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Mark Showalter

Weber Construction Tips

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jimswinder wrote:

I would also suggest NOT trying to make the spirals look perfect...you'll drive yourself crazy!!!!

When it is dark and the lights are on, it will look great!!!
i found a website that has the pulley masthead (16 hooks) but it is all centered around using 1-1/2 pvc, my base for the sunsetter is more than double that. suggestions?

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so inserting some sort of hoop out of irrigation pvc not necessary?

**Don't know what you mean by "inserting PVC"...unless you mean to keep the lights from falling into and toward the mast...which will happen. That was the biggest issue for me...as I kept on adding strings of lights the weight of the lights on the wires (that "formed the tree") kept collapsing toward the center of the tree and hence making each string of lights go further around the tree (since the diameter of the tree would essentially change (shrink) with every string of lights added.) So adding a hoop at one or more points inside the tree would be a great idea...hadn't thought of doing that!!!*
just remembered...I would not be able to "insert any hoops", at least attached to the mast, becasue I use the mast for a collar to be pulled up on...anything attached to the mast would be in the way of pulling that collar up (which all my lights are attached to)...

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caniac wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
I would also suggest NOT trying to make the spirals look perfect...you'll drive yourself crazy!!!!

When it is dark and the lights are on, it will look great!!!
i found a website that has the pulley masthead (16 hooks) but it is all centered around using 1-1/2 pvc, my base for the sunsetter is more than double that. suggestions?
I made my own...any welding skills? Or friends that can weld?

I guess that was why I asked if you were going to "Buiild it" right before Thanksgiving?... You could rent a lift so you could attach each string of lights to the top, and then one by one "walk them around" the tree to form the spiral. If my tree was on the ground (as opposed to being on my roof), that is what I would do.

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jimswinder wrote:

caniac wrote:
jimswinder wrote:
I would also suggest NOT trying to make the spirals look perfect...you'll drive yourself crazy!!!!

When it is dark and the lights are on, it will look great!!!
i found a website that has the pulley masthead (16 hooks) but it is all centered around using 1-1/2 pvc, my base for the sunsetter is more than double that. suggestions?
I made my own...any welding skills? Or friends that can weld?

I guess that was why I asked if you were going to "Buiild it" right before Thanksgiving?... You could rent a lift so you could attach each string of lights to the top, and then one by one "walk them around" the tree to form the spiral. If my tree was on the ground (as opposed to being on my roof), that is what I would do.
if by welding skills you mean inadvertently setting things on fire then yes.

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caniac wrote:

if by welding skills you mean inadvertently setting things on fire then yes.

try welding on something noncombustible...as opposed to very dry cedar planks... :D

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Ok, I plan and want to do a weber tree in 12' . Here is my question, if you set the tree up like a mega tree, attaching the bottom lights to a ring (inner for one direction, outer for the other direction) filling the inner one first then simply rotate the hoop one way, repeat for the outer. Will this work?

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Arnoldc wrote:

Ok, I plan and want to do a weber tree in 12' . Here is my question, if you set the tree up like a mega tree, attaching the bottom lights to a ring (inner for one direction, outer for the other direction) filling the inner one first then simply rotate the hoop one way, repeat for the outer. Will this work?

others have tried this with not much luck...just remember, as you rotate the hoop, the strings will become shorter and the hoop will raise up your mast...may be very difficult to figure out the correct length that you will need for the light strings.

If it is only going to be 12' high, I would attach the strings to the top and "walk" them around your tree...

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jimswinder wrote:

Arnoldc wrote:
Ok, I plan and want to do a weber tree in 12' . Here is my question, if you set the tree up like a mega tree, attaching the bottom lights to a ring (inner for one direction, outer for the other direction) filling the inner one first then simply rotate the hoop one way, repeat for the outer. Will this work?

others have tried this with not much luck...just remember, as you rotate the hoop, the strings will become shorter and the hoop will raise up your mast...may be very difficult to figure out the correct length that you will need for the light strings.

If it is only going to be 12' high, I would attach the strings to the top and "walk" them around your tree...

What about a 20+ foot tree? How do you walk them around without a terrible tangled mess?

