Pennsylvania Pole Source?

I am looking for a source for 12’ white ash poles (for canoe poling) in Central Pennsylvania. I’ve called any number of local lumber yards. When I tell them what I’m looking for, they act like I’m speaking Chinese. Currently I am using a modified pine closet pole, which is far from ideal. When the current gets strong, it becomes a piece of spaghetti. I’ll appreciate any advice.

Try These Guys:
Try Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville, PA. I’m not sure, but they may actually stock canoe poles. If not, I know quite a few of them pole, and are likely to be able to give you some good information on where to get good pole stock.


Second the BMO advice

Home to the Pennsylvania Stunt Poling Society and Ambiguous Genitalia Glee Club !!

Yo Topher!
small world again…I was walking my mutt at a local Metro Park and as I was getting ready to leave, a guy strolls up and asks about my rack…told him it was for kayaks and canoes and he says to me" a female co-worker of his does some kayaking and sailing. So I says…"Well…where do you work? "The Lorain Water Dept. he says…So I say "Hmmm, would that be Heather…He says " Ya do you know her? Me says " Met and paddled with her quite a while back…

Couple questions …
I have a couple of questions …

Are you hoping to get it already milled to closet pole shape or do you want a piece of 12 ft lumber you will shape and taper yourself?

Are you concerned about whether you are getting center grain versus edge grain?

Thats Cool …
… She’s coming out for a visit next week … I’ll mention it to her.

The Mrs has been back to Cleveland several times for visits … but I’ve always needed to stay back and mind the farm.

Pruning Pole
There’s a place near me sells supplies for arborists–aka, tree cuttin’ men. They sell 12’ wood poles, with an octagonal shape, about 1.25 diameter, which are used, in combination with a cutting head, for pruning work. They had basswood, ash, and some other wood, don’t remember at the moment. They also sell a fiberglass pole that I have a mind to try out some time, but I am not presently seeking to expand my pole supply. So, maybe call your local tree working guys and ask them where they buy their supplies. My arborist supply place sells the poles, maybe your local shop also will.

If you don’t mind a little work, a layer of glass and epoxy will stiffen up that closet pole. If you treat the center 2/3 of the pole it will get stiff and be a little lighter than if you do the whole pole. The glassed closet rod will be lighter than the ash pole, too, but the ash pole is way easier.


I talked to my local “do anything to help you” mill guy. He said that his ash comes in one inch (4/4). He’ll plane it and glue it to make a slightly less than 2" square 12 ’ long piece. The cost of this is approx $70. He was very confident the glue joint would not be a weakening factor.

This is certainly more expensive than an arbor pole … but it is ash.

What do you all think?

why bother?

– Last Updated: Jul-08-09 11:48 AM EST –

Chip mentioned the arborist poles come in ash.

I think spruce works well, also. Mainly I use aluminum, but a nice wood pole does feel better.

Chip visited us here in Ct. a few months back, and got to hang with the mainstays of the sport, Harry Rock, Ed Hayden who makes aluminum poles and designed a couple canoes, and Fred K. who does nice work with wood poles. i've poled a couple times with a guy from Pa., Erik, who comes up from time to time. Erik, ya' out there??

Is there some problem finding T6061
aluminum pole stock? Nobody mentions aluminum poles, but they are wonderfully light, durable, and effective.

getting expensive.

– Last Updated: Jul-08-09 11:55 AM EST –

Bought 4 poles from Ed hayden a few months back. Cheaper to buy from him than to make my own, as he buys in qty.. Next cruise he said the price had gone way up.last time I went to buy 1.5x.062, they wanted (yarde metals) $85 ea./12' length, and that was 3 years ago.
Alternate is to go to "texas towers" and get I believe...ah, not 6061, but another grade, near same tensile, not as pretty. If you buy the 6' lengths and a sleeve (on I.d) shipping is reasonable. 1.125" od./.062 wall, then buy 1" od for sleeve.

You guys are getting soaked on the aluminum pricing - or else I’m getting some kind of sweetheart deal!

plenty of poles…
…around Pittsburgh.

My niece married one.

Got a contact for Ed Hayden? My old
Beletz pole is getting ratty.

at yer service
e-mail coming


Ate at a real good Polish restaurant
at Lake George, NY the night before I ran the mighty Schroon River.

New Question
Thanks for all of the info. I decided to check out the arborist idea and I found a North Carolina company called Sherrill Tree that makes 12’ ash poles. (Their website only shows 6 and 8 footers, but a phone called proved otherwise.) Then I used their dealer locator to find a local dealer, which led me to a Harrisburg-area construction company called Vermeer Vermeer has the poles in stock.

The poles are 12’ octagonal with 1 1/4" diameter. I’m accustomed to a 1 1/2" diameter pole. Here’s my new question: Is the smaller diameter too small? Will it break when put to use?

… and the price?

– Last Updated: Jul-09-09 12:41 PM EST –

What was the price? What is the dimension of your pine closet pole?

I got an answer to my own question - $34!!!

diameters fine

– Last Updated: Jul-09-09 11:07 AM EST –

just as long as you push straight with the pole. Mainly breakage occurs when lateral force is applied to a pole i.e., grabbing it on the fly when it's stuck between some rocks. My son "Moose" has broken 1.5" diameter poles this way, horsing them out of rocks, as well as bent the tip of his 1.5"/.063 wall aluminum megapole doing the same thing. We're practicing restraint with the poles Ed made us, 1.125dia. 6061 t-6.
Main guy I know for wood poles is Fred, who goes by 'Ravensjester' here and on Haven't seen him for a couple months, since our last ACA cruise.

Does anyone use 7075, or is it too expensive?

The hang-gliding school where I used to fly had a preety good scrap pile of aluminum tubing from keels, crossbars, and leading edges that didn’t survive mishaps. If there’s one near you it might be worth a call.