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Why use Coro instead of plywood?


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I went to one sign shop last year and they wanted $55 for a single 4'x8' sheet.

Our Menards sells 4x8 sheets for $31 bucks Think its like 5/16" thick. Its doubled layered

Home Depot may sell it.....if I remember right its located in the same department as the paneling.

EDIT: The Home Depot #4417 885 W Grassland Drive American Fork, UT 84003 is listed as being a dealer for it.

http://www.waterproofpanels.com

Edited by ChrisL1976
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  • 2 months later...

LEDs look great in Coro. M5 LEDs are about the same size as mini lights, give or take...I've been doing a "refurbishment" program and replacing previously-built items that have mini lights with LEDs....Just takes a little time, but looks great...

Thanks,

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LEDs look great in Coro. M5 LEDs are about the same size as mini lights, give or take...I've been doing a "refurbishment" program and replacing previously-built items that have mini lights with LEDs....Just takes a little time, but looks great...

Thanks,

Thanks for the reply. Do you have any idea where I may find orange or purple LED's at a good price for Halloween?

Thanks

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  • 1 month later...

The main advantage to using coro over plywood is maintenance of the lights. The 10mm thick coro is typically used because you can push the light in from the back and have part of the bulb still sticking out from the front. No adhesive is needed to hold the bulb in place if you make the hole smaller than the bulb. Part of the bulb also lights up inside the coro flutes and give a little bit of a glow around the bulb. If you need to replace a bulb you simply push it in from the front, replace it from the back, and push it back through. If plywood was used you would have had to secure the bulb with some type of glue and then figure out how to replace the bulbs when they go out. Also for the plywood to be sturdy enough it would have to be 1/2" or thicker, and then the bulbs would not be able to poke through the plywood. You would still need to brace it in the yard somehow to keep the wind from blowing it over.

The coro will warp just like plywood if the lights generate too much heat or if it is not stored flat. Here are some pictures of my toy factory that show metal bracing and how the lights poke through the front. There is some warping on mime from storage but at night you can

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Hi Mike, lots of questions here so let me see if I can answer them. Almost every component is on its own channel. When I was building it I was not sure what animation I wanted to do so I made everything independent. I will admit I have been lazy and not reprogrammed the factory to look more fluid with different timing for different parts. Maybe I will get to that this year J

OK, on to some answers, the conveyer belt is 4 channels, 100ct lights each. I do a 3 on 1 off chase sequence to make the belt look like it is moving. I had some lights left over so the triangle on the lower left is the remainder of the conveyer lights.

The gears under the belt are 2 channels and all connected together. If I could do it again, I would have used at least 3 channels for the rollers to make them spin better. 2 channels just make them look like the go back and forth.

The counter is 14 channels and each segment is a 20ct light set. I have mixed feelings about this feature. It was not part of the original design but I had an extra 16 channel controller at the time so I waned to use it. Looking back I wish I had added something else and used some of my other spare channels to animate something different.

For the most part I tried to use 100ct and 50ct strings. Some items required the 35ct and some the 20ct strings. I think I used 50ct strings to add the bears and parts to the packages. The full bears inside the factory use 150 lights each. The smaller gears used 20ct per channel with solid on lights around the perimeter and center of each gear. Don

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Hi Bryce,

Thanks for the reply. No I hadn't seen your toy factory construction pictures, if so I may not of had as many questions. If I were you I wouldn't reprogram the factory, it's perfect already, and the counter is a nice finishing touch, and well worth the extra channels. I had forgotten that there were 20 light strings, maybe because of a bad experience. The 20 light string I had went all dark when a bulb burned out, maybe that isn't so anymore. Where did you pick yours up in colors? I think the 2 channel gears aren't noticeable to the public, just you, and 3 channels would require 12 spokes for small gears and that would be to much I think. The bulb counts you gave me are very helpful for design as to how many bulbs it takes to look good. The 99 bulb string was a great tip, I wouldn't have thought to count them either.

Your blue spacer blocks look to be 2x2's cut to 3" long. For a project the size of yours, out in the open, using 10 mm Coro, not block by a house like your, in strong (40 to 50 mph gust) wind, what blue block spacing would you recommend for this? I'm only asking your best guess from your experience. I would think the force from the backside would be the worst, even with washer head screws. I also wonder how one could used Led's strings with replaceable bulbs, since I have heard colors can't be changed out because of voltage differences?

I saw you were lucky enough to find 2 good helpers who work for soft drinks, I would be willing to splurge for 2 liter bottles, if they still need work.

Your info is really appreciated.

Thanks Mike

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I got all my lights for the factory at Hobby Lobby. I tried to avoid the 35 and 20 count sets where possible because they are not outdoor rated but for some items they just worked out better. Doing something this size I thought it was better to get all my lights from the same store/brand. Turns out this did not work out so well. I was hoping I could buy solid color 100 ct strings and just swap bulbs were I need to make color changes but the bulb base of solid green strings did not fit the base of solid red light string and therefore neither fit the base of multi-color stings. See the dilemma here? I ended up having to remove the actual glass bulb from its base and reinsert it into another base to fit the right strings. It was a time consuming process and a nightmare. I slowly learned to just pluck all the bulbs out of the multi-color strings because then I could reinsert the colors were I needed them. A little time testing bulb bases from your sets may save you some time and hassle.

