Intro: Full Metal Christmas Conifer
There are places where the classic Christmas tree is scarce or unavailable. When you find yourself in such dire circumstances or you would like to spare the lovely conifers from being chopped and displayed. You can opt for a tree made from future micro plastics. Hang your ornaments from the ceiling fan (as we used to do).
sweat a bit for Heavy metal christmas tree!
This tree can either be hung from the ceiling or you can make a stand as we did, the choice is yours!
We recommend using eye protection and all the fixings when operating a cutting torch, welder, grinder etc.
Do as I say not as I do..
Step 1: Materials
-3x3 ft 3mm thick sheet of Galvanized steel. or whatever size you want.
Mild steel may be easier to bend, but we couldn't find it at the thickness we wanted.
-7ft tall pipe Galvanized or or Mild Steel
-3in pipe with an outer diameter slightly smaller than that of the 7ft tall pipe
-Paper the same size as the sheet metal
-Acetylene cutting torch
-Base or cable to hang it from
Step 2: Draw a Spiral
Using Adobe illustrator we drew a spiral with a 3ft diameter to be printed onto our template.
Heres a great video outlining the process of drawing the spiral:
Step 3: Print the Spiral
Print the spiral out onto a large sheet of paper, we did this at a print shop but you can use a home printer and multiple sheets of A4 paper using this tool: http://posterazor.sourceforge.net.
Step 4: Trace the Spiral Onto the Sheet Metal
Find a table and attach the paper securely to the sheet metal using tape or by folding the edges underneath it. We used a hobby knife and a marker to cut the paper away along the spiral and draw the lines onto the metal as the paper is peeled away.
Step 5: Cut It
Use a cutting torch, to cut along the spiral. We found it easiest to mark the center point and use a compass jig to cut semicircles along the spiral similarly to how we drew the spiral on illustrator.
Step 6: Transport Your Spiral Home
Make sure the spiral has adequately cooled before attempting to move it.
Drag that spiral home. You may need a large vehicle as the spiral is very heavy and has jagged edges.
Step 7: Stretch It
The GI spiral needs to be stretched quite aggressively in order to force it to maintain a "treelike" shape.
To do this we first weld an attachment loop to the center of the spiral, we used a loop bent from 1/4 in rebar. This will be used to hang the tree whilst stretching it out.
We hung it from a staircase and then pushed down on it from above and pulled from below. I recommend that you be careful during this process because if any part of the attachment breaks or your hand slips you could encounter a world of pain.
Step 8: Grinding
If there are small children or other less careful individuals around you may want to grind the edges smooth after cutting as the torch will leave a jagged edge. We didn't have the patience for this and also thought the edges looked pretty sweet jagged. acc
Step 9: Weld the Attachment Pipe
Weld the short pipe to the inside of the center of the spiral
We used a stick welder, this weld doesn't need to be super strong, but the pipe should be 90 degrees to the sheet metal.
Step 10: Pipe Attachment and Base
We were lucky to find an old umbrella stand to use as the base, you can use anything thats heavy and stable enough. If we'd not found the umbrella stand, we'd have welded a similar 3 inch pipe to a heavy steel base plate. It was important to make it easy to disassemble so you can move it into your house as the final assembly is heavy and quite cumbersome to carry if not separated.
Step 11: Decorate It!
Wrap it up in lights and hang some ornaments! Your tree is ready to go!