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Did you know?
  • 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.

ex-grinch

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About ex-grinch

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    Church Point, Louisiana
  • Biography
    I've spent time in the military, working for the National Science Foundation at the South Pole, started a company building Monolithic Domes.
  • Interests
    I enjoy building Monolithic Domes. I'm slowing down in the construction field, and I'm starting to look at spending more time decorating the house for Christmas.
  • Occupation
    Builder
  • About my display
    I will know in 2012, but I have set a budget of $150,000 to decorate the 4 acre front yard. We'll see how it goes.

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  1. That's a big wreath and I can see why it would droop on you. Why don't you rotate that diamond so the flats are on the top and bottom of the wreath, and then use angle iron instead of round stock for the top and bottom sections of the square frame. The angle iron will give you the compression strength you're looking for, to stop the drooping. You can weld round stock to the angle iron for the sides, because there's no compression there, only tension or pulling downward and that's what round stock is used for in that sort of pulling force. Then build your wreath out of PVC and go from there.
  2. I really like these. Have you ever thought about making one that's a fireplace with LED flickering flames or just glowing or some thing? Could even add an inflatable blower motor fan at the base to make flame strips flickering and LED's making the flames and embers glow. Adding light and movement would really take these to the next level.
  3. Try google searching PLASTIC TRANSMISSION FUNNEL and maybe you'll find some thing pretty close.
  4. Hey grinch:) I have a question, and see u have been on here a while...I have a set of mini lights, and the bulbs screw in. The lights are mini incandescent size.What are they?

