Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fixing Our Broken Christmas Tree

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

So today was the day we were going to set up the Christmas tree for this year. Unfortunately, after so many times hauling it up and down the stairs each year, the top part of the Christmas tree got bent one too many times and broke off 1.500" into the top most piece.

After analyzing the situation, I realized that I couldn't just weld the pipe together because there was too much greenery, string and hot glue from when they originally made the tree so I had to look for an alternative.

After some thought I figured it would be a perfect project for my lathe. I had been sick all week and hadn't been out in the shop at all and I still wasn't 100% but my wife and kids were eagerly waiting inside so I cut off the broken piece of steel pipe out of the center of the tree and cleaned it up, then hauled out a piece of 5/8" cold rolled steel, turned a 1.500" length of the one side down to 0.450" and a 1.500" length of the other side down to just a little under 5/8". Lastly, I drilled a 1.500" deep hole at 0.450" on the thicker end, hammered this newly finished piece of metal into the Christmas tree pipe and voila, the tree was fixed.

After I put the tree back together I realized that two of the rubber feet had fallen off the tree stand which we were going to fix for the last few years but never got around to, so I figured I might as well take another 20 minutes and make 4 new tree stand feet out of teflon. That part was pretty easy: Clean up the pipe, turn 0.500" of one side down to 0.450" and 0.250" of the other side to about 0.750". All I then had to do is hammer the 4 little feet into the tree stand and now I can slide the tree around on my hard wood floor without scratching it up.

The top end of the bottom piece of the tree

Measuring the width

The broken off piece of pipe that was part of the top of the tree

Where the bending had taken its toll

Rounding/stretching the cleaned up piece

Close-up of the cleaned up piece of pipe at the center of the tree

5/8" cold rolled steel

Turning one side down to make a press-fit into the inside of the pipe for the top piece

Turning the other side down just a bit to clean up the metal

Drilling the larger end of the piece to fit over top of the protruding piece of metal that belongs to the bottom of the tree

Close-up of the drilled out piece (1.500" deep)

The finished adapter to fix the broken off piece of pipe

The tree stand with the last two rubber feet removed

After the feet were cleaned up a bit

Turning down some 1" teflon

The small end (0.450") will get pressed into each foot of the tree stand

One of the finished feet

Another view

The tree stand with 4 new anti-scratch feet

The finished tree with the creative help of the kiddos


Metal Band Saw
Metal Lathe and accessories
Cordless drill
Tapered chisel

3" of 5/8" cold rolled steel
4" of 1" teflon




Tree looks great and should last another 10 years!


Anonymous said...

Great job same thing happened to me and this is the only post I could find related to my problem hopefully I can find something at Home Depot I don’t have all these tools lol

Anonymous said...

Me too! I’m so sad. Hope I can too!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with one of a pair of 3' front-porch trees. I need to find tape, putty or wire that will adhere to "oily" green plastic to solve my problem, I think.This article was helpful though.

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