Poles-Pegs-Lacing Pins


Where do you get tipi poles?  Depending on where  you live, anywhere you can.  One of the best methods is to buy from some of the companies that have a supply.  If you have access to trees in your area, check them out.   But also check to see what the laws are on cutting them down.  Private property is one of the best ways and then National Forests cuts with the right permits.  Buying poles can cost from  $100.00 to $350.00 for a set with transportation.  Some poles can cost from $15.00 to $25.00 or so a piece.  Having bought a set, they can come from very rough stripped to ready to set up.  Depends on what you want finished.  The poles I received were almost ready to set up.  All I had to do was a little sanding, round the points on the tips and put points on the "butts."  Then another set looked like it just came out of the forest with a quick strip of the bark.  

What type of poles are you looking for?  Cypress, Red or White cedar, Wisconsin Balsam, Lodge Pole Pine or any other type of tree.  You need to look for the absence of sap or cure the tree so that it reduces the surface flow.  You do not want pine sap on your canvas.  You need to let the poles cure for about three weeks or so.  This all depends on the type of pole you have.  Cypress poles can be stripped like a banana if cut in the Spring.  Other times you will need to work the draw knife to strip the bark.  Always turn the beveled edge of the knife down facing the bark.  Using it up can cause you to gouge the tree as  you dig into the surface.  Small hatchet will do for cutting tree limbs and always go towards the top of the tree,  reduces gauges on trunk.  Then you can take a "sure form" to scrape or sand down the bumps.  I like to use a four inch plainer to  smooth down other areas as my hands can no longer do the holding of hand tools.  Finish up with a good sanding of the entire surface and then take and ax to "Butt" the poles.  Butting the poles or putting a point on the bottom end gives you a "bite" to put your poles up.  I am 5'1" and can handle 30' long poles with this method.  


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Smoothing, shaping and stripping poles.

Storage on the ground

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Draw knife and sanding



If  you have the courage or the need, cut your poles in half, carve the middles down to fit a plastic sleeve that will put them back together.  Very similar to what is sometimes called a "Prussian" sleeve used to hold tent poles together.




These poles are joined with a metal rod through the middle connecting both sides.








Storage on wall



More "joined" poles



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Stakes for outside an old Cheyenne lodge

White Buffalo Lodges  Wood  and metal stakes


Blackfeet pegs and lacing pins


Lacing Pins and Lacing Holes

Ahki front lacing pins holes


White Buffalo Lodges


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 Plain set of lacing pins.

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White Buffalo Lodges Lacing Pins



Pegging Down linings & Covers

It is a good idea to always call way ahead of time before you need poles.  Many poles are cut on a seasonal basis.   Most are cut in the Spring for delivery in the summer to early fall.  If you order in the fall you may get the "culls" or left over.  Be specific to height, number, and when you need them.  Allow yourself plenty of time before that first set up to get your poles in and finished.  I like to put Thompson's Water Seal or some type of  finish to keep them in good condition. 

* Noisy Creek Adventures...http://noisycreekadv.tripod.com    makers of tent and tipi poles.  Jeff Everson 715-360-3901   noisycreekadv@hotmail.com  

*Tipi poles can be purchased from Rembrandt Leather is 712-870-1467 or dbennettconsulting@wellsagsupply.com

*Chris Jenkins..at jenkins.chris@shaw.ca or 250-489-5141..They are in Canada/US border..Lodgepole Pine.

* Nomadics Tipi Makers (541) 389-3980.

* Pole Specialties - Home  150 Holliday Road, Rte 1, Butte, Mt. 59701.... Phone 406-491-4966    FAX:  406-494-3338

*  Willow Winds (Jim Miller) out of Mikado, MI. His phone # is (517) 736-3487

 Bull Gator,968 Bayberry Lane, Rockledge, FL 32955, phone: (321)633-4908

 * "One Feather Tipis"....Mel McDonald, phone 816-862-6740   BillnMel@casstel.net  Missouri, Garden City

  *Two Horse Trade Company  15 Broadway   Saranac Lake, NY 12983  518-891-4055

  *Dwayne Fink in Pueblo, Colo., who was looking to start peeling lodgepole pine poles for folks, just getting started - 719-569-4002.