Wednesday, 7 May 2014

1420 VAL Spigot - Painters Extension Poles

This post is primarily for anyone who has bought the 1420 VAL Spigot or who is thinking of buying one to make their own lighting boom.

Order your 1420 VAL Spigot Online

There are any number of painters extension poles available in DIY and home improvement stores. I have researched these products and have a few suggestions and points to look for when buying.

Points to Look For


  • Most poles are supplied with a plastic taper over the tip. Unscrew this to see if the thread under is metal. If plastic don't buy it as it won't be up to the job of making a strong lighting boom.
It's what's under the taper which is important. On the right a cheap and nasty plastic tip.
Notice that the thread is only held in place with the metal punched into the plastic.
  • Does the locking mechanism has a decent twist grip or even click button lock for the extensions? Painters extension poles which rely on twisting the inner pole to lock are generally inferior quality and at the lower end of the price range. Avoid as you would a communicable disease!
L-R Twist grip on a round cross-section pole. Flat sided cross section with a push to lock mechanism.
  • Some poles will have a fibre glass outer tube which is both lightweight and strong. Some will be coloured which aids visibility from a safety point of view.
  • Are the extensions round or flat sided profile? Flat sided tend to be stronger with less flex and don't twist. They also are a feature of the more expensive painters extension poles.
Flat sided cross section prevents twisting.



UK Buyers
I use Screwfix mainly as there is one local and they can get stock next day if necessary. You can also order online to collect in store or for home delivery.

B&Q, Wickes, Homebase all sell poles of varying quality. The models mentioned below I own and use.

Harris 3 Section Extension Pole

I've used one of these with the prototype Spigot for 3 years and it's still going strong, for less than £12.00 it's a bargain. The round profile isn't an issue as the twist grips allow for secure tightening and ease of handling with gloved hands.

Purdy Pro Pole

This is my most recent acquisition. A 2 section pole which extends from 4 - 8 feet. Sturdy and lightweight. Originally Wickes were selling something similar for about £12.00. Unfortunately they have downgraded the specification and their version now has a plastic thread.

For some people a shorter boom may be desirable, especially where space is a consideration.
No-Nonsense is not a brand I am familiar with but this pole is quality. 2 section, extends to 50" and a snip at £9.99.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-superlock-decorating-extension-pole-30-50/81178

The equivalent Purdy offering is £22.39 and I can see no difference in the build quality.
http://www.screwfix.com/p/purdy-fibreglass-professional-paint-roller-extension-pole-2-4/73515

Until recently the Shur-Line range of painters extension poles were only available in the US, they are now available in the UK. I haven't actually used one but if the likes of Joe McNally and David Hobby (ask Strobist) use them, they must be OK!
http://www.decoratingdirect.co.uk/viewprod/s/SHUR-LINE_EASY_REACH_SCREW-FIT_TELESCOPIC_EXTENSION_POLES/

US Buyers
Living in England does limit my knowledge of the US market! I will recommend the Shur-Line Easy Reach Telescopic extension poles for the aforementioned reasons.

Shur-Line
http://www.shurline.com/products/frames-and-poles.aspx

Home Depot
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Shur-Line-Easy-Reach-60-in-Adjustable-Extension-Pole-06570L/100534761

Australia Buyers
Bunnings
http://www.bunnings.com.au/shurline-easy-reach-extension-painters-pole_p1560131


In conclusion, I use the Harris 3 section pole as it's a reasonable price, extends longer than the Purdy, surprisingly it is also lighter.

The 1420 VAL Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK and direct from me for US or UK customers.

If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.





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