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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.

Mike's creation

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Posts posted by Mike's creation

  1. When I was working with the 1/8 hanger rod, I took a 4x8 sheet of mdf board and layed a 4x8 sheet of peg board over it.  Clamped it together and then spend the next 3 hours drilling holes.  It gave me a nice grid system. Then using oak dowels that I purchased from Home Depot, about 3 bucks for 50 pieces, I would lay out a pattern on the board and zip tie the end to the first and work it around the shape bending and manipulating the metal.  I then would slip a piece of 12x12 inch sheet metal under the material and solder it and then move it to the next point.  It worked very well.


    For working with the 3/16 rod, this was more of a free form work.  I would trace out the design on 48 wide by how ever long butcher paper which I got in a 1000 foot roll.  To do this, I would lay out a 2 inch grid on the whole sheet. I have a drywall square that the width of it is 2 inches and 52" long so this worked out well.  I would then take whatever my design was and sketch it out on the large sheet.  Then using a bench vice, the 6" poles in the basement, a couple of different size galvanized pipes and some vice grips would spend the next few hours forming the shape. Back and forth bend a little compare to the sketch and adjust.  My 3/16 stock comes in 9 foot lengths so there is now welding involved.  Welding is not hard, it is not expensive, it takes some getting use to.  I purchased an in expensive flux core wire welder for under 150 bucks.  The wire comes in 1, 2, 5 and 10 lbs spools.  I prefer the 2 lb cause it does not bind up in the machine.  There are tons of videos on line to learn how to weld.  Keeping in mind we are not welding to support tons of weight.  When you weld doing it outside requires you to erect a blind, a place to weld where others will not be blinded by the arch.  My blind is built out of 3/4 pvc pipe and fittings to make a square area 10x10X4 tall .  I then took 2 painters drop cloths, (on sale for 5 bucks each) then went to the local stage supply company and got the fireproofing fluid to keep it from having and flare up problems from splatter.  total cost for the blind 45 bucks.  You need a welding shield and some good thick cotton clothing with long sleeves to keep from getting burned by the spatter.  You will also need a welding table to put your material that you are going to weld on.  I build a cart that is 36 wide by 6' long that had a fold down flap on it.  Got 2 pieces of 1/4 steel plate for the table top from a local metal dealer, (tell them what you are doing and they may have scrap you can grab)  The frame of the table is 1/8 thick angle iron bolted together, with a shelf to hold the welder and tools.  This may sound involved but once you have all the basic stuff, you will find yourself dreaming, "what am I going to add next year" I have and I love being creative. 

  2. Yes Maroonz28. My first batch of 12 was made with 1/8 hanger rod.  This material is used in commercial applications for hanging suspended ceilings.  I took an unusual approach in the design.  I laid the design out  like a railroad track, two pieces with a cross piece soldered in place every foot.  It was a great way to do it, all the lights laid into the track and stay in place very nicely.  The only disadvantage to this design was burning myself multiple times.  One would forget that the wire can stay hot for up to 1/2 hour after you were finished soldering.  So the second, third and now forth batch are made of 3/8 cold rolled steel bent and shaped and then welded. (taught myself from you tube) and all of the frames from past to present are welded to 3/4 steel tubing frames.   They are held upright in the ground by 5/8 16" long steel rods.  At this point I have aprox 12-14 thousand lights (all led) and it all runs off of 12 amps.  Have it split into two circuits only because the cord runs would be extremely long.  22 wire frames in the pict above.  Adding a donkey and cow this year, along with 2 more sheep, 2 more nutcrackers (on the other end of the yard) along with a sleigh and reindeer and 6 4' tall candles.  Love being creative!

  3. I Have One!  It is the one that light o rama sells.  I purchased it 3 years ago, then put it away, FORGOT where I put it and so purchased another one.  Then 3 months after I purchased it, I found the other one!  DUH!!!!  So this is brand!  Never Used!  It is the same one I use for my display.  1 mile transmission!  I was amazed.  I paid $130.00 plus shipping. I will sell it to you for $120.00 and no shipping charge!  


    The 2.0 Whole House FM Transmitter®  has been replaced with a the new Whole House FM Transmitter® 3.0.  This new transmitter is superior to the original version with a long list of new features. This new FCC approved transmitter comes with an easy to install,  international antenna extension that helps boost performance in countries that allow.

    • LCD display that shows frequency and other settings.
    • Covers entire FM band from 88.1 to 107.9 in 0.1 MHz steps.
    • Automatic Gain Control (AGC) evens out high and low volumes.
    • Input Volume Control to adjust to input levels.
    • Stereo/Mono switch (mono has a longer range).
    • Microphone input and line input.
    • PLL (phase lock loop) prevents frequency drift.
    • Includes Audio "Y" cable allowing speakers and FM transmission.
    • Universal power adapter (4 different power sources supported).
    • Remembers station frequency and on/off state without power.
    • Broadcast 150' (longer with the international antenna wire).
      This is everything that comes in the Box:
    Whole House FM
    Transmitter 3.0
    1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo
    Audio Cable
    RCA Jack
    Stereo Adapter
    Stereo Audio
    "Y" Cable
    110/220 V AC Wall
    Outlet Adapter
    12V DC
    Car Adapter
    Computer USB
    Power Adapter


  4. I will look through my paper work in the morning.  I have a bunch they are not rubber, plastic, they are ok, but not real good true color representation.  I use true lights in various counts.  Extra lights I put a piece of 3/8 heat shrink over the extra glass bulbs and tape them to the frame.  This way if one ever goes out, I don't have to look through a million little bulbs to find the right one.


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