  5. Why don't you just build a frame say 12 feet by 12 feet out of 2x4's with a nail or something every foot all the way around. Then wrap 3/8" nylon rope around just the outside of the nails so you have a simple square and a basic frame for the strings to attach to and maintain the shape and also give you reference to where the edge of the net is. Then take your light strings and start at one corner and secure it to the rope with a zip tie, and run it to the opposite 2x4 and around that nail and across to the nail next to it and back up to the first 2x4 and next nail. Then go back down and zip tie the wire to the rope where it's between the two nails. Keep doing this both ways and where each wire crosses in the center so it keeps it's shape. When you're done, plug it in and if you like it, go around and really secure each point and maybe even add a shot of caulk at each zip tie point to really keep anything from slipping slightly. I think those strings are 25 feet, so 12 foot down and back with one foot on center would give you a 12 foot by 12 foot net with eight 25 foot strings. Of course you'll need to plug it in at several points or make some sort of heavy duty 12 AWG cord going around it with plug ins where needed, or even replace the 3/8" rope with a length of 12 AWG cord wrapped around as your basic frame with plug ins or actually splice it and not have plug ins. That's what I'd do. It's late and my math is off. You would need 12 sets of lights, not 8 unless you wanted a rectangle net.
  6. Would rebar chairs work for you? They're like $0.25 each at a Lowes or whatever store. Here's what they look like. http://www.craigsconstructionspecialties.com/product.php?id=3&gclid=CPyL6pqYkbsCFdEWMgodCQUAwQ
  7. Why not just animate the figure and have it follow a line you draw on the pond? If it was me, I'd look at some thing like in the link below. I'd take apart the toy truck and use the motorize part for my figure to be mounted on. I'm sure there are MANY others like this and maybe better, but I just did a quick google search. http://www.trendtimes.com/toy-car.html
  8. How about something like, "We're playing Federal Government this year and not getting anything done, so we're shut down".
  9. I'm not sure if this has been talked about or done before, but I was wondering if anyone has taken an inflatable when it's at the end of its life, and turned it into a blow mold using any number of the new products out there. This may be sacrilegious to some, but it seems to me to be a waste of a good inflatable to throw it away when you can get a second life out of it with some coatings and a new paint job. I like inflatables, but for their life span and cost, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me compared to blow molds. Yes, storage becomes an issue for some, and yes, it will not work for inflatables with clear plastic like a snow globe, but for all the others????? Here's a video of what I'm talking about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5bBQY_lma0 I did call the company and talked to them about their products and coverage. They did say that it might get spendy, but then again, when you look at the cost of some inflatables and their life span, that's spendy too, compared to hard coating the inflatable and now it will last practically forever. I mean if it costs $200 to hard coat and you get 30 to 40 years out of it before you die, that cost is $5 a year to have it, and less if it is passed on to your kids and they use it. Figure out how long an inflatable lasts, and the number of years you get out of it before she starts to cast her withers and I'm sure it's more than a couple dollars a year. We also talked about the fabric bleeding air and possible causing the hard coating to bubble before it's hard, but I think a quick coat of paint from a spray can will seal it up well enough to stop that from happening and they agreed. Here's the company and A LOT more info and videos about it. http://www.industrialpolymers.com/product-list/styrospray-product-list/styrospray/
  10. What about a piece of that direct burial black water pipe wrapped in a heavy frosted painters plastic? The pipe already comes in a round roll and with a little heat on it, you can shape it into any pond shape you want. Then use a some sort of contact cement, glue or caulk on half the plastic and pipe, and when that half dries, glue and stretch the other half the next day so the plastic pond surface has an even look to it. Then lay your blue lights down and put your pond shape over them. The plastic should defuse the light to some degree so it has an even blue look to it.
  11. Great idea. I wonder if you spray paint the wire the same color as the tree you're wrapping, so the wire blends more? I think matching paint to the color of any tree would be easier than finding colored wire.
  12. I would be careful about a garage door opener motor. They're not rated for 100% duty cycle. Most are rated by a cycle, or one complete opening and closing of a garage door, and that's pretty low.....like 6 to 10 cycles per HOUR. I would also watch to see how the motor you do choose, can be mounted. By the sound of it, you're looking for a vertical shaft motor. Most but not all horizontal shaft motors can't be run in the vertical position because they don't have tapered roller bearings or a thrust bearing, they just have roller bearings and those are meant to support a shaft horizontally only. Taper roller bearings can support the shaft in any position and you need that to keep the shaft from wanting to fall out of the motor. I think the cheapest and easiest way to attach anything to the wire rope would be to cut small sections of copper tubing and solder some sort of small flat or round stock steel to the copper. Then slide the copper tubing onto the wire rope, and give it a little tap with a hammer just to hold it in position where you want it on the wire rope. Keep the sections of tubing under an inch or so and they'll walk right around a wheel type pulley if you tweak the steel with a little bend in it so the tubing and rope can ride inside the rim and the steel stock attached to it will still hang down straight for the deer or whatever. Once it makes the turn, the deer with still hang straight down, but the wire rope will turn a little now because of that small bend in the steel stock attaching the wore rope to the deer. We're not building a church here, but we don't want it to burn out in a couple nights either or flop around when making a turn.
  13. Have you called up any older electricians or older mom and pop type electrical shops and see what they have? You know the kind I'm talking about, the kind of place you walk into and it's like going back in time 60 years with piles and piles of junk everywhere but they know EXACTLY where everything is. Those guys are pack rats and have everything or know someone who does, so ask them if they don't have it themselves. Don't be afraid to play up the Christmas side of things and how the kids LOVE this part of your display. Is that all that motor lasted, was ONE or TWO seasons?? I try not to be penny wise and dollar dumb, so I follow a rule my father told me when I was a kid, he said "Mind your pennies and your dollars take care of themselves". So if those motors only last a short time, I wouldn't buy them either. I was thinking of ordering four of the larger 250 in lbs motors for a project I'm starting, but I think I will wait and do some home work on them.
  14. I have a couple questions, does the motor work or want to turn at all, but it's locked up in the gear case, or is it completely dead in the water and nothing happens when you turn it on? Did you get the piece in working order and it broke down since you've had it? I see the cover on the gear case has some warping to it. Have you removed the cover and taken a look inside there to see why? Those screws look like they've been removed in the past. I'm thinking it maybe just a simple gear with a broken tooth binding things up and warping the case. A gear is much cheaper than the whole unit of course. Clean it up and replace the gear or gears.
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