Last year I bought an 8 foot Christmas tree, and the stand wasn't "man enough" to hold it upright, meaning that I ended up having to tie it to the banister.
So I thought I would make something a bit heavier and more robust.
Now obviously, having the whole year to do this I left doing anything until the 7th of December, because procrastination etc...............
BTW the green and red one is the wimpy bought one
Step 1: The "Ingredients"
A 9 litre LPG Gas Bottle (free from a skip)
30 inches of 3mm steel bar (free from scrap bin)
50mm length of steel tube (free from scrap bin)
7 x 12mm x 1.75 coach bolts and 10 nuts 150mm long (from disassembled trailer free)
6 x 8mm x 20mm bolts and nuts (from disassembled shelving free)
3 x 6mm x 70mm bolts and 6 nuts (from "odds and sods" box free)
Total time to make approx. 3 hours (at lunch breaks)
Step 2: The Gas Cylinder
So here it is
This one was condemned as it had rust around the valve, so after ensuring it was empty and unpressurised by pushing in the seal valve in the outlet I removed the top valve assembly and filled with hot water to wash out any residue.
Step 3: Chop That Sucker Up
I only intend using the bottom half (though I will keep the top just in case)
I used a hacksaw to cut the bottle in half, this took about half an hour, tbh I could have probably used a mechanical saw or gas axe but decided safety was better!
Once halved, I cleaned the inside with degreaser
Step 4: Legs
I cut 3 pieces of 3mm thick steel 10 inches long.
This was from the offcuts bin at work and is approx. 50mm wide
I bent the end 3 inches at both ends at 45 degrees giving me a 90 degree turn and positioned at equal intervals around the circumference. I used the sheet metal bending machine at work but this could be done in a vice
Clamped the legs in position, and drilled and bolted the legs on with 8mm bolts.
Step 5: The Trunk Holder
Back into the scrap bin and found a piece of 6 inch gas pipe, so cut off a 50mm slice (I used a mechanical hacksaw at work as I was over sawing stuff by hand!)
I then drilled 6 equally spaced holes and tapped them with a 12mm x 1.75 tap, giving them a screw thread
I also then aligned the inner circle inside the gas cylinder and marked, drilled and tapped 3 equidistant holes in the gas bottle
Step 6: Trunk Holder Continued
I screwed in 3 coach bolts to the inner ring in order to work out the lengths I needed to allow me sufficient clearance to tighten them up when fully assembled, I then cut the bolts to length and sharpened the ends on an a grinding wheel (the longer one is for the base)
I put nuts on to the bolts prior cutting and grinding to allow me to clean the thread in case of any damage from grinding
I then drilled a crossways 6mm hole in the 3 sharpened trunk bolts, just below the bolt head allowing me to insert the 6mm x 75 bolts as handles
Step 7: Assembly
I put the trunk ring inside the bottle and then the 3 positioning long coach bolts were screwed in, these have 2 nuts on each, one on the outside of the cylinder and one on the inside to ensure every thing does up tightly,
A bit of a fiddle about ensured that the trunk ring was accurately centred.
I also put a tack weld on the nuts so they won't shift, however this isn't really necessary.
I also drilled and tapped a hole in the centre of the base for the vertical longer spike that will be in the trunk centre.
Step 8: Painting
Found a half tin of Primer and half tin of black spray paint and painted (I could have looked round for green and red but BLACK--- much more Christmassy!!!!!!! and more METAL
I will add a picture of the tree on it later when I buy one (see more procrastination!)
Tree pic added - the wife thinks I am mental but hey a 10 foot tree was the same price as an 8 foot one, so go big or go home (nearly killed me standing it up though!)