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Thread: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

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    Official Lurker GaryFunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    I am wondering how well it would look double sided. That would work well on top of my house.

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    If you used C9s if would be a trick to do that. If you used minis or something like that it would be fine. If you make the supports like mine, it will block very little of the backside viewing. My star is 125 feet from the road and needs C9s.
    Al

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    Official Lurker Bartek's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    I'm attaching more pictures of my Bethlehem Star. I built saddle bracket using 1" rigid electrical conduit, easy to bend and easy to weld. To the tip of the bracket is welded 3/4" coupling for mast attachment. For mast I used 3/4" rigid conduit. The rest of the support for back bracing I used 1/2 EMT conduit, very light, cheap and easy to bend. I was bending it on the roof.
    Whole star when sits on the roof is tilted 1 degree back to prevent from topping over. I didn't use any weights. The conduit from top of the star to back is 10' long and acts and a back support, star leans on it.

    Dariusz
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image0339.jpg   -image0336.jpg   -image0315.jpg   -image0341.jpg   -image0307.jpg  

    -image0308.jpg   -image0337.jpg   -image0318.jpg   -image0317.jpg   -image0338.jpg  


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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Nice! Darius!

    I have my "Walter" star in the garage. It never got any lights put on it this year, especially since I didn't build the stand or even the braces to hold it up!

    However, I do have a wooden version with C7's that I've been using for the last two years - it hasn't come down yet from the roof.

    I'm considering getting some LED strips to put on my Walter star. And I believe it will be plenty bright, even tho the house is 50 feet from the street, given the way my mini stars that were lit on the front of the house looked this year. That way I can do any kind of effect I want...

    Hmmm.. Maybe bang stars with pixels as well...
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    Registered User Grady's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Al, magnificent job on the drawings. I'll start one this week. May have found a trucload of 1/4" round drops at 36" length. I'll let you know if I can get them.
    Regards

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Thanks Grady. If you have any left over, maybe you could make them available to buy by the group. We will have a welding workshop in a few months, and I'll buy steel from a local vendor at fairly low prices in larger quantities.
    Al

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    The steel in the base was designed to counterbalance the weight of the steel and lights, and to help negate the effect of wind loads. The star becomes much heavier after lights and clips are added. Certain clips, especially C9 clips, lights, and wire will increase the star's wind profile considerably. The star itself without the base weighs about twenty-five pounds or more--I am guessing. If twenty-five pounds is dropped from a roof, usually sixteen feet or greater, it will do considerable damage to property under it and massively damage humans or pets under it. In this case, a lighter base is not a good thing. The Raleigh area is a 75 + MPH wind zone as said by the building code. The building code says that areas nearer to the ocean and high in the mountains will see 100 +MPH winds. Furthermore, certain roof designs will accelerate the wind to velocities above the prior stated wind velocities. Raleigh had winds in excess of 55 MPH the first day this star went onto Walter's roof without any problems. Just because the star survives one season does not mean that the star is incapable of blowing off the roof. Err on the side of caution and less problems will happen.
    Al

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    The winds are why I supplemented the base with a 60 lb bag of sand. I have the bag, and yeah, it was a bit of an effort to get it up on the roof, but I felt better about reducing the possibility of the star going someplace unintended.

    For the next season, I'll have to elevate the star. My roof design, if looking from the above in the front yard, resembles a lower-case "h" and I put the star on the "crossbar." It looked good, but the "vertical sides" blocks the view of the bottom of the star. Elevating it about 5 feet would make it look better, but I'll probably add a second bag of sand to the base just in case.

    The other star (I had two up) doesn't have the steel uprights; I just buggie-corded it to the power pole above my nativity scene, with cup hooks holding it up as well. The bungie cords were more to keep it from moving in the wind.

    Al - I'm looking forward to the bang star plans.

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    Toymaker/Delivery Guy Santa Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    Thanks Grady. If you have any left over, maybe you could make them available to buy by the group. We will have a welding workshop in a few months, and I'll buy steel from a local vendor at fairly low prices in larger quantities.
    I know this is an old thread, but was wondering what a good source of rod- and bar-stock locally might be? I'm considering taking welding back up.


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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Shanta!

    Long time not see! I almost thought you were as mythical as the guy without an "H" in his name!