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CKSedg wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
Arnoldc wrote:
Ok, I plan and want to do a weber tree in 12' . Here is my question, if you set the tree up like a mega tree, attaching the bottom lights to a ring (inner for one direction, outer for the other direction) filling the inner one first then simply rotate the hoop one way, repeat for the outer. Will this work?

others have tried this with not much luck...just remember, as you rotate the hoop, the strings will become shorter and the hoop will raise up your mast...may be very difficult to figure out the correct length that you will need for the light strings.

If it is only going to be 12' high, I would attach the strings to the top and "walk" them around your tree...

What about a 20+ foot tree? How do you walk them around without a terrible tangled mess?
That's my question too.. I was planning a 14' tree, and figured leaving the lights loose and tighten up once in the proper place, then repeat for the outside loop.. Or use some of my fancy drafting and get the actual arch length needed to complete the affect.

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CKSedg wrote:

What about a 20+ foot tree? How do you walk them around without a terrible tangled mess?

I guess one a t a time....but that would only be feasible if you had access to a lift I would think.

That's why I built mine this way:

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Arnoldc wrote:

Or use some of my fancy drafting and get the actual arch length needed to complete the affect.

may I ask what arch you are speaking of?

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jimswinder wrote:

Arnoldc wrote:
Or use some of my fancy drafting and get the actual arch length needed to complete the affect.

may I ask what arch you are speaking of?
not necessarily an arc more of the twist (depending how you look at it) I didn't to put "arch" typing too fast without thinking or re-reading.. BUT there should be mathematical to figure out (in a perfect world) the length of lights one would need to get the twist or arc so one could lay out the tree as a Mega tree so to speak, and add the twist when all the lights are attached to the base.
And I know I am probably way over thinking this, heck I got a year to figure it out.. Just that thought came to my head and was hoping hey, this would be easy by yourself.. That's what you get for hoping!

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jimswinder wrote:

CKSedg wrote:
What about a 20+ foot tree?  How do you walk them around without a terrible tangled mess?

I guess one a t a time....but that would only be feasible if you had access to a lift I would think.

That's why I built mine this way:






Jim, I must have watched this video 20 times. Very clever I must say, but how did you "pre wrap", or "twist" all of the lights and get to the simple part of just pulling them up the mega tree pole?? Is there a 25 min video for that? :P

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Arnoldc wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
Arnoldc wrote:
Or use some of my fancy drafting and get the actual arch length needed to complete the affect.

may I ask what arch you are speaking of?
not necessarily an arc more of the twist (depending how you look at it) I didn't to put "arch" typing too fast without thinking or re-reading.. BUT there should be mathematical to figure out (in a perfect world) the length of lights one would need to get the twist or arc so one could lay out the tree as a Mega tree so to speak, and add the twist when all the lights are attached to the base.
And I know I am probably way over thinking this, heck I got a year to figure it out.. Just that thought came to my head and was hoping hey, this would be easy by yourself.. That's what you get for hoping!

wellll...there is a calculator already out there...and you can find it here:

http://westseattlelights.com/sequences.htm

then click on the SPIRAL TREE CALCULATOR

main thing to remember the calculator will calculate as if your guy sire strings are completely taut...which is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve...

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John Slade wrote:

Jim, I must have watched this video 20 times. Very clever I must say, but how did you "pre wrap", or "twist" all of the lights and get to the simple part of just pulling them up the mega tree pole?? Is there a 25 min video for that? :P

welll...that would have been a VERY long video...as it took me most of the last summer to do it.

I just started with one string...wrapped it around the tree with the spiral I liked and tie wrapped it to the braided strings I had (16 strings from top to bottom)...did that for each of the 24 sets of light strings (4 strings of each red, green, blue and white).

Will try and find a picture of the platform I built to do it on.

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jimswinder wrote:

John Slade wrote: 
Jim, I must have watched this video 20 times. Very clever I must say, but how did you "pre wrap", or "twist" all of the lights and get to the simple part of just pulling them up the mega tree pole?? Is there a 25 min video for that? :P

welll...that would have been a VERY long video...as it took me most of the last summer to do it.

