Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:31 am

Haha -- yeah, now I remember we went thru the barn-on-wheels exercise a short time ago on a different thread. I suppose I ought to take a new picture.
Of course, not everyone can just up and build a barn! For me there was a big tradeoff involved; I had a nice home in a nice city but on a postage-stamp size lot. To buy a large enough lot for my dream hobby-workshop I had to move to the boondocks and live in a trailer-house. Priorities! :lol:

All right, back to lamp posts.
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Introducing: the Lantern Tree!

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:24 am

Last night I had a brainwave. The following was inspired by a comment made by lbhat (R.I.P.) when we were making the prototype lamp-post: he mentioned that I could set several of the posts together, back-to-back. I think I'm going to take that idea one step further to create a lantern tree consisting of an inner and outer circle of lamp-posts, bundled together:

Image

The inner poles would be taller, of the same make as I did for the regional (photos in the first page of this thread). Also like before, they'd have a 2' sleeve of 1/2" EMT in the base to snug threading whole thing upright around a piece of 4'x 1/2" rebar half-buried in the playa.

I'd create the shorter poles on the outside by adding a 90° bend at the bottom. This would provide props for stabilization and would look like roots. I might flatten them at the end with a mallet to enhance the illusion that they're growing into the playa (and for safety, I guess).

I'm thinking maybe three inner posts plus five or so outer posts, depending on how the EMT pieces nestle together. This design shouldn't be very expensive or time-consuming, plus it breaks down easily, stores flat, and the individual parts can be re-combined in any number of configurations.

Now that I know how quick and easy it is to make the individual components, all I really need to think about is how to bind the bundle together securely. I'd like something temporary but obviously sturdy enough for playa. Here's my first thought:

Image

I haven't been to a hardware store yet, but I think these stainless steel straps are reusable, adjustable, and long/wide enough for my purposes. Yay/nay?

I'd like to avoid having to drill holes and thread screws because it limits reconfigurability and takes a lot more time, both in creation and set-up, but I'm not totally against the idea.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:22 am

I have no helpful insight on this.
I do love the idea, and love how your project is growing over time.
!
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:16 pm

Hey Scout, those are called "hose clamps", and they come in diameters from around half inch up to at least a couple feet. And you can piggy-back them -- screw one to another and make longer. They are very adjustable and entirely reusable, yes.

DO get them in Stainless Steel, yes. That may not be the first thing you find.

You would use a battery-powered drill/driver to install a bunch of hose clamps in the field. Be sure to use a hex socket bit on the tool; not a flat screwdriver bit.

Hose clamps are simply one of the World's great inventions. I use them for all sorts of "Unintended Purposes". We once tied a busted differential on a monstrous pedal-car back into one piece with hose clamps, and rode the rest of the race to the finish line.

"A" brain wave, eh.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:13 pm

Elliot wrote:Hey Scout, those are called "hose clamps", and they come in diameters from around half inch up to at least a couple feet. And you can piggy-back them -- screw one to another and make longer. They are very adjustable and entirely reusable, yes.


Music to my ears. It took me at least ten minutes of internet image searching to find even one picture of what I was looking for - I kept getting pictures of snowboard bindings and plastic cable ties. Sometimes it just takes knowing the proper word!


Elliot wrote:You would use a battery-powered drill/driver to install a bunch of hose clamps in the field. Be sure to use a hex socket bit on the tool; not a flat screwdriver bit.


Failing this, would hand-tightening be enough, do you think? I could probably jerry-rig a looong lever arm.



theCryptofishist wrote:I have no helpful insight on this.
I do love the idea, and love how your project is growing over time.


As a beginning artist, a comment like this means a lot; thank you.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:12 pm

Getting hose clamps tight enough is not a problem. It's time that's a concern. The hose clamp screw works slowly. In addition, after a few clamps your hand would cramp up.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:38 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:I have no helpful insight on this.
I do love the idea, and love how your project is growing over time.


As a beginning artist, a comment like this means a lot; thank you.

The secret is, you are already an artist. You might need to learn more about your materials and techniques, but you are already an artist.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:06 pm

I'll second the cordless driver with nut driver attachment plan.
I used a bunch of stainless steel hose clamps on my camper shade last year and it would have been a slow, tedious, hand cramping affair with a screwdriver. The cordless made it quick and easy.
If you insist on doing it by hand, get a nut driver instead of a screwdriver. It'll work much better.
And get the stainless steel clamps. Otherwise they will become a rusty mess.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BBadger » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:53 pm

I hate tightening those hose clamps with flathead screwdrivers. It always falls off while you try holding the thing together. I think it's only really there for people without any other tools or for tightening afterwards. Manually screwing them in, even with a hex screwdriver, is a pain in the ass too. For a full revolution of the screwdriver the band tightens about half a centimeter.