    Dillon Steel Supply is probably a good place. I used Sanford Steel and Pipe Supply myself; the price was a little less and more imporat to me, a lot more local. But I'm out in the boonies, more so than you.

    I think Sanford Steel was something like $2.70 per 20' piece of 1/4" steel bar, minimum order of $50. I should have gotten some rebar and some 1" 1/4" thick angle with my order instead of all 1/4" stock. A 20' 1-1/4 black iron pipe was around $45; I need one of those for a mega-tree so I can do something taller than a 10 foot tree.

    Prices will vary, almost on a daily basis. Transport issues are yours; Al uses a boat trailer, which worked well. Mike Purser carried his under his truck; since Charity's truck is 21 feet long, that sounds like a possible solution, or tied to the passenger mirror frame and the top edge of the truck bed.

    Watch the forum here for a welding workshop, too; you may be able to help get the per-piece unit down by adding to that order, even if not used at the workshop.

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    Toymaker/Delivery Guy Santa Shannon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, sorry I'm just now getting around to seeing it. I'll look forward to attending welding workshop at some point in future. thanks so much!
    Check out my professional Santa website, That's Santa!.

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    Ssgt. Blinky, to you! cpnbnanamn's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    I'm thinking I'd like to build the Walter star... Maybe at the welding workshop?
    -Roger

    I am SOOOO behind the 8-ball.

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Quote Originally Posted by cpnbnanamn View Post
    I'm thinking I'd like to build the Walter star... Maybe at the welding workshop?
    Alright. Buy the steel and bring it with you . I'll try and bring the appropriated tools to cut it.
    Al

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    Ssgt. Blinky, to you! cpnbnanamn's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Al,
    If I added this up correctly, I will need about 35' of each type of material, both 1/4" steel rod, and 1" x 1" x 3/16" angle... Is that about right?
    Last edited by cpnbnanamn; 03-21-2012 at 08:51 PM.
    -Roger

    I am SOOOO behind the 8-ball.

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to build Walter's Bethlehem Star

    Quote Originally Posted by cpnbnanamn View Post
    Al,
    If I added this up correctly, I will need about 35' of each type of material, both 1/4" steel rod, and 1" x 1" x 3/16"... Is that about right?
    Yepper. If you buy the steel at Dillons in Raleigh, it comes in 20' pieces I believe. To transport it in 20' pieces is tough. I have a boat trailer that I use for it. Dillon will cut the steel for you to more manageable lengths if you want. The trick is to have the lengths cut into sections that minimize the waste. You could take a pair of bolt cutters to Dillon and drag the steel outside into their huge parking lot, and cut the steel rod there with the bolt cutters. To cut the angle steel you would need a Sawzall to cut it to the proper lengths which is pretty easy considering there isn't that many cuts. A battery powered sawzall would really do the trick here.


    Your estimate above does not reflect the steel for the diagonal uprights. Look at the instruction sheet and find out if you have a gable or reverse gable. The diagonal braces are a little different for each. The length of those braces depend on the pitch of your roof. For the gable version at my house (reverse gable), Walter and I welded a short piece of angle steel to the rear of the roof support to connect one end of the diagonal braces. The other end was connected to the uprights. On Walter's star which was for a gable the diagonal braces went directly to the roof support (saddle) with out the short pieces of steel. You will certainly have to study the pictures in the instruction sheet to understand which is which. Regardless of which gable version you have, the length of the diagonal braces should only be cut after you place the saddle (completed roof bracing) and then the uprights (star and perpendicular stuff) onto the roof and have someone hold the star plumb then cut those braces otherwise you will need some complex mathematical modeling to figure the lengths. Just determine which gable you have (gable or opposing gable) then measure the roof pitch and Walter and I can figure it out the rest for you. If your brace is like mine (photographed on the roof) instead of Walters (photographed on the asphalt) we will need to know the roof pitch. To measure the roof pitch, take a board of know length (say 2' long), a ruler, and a spirit level onto the roof. Place the board flat onto the roof with the spirit level on top, raise one end of the board (other is touching the roof), then measure from the bottom of the board to the roof holding the tape measure straight up and down (plumb). With a 24" board the distance to the roof should be 6",8", 12", or maybe 24" (you will be trying to fall off that steep roof with that pitch). That distance will tell me the pitch of your roof and we can pretty well determine part of the bracing. If this sound too confusing call me. I will walk you through it.
    Al
    Al

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