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Re-creating military tent poles (16x32 G.P. Med. Tent)

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Forum topic by FreeWoodistheBest posted 11-29-2018 07:17 PM 1193 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FreeWoodistheBest

18 posts in 1950 days


11-29-2018 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tentpoles

Hello all, I recently purchased a Military 16’x32’ General Purpose Medium tent without poles.
I have seen a sites that sell them, but since they are primarily wood, I plan on making my own set to hand down to my boys for their deer camps in the future.
I was wondering if anyone here has made these poles before? Do you have plans that you would share? or do you have a source for some of the metal parts that are needed?

I plan on using true 2×2 clear wood for the 5’8” poles around the walls, with a metal collar and a center metal pin made from old lag bolts I have laying around. The two center poles need to be light but strong, about 4” DIA, and 10’3” long with a similar pin at the top.

The hardest piece to find information about has been the ridge beam… some sites say it is optional, some say required. some say 4×4 with mating holes for the pins, some say a 2×4 works just fine…

anything will help me and my create memories

Thanks in advance!!
Jeff

-- Don't believe everything you read on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln


9 replies so far

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FirehouseWoodworking

738 posts in 3693 days


#1 posted 11-30-2018 12:04 AM

In all my time in the Army (I’m retired from the Army since 1996), I never saw a ridge pole for any “GP Mediums”, as these tents were known. That’s not to say that ridge poles didn’t exist, I just never saw one nor did I ever hear of anyone talking about such a thing.

As I recall, the poles were all hardwood. The pins and collars were as you describe. I honestly don’t recall for certain, but I’m thinking the two tall poles used up to the ridge were two-piece poles. I seem to think there was a collar attached to the top of the lower pole half into which the bottom of the upper pole slipped into. But again, I am not certain if I am remembering that correctly.

I believe the poles were octagonal in cross section, so you should be able to make that cross section with a 45-degree router bit or even with your table saw.

As a resource, you may want to at some of these on-line manuals:

http://bailey-engineering.com/govern_files/Manual.pdf
https://slideplayer.com/slide/8028913/
http://www.dla.mil/Portals/104/Documents/TroopSupport/CloTex/shelters/MilSpec/MGPTS.pdf
http://www.eurekamilitarytents.com/Portals/0/MGPTS_T1_041717.pdf
https://www.scribd.com/document/217149358/TM-10-8340-240-12-P-MGPTS-Tent-Manual-2005

They look like they are all more current than my service time, but perhaps they may help you. Or you can just search on “GP Medium Technical Manual” on Google.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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FreeWoodistheBest

18 posts in 1950 days


#2 posted 11-30-2018 05:05 AM

Dave, first of all, thank you for your service!
Second, thanks for the information and history of the tent. I’m excited now look thru your links and begin working on the tent poles!!!
JEff


In all my time in the Army (I m retired from the Army since 1996), I never saw a ridge pole for any “GP Mediums”, as these tents were known. That s not to say that ridge poles didn t exist, I just never saw one nor did I ever hear of anyone talking about such a thing.

As I recall, the poles were all hardwood. The pins and collars were as you describe. I honestly don t recall for certain, but I m thinking the two tall poles used up to the ridge were two-piece poles. I seem to think there was a collar attached to the top of the lower pole half into which the bottom of the upper pole slipped into. But again, I am not certain if I am remembering that correctly.

I believe the poles were octagonal in cross section, so you should be able to make that cross section with a 45-degree router bit or even with your table saw.

As a resource, you may want to at some of these on-line manuals:

http://bailey-engineering.com/govern_files/Manual.pdf
https://slideplayer.com/slide/8028913/
http://www.dla.mil/Portals/104/Documents/TroopSupport/CloTex/shelters/MilSpec/MGPTS.pdf
http://www.eurekamilitarytents.com/Portals/0/MGPTS_T1_041717.pdf
https://www.scribd.com/document/217149358/TM-10-8340-240-12-P-MGPTS-Tent-Manual-2005

They look like they are all more current than my service time, but perhaps they may help you. Or you can just search on “GP Medium Technical Manual” on Google.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Cheers!

- FirehouseWoodworking


-- Don't believe everything you read on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln

View LDSisler's profile

LDSisler

3 posts in 194 days


#3 posted 01-08-2019 09:40 PM

Jeff,

Did you ever figure out what to do about a ridge beam?
The BSA Troop that I am a volunteer for has recently been gifted a GP Medium Tent, without poles and the adult volunteers restlessly building and gathering poles, but we are short a ridge beam.
So as I am wandering the internet and I stumbled upon this post, I figured I might as well ask about it.

Thanks for your time,
Logan

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FreeWoodistheBest

18 posts in 1950 days


#4 posted 01-09-2019 12:16 AM

Logan, WOW What a great gift!!

I ended up making my own poles for the entire tent. 5’-8” poles for the sides, 6’-3” poles for the door opening, 10’-3” poles for the ridge poles. As for the Ridge beam, I found it to be optional.
Take a look here for original military specifications for that tent as well.

http://www.liberatedmanuals.com/TM-10-8340-211-23P.pdf

The way they setup the tent ridge guy lines, they provide the “stretching” needed to support even a snow load.
This PDF even shows the original staking diagrams to maximize the strength of the internal strapping.

I am still doing minor repairs to my tent like fixing the corner zippers, patching small holes/tears. I am actually toying with the idea of making a wooden door like you see on the TV show MAS*H .

My hunting buddies think I’m bonkers…

-- Don't believe everything you read on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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FreeWoodistheBest

18 posts in 1950 days


#5 posted 01-09-2019 12:21 AM

Also –

Eave Poles and Ridge Poles before stain


I needed a couple new corner brackets to replace broken ones, made these so the middle cross-bar has a slit, and a sliding piece to close the gap after attaching the strap.

-- Don't believe everything you read on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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LDSisler

3 posts in 194 days


#6 posted 01-17-2019 05:51 PM

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LDSisler

3 posts in 194 days


#7 posted 01-17-2019 05:54 PM

I’ll get pictures of the poles this weekend, but to give an idea…we used some natural lodge poles and some modified lag bolts, we also sealed the bottoms to help mitigate any possible weather and natural exposure damage.

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FirehouseWoodworking

738 posts in 3693 days


#8 posted 01-17-2019 11:22 PM

Oh the memories!! . . . Except the snow was usually deeper!

Nice job! Looks very good.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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FreeWoodistheBest

18 posts in 1950 days


#9 posted 07-08-2019 05:58 PM

Here is my update: Set the tent up this weekend and its as amazing as I had hoped :)
ALSO: I did not end up making a ridge beam to span between the posts. I do have a fair amount of sag, and am worried about snow. I am currently designing the beam to hang off the posts, just strong enough to keep the roof up during the night when the temp drops and then we can keep it warm and brush off snow.

-- Don't believe everything you read on the internet. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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