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View Full Version : Under $6 Bethlehem star, No welding



Photovor
09-23-2009, 03:07 PM
I spent less than $6 creating this 6 foot tall Bethlehem star. It is made from 4 pieces of 1/2" grey PVC conduit, which Home Depot has for $.87 each. The back support pole is a 3/4" piece of grey PVC conduit.

I don't have a welder, so I had to be resourceful in how I put this together. To create the joints, I cut a piece of 1/2" PVC in half long ways, heated it with a heat gun, and bent it over the joint so it would conform to the pvc. I then glued the joint with PVC glue and added drywall screws for additional stability.

Overall, it's very rigid and should hold up very well. Now I just have to get the lights on it!

http://www.altoonalights.com/star/star_001.gif

Detail of a joint:
http://www.altoonalights.com/star/star_002.gif

dirknerkle
09-23-2009, 03:17 PM
Well done!!! Can't beat the price, nor the convenience! Personally, I LOVE sheetrock screws... next to duct tape, they're a solution looking for a problem!

-dave

reidfo
09-23-2009, 03:26 PM
Very nice job! It looks great, and from a distance even looks like it was welded. I agree with dirknerkle, drywall screws are as indispensable as duct tape!

Photovor
09-23-2009, 03:31 PM
Thanks! I personally love the foil backed duct tape. Actually, that would be a great additional re-enforcement for these joints as well. When I get some spare time here, I'll post some dimensions so if someone wants to build it, it'll be a good reference.

EDIT:

Possible Improvements to this design:
- Use actual PVC joints for the inner section. You'll still have to use a heat gun to get the angles right, but they may hold up better.
- When I did the joints, I just used about a 3" piece of heated PVC, which covered the front of the joint. Hindsight, I would have doubled that, so it could have wrapped the whole way around the back. Though, with the current method, it's very rigid.

lbro
09-24-2009, 01:20 PM
looks great, I have a whole bucket of drywall screws..........

Photovor
09-24-2009, 01:22 PM
That would be a great display construction competition. PVC and drywall screws only.

LabRat
09-24-2009, 01:48 PM
What about the duck-tape and tie-wraps?

Photovor
09-24-2009, 08:48 PM
Here are some videos:

http://vimeo.com/6745037 - This one has a little more brightness to the video, so you can see the structure.

http://vimeo.com/6745344 (http://vimeo.com/6745037) - Same sequence, but the contrast is up, so you can primarily just see the lights. (fixed the link)

ErnieHorning
09-25-2009, 11:51 AM
Same sequence, but the contrast is up, so you can primarily just see the lights.

http://vimeo.com/6745344 -The right link.

Photovor
09-25-2009, 01:15 PM
http://vimeo.com/6745344 -The right link.

Good catch.. wasn't paying attention. I corrected it above as well.

Photovor
09-26-2009, 12:24 PM
A new thread was created here :http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=79314#post79314

for a Bethlem Star Calculator that I made, which is located here:
http://www.altoonalights.com/star_calculator/star_calculator.html

You can put in any dimension of the star, to get a list of proportional measurements that will help you in your construction of the star.