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John Finlayson's Eagle Scout Project

By Phillip Cohen - Torrance, CA

John's Flag pole installation community service project.

Flag Dedication
Raising the flag for the first time June 15th, 2013
Earlier in 2013 the Southern California Live Steamers were contacted by John Finlayson about allowing him to complete his journey in obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.

John proposed giving us a nice flag pole for the front of our facility. This sounded like a great idea and after a little discussion, the size and location of the flag pole was agreed upon. John then proceeded to arrange for the fund raising that would take place to purchase the flag pole and supplies such as the concrete etc.. He would then arrange for the work crews of scouts to dig the foundation and pour the footing.

John Jones of Torrance Community Services was contacted for approval and to get the building permits started in April. The permits were issued with the help of my friend Randy Stillion of Randy Stillion Construction who had the contractors license required for such a project. Many thanks to Randy for getting it all to come together.

flag pole hole
36" diameter x 4' deep hole with flag pole mount and concrete form in place

On Saturday June 1, the scouts arrived at the SCLS facility and proceeded to dig the hole for the flag pole base. After a few hours of digging we ended up with a 36" diameter by 4 foot deep hole. The first foot or so was hard packed adobe so it was a bit of a challenge to get through. The flagpole base was then set in the hole and pounded down to so that the base was flush with the bottom of the hole.

Flag pole in tube
40 feet of flag pole

The flag pole was shipped to us all in one piece. It was 40 feet long, and in the tube weighed about 300 pounds. The parts like the gold ball for the top as well as the stainless steel halyard and clips came in another box.

After the hole was dug and the tube aligned and set in place, the concrete form was built. The concrete truck showed up with 1.5 cubic yards of 3000 lb. test concrete.

 
 

Since there was no way to get the mixer truck to the hole, we used 2 wheel barrows to carry the concrete to the hole using scout power. After several wheel barrow loads the hole was filled up to the forms and was then leveled by John.

 

John and his dad Richard finished up the concrete very nicely.

Pouring Concrete Smoothing Concrete Finishing Concrete
Doing it the hard way!
Smoothing out the concrete and applying the finishing touches.

Done for the day, the concrete was allowed to cure until the following weekend. On Saturday, Torrance Public Works furnished us with a crane and a bucket truck to erect the flagpole. The pole was first put together on the ground, installing the halyard, winch and the truck and gold ball finial for the top. It was laid out in front of the station, assembled and then walked over towards the crane so that it could be hoisted into position.

Crane Arrives Crane Lifting Walking pole over to hole
The crane arrives
Picking up the flag pole
Walking the pole over to the hole

The pole was placed in the mounting tube which is about 12 inches in diameter. Very important, don't forget the base ring! There is a small pyramid at the bottom of the mounting tube that the bottom of the flag pole sits on. This allows the flag pole to be leveled. Small wooden wedges were pounded in around the flag pole to level it and hold it in place. After the pole was leveled and double checked, sand was poured in around that pole and tamped down to hold the pole in place. The tube was filled to within 2 inches of the top and the remaining 2 inches was filled with a rubber sealant to keep the water out. Pretty nifty design actually!

Inserting the pole Pole in the hole Levelling the pole
Setting the pole in the hole. Notice the ring!
In it goes!
Leveling up the pole and inserting the wedges

A bucket truck was used to disconnect the crane from the pole. A test flag about half the size of the actual flag was raised and we were all finished. Waiting for the flag dedication the following Saturday June 15th. A job well done by all!
Bucket truck undoing pole Flying the small test flag New Flag Pole
Undoing the crane
3' x 5' Test flag hoisted.
Our new 6' x 10' flag ready to hoist.

Watch the dedication ceremony HERE   To view a copy of the invocation and dedication speech click HERE

To view television news coverage of the event on "This Week in Torrance" click HERE

Thank you John Finlayson and the scouts of BSA Troop 873 for a great job and congratulations on earning your Eagle Scout award.


3722 Views as of 6/17/2013 11:00:43 PM


About the Author:
Phillip Cohen is a former aerospace engineer as well as an Eagle Scout. Currently a part time professional photographer and full time computer programmer specializing in database driven websites and business applications. Phil is currently the webmaster and vice president of the Southern California Live Steamers and former president of the South Bay Camera Club, also in Torrance.

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