Investing in a nice cordless drill can save you lots of time and also your wrists. You can just buy something like a refurbished cordless drill/impact driver set and you'll be all set for any quick assembly and can use it for all sorts of great stuff.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby unjonharley » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:04 am

I have wasted enough money on cordless drills.. I invested in a hammer drill and electric cord for camp..
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:32 am

unjonharley wrote:I have wasted enough money on cordless drills.. I invested in a hammer drill and electric cord for camp..

Yeah Jon, but you camp in a rock quarry and are required to put out 60 cobblestones a day.
I have a Black&Decker PS1800 (18 Volt) with Nickel-Cadmium battery (considered obsolete) I bought so long ago that I had not yet learned to staple the receipt to the owner's Manual -- and it's still working perfectly, with the original battery.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:46 am

Thanks for the input on drills, everyone. I know I'll appreciate the efficiency: this will be a somewhat tall sculpture and will require 8-12 large hose clamps, maybe more. I'll start looking around; this may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with power tools...

One other thing: it was pointed out to me that I could use candy-cane rebar or playa staples over the "roots" of the tree to further add stability. I'm not certain the structure will require this additional anchoring, depending on the length and number of roots, but, as I've read it wisely stated on these forums before, "overkill is still kill."

Now I just have to convince the room-mate that a disassembled Lantern Tree is not "junk taking up too much space in our closet," but rather, art. Yea, that's it... 'art.'

theCryptofishist wrote:The secret is, you are already an artist.


Image
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:51 am

.
To clarify about the set BBadger recommended, that's two tools, one with smooth light force, and the Impact driver with brutal force (for the size). That's a fabulous combination of tools, of course, and I use my impact driver a lot. But you may not need to spend quite so much money -- although, of course, you always get what you pay for. I wouldn't buy anything that costs $29.95.

"Factory refurbished" is often a good deal. They are probably brand new but were recalled for a weakness and brought up to snuff.

Buy a few extra nut-driver bits. They are so small they are easy to lose.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:33 pm

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:08 pm

Small ratchet straps might work, if the bundle is large enough. But this bundle will be... what... four or five inches diameter? Small ratchet strap might still do it by going around twice. Won't look as neat.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:52 pm

Nice one, FIGJAM!
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:27 pm

(!) Boy scout belts would be nicely fitting for art by yours truly. I even have a belt with one of those buckles! :lol:

I might be able to weave a webbing belt in between the posts, alternating. The rows, one above the next, would look a bit like a checkerboard. It would be time-consuming to get neat but might be a visually appealing alternative to metal strapping or hose clamps.

Elliot's correct that the entire trunk won't be very wide, again depending on how neatly I can nestle the posts against one another, but I can get the belt buckles and webbing cheap at the military surplus store so I wouldn't be afraid to cut the webbing to length.

I don't expect this set-up would be as strong or as durable as hose clamps. Hrm...
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:06 pm

I think the width of those belts would be as good if not better than hose clamp.

And I use hose clamps a lot. 8)
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:15 pm

Flatmate is putting foot down: we'd don't have enough space to store this project. I've tried to point out that the individual pieces pack more-or-less flat, but I don't appear to have a persuasive enough argument.

So I came up with the idea of cutting the EMT poles in half so they're 3-4' long instead of 7 or 8' long; in my mind this will somehow be easier to store and transport. I shall win flatmate over with cleverness!

But then I'm faced with the challenge of fitting the pieces back together so they're full height again. Ideally I could just crimp a half foot or so of one end and slot it into the corresponding piece, kind of like tent poles. Then I wouldn't lose much height overall.

So, two questions:
- My Google fu is weak: do EMT crimpers even exist? I know this isn't how EMT is typically used, so that might be why I can't find anything similar.
- Would I be compromising too much structural integrity? Tent poles of this make have an elastic running through the inside to maintain tension, but my reinforcement would only be the belts/hose clamps on the outside.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby unjonharley » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:21 pm

Go to your EMT supplier.. There are joints made for each size.. Its normal to glue these joints.. But for you I suggest duct tape so you can get them part at the end of the week..
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:30 pm

:idea: It's so simple: if you can't use the inside space, join the pieces together on the outside!

Duct tape won't be the prettiest solution but now I have a direction I can play with during a trip the boxmart hardware store.

Thanks, unjon.
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby unjonharley » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:03 pm

They make designer duct tape... Displayed at WallyWorld in stripes, prints and solids.
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Re: Hey, handy folks - Lamp-post question

Postby Elliot » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:25 pm

Alas, EMT is not crimped or stretched to fit inside each other.
Couplings for EMT (Electrical Metal Tubing) are fastened with set screws. These may be adequate or not -- impossible to say. But with a bundle of them, if you put one hose clamp above and one below, my guess is it will be fine.

You don't want to gunk them up with tape, unless the tape is made to peel right off.
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