In the garden I am always looking for ways of adding realism to my line without cluttering the garden with items that can easily break, fade, rot or disappear (magpies!) and do not spoil my overall garden landscape.
I recently read an article in Garden Railways, a beginners project of how to make telephone (telegraph) poles for your garden railway. I immediately thought, "I can do that" and consequently took about making my own.
Nowadays you don't tend to see so many telephone poles but they are synonymous with railway lines of the past and akin to heritage railways. But as it's my railway, loosely based in the past, it's allowed!
For the making of the poles and cross arms I used light hardwood dowelling (15mm) and beading (8mm).
Each pole measured 400mm in length allowing for approx 100mm-150mm below ground.
The cross arms measured 100mm.
Each pole top was cut at an angle with an 8mm slot cut 30-38mm from the top.
The poles and arms were then submerged in creosote and left for twelve hours to soak.
From the local craft store I obtained a pack of white 8mm beads and a pack of white painted upholstery nails.
The beads are a good enough likeness of insulators with the nails providing the perfect insulator covers.
With the cross arms held in a vice to stop the wood from splitting, the beads were nailed into place with the upholstery nails.
Depending on your requirements, you could have up to four insulators on each cross arm.
With the cross arms nailed and glued in place, here are six finished telephone poles complete with insulators.
You could of course add wires between the poles when in situ but I think that would make garden maintenance a little difficult.