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PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014

Leaping Arches Cool effect, even for newbies! By James Toliver On Monday Chuck Smith stood at my Editors note: this is our most popular how-to article ever published in the magazine. We’re running it again so others can build and enjoy some arches before this holiday decorating season. desk and “suggested” the magazine needed a how-to article on building leaping arches. My immediate response was “What’s a leaping arch?” Have you ever expe-rienced the dreaded “dolt” look? I now have. Chuck said “Go to YouTube.com and search for Christmas Leaping Arches.” I did and went wow! Leaping arches look like streams of water jumping around in the yard and are a really cool effect. Even better, they looked like a simple project to build. I started checking various websites on how to build leaping arches. Yikes! There are cer-tainly a lot of different techniques. I was soon overwhelmed with way-too-many details about plastic pipe thickness, potato peeler motors, using seven, eight or nine electrical circuits to power the leaping arch sections and how much one should bend a straight piece of pipe to cre-ate the perfect arch. I went to the home center and bought a bunch of components, took everything to the house and started playing around with differ-ent techniques. On Wednesday I went back to Chuck and pleaded “Please help me focus. There are just too many possibilities build-ing these things.” According to others on the staff I’m the first to get the dreaded “dolt” look twice in the same week. Chuck reminded me we’re here to teach the fundamentals. PlanetChristmas readers are smart and quite 32  PlanetChristmas  |  September 2014 gifted at improving a design once they under-stand the basics. Create a small arch for the typical front yard that’s easy to build, light, pro-gram and store during the off-season.” Since I had no desire to ever get another “dolt” look, that’s all I needed to move forward. This article is a guide to building a simple ten foot leaping arch. Use it to create something special for your display knowing you can easily customize it for your unique venue. Let’s start with the basic pipe that makes up the arch. Think 10 foot, white, rigid water pipe. 1” diameter pipe will work fine. You’ll find two thicknesses at the home center. Since our arch Schedule 40 is the thicker pipe in the center


PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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