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Peter B

Large Star

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Hi Again,

I need your help you brainy lot :)

Somewhere ( I have searched on the forum) I found a link to making a large star. Their were lots of comments on how good it was. It was a tutorial I believe printed but could have been youtube? It showed a guy with the plans using an overhead projector putting the image onto the wood, then showing the spacings for the bulbs. It was very detailed.

Please can someone help me found this link again!



Many thanks,

Pete.

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I've been drooling over that star also. With 7 strings of C9's in it ... its amazing.

Now getting it up on the roof ... that doesn't look fun.

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taybrynn wrote:

I've been drooling over that star also. With 7 strings of C9's in it ... its amazing.

Now getting it up on the roof ... that doesn't look fun.


Yes, you do have a point 8ft, 3 story's high :) It's worth it though! lol lol :D

Pete.

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taybrynn wrote:

And getting those 60lb sandbags up there ... via a ladder? Scary.

You should try to carry roofing shingles... talk about heavy. :D

Glad I work on ladders at various heights for a living. I think nothing of going up on the roof two times a day to get the snow/ice off our blowups up there. :) Wifey thinks I'm crazy, but so be it.

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Ironically, I just saw a post yesterday where RichardH was taking down the star from the roof. Wow, that was scary looking. That dudes a trooper. He had it going live on his webcam for awhile ...

Jeffrey,

I wish I could feel the same confidence as you do. I'm not skittish, but

do I'll admit I hate getting back on the ladder (the first step) when coming off the roof. I won't work when there is snow or ice up there at all -- no way. After falling off the lower roof this year and basically jumping 13' onto the driveway ... that was a wake-up call for me. Now I'm about ready to try out the new harness and retractable lifeline setup to remove my upper C9's.

Do you have any tips (or essentials) on how to work safely on a ladder?

Is there a certain angle or ratio that should be maintained?

It leaning a ladder into a gutter acceptable? I don't seem to have a choice on my house.

I do stay off the top 2-3 steps ... and use a 24' fiberglass ladder than seems really stable. I also don't lean over the edges.

My program is that they always put river-rock around the houses here in CO ... so its creates a bunch of unstable and un-level surfaces to ladder from. So I finally create a large bricked area that was perfectly level ... to place the ladder on. I put this in my favorite spot to access the roof from.

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I plan on making a star based on the Holdman design except I will do it as a wireframe instead of plywood to cut down on weight and wind resistance. I will be using lots of M5 LEDS as well. ;)

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I'm very interested in making one of these.

I've been studying the roof ridge mount Richard made, but I'm going to need to make one the goes parallel to the ridge line instead of perpendicular to it.

I think how richard built it with screws it the way I'll also go.

I'm thinking of using 2 sand bags total and then hooking an eye hook on the back of the stand and connecting a cable and carabiners from the eye hook to a rooftop mount point that is already there and just a few feet behind where the stand would go. I don't see that going anywhere with a couple bags and a lifeline on it. I've just been figuring out the best way to make a sturdy base with the new orientation.

I've contemplated using C7(s) instead of C9(s) and maybe making it a little smaller. But on the other hand, Richards looks so awesome ... its hard to argue with something that beautiful.

I'm thinking of perhaps just printing out the patterns across lots of sheets of paper, then combining them into a template, then using pins to transfer the pattern onto wood and then connect the dots from there. Less precise, but maybe do-able without a projector...

I'm a little confused by one of Richards pictures and comments

Here is a close up of the hole. Notice the small lip inside the hole which is just small enough to not allow the C9 socket to push through. I chose to make the larger hole 1 1/8 but you can make it larger if you need a bigger lip

But in subsequent pictures, it looks like he just drilled a bunch of big holes and its not clear that there is a lip on one side or not.

I'm also interested in how he attached the star to the 2x4 face offs ... did he just screw in from the front of the star with a couple screws for each point?

Richards, thanks for putting this together. Everything you do is pro-grade.

