Purple Martin Birdhouse Poles

After having numerous problems with lightweight push-up poles, I decided to design my own "industrial strength" winch type poles.  Here are some details on how they are constructed.

The pole is built from a 24 foot piece of 3 inch square steel tubing.  I used 11 gauge tubing which is about 1/8 inch thick.  A 2 foot piece is cut off to make an offset mount that is used for the winch.  This puts the winch operator out from under the birdhouse when raising or lowering.  The remaining 22 foot piece is buried 4 feet in concrete leaving an 18 foot birdhouse pole.  For extra strength the inside of the bottom half of the pole is later filled with concrete.  For the pulley system I use common v-belt pulleys, 4 inch on top and a 2 or 3 inch at the bottom.  The cable does not feed inside the pole. It goes up one side, over the pulley at the top, and down the other side to the birdhouse.  The hazer is built with clearance for the cable to pass between it and the back side of the birdhouses.

Our T-14 with hazer and nest box trays weighs 110 pounds.  Our birdhouses survived an 80 mph windstorm in the Spring of 2003. Both of our houses were up at about mast when the storm hit.  The gourds under one of our houses were blowing straight out at 90 degrees during the peak wind gusts. Amazingly all the birds and nestlings were fine, even the families in the gourds.

The offset for the winch welded in place.  The left side of the pole is the portion that is buried in concrete.

Winch and lower pulley mounted in place

Slots for top pulley were cut with an angle grinder and a cutting disk.

4 inch pulley with a 5/8 inch hole.  The tubing is 5/8 inch O.D.   The bolt is 1/2 X 4 inches with a locking nut and lots of grease.

Top pulley assembled and ready to add brackets for small paint bucket top cover.

The first prototype hazer assembly - 2X6 boards with six rollers made from aluminum tubing and grey pvc pipe.
Hazer details page

Houses on pole #2 ready to go.  The rollers reduce drag when houses of different weights cause an unbalanced load.

T-14 Birdhouse
Our T-14 lowered for a nest check