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Gary Sutherland

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Everything posted by Gary Sutherland

  1. Here's a commercial tool: http://stakepuller.com/ Looks simple enought that you could just make one if you're handy with metal.
  2. Scott, I haven't been here for awhile, but I remember you working on your ice skating rink. Couldn't find any recent posts, so thought I'd ask..... Did you find a satisfactory solution to the animation problem; moving the skaters in different, overlapping paths? Or did you settle on a simpler movement? If so, how is construction going, and do you have any pics of what you're doing? About what scale are you building? I still like the idea for the future. Thanks, Gary
  3. Oh, I forgot to ask.... What do you use for the socks? If you make them, what fabric do you use? Thanks... Gary
  4. Mike... I've thought about trying to build a fairly large snow machine. So far, it's just wishfull thinking! I've been looking at this: http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hp-mini-dust-collector-94029.html Lot's of CFM, but does it have enough pressure? Your project sounds like a lot of fun to build. How's it coming along? Gary
  5. Years ago I made up some multicircuit strings, and I used Jones connectors. They're simple and available in various pin counts. They are rated for 250 volts and I think usually around 10 amps per circuit. They won't be quite as cheap as equivalent vampire plugs, but they're pretty inexpensive. As I recall, I bought them from Mouser. Gary
  6. I remember at least a couple of people here discussing their plans to build an animated skating pond. Has anyone succesfully completed one? What method of moving the skaters did you end up using? Thought this might be fun to build, and I can think of a few ways to animate it, but I can also imagine a lot of possible difficulties with those methods. Any advice would be appreciated and might prevent my 'little skaters' from flying off into the night sky. Gary
  7. If your anchor points are permanent for future years, sounds like concrete is a good way to go. If you want something quick, you might try some Duckbill anchors. I've used these on quite a few projects (not on a mega tree yet). They're available in different sizes and amazingly strong and easy to install. Here's a description: http://www.earthanchor.com/duckprod.html
  8. Anyone know or have a good guess as to how the trees in this video are made? I guess they're not really 'mega trees'; don't know what to call them, but I've seen this video a few times and really like them. Gary
  9. I haven't seen your winch, but the clamps have threaded studs. Put two of them on the back of a square plate and mount the winch on the plate. Or if your winch will allow it, put the two clamps directly on the winch bracket. Once this is assembled, mounting or remvoving it from the pole would take just seconds. Welding would definately be cheaper, but the clamps would allow you to easily remove the winch when storing the pole. Here's a picture of one with a wing nut on the stud:
  10. Welding studs, U-bolts or a plate to the pole would certainly do it. Has anyone here ever drilled through the pipe and had it fail later do to being weakened? If you do want to go with a clamp system, a pair of scaffold clamps would hold more weight than you would ever want to put on the pole with no risk of slipping. http://www.thescaffoldwarehouse.com/3-Stud-Clamp-PSV-773T.htm?categoryId=-1 gary
  11. How about Mrs Claus in an apron or a nice elf lady baking in an old time oven. The oven door could open to show a giant cookie, smiling gingerbread man or something, baking in a warm glow and then close again (motor fun!). Some 'porchlights' that look like big candies and light up might be fun. A candy chimney on the roof over the stove with an amber light in it and a little smoke coming out. Two little elf children standing in snow outside the doorway peeking in? I'm sure you'll have many ideas for this. Displays that have the 'warm fuzzies' are always fun to do, I think. Be sure to pos
  12. A guy I used to know made some automatic X-faders like that by adding a simple control circuit to a couple of cheap household lamp dimmers. Unfortunately, my electronics ability is pretty much limited to soldering, but maybe someone here will know how to do it. As a slightly more expensive alternative here are two. The first is available at http://www.digitalsl.com/products/lighting/selc/lc/lightingcontrolers.html It's $30, and 300 watts per channel, so I don't know if that's enough for what you're planning. The second is available at http://www.christmasdonebright.com/s.nl/it.A/
