Well, no one is actually asking but I'm answering anyway.
We're living in exciting times. I was finally able to erase one of the "action items" off the list on the white board in the office. Number one for the past several years has been "flagpole." A few seasons back one of the flag clips broke. We bought new clips and then discovered the method of fastening the clips to the lanyard was a tad fucked up. The lanyard is a metal cable; the clips were clumsily safety wired in place. I brilliantly figured out there had to be a better way of doing stuff.
At about the same time, it struck me that the flagpole didn't look real good. The dominant color for the metal pipe was rust. So the museum manager made an executive decision that we wouldn't settle for just safety wiring a new clip in place: we would paint the pole and replace at least one of the pulleys that was twisted in an odd way. Flagpole went on to the action items list. Time marched on.
|Tank float or finial? Inquiring minds want to know.
Long before we figured out the eagle would be the perfect finial, I started spritzing penetrating oil on the nuts on the bolts on the base for the flagpole on a regular basis. That can of penetrating oil lasted a remarkably long time, through at least three summers, and it's not empty yet. I figured penetrating oil was a good idea because the bolts, nuts, and washers had had a couple decades to rust solid in. Turned out it wasn't that bad. When the time finally came to remove the bolts, the nuts came loose without much effort.
The flagpole is set up in what is probably the classic fashion: two very solid supporting metal posts on either side of the metal flag pole; a couple of long bolts going through all three. If we pulled the bottom bolt, the pole would pivot and we would paint it and fix the lanyard pulleys. The trick was just going to be lining up some muscle to pivot the pole: it's got to be twenty feet long, maybe longer, and is an iron pipe about 3 inches in diameter. It has, to say the least, a fair amount of mass.
We got the muscle in July. That's when we discovered that whoever set up that flagpole was determined it wouldn't go anywhere. In addition to the two very obvious bolts, it turned out there was a third one at ground level that didn't show until we got the middle bolt out and nothing was happening. I tend to view that as overkill but it's also typical of the museum: the things that don't matter were over-engineered; the ones that count are half-ass or worse. (One of these days I'll do a rant about the wiring: the open junction boxes, switches that don't control anything, and the ceiling fans that can only be controlled by turning a circuit breaker on or off.)