The desire was to make a BIG lighted Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season. So after Christmas last year, we went to Walmart and bought up all the lights that were on super SALE. I think that we paid about 1.99 a piece for the lights. And then they sat in the basement for about 11 and 1/2 months.....
Step 1: Some Trig
The lighted section of the lights was 23 feet. So that was the hypotenuse of the triangle. I figured the angle of the tree would be about 70 degrees, so I did some math to see what the other sides would be. With the angles, the center of the tree should be about 21 feet 7 inches. So I built the center of the tree with 6 2X4 studs 8 feet long.
I laid them out 8 8 8 and then backed them with 4 8 8 4 as you can see in the drawing. Initially I put them back to back, but they were too wobbly, so i put them together in a "T".
I added two 1x4 sections with a "U" cut out in the top to lay the lights in. See photo. This created two "valleys" for the light strings to go through.
When I had the 24 foot pole put together, i dug about a 3 foot hole, and put the pole in it.
Step 2: Base
The base was a 12 sided polygon, which meant that every interior angle was 150 degrees, or 15 degrees per side.
That being said, I need 12 four foot pieces of 2x4. Each one was cut 15 degrees on each end (photo).
I put the polygon together around the main vertical post of the tree and centered it. I then marked out every 15 inches around the outside, this would space the 32 sets of lights around the tree.
Step 4: Lights
With the pole in the ground, and the base on the ground around it, it was time to put the lights up. I used a long pole, and put the lights over the top, two strings at a time.
When 32 sets, 16 strings (two connected together) were put over the top, it was a dance around the maypole to get them untangled.
We attached the strings to the base with a staple gun...
We plugged them in and HUZZA, a tree.