  13. This $5.99 aviation cable cutter from Harbor Freight will cut 1/8" like butter. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/94400-94499/94449.gif Like everyone says, tape the cable first. Gary
  14. I buy 1 1/2" black pipe at one of the local steel yards. $1.80 - $2.00 per foot, depending on quantity. They can cut it, but this yard can't thread it. Fortunately, I have access to a pipe threader. Remember that the black pipe is more prone to rust than galvanized, but that hasn't been a problem. Gary
  15. Kmwiegand: Here: http://www.christmaslightsetc.com/p/9-ft-Christmas-Garland-Lights-300-Amber-Lamps-Black-Wire--17907.htm These are listed as 'amber', but look orange. In the past, any amber lights I've ordered, as opposed to 'gold', or 'yellow', have been very orange. In this case, I'm not using these for Halloween, but for an event at a school who's colors are orange and black. Gary
  16. Wow... I found some. Kinda surprised, actually. I didn't think there would enough demand for anybody to make them. Gary
  17. For those of you who light up at Halloween... Do you know if Garland Light Strings are available in orange? I've looked through some of the listings in "vendors", but haven't found anything so far. Thanks... Gary
  18. Look here for some heat shrinkable end caps. They have hot melt adhesive inside to provide a seal. http://www.buyheatshrink.com/heatshrinktubing/heat-shrink-end-caps.htm?gclid=CJjc_avshZwCFSMSagodFjha-w Gary
  19. Don't know if they're still doing it, but in the Netherlands they used to turn a 1230' tower (Gerbrandy Tower) into a MEGA tree.
  20. I've seen the receipe here for snow 'juice', which does save a lot of $$. Has anyone built their own machine? The smallest machines are cheap enough ($60-100) that it's not worth building, but larger, quieter machines are pretty pricey. Thanks... Gary
  21. The electrical gurus here may have a better idea for you, but a VERY simple way would be to connect the two (identical) strings in series with each other. This would not give you adjustable intensity, so it might be brighter or dimmer than you want. This would also make troubleshooting difficult, but you could plug them in the 'normal' way for that. Or, for under $15, you could mount a 600w household dimmer on the back (in a weatherproof electrical box) to control those two strings.
  22. Joseph... Sounds great! Wish I could see it. Being ignorant of most things video, I want to ask how big/expensive/etc a video projector does it take to cover a 40 ft. wide house facade at decent intensity? Surely a typical "Circuit City" home projector won't do it? Is your projector on the ground or elevated somehow? Not likely I would try this tho; I don't have the video composing/editing skills to make it work. Gary
  23. I've seen the recipeshere for foam snow 'juice', but has anyone built their own machines? I've used a couple of very inexpensive ones indoors, but their output is pretty low for an outdoor showing. Also, are they built well enough to hold up for hours of snowing? I've seen some large ones listed online, but they are much more expensive (1000-5000 bucks). Most of the snow machines are very noisey (think vacuum cleaner). I think it would be fun to build something that could be triggered by the lighting controller and would put out a lot of snow. Using the home recipes people have posted
  24. From the story: "Mr. Jones, 53, has mounted the Christmas spectacles for years, and word of mouth spreads quickly. A professional lighting-design team comes up with a theme each year, then brings it to life." Sounds like they start from scratch each year, as far as the set pieces and design elements.
  25. Ken... If you can't find the Christmas lamps, it might beworth checking these: "Replacement Light Bulb for Cornerstone Series® Buildings pkg(5)" At: http://www.hobbylinc.com/gr/wre/wre473.jpg They "look" like they would fit the strings I remember seeing, but I can't be sure. Also, there's no voltage listed; you'd have to call the supplier to find out. They do seem to have more than one lamp listed with this base, so if all the planets are aligned.....:waycool: Of course if you want colors, you'd have to dip them, and they are PRICEY compared to what we are used to payin
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