I just started with one string...wrapped it around the tree with the spiral I liked and tie wrapped it to the braided strings I had (16 strings from top to bottom)...did that for each of the 24 sets of light strings (4 strings of each red, green, blue and white).

Will try and find a picture of the platform I built to do it on.



That would be awesome!! I'd love to see it!!! It sure would be nice to get my new mega tree to that point!!

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John Slade wrote:

Will try and find a picture of the platform I built to do it on.

That would be awesome!! I'd love to see it!!! It sure would be nice to get my new mega tree to that point!!

Well...couldn't find a picture...

But I actually started setting up my Mega Tree tonight to do a few repairs...will get a picture of that tomorrow as I used the same platform..

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Steven wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
You could even put sand into the PVC to make it weighted...


The disadvantages are that the sandbags are bulky and tend to get wet.


I use sandbags in numerous areas of my display. I just wrap them in a 3 mil black construction grade garbage bag. Then duct tape them closed with Gorilla black tape. Works great and they don't get wet.

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John Slade wrote:

That would be awesome!! I'd love to see it!!! It sure would be nice to get my new mega tree to that point!!

Hey John...

Took a few pics this morning of my Weber Tree Platform I built to build my Weber Tree. Basically I removed a few of the beams in the Pagoda and built a floor on top to stand on (and put a ladder on to reach the top of the tree). Then as I mentioned, just started zip tying each set of light strings one by one to each of the 16 braided lines I had going vertically around the tree.

Hope this helps...

EDIT:

This is my Mega Tree pictured here...not my Weber.


Attached files 247694=13478-Mega Tree Platform.jpg

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view from the bottom...


Attached files 247695=13479-Mega Tree Platform 2.jpg

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What about a 20+ foot tree?  How do you walk them around without a terrible tangled mess?



On my 20' Weber tree I had four guy wires to anchor the masthead. The guy wires can be seen in the photo I attached at the top of this thread. You can see they are out some distance from the tree. After all the lights were raised to the top I took each of the 32 strings of lights and stretched them out over the guy wire that was closest. That way I was able to make out which string of light I should walk around the tree next and had no LED entanglements. :P

Once each of the strings of light were wrapped almost twice around the tree (when I ran out of light string length) I anchored the ends to one of the 16 steaks used to secure the light support cables into the ground.

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jimswinder wrote:

John Slade wrote:
That would be awesome!! I'd love to see it!!! It sure would be nice to get my new mega tree to that point!!

Hey John...

Took a few pics this morning of my Weber Tree Platform I built to build my Weber Tree. Basically I removed a few of the beams in the Pagoda and built a floor on top to stand on (and put a ladder on to reach the top of the tree). Then as I mentioned, just started zip tying each set of light strings one by one to each of the 16 braided lines I had going vertically around the tree.


Hope this helps...

EDIT:

This is my Mega Tree pictured here...not my Weber.




WOW!!!! Ok, so I need to stop reading forums and START WORKING ON THE MEGA SPIRAL TREE!! :]

Jim, Thats awesome!! I can't believe this is built on top of your pagoda!!! I really like that! I kinda imagined wrapping the lights as Mark Showalter has done, but prewrapped sounds really nice!!! Too many choices.. so little time!!! :]

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John Slade wrote:

Jim, Thats awesome!! I can't believe this is built on top of your pagoda!!! I really like that! I kinda imagined wrapping the lights as Mark Showalter has done, but prewrapped sounds really nice!!! Too many choices.. so little time!!! :]

Pre-wrapped may sound nice...but it was a pain to do. I would go with Marks' plan if at all possible...though you would have to do it each year.

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As soon as I think I know what I'm going to do, I get just a little confused. So do all the strings of lights "twist" the same way? Someone mentioned the inside twist and the outside twist. Do you actually have opposite twists?
Thanks,

Kel

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kellyhaglund wrote:

As soon as I think I know what I'm going to do, I get just a little confused. So do all the strings of lights "twist" the same way? Someone mentioned the inside twist and the outside twist. Do you actually have opposite twists?

I have seen both...single twists and double reversed twists...just depends on your time, money and what effects you want...

There is a video of the double twist..will try and find it.

Edit:

Here it is...double twist AND a Mega tree all in one:

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