Scott

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Hi, I new to this forum. I built the star last year. I didn't have access to a laptop projector, so I printed his graphics onto a piece of graph paper. Then I assigned each line a distance and transferred the image to the plywood using the template. It took a while but I got it. I used Richard's tutorial too. It was great. The only thing that I changed was the size of the holes for the lights. I used a 1 1/4" hole. That allowed the socket to clear the plywood totally. I used a wire stapler to staple the wires on each side of the socket.The staples have a indentation for the wire. I bought the stapler at Lowes.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=242252-412-T72&lpage=none
Stapling the wires went really fast and worked great. I didn't want to have the bulb in contact with the plywood. The lights are a little crooked but the star is 35 feet off the ground and the crooked lights are not noticeable. The only problem I had building it was where the lights got too close together at the points. This star is a sail in the wind. I used 4 bags of stone to hold it down. We had 55mph winds the night after I put it on the roof, and it stayed put. Make the support in sections and screw it together on the roof. I had 5 total sections that got carried onto the roof. I screwed in the bulbs on the roof too to hinder breaking them on the ladder. I often work on ladders. The rule is 1 foot out for 4 feet up. Buy yourself a ladder stabilizer. It really works. It will also keep the ladder off the gutters too. Al

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Here is a close up of the hole. Notice the small lip inside the hole which is just small enough to not allow the C9 socket to push through. I chose to make the larger hole 1 1/8 but you can make it larger if you need a bigger lip


The lip he is talking about is on the socket side, this is a slightly bigger hole that does NOT go all the way through, as without this the bulb doesn't make contact with the socket.

Hope this helps,

Pete.

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Thanks, I think I have it now.

Would MDF work better than plywood? It is even heavier? I was just thinking that a lot of the splintering would go away if using MDF vs. plywood.

I was wondering if some open holes would reduce the weight and reduce wind resistance ?? I'm not sure that would be wise, as I'd also loose strength, possibly.

I'm think I'll just do 50 C9(s) per channel and space them accordingly, just so the 25 strands can be used easily on it.

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taybrynn wrote:

Thanks, I think I have it now.

Would MDF work better than plywood? It is even heavier? I was just thinking that a lot of the splintering would go away if using MDF vs. plywood.

I was wondering if some open holes would reduce the weight and reduce wind resistance ?? I'm not sure that would be wise, as I'd also loose strength, possibly.

I'm think I'll just do 50 C9(s) per channel and space them accordingly, just so the 25 strands can be used easily on it.

you can use MDF outdoors but particular attention must be made to proper sealing. This would become problematic for the many holes that will be drilled for the lights. As these holes will allow water to pool, it they are not properly sealed, the MDF will just wick that water up.

The best solution would be marine grade plywood or outdoor rated plywood.

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I agree with iresq,

MDF if it's not sealed properly and mind you the dust (which is dangerous) I would go along with ply.



Pete.

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I used 3/4" cdx plywood. I didn't want the star to warp which could happen with thinner plywood. I painted the entire star with a good quality exterior primer then 2 top coats of a good exterior, flat black paint. Splintering is a factor and I bought a forstner bit to speed up drilling 175 holes. My 18v Dewalt drill used 3 batteries during the drilling process. If you use a high torque drill with a spade bit the bit can hang and cause the drill to rotate and whack anything in its path. You will have 175 opportunities to whack yourself too. A forstner bit is a better and quicker way.

When I painted the star I bought a few of those 1" foam brushes to paint the holes. I laid the star flat on saw horses then saturated the foam brush with paint then swirled the brush around in the hole and let the excess drip through. I let it drip a couple minutes then removed the excess on the back side with a paint brush. This method insured that the crevices of the holes had sufficient paint in them. The rough nature of the holes wear out the foam brush fairly quickly so buy extra. I'm buying a welder soon, and if I had it do over again (owning a welder) , I would build the star from 3/8" steel. It would be much lighter and less prone to acting like a sail. Al

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Duke, curious to know where you get your wire frame, and what

size gauge? :) I would like to find different size circles to build a

snowman.







http://www.lightsoftanea.com

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Carlo Schmitt wrote:

Duke, curious to know where you get your wire frame, and what

size gauge? :) I would like to find different size circles to build a

snowman.

I am going to make it from scratch using 1/4 rod and light clips since I'll be using M5 led's instead of C7's to keep the weight and mainly wind resistance down. A good source for wireframes only is here:

http://www.lorislighteddlites.com/all-wire-frame-lights.asp

I've heard that they will make custom items as well. Give them a call and tell them what you want. They seem to have reasonable prices.

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Thanks for the tips -- MDF would not be good ... thanks for explaining why.

I like the idea of using a forstner bit ... they are somewhat pricey ... I know I went to get one last summer, but HD only had an entire set for like $50 or more.

I'm also thinking of possibly making this at 50% scale to what RichardH did and trying 25 lights per channel instead.

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:DThanks for that great TIP! Every decoration I have high above the roof line,

Wire frames seem to me to handle the elements much better. And easier to

put up.

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I would like to make a Z-tree star out of coro, but wish someone had prints on how to do it, because I have never used coro before.

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