How to Make Medieval Tent Poles

Written by michelle inglesby
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How to Make Medieval Tent Poles
Replica of a medieval tent (camp médiéval image by pucci raf from

In medieval times, tents were used much more than they are today. Tents were a way of life for those military personnel abroad. They would set up camp each night, pulling out their tent poles and canvas. Even travellers who knew they would be on the road for many days before reaching their destinations would bring their tent equipment along for shelter. Tents were also used at festivals and tournaments as a way of providing shelter, sometimes even just from the sun. Most medieval tents were made using the centre pole design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 - 15 foot long pieces of pine or maple wood that are 2 inches by 2 inches thick
  • 3 inch thick circular piece of wood
  • 3 to 4 2 x 4 inch pieces of wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber hammer

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  1. 1

    To make the centre pole, round the edges of your 15-foot pole with sandpaper until the pole is smooth and cylindrical.

  2. 2

    To make the spokes, take the 2x4s, cut in half lengthwise, making them 2x2. Now cut in half widthways. Each 2x4 should get you four spokes. Repeat as necessary to get the right amount of spokes. Smooth the spokes as you did the centre pole with sandpaper. There are generally 10 to 16 spokes, depending on the size of your tent.

  3. 3

    Next you will create your hub. Drill a hole in centre of the 3 inch thick circular piece of wood. Make the hole big enough to fit the centre pole; the size will depend on how big your centre pole is after sanding. Drill holes, 2 inches deep and 1 1/2 inches thick, on the sides of the hub for each spoke.

  4. 4

    Fit the spokes into your hub. Fit the spoked hub over the top of the centre pole, pushing down into place, about 1 foot from the top. You may need to use a rubber hammer to fit the pieces into place. A rubber hammer will pack a big punch and, if used properly, won't damage your wood.

  5. 5

    Paint each pole and the hub. Let the paint dry.

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