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Thread: Question/Help with Arches?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Default Question/Help with Arches?

    Hello!

    I am new to this hobby and decided to make some leaping arches for my show this year. Basically, I purchased some Schedule 40 PVC (thin wall) from Menards and zip tied coro arches to them (https://www.holidaycoro.com/PixNode-...6ft-p/1083.htm).

    I made the bases out of the same PVC pipe so that I could insert the arches into them and stake the base into the ground. These were fine until we got that crazy storm 2 days before Christmas (I live in the Midwest USA). The combination of the 50 mph winds and sub-zero temperatures caused the PVC pipe that was supporting the arches to snap and blow over most of my arches.

    My question is this: Is there a better way to do PVC arches, or are there any suggestions on how to strengthen the PVC so this doesn't happen in the future? I thought of using either thick-walled PVC or EMT for the base but I'm not sure if that would solve the problem. I am also considering using the 2" tubing (with proper bases) so that I can have the LEDs inside the tube (which should lower the surface area for the wind to grab).

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks!

    -- John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Newtown CT
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    Default Re: Question/Help with Arches?

    I use PEX pipe. I drilled holes on 1" spacing into the back to insert 12mm bullet pixels. I use a plant stake in the middle to keep it stable and a set of cross bars at the ends to act as feet. Had no problems with 60 mph gusts.


    2022 - Not sure yet. At least two new songs.
    2021 New Tune-to sign. New 40x27 matrix at the house. Retiring the Strip based matrix. Updating some of the old window frames to the new house. Adding two new songs.
    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
    2019 - Just moved into a new home (yet another change of plans). Will be dim but not dark. Too much to do at the new place to leave time for a show. Dim show (3000 pixels) had regular visits most nights.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinMueller2003

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Manhattan Kansas
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    Default Re: Question/Help with Arches?

    Using a thicker wall PVC would help with your current arches.

    I use 1" pex with strips and have not had any issues with them blowing over with my 3D printed bases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Clarksville, TN
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    Default Re: Question/Help with Arches?

    Quote Originally Posted by K-State Fan View Post
    Using a thicker wall PVC would help with your current arches.

    I use 1" pex with strips and have not had any issues with them blowing over with my 3D printed bases.
    Same here 1" Pex with 12VDC LED strips. Built base out of wood, drilling holes to run the Pex into. Although they are free standing, I added a support stake (electric fence stake) to the middle of the arch for so it would stand straight in higher winds.
    -Tony
    Tony
    Live since 2007
    Putting the Yule back into Yuletide


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Default Re: Question/Help with Arches?

    Quick & dirty:. I tie a short string to the PVC, then tie a carabiner to the other end. Normally, that's it. But when it's turbulent, I attach another string at the other end of the carabiner and stake it to the ground. You can do the whole thing with gloves on (not so much if you were tying knots). That's for my big arches that people drive trucks through. You can also use that for.other things, and in combination with whatever other solutions people offer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Sauk City, WI USA
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    Default Re: Question/Help with Arches?

    Curious how the pvc snapped. Do you have picture of one?

    When you say made bases out of the same...what do you mean? Did you use a tee and make feet?

    One, like others mentioned, definitely need to support the PCV at the ground level. Tying them together in some fashion makes sense. I like the 1pet2_9 idea of having a small carabiner down there but my base is a piece of emt joined to the arch and base with metal brackets.

    Two, if you can live with the "bent" pvc...before attaching the coro, heat treat the pcv in some manner. You can do that internally or externally. It was suggested some number of years ago to pour warm sand in the pvc. That always sounded like a fun and dangerous thing to do. I think I would try to warm it with a heat gun around a template of some kind.

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