As for the block spacing it depends on how many lights you have in an area. The more lights you have the more blocks you need. I would say the max spacing should be 18

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Hi Bryce,

I didn't think it thru enough, adding liquid nails adhesive to the blocks is a great idea for strength. I saw in your pictures that you drilled the light holes instead of using a punch, why is the drill a better way of making light holes?

I thought Coro was going to be a snap, but I now see there is alot of design changes to be made to make the lights come out even, and in the right spot. I'm surprised you haven't had to replace all your lights after 4 years, after 3 years I have enough bulb failures that I replace the whole strings to save time. Thanks again for all the info, it has helped me very much, and probable others who read your replies.

Thanks Mike

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I use the drill for almost all the holes but you can use either method. When you think about making 10,000+ holes and having to push lights through each one of them I like to use a power tool. If there were only a couple hundred holes then the punch would be OK. On parts where the light spacing was

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Hi Bryce,

I think you have given me enough pointers to get me started on the right track. Now if I can find 10 mm Coro Board at a good price I will be on my way. Coro Board pricing is all over the place, best price I have found is $27 a sheet, but that's 100 miles away. I have the lights and a drill, all I need now is an idea and Coro Board sheets.

Thanks for all your help.

Michael

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  • 1 month later...

I am building a Skater scene this year and bought 4 X 8 sheet 10M (3/8's thick) coro board - I also plan to run a small gage wire through it like you do a political sign to strengthen it up - but it is plenty thick and should hold up well even without the wire - I guarantee you it will get tested once it is up outside - we always have one storm that every year that tries to tare everything up.

Just my two cents

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Hi Bryce,

I think you have given me enough pointers to get me started on the right track. Now if I can find 10 mm Coro Board at a good price I will be on my way. Coro Board pricing is all over the place, best price I have found is $27 a sheet, but that's 100 miles away. I have the lights and a drill, all I need now is an idea and Coro Board sheets.

Thanks for all your help.

Michael

Michael,

How far are you from Nashville, TN? I can get you one heck of a price on 10m Cora Board 4 X 8 - I just bought two sheets last week - PM me if you get a chance.

Glenn

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  • 1 month later...

I'm with Ted would the second sheet be used to hold the lights in and also help with storage and stacking since the cords are not exposed?

Sure glad I read all this tonight....I was about to get the sheet of plywood tomorrow to do a sign...guess I will search down 2x the sheets of coro and double them up. I'd imagine I can bold an eye hook in each corner to make it possible to hang the sign between the neighbors palm trees. We are going with Merry Christmas...maybe even in Romanian as well (he is from Romania). Perhaps if we have enough lights we will even do a Happy New Year sign as well.

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David,

Instead of an eye bolt, you might look at a grommet. You can get small grommet kits at most hardware stores and places like Lowe's and Home Depot. Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive kit as well.

You could put grommets in the corners to attach ropes to. The sign will lay flat for storage. One disadvantage: You only have the strength of the coro. If you use eye bolts you could layer extra material over the coro to get a stronger corner. The sign won't lay flat for storage though.

Good Luck, and post some pictures.

Cheers,

Terry

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David,

Instead of an eye bolt, you might look at a grommet. You can get small grommet kits at most hardware stores and places like Lowe's and Home Depot. Harbor Freight sells an inexpensive kit as well.

You could put grommets in the corners to attach ropes to. The sign will lay flat for storage. One disadvantage: You only have the strength of the coro. If you use eye bolts you could layer extra material over the coro to get a stronger corner. The sign won't lay flat for storage though.

Good Luck, and post some pictures.

Cheers,

Terry

I was not sure I could get grommets, but I bet I could still stack 2 with grommets, and perhaps in a few locations bolt thru both coros to keep them stiff together, without getting more than about 1/4" on each side of the coro sticking out....if I run out of space where 1/2" is life of death, I am in big drouble... Initially I was thinking the grommets would not work because they would be permanent and could only be one coro thick....but thinking about it more....

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use the drill for almost all the holes but you can use either method. When you think about making 10,000+ holes and having to push lights through each one of them I like to use a power tool.

Might I recommend looking into having the coro cut on a CNC machine... Here are the advantages:

* You can design and preview the entire design in your CAD/Design software. It's also easier to sit at your desk and design it "virtually"

* If a section becomes damaged, the same section can be cut exactly like the orginal for replacement

* 1,000 holes or 10,000 holes is the same amount of physical effort - a CNC machine can cut through CNC like a hot knife through butter in no time flat. I ran a sample job drilling 10,000 holes in 10mm coro and it took about 2.6 hours at 100/IPM (a fairly slow speed)

* Accuracy - how's 1/200" accuracy?

* Layout of the bulbs is easier within the software - just select an outline and tell the software to put 100 lights equally spaced on the outline

* You can also have the outline of the item being cut - perfectly

* If you want eight of the same reindeer - no problem, copy-n-paste

Of course cutting on a CNC machine isn't free but if you value your time, it is a huge time saver for this type of tedious work.

Thanks,

David

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