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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Animated Cutouts Up And Running


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    HAHAHA... that looks VERY cool!  Can't wait to see the finished product.  Did you create your own drawings of the elves?  If so... very nicely done!  And I am flattered that you liked the idea enough to take it and run with it.  I'd like to see pictures as you're working on it... if you get the chance.  Also, if you have any questions... please feel free to ask!

     

    One thing you can't see in the pictures is that I put a nylon bushing in the hole where the bolt goes through and attaches to the elf's shoulder.  The inner diameter of the bushing is just slightly larger than the bolt I use.  It keeps the bolt from wearing down the treated 2 x 2 with its constant back and forth motion.  It also provides a more stable platform for the bolt's pivoting action. 

     

    For making the extensions (arms generating the motion connected to the motor), I just purchased a piece of 8' long extruded piece of aluminum (1/8" thick I believe) and then cut it to the desired length.  Lots of bending and hole drilling and experimentation was necessary to get the desired action for each piece.  Location of the motor had a LOT to do with what you need to do in order to get the arm to move back and forth.  I always thought it would be a cookie cutter process to make an arm go back and forth (same on every character)... but each one was quite different due to where I placed the motor.  Some of your connections will need to spin freely while others will need to be tightened down.

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    and where did you get those metal straps from?

    I got the extruded aluminum at a Metal Warehouse here in town... but it is also available at Lowes and Home Depot.  The metal strapping I used to hold the motor in place is found at Lowes or Home Depot and it comes in a roll of 25 or 50 feet.  I think you'll find it in the plumbing or electrical section... I believe it is used to hang pipe of some sort.

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    Yea I definitely see it taking a lot of patience and just trial and error. I'll definitely start a little build journal once I start moving forward and keep you updated on the progress.

     

    Were you able to control the speed of the motors at all? I was thinking of using a 5v-5amp power supply to slow them down a bit.

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    I didn't feel the need to even try and slow it down.  I bought the slower of the two they offered (don't know if they still offer two different ones or not) and it worked out great.  The speed was fast enough to catch attention, but not so fast that it looked unnatural. 

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