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Does it help to oil poles?

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:40 pm
by Paul C
Question first: So I wondered if using some oil or silicon spray is recommended so that smaller diameter pole slides more easily? If oil, what kind?

I put the unit together in the living room, pretending to make a 7 ft igloo. I can see how taping a left to the plumb line will help for the first layer. And I constructed the three poles for the 7 ft structure. But as I was pretending to go around in a circle and adjust at each layer, I was surprised at how "sticky" the smaller diameter pole was sliding to the different lengths in the bottom pole. Somehow I assumed those adjustments would be made at the end with the form.

It looks like considerable effort will need to be made not to dislodge the spike in the snow. If I'm building solo, I'd imagine taking the form off the pole would lighten the weight while making the length adjustment. I recall with two people, that one person holds the form up to take the weight off the pole while the adjustment is made.

But given all that it still seemed like the interior, admittedly never used before, was going to give some resistance that would transfer to the spike in the snow. So I wondered if using some oil or silicon spray is recommended so that smaller diameter pole slides more easily? If oil, what kind?

I'll need to read and watch the videos again to get a sense of the toggle action - when it is used and when toggle action is no longer needed.

Re: Does it help to oil poles?

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:47 pm
by Igloo Ed
The poles do wear in a bit and slide a little easier after use. Oil would make a mess especially with the aluminum poles, the oil would turn black. Silicone spray is dry and wouldn't make the mess. I've never lubricated my poles, it's possible to move the pole smoothly if the pole is grasped correctly and one is comfortable either leaning over or kneeling down.
The Toggle Handle on the top of the pole makes it so the adjustment needs to be on the bottom pole. The Toggle Handle gets used with every block and the pole adjustment is only twice on each course. Best to have the most used on top.
One person holding the form in the air is so the form moves freely when the pole is adjusted rather than moving the Stake and loosening it up. I've learned a few things since the tutorial video was made... Now, I usually set the form on the flat top of the wall and it will slide as I adjust the pole. I set the form rotated at an angle so if doesn't fall down over the block below.
Taking the form off the pole results in a shock when it is popped back on. Popping the Socket Pole back onto the Stake also causes a shock. Any shock like that will loosen the stake.
Ya, keep reading that manual, things will click once you've experienced it.
I am able to stop releasing the Toggle Handle once I remove the Outer Panel and that depends on snow conditions and when the snow won't slide off as to which course is being built.

Re: Does it help to oil poles?

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:37 pm
by Banff Martin
Paul, my solution to the spike moving is not use that part - I use the other pivot ball that came with the set.

I use a roughly 10" square of plywood and screw the pivot ball to that. On the bottom I screw in two metal cans with the tops removed (use short screws so they don't pop out the top of the plywood). Any food can 4" or longer will do. Make a hole in the bottom of the cleaned can with a hammer & nail, then screw the can into the underside of the plywood. The pivot ball is in the middle, so each can is in an opposite corner of the plywood.

At the beginning of the build I confirm the center of the pad, place the pivot assembly there, and stomp it into place. The cans give great grip on the snow. So long as you don't kick an edge of the plywood, it shouldn't move with any amount of pole shocks (put snow around the edges to avoid hitting it with boots). When the build is done you'll need to lever it out of the base with a metal shovel.

I'll post a picture when I've time. =)

Also, I highly recommend my practice of duct-taping a torpedo level to the side of the form! This removes the guesswork so even a solo builder can get a good reading on the angle of the form. I tried a plumb-bob before this but that doesn't help a soloist.

Re: Does it help to oil poles?

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:40 pm
by Banff Martin
Ignore the 4 can setup in this picture; it was overkill.

Re: Does it help to oil poles?

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:32 pm
by Paul C
Great photos showing your solution.Thank you. I'll start collecting cans.