Softball Shawn

Christmas Light show Mega Tree kit opinions

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I am looking at the Christmas Light show 20' Mega tree kit for $250. Anyone buy this and have any opinions on it? I was going to make one on my own but considering the time, and cost of materials it seems like this is an affordable option to be done with it without the hassle of designing and fabbing it up.

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I actually plan on the base only from them. Here's a link to the one I am in the process of building:http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/magic_christmas_news_003.htm It's nit hard to build and the cost will be a shade under $200, including the CLS Base kit.

 

The only PVC I'll have on mine is the base. I had some PVC failures this passed year and I am going to try a different material for all props.

 

Just food for thought and another option. The only reason I posted is because of the PVC failures. Being in CA though, you may not have any problems with the PVC getting brittle

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This is my opinion, take it or leave it. There are those who will tell you that they have had no problems using PVC piping. But I wonder how many will come back and tell you a year or two later how the PVC has failed? And there are those who will tell you of their failure using PVC the first time. I highly suggest that you use PVC for water or exhaust on the high eff furnace. But no way would I use PVC for a high weight or wind load such as a mega tree. Doing so is a clear invite to a failure. I dont even like fence post or top pipe. But each to their own and some have to learn the hard way. Frankly I suggest the galvanized 1.25" pipe.

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1.25" Galvanized is what is in my near future with the Portable Hole linked above. Max, you must have read my mind. 

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I have used the CLS 20 footer the past 2 seasons with zero issues. THe PVC is for the base only, & is a nice element of support. You use 20 feet worth of steel pipe for the center pole. Between the the steel pipe, the 4 guy wires, there is really minimal stress to the PVC portion of the design. I live in florida, so not dealing with cold weather that could leave it brittle. I endorse this product based on MY history and satisfaction.

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1.25" Galvanized is what is in my near future with the Portable Hole linked above. Max, you must have read my mind. 

built a portable hole last year and it worked great!!  we had a couple days of really bad wind, so much so we took down all our inflatables, it stood tall.

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built a portable hole last year and it worked great!!  we had a couple days of really bad wind, so much so we took down all our inflatables, it stood tall.

 I also highly endorse the Portable Hole. I've used it for our 12 foot mega the past three years with zero issue. In fact, I think some of the enhancements to it were ideas I'd suggested to Walter the first year he previewed it at Light-Up Ohio (I built it that summer).

 

-Gary-

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For a base. First I have to say that my mega tree could only go into one part of my yard that it would not interfere with other show elements. I bought two 10' sections of galvanized pipe and cut off 3' of one pipe. Dug a hole so that the top would be about 3" below grade. Drilled a few holes  into the pipe and installed a few 4" bolts. installed the 7' piece of pipe and poured in some concrete to about 6" below grade and plumbed the pipe. Few days poured in a couple inches of gravel for help with drainage. Got a 6" PVC glue to screw pipe end. Got the service cap also. I might redo this next part. I drilled abt 4 small holes in the glue part and ran some long deck screws into the pipe. Did this to help keep the connector from twisting in the dirt. I take the service cap and turn it upside down and screw it in a turn or so. Remember the tapper is now backwards and you wont be able to screw it all of the way in. It is now flush and you wont twist your foot in the large opening if it was left open. I also have a coupling on the bottom pipe. So I really greased it up with axle grease to keep it from rusting. I did get the Arrow head anchors that CLS sells. That baby was in some strong winds this year. And I best have it up well, cause the wife's new car would be just east of the tree. You know who would be in the dog house if it fell on her car.

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Brother, you may be in more than just the doghouse on that one my friend. That doghouse may be filled with something else besides you. Whew! I don't even want to think about how much trouble I would be in. My wife knows Taekwondo.

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Dang Ron, I suppose the dog house is better than the hospital bed. I feel like that comedian Bill Engvall. And just when I thought I had done the dumbest thing in my life. I went on and taught my wife how to shoot. :(

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I have used the CLS 20 footer the past 2 seasons with zero issues. THe PVC is for the base only, & is a nice element of support. You use 20 feet worth of steel pipe for the center pole. Between the the steel pipe, the 4 guy wires, there is really minimal stress to the PVC portion of the design. I live in florida, so not dealing with cold weather that could leave it brittle. I endorse this product based on MY history and satisfaction.

I have had this same set up for the last two years as well.  No issues with it in the wind either.  People like the skirt that the PVC makes for the lights.. It is not really needed, but it looks good I think

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Thanks for all of the opinions, much appreciated.

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I actually plan on the base only from them. Here's a link to the one I am in the process of building:http://www.magicchristmasnews.org/magic_christmas_news_003.htm It's nit hard to build and the cost will be a shade under $200, including the CLS Base kit.

 

The only PVC I'll have on mine is the base. I had some PVC failures this passed year and I am going to try a different material for all props.

 

Just food for thought and another option. The only reason I posted is because of the PVC failures. Being in CA though, you may not have any problems with the PVC getting brittle

 

Ron that is exactly the same one I built. Love it and makes it a  one man job to put up and take down, but do recommend still having an helper.

 

Cost is around $200, now my 4th year using one and not a problem one with weather.

 

Maybe you will see it in July.

