[SCA-Dance] An inexpensive Maypole--Lady Jayne

Tom Vincent tomrvincent at yahoo.com
Tue May 2 11:41:09 EDT 2006

'Inexpensive'?  Doesn't look like it!  Required donated material and lots of labor from a team of volunteers.  
  However, sounds like yours looks much more period than my web-bought one will and I wish I had the time, energy and connections to put something like that together as a labor of love, but for those of us short of all those commodities, I'm glad to have shared a 'quick-fix' option!

Barbara Krege <KREGE at aps.edu> wrote:
  Reminder: This list now set up with no reply-to header.
Make sure you reply to the sca-dance at andrew.cmu.edu *or* the individual.

Greetings to this list. I am Lady Jayne Barber from the Barony of al-Barran, Kingdom of the Outlands and I have been teaching court dancing twice a month (or more) in al-Barran for 8 1/2 years.

I too have a maypole--actually 2 maypoles. And I was lucky in the generosity of others in gathering the pieces: poles, ribbons, carrying bag, portable hole and a 2nd freestanding base.

Poles--Someone had bought prefabed, light weight but very sturdy, hollow, stacking (top of some poles fit inside the hollow bottom of other poles) ~3" diameter (cane?) poles at a surplus store. My guess is the poles were "tent" poles. There were 3 types of poles. 

Some had a solid bottom, with a hollow top, which I used for the base pole. Some were hollow on the bottom, but had a solid wood top about 3 to 4" long--the diameter of which, was less than the hollow inside of the bottom of other poles--which I used for the center poles. Some had a hollow bottom but a thick pointed metal needle at the top (~1/4" thick) which I used for the top of my maypole. 

Each of the poles was 4 foot long. I use 3 pieces for a 12' tall maypole. I use the solid bottom/hollow top pole on the bottom. Then in the middle I use a hollow bottom/solid wood "nesting" top. And on the top, I use a hollow bottom with a needle on the top. They paid $1 per pole and they sold them to me for $1 a pole. I have enough for two maypoles and 4 extra poles.

Carrying Bags--A friend for whom I had helped sew in his business, made for free two ~5 foot sturdy bags (for the ribbons and poles) with carrying straps.

Ribbons--I wanted sturdy "ribbons" and finally decided to use trigger cloth in primary colors. That way we could wash them and they would hold up thru the pulling on the ribbons by the maypole dancers. I was able to get red, purple, green, gold and blue.

The same friend cut 1" strips of cloth the length of the trigger, which I think was 120" (10'). We put two strips together on the ends and sewed both sides, folding under the sides (like a skirt hem?). At one end of each 20' "Ribbon", we put a very large grommet (big enough in the hole of the grommet to slip over the "needle/spike" on the top pole. That size grommet is hard to find, and costs about $4 for about 20 pieces. The spike will hold about 16 ribbons (make sure that you nest the grommets) and then I put a heavy rubber band on the top of the spike and ribbons to be sure they don't come off--however the downward pull of the ribbons by the dancers usually keeps the ribbons on. With 16 ribbons, there is not much room for a topper--which I still haven't made--but plan on some kind of garland, probably on a wooden circle (with hole in center) slipped on top of all the ribbons.

Portable Holes (outdoor, with pointed end)--Since these poles have no base to them, two individuals from my barony made and donated two "portable holes" made out of bedframes, with a pointed end--to pound into the ground and two 1' wide metal circle bands welded on each pole--the inside diameter of the rings custom fitted to the outside diameter of the poles. They wouldn't take payment for them. And they work beautifully. One portable hole is for each maypole.

A 3rd Stand for indoor use--We were going to do a Ren. Faire and perform on a stage in an arena--so the question arose, how could we keep the maypole upright on a wooden stage. A 3rd friend, designed, built and donated a 4 piece take apart metal stand. The center section was about 2 feet tall, hollow inside, custom fitted to the outside diameter of the wooden pole. At the base of this center metal tube was welded on 3 metal square-shaped hollow sections (each about 12" long) in a tripod fashion. The sections were hollow and had a screw in the top of each of the 3 sections (used to "stop" the inserted pieces). Then there were 3 smaller hollow heavy metal square-shaped "rods" that were then inserted inside the welded on 3 "legs" as extensions for added support (these 3 are inserted to the placed screw) and another screw is used on each leg to screw down just a little to put added pressure from the top of the welded leg on the inserted extension pieces -- to help hold the
 extension legs in place. This stand was designed this way (able to take apart) for portability and transportation. My request to the person who designed it and ultimately built it, was that this 60 year old, 135 lb. woman, could pick it up and transport it in the trunk of a car. He would not take payment either for building it or for the materials. That is the SCA.

I hope my information (above) is clear.

For me the cost was very little and as I type this, the love for these gentlemen for their generosity continues.

If you want more information, please contact me off-line.

Yours in service,
Lady Jayne Barber
(aka Lady Barbara)
krege at aps.edu

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Tom Vincent
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