PDA

View Full Version : How To Build 8 Channel Light Arches



kychristmas
01-12-2012, 07:55 PM
Eventhough I used the Arch method, I have received many questions about my arches. I actually call them leapers. If you are considering adding arches to your display, check these out. Its not the only good way, but they certainly work for me. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. After 3 seasons of setup and take down, I still love them and am very satisfied. There are also some pictures of the mini lathe I built to wrap the Arch sections.

Kentucky Christmas Light Arches (http://www.kentucky-christmas.com/photos/leaper-photos)

PM me or use my Guestbook if you have questions.

LightUp
01-13-2012, 09:56 AM
The next phase is to use a sewing machine peddle to control the rotation speed of your "lathe". :lol:

I also see you're taking advantage of "low paid" labourers? :ohmy:

michaelc
01-13-2012, 10:06 AM
I used your method this year for 2 arches. My only suggestion to anyone using them is to be careful when dis-assembling them. As you try to disconnect the sections, the tie-wrap can slip off the edge. It's a PITA to put back on and if you are not careful the wires can un-ravel.

duramadmax
01-13-2012, 10:17 AM
hot glue ziptie to pipe.

jrock64
01-13-2012, 10:23 AM
One thing I did when I built my poles(vertical arches) since I was turning the pipe by hand.
Was to fold the string of 100 in half into two strands of 50.
This way you are wrapping two strands at once that are only half as long.
The other major benefit is that by having a double strand you have some built in insurance
that if half the strand goes out that section may be less bright, but it will not be dark.

Joel

plasmata
01-13-2012, 10:53 AM
Moved to more appropriate thread...

dirknerkle
01-13-2012, 11:21 AM
One thing I did when I built my poles(vertical arches) since I was turning the pipe by hand.
Was to fold the string of 100 in half into two strands of 50.
This way you are wrapping two strands at once that are only half as long.
The other major benefit is that by having a double strand you have some built in insurance
that if half the strand goes out that section may be less bright, but it will not be dark.

Joel

Joel, you are without a doubt one of the most clever guys I've ever met. Great tip!

kychristmas
01-13-2012, 01:58 PM
The next phase is to use a sewing machine peddle to control the rotation speed of your "lathe". :lol:

I also see you're taking advantage of "low paid" labourers? :ohmy:

Just didn't give all the details, but I actually ended up switching to a Router Speed Control that I had laying around and used a foot switch extension cord. I didn't get to my vertical poles this year, but they will be built the same way (larger PVC). Before I do most of them, I'm going to change to a permanent motor setup using a Grill Rotisserie motor.

The girl is 5 now, but whe was only 3 in this picture. Of course, I loved having her there, but I remember she knocked the stool over on the lights and broke a brand new strand. Also, before the session was over she fell of the stool and hit her head on the Bench. No stiches, but certainly did not make the project easier? The free Labor always cost in the longrun somewhere. It really has been great with the kids. Since its my hobby, I don't force them to help. When they do, I know they are there because they want to be and it makes it more fun. This goes for the 16,13,7 and the 5 year old.

kychristmas
01-13-2012, 02:03 PM
Thanks Joel. Although I struggled with it, The WIKI method actual show attached one end and the the other end at the 18" mark. So essentially wrapping as a "V" I really like your idea. Then I could be a little lazy on those cold days and not worry when a Half a channel is out :) May use that when I finish my Vertical Poles this year.

You have to love this place. I think I'm doing Noobs a favor by posting the details and pictures and I end up getting good advice. It would appear I'm not just paying it forward, byt I'm still getting paid.



One thing I did when I built my poles(vertical arches) since I was turning the pipe by hand.
Was to fold the string of 100 in half into two strands of 50.
This way you are wrapping two strands at once that are only half as long.
The other major benefit is that by having a double strand you have some built in insurance
that if half the strand goes out that section may be less bright, but it will not be dark.

