View Full Version : First Time Welding Anything. 1 of 2 Bethlehem Stars

03-31-2012, 06:38 PM
First time welding anything in my life. I dont think it came out to bad. The star is 6'10" tall total and will have 3 channels. This is the first of two stars I will be putting together. I have one to lay flat on each side of my house. The star is made with 3/8 rebar. Was wanting some steel rod to use but the store was sold out when I went this morning.


That is my star with the 500 lights and 1000 zip ties. Just random effects to see it live. Video is sideways and few of the lights arent straight.

03-31-2012, 07:02 PM
You did a great job.

03-31-2012, 07:15 PM
Looks great. Must be heavy.

Welding is very satisfying. I reckon it is because you see the final product come togeather pretty quickly. Hope you do some more.

03-31-2012, 07:16 PM
Thanks. Took some time and some of my angles are still off. I was using a protractor and needless to say it wasnt perfect. Now I just have to finish the second one, add lights, and move on to the next project.

04-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Great Job. Once you have done the first one the next is easier. I might suggest you look on ebay for a digital angle finder. I found it a huge help in making frames.

04-01-2012, 10:05 AM
Nice job and it's a whopper too. Also on eBay and maybe helpful are overhead projector (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=See-All-Categories&_from=R40&_nkw=overhead+projector&rt=nc&LH_BIN=1)s for between $25-$50 dollars. You can work up a pattern idea on a piece of paper and then project it and trace it at whatever scale you would like.

04-17-2012, 05:26 PM
Digital angle or overhead is a must for any future wireframes. I welded one star for above my garage and one to go above my sons room. I built them big enough so I could make them out while laid flat to the angle of the roof. Ill just tie them up and the weight will hold them in place. Finding a place to store these monsters was difficult.

I have both welded, but only one completed. 500 lights and 1000 zip ties. I would prefer the welding over adding the lights. Took a quick video, for some reason the video from my phone turns sideways when uploading. I should have looked before storing the star away. Ill take another video once I finish the second star. Also just finished my sign for center of my roof. Used wire mesh, pvc, and rope lights. Pvc frame around 2 foot tall wire mesh, rope lights spell out Jesus Is The Reason in 2 foot tall letters. 4 channels so each word is controlled. Once I get upright videos I will upload.

04-17-2012, 05:29 PM
This was my first time welding anything, so I was unaware that I was suppose to grind down the welds. I was actually in to big of a hurry to put some lights on one to see. The welder was a flux welder or flux mig welder, not for sure, but was told after the fact that I was suppose to grind the extra flux off to prevent rusting. So hopefully it does not rust to bad because I dont feel like pulling the lights and zip ties off.

04-17-2012, 05:34 PM
I don't know how important it will be to measure it exactly. Nobody is going to care (or know) if you're a few degrees off here and there. Trust your eyes more -- what you're after is balance; it doesn't have to be down to the millimeter perfect.

Bottom line: LIGHTEN UP!!! :lol:

Your star and the welding both look just terrific. I am worried about the number of zip ties to lights... hmmmm.... 2 to 1.... I've GOT to go out and buy some zip-tie stock....

04-17-2012, 05:41 PM
Well I tried one zip tie, then it didnt seem like the lights were standing straight up, so I added two per light. Luckily I found 1,000 4" zip ties for 5 bucks so wasnt that bad. Just very time consuming. I was under the impression that the lights looked better when they are standing on end.

I have to wait until my second year before I can lighten up. Think I read that in the forum rules, if not it should be added.

Just everybody around me sees the work it is taking me to do my house and parents house, so trying to make it everything perfect. Maybe overkill but learning a few tricks as I go.

04-17-2012, 07:40 PM
Once you get comfortable welding I would get a mig welder that has gas on it. You will be amazed at how little you have to grind. I got one from Harbor Freight for under 200 dollars on the insider club price. Just watch for a sale and join the club for a bigger discount. Also if you can gt our work powder coated you will eliminate the rust problem. Lat year I painted the ones I built and they rusted fast. No one will see it in the dark however. Good luck. You are now addicted and will just continue to grow.

04-17-2012, 08:26 PM
Yeah I have to get through this year before I throw another cost at the wife. Found this site in November on Google just trying to see if there was any diy controllers, by the end of November I was playing with Vixen and waiting for a GB to start. I believe I am addicted lol.

09-06-2012, 11:31 PM
Nice job!!! I really like it!!!

09-13-2012, 03:20 AM
Great Job don't sweat the flux, it won't rust. If you find slag hammer you can chip off the flux. watch the eyes I made a trip to the eye doc and got the drill treatment, no fun. you can get away from flux core and use solid wire with gas shealding, co2 or a steel mix in a small bottle but then you need a regulator, no slag though. When your skills improve the grinder stays in the tool box. For me it's all about the looks dont worry about the angles but if you want them spot on, I would draw a picture on a cement floor.
When ya comming over to build my stars???

09-13-2012, 06:07 AM
awesome job
and first welding job?
wow very ambitious - awesome job!
looks like quite a future!

Donny M. Carter
09-13-2012, 08:34 AM
Very nice!

Sent from my damn iPhone!