws. I found two standard screws that would fit and not hit the "spindle." I didn't have any galvanized rod in my shop, but if you have access to some, you can certainly use that instead. The rod is hidden inside the ridge, so I'm not inclined to sweat it too much. I used an automatic punch and then drilled two holes for the screws 3/8" of an inch from each end of the band.
The final result fits great with the modern 2x stock that makes up 99% of reenacting tent ridge poles. If you plan on milling your own, regulation size, wooden frame pieces you can certainly modify the techniques and materials to your needs. The regulation shown is for a "common" or small wall tent, but would work in other areas that require similar configurations.
As always, thanks for watching our videos and posting your great questions and comments to our videos. I hope this provides an accessible solution for those of you looking to improve the appearance of your tenting impressions.