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  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.


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About mattyw

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    The Christmas Story
  • Location
    Newark, Delaware
  • Biography
    One of my hobbies is creating Christmas and Halloween displays
  • Interests
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    I have a number of inflatables, and I'm trying to build a small display train and a Ferris wheel
  1. I would send an email to Gemmy with the photo.
  2. Well, I know that this is after the holiday, but there's always next year! I use Gorilla tape, and it works extremely well for me. They now also put out a clear tape as well.
  3. Well, just TRY to do that! First of all, to get it off, it at least LOOKS like you would have to take just about the whole thing apart. I do know you would have to at least remove the motor from the back side. Secondly, with WHAT? If you take a look at the sites selling belts, you have to match pitch, length, etc. I spent about 3 or 4 months off and on with that issue, but keep in mind if you DID replace it, there's certainly no guarantee that the replacement would not stretch out either. The frustrating part about it is it only stretches SLIGHTLY, and it seems to be triggered by lower temperatures. You can tell without taking it apart, because the wheel starts clicking and moving very slightly, like it WANTS to grab, but just can't make it.
  4. Replacement Blower

    Are you sure the problem is really in the blower? It could quite possibly be that short sections of the seams have started to come apart. This is because ordinary thread was used, and over time it breaks down under UV light. You can repair them with needle and thread, and if you're doing that, you can also get Anti-UV thread quite easily. If it IS the blower, I've had success with simply spraying WD-40 into the fan (with the fan off). Occasionally, I have to take the cover off, and I usually find debris inside -- things like grass and other vegetation. Once cleaned and sprayed, they often start working like new. If all else fails, you might want to check eBay. There are other companies selling replacement blowers for inflatables. Just try to match the specifications.
  5. I know that this is an old posting, but we have almost completed our Winfield Ferris wheel, and I have a couple of tips that might be useful. First, I had read in other forums -- as well as in this posting -- how difficult it was to cut out the two gears that are specified. So, when we started to build it, I contacted an eBay seller who was selling decorative wooden gears, designed for display and asked him if he could make these for me. He has a laser cutter, and after I sent him a JPG of the gears, along with the specifications, he purchased the wood from Winfield and cut them for me! The total price, including shipping and the purchase of the wood was slightly less than $40, and believe me according to the stories I've heard about cutting these gears, it's well worth it! He also did all the inside holes, so the gears are complete and ready to go. Since he now has the template, he left the posting on Ebay, and he's willing to cut gears for anyone else who's interested. I also contacted Winfield about him, and they're very interested -- apparently, others have written in to them about the difficulty in cutting out the gears. http://www.ebay.com/itm/351854586893?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT The second is, I have also heard that some people had reliability problems with their motors. An exact replacement motor -- same footprint, torque and RPM -- is the Dayton 2L008.
  6. Hi - I'm a relatively new member, and I came across the instructions you posted for a PVC Ferris Wheel -- I think they're great!  However, the video doesn't seem to be there any more, and it's no wonder--I think you posted it in 2009!  Is there any chance that you moved the video -- to YouTube, for instance?


  7. what to do with a garage door motor

    One other factor you might consider is it's probably only rated for intermittent use. Generally, you need a motor that's rated for continuous use.
  8. New custom inflatable.

    How do you build your own inflatables? Do you actually cut out the pieces and sew them together?
  9. Well, here's a couple of thoughts for what it's worth. First of all, you can get 50 and 100 solar light strings. They collect all day and automatically go on when it gets dark, and they're quite inexpensive. They're available in the same range of colors as any other string of LEDs. As to motors a windshield wiper motor will turn most Ferris wheels quite well, especially ones made out of PVC. A good alternative are rotisserie motors. The next step up in power are power wheelchair/scooter motors. Make sure that the motor is high torque and rated for continuous duty. You want a worm-driven gearmotor. Something else you might think about--the shafts on these motors come in a wide range of sizes in both diameter and length, and trying to match them to the application can be a hassle. I solved it by going to a hobby store and buying just about every length of aluminum tubing I could find, in both mm and inches. The tubing is quite inexpensive. There are also things like Lovejoy couplers; you buy one size to fit your shaft and the other size for what you want to put it in, and join them together.
  10. They're just night light bulbs, and you can get them in the light bulb section of a major hardware store. Night light bulbs come in 4 watt (C4) or 7 watt (C7). During the Christmas season, you can usually get them in places like grocery stores and drugstores!
  11. Need To Replace A Zipper

    To answer your question, though, these zippers were originally sewn in. As a good temporary fix until after the holiday, I use Gorilla tape, and it works extremely well. In your case, since the zipper is actually not functional, I would simply out a length directly over the seam.
  12. Fabric paint

    To answer your question, though, the fabric is rip stop nylon, and yes, you can indeed use fabric paint.
  13. We just used two sheet rock screws - one on each side and they worked quite well for years. The trick, at least for us, was to do it while the motor was running, and it has to be done very carefully to make sure that it's not tightened too much. It's odd, but that belt slippage problems seems to happen only on the 7 foot wheel, but it's very common, and seems to be triggered by cold weather. When mine started slipping, I brought it into my living room and ran it for about 24 hours without a single problem, but less than two hours outside, and it was slipping again! Also found out that it stretches just enough that belt dressing doesn't help. Have the 5 foot Ferris wheel and carousel, and neither one has ever had a problem like that.
  14. The ones that you're looking for were only manufactured for the 2007 - 2008 season, along with a teeter totter. The Ferris wheel came in two sizes - 5 foot and 7 foot, and the carousel came in one size--I think it was 6 foot. I have all three but not the teeter totter, and I can tell you that the 5 foot Ferris wheel and the carousel have worked flawlessly year after year. However, for the majority of people I have encountered with the 7 foot Ferris wheel, within the space of a day or two, the wheel stops turning, although the lights work and the motor is working. After taking it apart, I found that the belt stretches just enough to stop turning the pulley. There is no tensioner, so solved that by putting two sheet rock screws, one on either side between the pulleys to very slightly stretch out the belt, and it worked for years. This has to be done while the wheel is turning, so that the belt is tightened JUST tight enough. After years of working very well that way, the belt has worn and I need to replace it, and I have spent DAYS determining the specifications for the teeth! Also had to replace the motor at one point. All of this is only on the 7 foot wheel. There is also a weak point when the top is lifted off the supports. It it's not taken off evenly and carefully, you will end up separating the hub from the main wheel shaft. That can be repaired as well. The carousel has no lighting at all and there's really no place to add a slip ring, so I added solar string lights this year. I am telling you all this in case you run into one, and there are problems with it--they CAN be resolved. Keep looking at Craig's List, both locally and nationally. I saw the teeter totter for sale this year, and that's the rarest one by far. It would probably be easier to just make your own, and there are a number of tutorials on various Holiday forums. You might also want to take a look at the Winfield Collection; they have plans for a see saw, Ferris wheel and carousel and many more animations as well.
  15. I sure could use the track! I have an almost brand-new train, but no track for that size. Was thinking of just building 1/2" PVC guide rails for it. Those trains are no longer made, by the way, and everywhere I've searched it seems that the track is quite expensive.