Jump to content

Has anyone ever built one of these? How can I light it up?


Klayfish
 Share

Recommended Posts

So as I'm racking my brain for things to do for the "static" parts of my display in 2014, my wife said she wanted to build some of those large scale Santa/sleigh/reindeer plywood cutouts.  She found a website that sells the templates.  I was browsing through it and came across some motorized display items which look really cool.  In particular, I really want to build this...

 

http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/product/Christmas_Carousel_Woodworking_Plans/Christmas_Motorized_Designs

 

Does anyone here have experience building these?  Is it fairly easy?  I was also envisioning lighting it by wrapping the poles or the top canopy in lights.  But I'm struggling with how to do this?  I'd obviously need to run some kind of extension cord, and since it's rotating around, the cords are going to get wrapped around the pole.  How can I light it without having this problem?  There's probably some easy answer, but it's eluding me right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You definitely need to be an experienced woodworker to make those things.  There are a lot of little parts.  I built the ferris wheel and was unable to get their wooden gears working reliably so I modified it to work with pulleys.  I light the ferris wheel up with spotlights. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's really hard or expensive to try to light it ,then I was definitely planning on just shining a couple of flood lights at it. 

 

Andy,

I didn't realize they were really hard to build.  I've got very little woodworking experience, but I was hoping that with the templates and some transfer paper I'd be able to build it without too much trouble.   Was it just the motorized part that was difficult, or was all of it hard to build?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a lot will depend on the tools you have available.  I would imagine this would need to be in a sheltered area.  I don't see it holding up well against high winds.  Don't be cheap on the lazy susan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the paint work on the profiles, on-board lights as you mention may cause a lighting contrast problem.

 

As mentioned above, I would use a couple of 10w LED floods. You could even get the RGB kind and "tweak" the

 

colors that way as well. (I use them on my 5 inflatables and they look awesome)

 

tj

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Get and build the Sleigh and reindeer, they are the simplest to do. Doing them will help you build up your skill before tackling something bigger. Needless to say a jigsaw or scroll saw is a must. Depending on how smooth you want them to be a sander is also a must. Or go around lopsided with your right forearm twice as large as your left arm. Once you move past the sleigh and reindeer your ability to paint within the lines will become import skill also.

 

Dont be faint at heart. Dont let someone tell you it's hard. Just start simple and build upon those skills.  BTW I did the deer and sleigh many of years ago. This year from same company I got the plans for the Teeter Totter with Santa and Rudolph. Was thinking of the Ferris Wheel, but dont know where I would store it off season. BTW it is easy to anchor to the ground. Carousel would be a night mare to anchor. But to answer your question as someone else has. You would need a form of slip ring as it has been mentioned. There are vertical ones that are on a turning shaft. Or a horizontal one where the rings are flat and next to each other. Just keep this in mind. They need to be kept out of the weather and restrict access to them by both humans and animals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Some form of slip ring power transfer. Not sure I'd try DIY.

 

How about here:

 

www.mercotac.com

 

 

 You could use the slip rings from an older style alternator (Delco for example) the shaft is 5/8" and the brushes holder would run about a top of 4 amps at 120 volts, so LED lamps are the way to go.

 

you can scavenge these from an older one from the auto wreckers, or go new from a place like a parts place that  deals in alternator and starter parts...

 

for extra amps you could use 2 sets of slip rings & brushes 4 amp each set !

 

Just make sure that the items are NOT out in the open where little fingers could touch them.... ZAP ~!

 

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I build alot of ferris wheels and skating rinks.  I strongly suggest that you have it moving, and i also recommend mercotac.  I think it's around $75.  People are fascinated with moving parts especially when there are lights on it.  They always want to know how in the world you do that.  It's relatively easy to do, but gets a big reaction.  I use LOR and have a friend that does as well.  CCR trees, hundreds of LOR channels....the community loves the moving props more than any of it.

I build alot of ferris wheels and skating rinks.  I strongly suggest that you have it moving, and i also recommend mercotac.  I think it's around $75.  People are fascinated with moving parts especially when there are lights on it.  They always want to know how in the world you do that.  It's relatively easy to do, but gets a big reaction.  I use LOR and have a friend that does as well.  CCR trees, hundreds of LOR channels....the community loves the moving props more than any of it.- Sorry, i first clicked on "quote" rather than "reply."

Edited by drivemewilder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I built a wooden Ferris Wheel back in 2008 from plans in my mind & it is still working today. I put an expensive 6 rpm motor on it, but it runs like a charm. As far as lights go, I was looking at the slip ring route but I decided to go the "Solar Lights" way. My brother put 1 string of 50 count Solar lights on each side of the wheel. I string is still working, & one strip stopped this year but that could be just the battery. I added a string of 25 count 5 watt bulbs to the front face of the wheel. Led spot lights would work.

 

So the Ferris wheel you are looking at would work & what ever upgrades you may do to the driving of the wheel. I would most differently look at "Solar Power" light strings.  I made my Ferris Wheel" to come apart. I also added wheels to it to move it around. If I was to do it again I would consider PVC pipe. Just ask (Drivemewilder} about that. As far as seats go, forget the wood seats & go with baskets that come from Walmart that looks like seats.

 

I can email you what pictures I have.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made this for this past year's display, complete with the wood gears.  I used a wiper motor.  The project took a long time - there are a lot of beveled cuts and is not for the novice, but fun to do! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As much as I desperately want to add something motorized like this, my common sense took over.  Given my lack of woodworking skills and electrical skills, I decided to for for things that should be easier to build.  I bought the gigantic sleigh and reindeer pattern, so I'll have a 15' tall reindeer.  I also bought a few of the lighted patterns too.  These seem a bit easier for a novice builder and it'll give me good experience.  I can try harder ones later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever thought of using a slip ring to get power to the rotating object, Ferris wheel, merry go round etc. then install whatever controller you want/need to and then use an ELL to control it? You could have as many channels as you need with only a 2-3 wire slip ring.

On a side note, what kind of climate do you live? Not sure how we'll the slip rings hold up in cold weather...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...