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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.

knute73

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About knute73

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 03/21/1972

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  • Location
    LaCrosse, Wisconsin, USA
  • Interests
    Teaching kids Firefighting and Christmas
  • Occupation
    Firefighter

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  1. I made a video of how I do my trees. They are easy to build and you can carry them anywhere you want. You may need to come up with a better base, but other then that, they work awesome!
  2. It may have been me. I posted a video on Youtube on how I made mine. I didn't show bending the tube, but it was pretty easy. I just figured out the diameter I wanted. Then I had a couple of old 2x12 boards laying around. I cut them to the correct diameter. Attached a block of wood on one side to hold the pipe in place, then just started bending. I would bend a little, then slide it farther in, then bend it some more, until I had the whole ring made. I did make it in two halves. Then slid the pipes together. That part did take a little forcing. But once together, they worked great. You can see the video here.
  3. I am looking to make trees, but I want to use the same material used in air blown displays. I am just not sure what it actually is, and if there is a good place to buy it. I am not sure if my tree idea will work. If it does, I will post it.
  4. I am looking to make some of my own display items. Where is a good place to buy the material? What material is the best to use?
  5. All three of my trees types I have used plywood cut into circles with I believe they are called floor flanges to match what ever size pipe goes into them. I do paint them with two or three coats to make sure they don't break down too bad. Our weather is not too wet here most of the season, so that is not much an issue. My 30' mega tree has a steel tree topper, but I glued two 3/4" peices of plywood together and cut it into a circle as my "truck" which hauls my lights up my tree. Hope this helps. If you need any pictures, let me know!
  6. So, I am a fan of making things easier and faster to set up and take down each year. Since I have always been a fan of mega trees, a spiral tree wasn't a far reach for me. Now, in my yard, I have tree types of trees. My mega tree (30'), my mega Jr. trees (12'), and my mini trees (5'). Now, my Jr's are what I am going to talk about here. These have gone from guy wired trees with their lights staked to the ground, to a tree I assemble in my garage, and carry out. I have both your standard mega tree pie slices and spiral strings on the trees now. This year, I made some more improvements which made my set up a lot faster. I have posted them all to Youtube, so I hope they help you out. https://www.youtube.com/user/LCFDKnute73?feature=watch
  7. I left him out of the display this year. I just stuck with the little blow mold one I had to pick up last year. I need to find a good way to prevent the vandalism before I put more work into it and have someone do it again. Thank you for all the great ideas! I can't wait until he stands proud as part of my display again!
  8. There are a couple of questions. First is what height are you planning on making it? I have two sizes. My "mega" tree is 30' to the top of the star. The base is about a 1' squar cube of concrete that I put bolts for my anchor in. It is covered with an Orbit sprinkler box. I assemble my tree poll and star on the ground. Then we stand it up. I have 4 guy wires holding it in place. My pipe is 2" rigid conduit. I then have a "truck" I call it that I attach my lights to. Then I crank them up. It's rock solid. I even think if the guys let go, the tree would fall away from my house. My "mega Jr's" are 12' tall. They have both verticle and spiril lights on it. I actually totally assemble them in my garage and then carry them out. I have no guy wires for these. I have a video on how I did them. I did change them up a bit this year which made them way easier. Here is my first one. I hope to put the new version up soon. I am going to make a new base for these next year. I had a really wet late fall and the anchors pulled up. The trees don't fall over, they just tip to one side. Here is my post on how I set up my "mega" tree. Hope this helps! Tim
  9. First thing is really first. A ten foot tree, does not really need much for guy wires. I have two standing in my front yard that are about 11.5' - 12' and they are sitting on a block and held down by rebar spikes and zip ties. It's my 3rd year doing this. I also have a 30' mega tree that I have a totally different system in place for. I do use guy wires for that. What I see is so many people spending a ton of time and money putting elaborate base and anchore systems in for simple display items. I am a huge fan of DIY dispay items. The 11.5' trees I make now, I call my mega juniors. I build in my heated garage and carry out into the yard. If it wasn't for the snow and ice, I would just set them on the ground pin them down and walk away. We had over 60mph gusts last year. They didn't budge. Now, my 30' mega. I have about a 12"x12"x12" base poured for it. It holds the bolts for my anchor plate. The way I look at this, is that it just needs to keep my tree from sinking into the ground. The guy wires will keep it upright and straight. What I am really trying to say, is to take your time. Don't over engineer everything. I saw a guy on PC once that poured a 4'x4'x4' concrete base with a 2" PVC sleeve for his 15' mega tree. Here is my youtube videos for my Mega Juniors. I have made a major change this year. I am working on a video right now.
  10. Not sure if this is the best place to ask this question. I have been asked about doing a story on my lights by a local TV station. I am honored, but I have some concerns. 1. People will know that what I have has value and worth stealing 2. Increased traffic. 3. The electric inspector may want to come look at what I have done with my electrical. I may have forgotten to get a permit for some of it. Does anyone have an experience with this?
  11. I am not sure how to explain my issue. So, here it goes. I did two spiral trees last year. I was pleased, but not satified. So, this year, I was making sure I made them so each string fit just right. My tree is 10' tall. My base is 5' diameter. I am using 16 channels. I want to have each string do 1.5 revolusions. My fist string worked out perfectly. Each String after seemed to be longer. I am looking to find a good easy way to make each string the same. Tim
  12. I got excited for a little bit, then I saw the operating temp is only 50F for a low. It's well below that right now and I don't want to spend the money if they aren't going to work when it's cold outside. It would be nice to know if anyone else has used them below the 50F mark.
  13. I agree with everyone about talking with the inspectors. I am a Lieutenant on our fire dept. We do not allow extension cords for permanent use. I would allow the cords for a Christmas display as long as the cords were in good condition and not causing any sort of trip hazard. Now I have a couple of ideas that may work if they will not allow your cords. You can try power stips with long cords. We allow them up to 25 feet as long as they are a UL listed power strip with a breaker on it. You can replace the cords that come with the LOR controller and replace them with long enough cords to fit you needs. Finally I would go directly to the head inspector or Fire Chief. Explain what you are doing, so they really understand what is going on. Most have the ability to bend on some rules at their discression.
  14. I guess I need to look at it closer. I was very upset, because it seemed to be the same person who did it before. Do you use a seem seal once you sew the tears?
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