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Way Up North

Is there an easy way to enlarge an opening in a blowmold without making a mess?

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I have a TPI snowman that only fits a C7 bulb, he is very dim and I'd like to put in a brighter LED chandelier. I can leave the bulb hole opening as is so the spring clip still fits but would like to enlarge a lower hole in his base so I can reach my arm up to screw in the larger bulb from the inside. I also need a larger access to weight him better as our home gets a lot of wind and he is constantly blowing away. I've never cut into a blowmold before, any tips to make it look tidy and do it easily? What tools to use? Thanks!

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I had to enlarge the hole before, simply drew a circle and used a small electric jig saw or scroll saw.  very easy to cut.

much easier to use too pieces of wood to anchor him.  ( or her)  small piece inside that is larger than the hole, second piece on bottom that will extend several inches past each side, screw the two together, drill holes in edge of wood, use stakes or spikes, ( large 8" or 10" nails)

have pics if you need them

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I just used a good razor blade. Cuts pretty easy, might be cleaner with a drill and step bit (id do that if a need to do another). But a blade will work. No one is looking at that side to see that my circle isn't even.

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I do this, just make the hole at the bottom big enough to fit the chandlelier bulb and fish the plug end though the hole and use one of those plastic rings to keep it in place.  doubt that makes sense...

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2 hours ago, DaveMal585 said:

I do this, just make the hole at the bottom big enough to fit the chandlelier bulb and fish the plug end though the hole and use one of those plastic rings to keep it in place.  doubt that makes sense...

I think I understand it except what plastic rings are you talking about?

 

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1 hour ago, Way Up North said:

I think I understand it except what plastic rings are you talking about?

 

I believe this is the plastic ring that davemal585 is referring to.

Crazy...because i google searched for 25 minutes and failed to find a single photo of one of these, so i dug through my spare parts bucket and took these photos. 

Im not sure what you call these things, maybe thats why my search efforts failed,  but c7 socket ring, c7 socket adapter, c7 socket blow mold...and similar search combinations did not provide results.

There are 2 numbers molded into the ring i photographed.   014142  , and on the opposite side:  16    There are no other identifying marks. 

So, in practice, you slip this ring over the socket, then snap the ring into the hole in the blow mold. Once snapped in place, the ring squeezes the bulb socket...in theory anyways. These things work 'okay' for a while if there isnt a lot of movement and wiggling of the bulb cord, but from my personal experience these things usually lose their grip on the bulb socket and the socket slips loose of the ring and the bulb ends up dangling loose inside the blow mold...easily remedied by lightly pulling the cord and re-seating the socket in the ring.

The spring clips, while maddening when they fall inside, (yes 'when', because its inevitable, and you know it..haha) are much more secure than these plastic rings. Maybe thats why you dont see these rings around very much any more. 

Does anyone know of a source for these rings?  

Scrooge

 

 

 

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Edited by Scrooge

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I use butcher knives! LOL These little guys help a whole lot too----->

They're called LED corn bulbs. The 9W really seems as bright as a 100W incandescent.

20171225_213207.png

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I use butcher knives! LOL These little guys help a whole lot too----->
They're called LED corn bulbs. The 9W really seems as bright as a 100W incandescent.
20171225_213207.thumb.png.a4fb3f1fa32c6e2a006afb266e6b78a1.png
Where do you get your corn bulbs from? Pretty neat.

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See my posting in the `Lights',  `Lights, Lights, Lights` section dated Dec 5th 2017.  You don't need to make a big hole, just get a step-bit. Cheaper if you live near a Harbor Freight.

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Ebay, they're even thinner than a C7. I was searching for led filament bulbs when I came across them. I paid $3 for it, and waited about 6 weeks for it to get here. 

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I personally had a hole enlarged by a squirrel :angry: so there was indeed a mess!  Little <expletive> decided my blowmolds would be a great place to store pinecones.  Put I digress... (and since it was in the back, I stuck 2 C7 bulbs in there and called it a fixed)

I like xenon's idea of the wood base - most of my molds have a hole big enough to put a brick or two in, but I have some that have oddly small access holes in the base. 

 

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The bulbs shown two posts above are "chip-on-board" or COB bulbs.  Corn bulbs are similar in shape but have LEDs arranged like the kernels on an ear of corn on the side and top of the bulb.  The COB is a relatively new form of LED with small chips embedded in a plastic coating and backed by a strip of aluminum.  I have a bunch of COB lights in use in my home.  All of mine were sourced directly from China.  Lamp bulbs with the E27 base run around $5-6.  There are lots of sellers on eBay like this one where a 9W, 110V, E12, warm-white bulb is $2.38 with free shipping https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dimmable-LED-Corn-Bulb-G4-G9-E12-E14-Silicone-Crystal-COB-Filament-Light-Lamp/201990379775?hash=item2f079098ff:m:mIgXBImwQkWULo2OWcYa4Nw

I just acquired a blow molded penguin with Santa hat as my first blow molded acquisition (General Foam Plastics #078-130016 and ~27" tall) .  There is an opening at the back for a light.  It came with a string of multicolored mini lights wadded up  inside.  I am going to try to light it with a 4W, 480 lumen, 12V DC COB chip instead of 110V AC as it is much safer and uses much lighter wire. My converters are simple 12V DC converters used for things like printers.  Easy to find at garage sales or the local second hand stores.  The COB will easily fit on a plate covering the opening at the back of the blowmold.  I bought the COB for a little more than a dollar.   This is my first experience with larger pieces but have retrofitted many smaller ones with low-voltage LED lighting.  So far I like the results.  Too bad I already socked away the rest of the displays in the attic. 

 

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