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Hey Dennis, or anyone else who may know the answer,

I know this thread is a couple of weeks old now, but I have one more question. My tree will be ~18 ft. high. Using this portable concrete hole I have built and the anchors it uses, will there be a need for guy wires up top? The center pole will be in 2 sections using the CLS Pole Pin (12")

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Hey Dennis, or anyone else who may know the answer,

I know this thread is a couple of weeks old now, but I have one more question. My tree will be ~18 ft. high. Using this portable concrete hole I have built and the anchors it uses, will there be a need for guy wires up top? The center pole will be in 2 sections using the CLS Pole Pin (12")

don't know if they are needed but I used them mid-way (old habits).  We had a couple nights of really strong winds but it stayed put.

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Hey Dennis, or anyone else who may know the answer,

I know this thread is a couple of weeks old now, but I have one more question. My tree will be ~18 ft. high. Using this portable concrete hole I have built and the anchors it uses, will there be a need for guy wires up top? The center pole will be in 2 sections using the CLS Pole Pin (12")

YES.. you will need the guy wires at the top.. I have not used them in the center and have had no issues.. but up top.. OH YEAH... very important! 

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YES.. you will need the guy wires at the top.. I have not used them in the center and have had no issues.. but up top.. OH YEAH... very important

+1

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I didn't use them at the top but the way I connected the pipe is a little different than most of you.  I started with a 2" rigid conduit (10ft) and inserted a 1 1/2 piece (10ft) inside that about a third of the way.  I then took three eyebolts and drilled them thru where the two pieces intersected (a third the way around for each one), was pretty solid.

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Hey Dennis, or anyone else who may know the answer,

I know this thread is a couple of weeks old now, but I have one more question. My tree will be ~18 ft. high. Using this portable concrete hole I have built and the anchors it uses, will there be a need for guy wires up top? The center pole will be in 2 sections using the CLS Pole Pin (12")

I have not used guy wires at all on 4 years.

 

BUT, my tree was close to the house and helped block any high winds.  Walter claims you do not need them but it is up to you.

 

I have not heard of one person in 4 years on theses forums, claiming their JUMP tree came down from high winds. Build it to Walters Specifications and you should be fine, change to cheaper or lesser material and you are open to problems.

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Thanks folks. Appreciate the replies.

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I have not used guy wires at all on 4 years.

 

BUT, my tree was close to the house and helped block any high winds.  Walter claims you do not need them but it is up to you.

 

I have not heard of one person in 4 years on theses forums, claiming their JUMP tree came down from high winds. Build it to Walters Specifications and you should be fine, change to cheaper or lesser material and you are open to problems.

You got that right, thought I could get away with 2" PVC and the thing lasted 15mins before bending and snapping!!   Better half said "I told you so" and off to Lowe's I went to spend the extra $15 per section on rigid EMT.

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What if I were to use a power pole in my yard the light's at their highest point will be appx 2 feet below the power lines I am not sure of the exact height yet, I just wanted to get some thought's on my  idea and how I should attach the light's to the ground and to the pole.

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A power pole? Like are we talking about one of them wooden pole that power and telephone wires are strung on? You going to use gafts to climb it each time you put the lights up and take them down? As for the base, there are two common methods that I know of. One is two hoops of PVC pipes Horz to the ground with more pipes to hold the 2nd hoop off of the ground. This makes the lights go under the top hoop and back towards the pole. 2nd Method is a a single PVC hoop to anchor the ends of the strings so that the tree looks like a cone. Anchors in the ground and tied to the hoop. Use good anchors cause the wind will pull on those anchors, ask me how I know. LOL

What if I were to use a power pole in my yard the light's at their highest point will be appx 2 feet below the power lines I am not sure of the exact height yet, I just wanted to get some thought's on my  idea and how I should attach the light's to the ground and to the pole.

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A power pole? Like are we talking about one of them wooden pole that power and telephone wires are strung on? You going to use gafts to climb it each time you put the lights up and take them down? As for the base, there are two common methods that I know of. One is two hoops of PVC pipes Horz to the ground with more pipes to hold the 2nd hoop off of the ground. This makes the lights go under the top hoop and back towards the pole. 2nd Method is a a single PVC hoop to anchor the ends of the strings so that the tree looks like a cone. Anchors in the ground and tied to the hoop. Use good anchors cause the wind will pull on those anchors, ask me how I know. LOL

Yes, not the real tall ones though it might be 30' so I am only going maybe 15-20 ft and using an extension ladder, I hope to make it work with 1 controller this year maybe more after that, I could only start out with 3. I am just trying to get things organized right now.

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I bought a CLS mega tree kit for my first year and used it as designed.  It worked well and could be put up by one person.

 

My problem is that my front yard is not level, this makes the CLS mega tree lean because the base sits on the ground.

 

I liked what CMOORE60 had done with his.  He has a 2 foot deep hole in which the center pole sits in.  He also has permanent anchors for the guy wires.  These anchors are set low enough for the lawn mower to clear.  When he puts his tree up he uses turnbuckles to tension the guy wires.  The nice thing about this is that you can get the wires nice and snug.  You can also use a level and adjust the turnbuckles to get the pole straight.

 

My second year I copied what he had done with the hole and guy wires.   The down side is that it takes two people to set the center pole.  I still use the winch, center pole, pole pine, top, and PVC base from CLS.

 

If I had it do over again, I would probably buy a 20 foot center pole instead of two 10 foot poles and not use the pole pin. 

 

Jerry

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