Joel

Xenia
01-13-2012, 02:24 PM
Well us "noobs" really appreciate the help. I was going to make the Carney Arches but like this better. My lights are from Sams and are 200 strand 55 ft. leds. I am going to use 1 " gray PVC in four foot lengths with 2 foot segments. The arch will be sixteen feet long and should be 12 foot or so wide as I want to leave them relatvely flat only 3-4 foot high. I like the idea that these can be used as part of my twelve foot vertical and double as spares for the arches.

kychristmas
01-13-2012, 02:33 PM
Well us "noobs" really appreciate the help. I was going to make the Carney Arches but like this better. My lights are from Sams and are 200 strand 55 ft. leds. I am going to use 1 " gray PVC in four foot lengths with 2 foot segments. The arch will be sixteen feet long and should be 12 foot or so wide as I want to leave them relatvely flat only 3-4 foot high. I like the idea that these can be used as part of my twelve foot vertical and double as spares for the arches.

I'm more than happy to loan you the "Wrappng Lathe" Not sure if its worth the drive. Somedays I work in Montgomery/Blue Ash area.

Can you break those LEDs up in to 100ct strings? 200 Leds in two feet is going to be bright bright bright! Should look pretty cool.

Skunberg
01-13-2012, 03:37 PM
One thing I did when I built my poles(vertical arches) since I was turning the pipe by hand.
Was to fold the string of 100 in half into two strands of 50.
This way you are wrapping two strands at once that are only half as long.
The other major benefit is that by having a double strand you have some built in insurance
that if half the strand goes out that section may be less bright, but it will not be dark.

Joel

Another GREAT idea from Joel! It's the little details like this that make a really great show!!! I'm going to unwind half a arch.

Brian

Xenia
01-14-2012, 03:49 AM
Kelly,

Appreciate the offer of the lathe but I will probably be able to rig something to make the work easier. I imagine the LEDs could be separated as it appears there are four sections of fifty lights. Most of my Led's from Sam's are going into my four arches (6400 lights) and Mega Tree (9600 lights). The rest are going on a 12 foot fire stick and eight four foot trees. (my octave tree set), so separating them is not necessary fortunately.

cwalkeree
01-17-2012, 01:12 AM
All your how to's are great, Kelly... thanks!

Quick question: did you use the 3/4 inch PVC pipe, the gray electrical conduit kind as stated in the wiki?

kychristmas
01-17-2012, 12:05 PM
All your how to's are great, Kelly... thanks!

Quick question: did you use the 3/4 inch PVC pipe, the gray electrical conduit kind as stated in the wiki?

Yes, 3/4 like the Wiki. I think 1/2" is too flexible and would need support.

cwalkeree
01-17-2012, 11:37 PM
thanks.. I'm really jealous of your PVC working skills! seriously.. good job.

kychristmas
01-17-2012, 11:52 PM
thanks.. I'm really jealous of your PVC working skills! seriously.. good job.

Thanks, but I must give credit to Aurbo99. I started with his techniques and refined them to work for me. I'm good at stealing and reworking things to make them my own :)

btw... It was this thread that started my love affair with PVC Contstruction: http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?8991-Mega-Tree-a-different-take

bcstuff
01-18-2012, 12:26 AM
Just as an FYI for the people doing arches, I tried 3/4" grey pvc and I didn't like the way the lights lined up after they were wrapped.
Instead I used 1" grey pvc and the pattern was more evenly distributed.

I was a little worried they wouldn't bend well, but connecting 4- 40" sections together and it bent no problem. It was also very sturdy.

kychristmas
01-18-2012, 01:10 AM
Just as an FYI for the people doing arches, I tried 3/4" grey pvc and I didn't like the way the lights lined up after they were wrapped.
Instead I used 1" grey pvc and the pattern was more evenly distributed.

I was a little worried they wouldn't bend well, but connecting 4- 40" sections together and it bent no problem. It was also very sturdy.

It's a matter of taste. I don't want them to line up. I like when it looks all random. Obviously, it will depend on what the spacing of your lights is. Plus, at my home depot the 1" is like 60% more. I'm using 1" for some Fire Poles. I can also tell you that is harder to bend in colder climates.

Nice Videos. Your arches look great. Some great sequencing techniques. Loved the dotted line effect

cwalkeree
01-18-2012, 12:46 PM
It's a matter of taste. I don't want them to line up. I like when it looks all random. Obviously, it will depend on what the spacing of your lights is. Plus, at my home depot the 1" is like 60% more. I'm using 1" for some Fire Poles. I can also tell you that is harder to bend in colder climates.

Nice Videos. Your arches look great. Some great sequencing techniques. Loved the dotted line effect

If you used the 3/4 in your 2011 show.. I think they look great.:thup2: