I am new to woodwork but was asked to make some Christmas trees for my daughters school pantomime. We had to make a forest but I made just 6 of them!
The trees had to be:
1. quick to make.
2. easy to transport
3. Quick to assemble on site.
Hence, I made a simple and quite compact design.
The final version will be painted green. However, I thought I would publish now in case someone wanted to make one before Christmas.
It took me one Saturday to make them all.
As usual, I must state I am not an expert so I am just giving the idea and expect the experts to do better!!
Step 1: Safety First!
Always wear protective equipment that is recommended by the manufacturer of the power tool you are using. Consult local safety regulations in force.
Always read the instruction manuals, in particular, the part about safety.
If you don't know what you are doing, ask for help or get help from a more experienced person.
Follow this instructable at your own risk. I am not responsible for any injury or damage caused by following this instructable.
Step 2: Prepare the Wood for Cutting
I was given a load of rough cut wood and decided to use that for the trees. They were 2.5m length planks 20cm wide.
First I made a drawing (see PDF at end) and then drew all the shapes on each plank. If you alternate the wide part on each side of the plank you have less waste (see photo and drawing). I drew the lines at 60° angles to have the required width and height of the tree.
Step 3: Cut All the Pieces.
I cut all the pieces on my table saw (made from this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-3-in-1-Multipurpose-Workbench-Table-Saw-R/) and grouped them into 6 sets of parts.
Cut a piece of wood for the vertical support. Mine was 10cm wide x 110cm long and it was 17mm thick.
For the "cross base" stand, I cut used two pieces of wood A and B. Each was 60cm long, 5 cm wide and 20mm thick.
For part A: cut a notch in the middle, 30mm x the thickness of the wood used for part "B". (see below). I used my cross saw sledge to cut the notch.
Take the vertical support and Cut a notch on one end too. The size should be the same as that in piece of wood "A" above.
Fix piece of wood "A" to the end of the vertical support so that the notches coincide. see photo.
For part B: cut a notch 30mm x the thickness of two pieces of wood ("A"+ vertical support ). In my case the notch was 20+17mm=37mm. For part B, you need to make it as tight a fit a possible so that the tree does not move too much. Hence cut small and then adjust till you get a tight fit.(see photos)
For the pantomime, the tree just had to stand for 30 mins max. If you need it to stand for a longer time, you may want to add more screws / glue. The important this is to make it safe.
Step 5: Assemble the Tree
Lay all the triangle pieces down and then lay the vertical support on top.
Position the top end of the vertical support,so that the corners are in line with the sides of the triangle that makes the tip of the tree.(see photo).
Position the other end so that it is in the middle of the lower part of the tree.
Holding everything in place, drive a screw (I used 30mm screws), into the top of the vertical support and the tip of the tree. Then, holding everything tightly together, drive another screw into the lower part of the vertical support and lower part of the tree.
While still keeping the assembly in place, drive screws through the vertical support and into the other pieces of tree.
The wood I used was quite soft and did not split. However, depending on the wood, you may need to drill smaller holes before driving the screws through.
Step 7: Stand the Tree Up.
Now, it is time to stand the tree up.
Holding the tree upside down, take cross part "B" and insert it into the lower end of the tree. (see photo).
Turn the tree upright and stand it on the floor.
At this point, you can paint / decorate or it or leave as it is.
At the end of the Pantomime, we hope to auction the trees and raise money to buy various equipment for the school.
Step 8: I Finally Finished Painting the Trees
The trees are finished, painted and ready for the show! Thought I would add some last minute photos!
Step 9: Make It Glow Contest!??
I had thought to burn one and enter the "make it glow" competition. However, I don't think I would get away with it!
In the end I just entered the "HOLIDAY DECOR CONTEST" instead!
Here are also the drawings in PDF format.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all the followers, staff, and volunteers at Instructable!
Since making the first set, I made a set of three with shelves for a friend of ours. I made the base stronger and used glue and screws to assemble. The shelves are fixed to the tree with glue and screws from the back.