Christmas is on its way and so is our LED Christmas tree project. In the second part of our project, we build the wooden tree itself.
In the last part of this series I introduced you to the LED Christmas tree project and the required materials. Today, we start building the wooden tree. Take out your saw and let's go!
Building a wooden tree without any plan or template would be a project that is doomed to fail. This is why I prepared a template for you. Print it out and then its easy to follow the steps shown below and get a nice tree by just sawing along the lines. A word of a warning: make sure that the dimensions are still correct after printing. The tree height should be roughly 16 cm and the biggest circle is 10 cm in diameter.
Start: Once you have printed the templates and gathered all the required materials, we can start building the tree. This image sequence will guide you through this process step-by-step.
Step 1: Start by printing the templates and then cut away the unnecessary large paper borders.
Step 2: Protect the plywood by covering it with masking tape. This reduces the tear out while sawing.
Step 3: Glue the template onto the covered plywood.
Step 4: Mark the center of the holes with a scriber or another pointed tool. This will later make drilling the holes easier and ensures that you know where to place them even if the template gets damaged while sawing.
Step 5: Take the fretsaw and saw out the two tree halves. Clamp down the plywood while sawing to prevent it from moving and to reduce the tear out at the borders.
Step 6: After sawing you end up with the two tree halves. Make sure they fit into each other and the slots are big enough.
Step 7: Repeat this process for the stand. It will later contain the electronics. Cover the plywood with tape and glue the template on top of it. mark the center of the circle one with a scriber.
Step 8: Start by, roughly sawing out the plywood region on which you glued the template for the stand. Don't saw along the outer lines of the rings yet. You will need this additional border to clamp down the plywood while sawing out the inner rings. For the next step e.g. you should clamp down the plywood piece prior to drilling .
Step 9: Drill a hole at the center of ring two, to insert the saw blade of the fretsaw.
Step 10: Insert the saw blade of the fretsaw through the hole and tighten it. For this you either need a helping hand or need squeeze the fretsaw using tools like cable ties while inserting the saw blade. Then saw out ring 2.
Step 11: Continue by sawing out the circle marked with 1. This time wee don't need a hole. The region marked with
X needs to be removed any way as this hole will be used to later insert the cables that connect the electronics inside the stand to the Arduino.
Step 12: Finally saw out the outer rings.
Step 13: Done. We finally got all the rings and the top plate for the stand.
Step 14: Continue by drilling the holes for the LEDs. Use a 10 mm drill for this.
Step 15: All parts are now prepared. Remove the masking tape and use some sand paper or a file to smoothen the edges.
Step 16: It's now time to glue together the stand. You might want to clean the plywood from remaining masking tape and sandpaper dust before this.
Step 17: Put some wood glue on the outer edge of the smaller ring and then glue it onto the next bigger one. Continue this process for all rings and the top plate.
Step 18: We now finished the stand and the tree itself. Don't glue them together yet. This has to wait until we insert the electronics.
Step 19: As a final step drill a 3 mm hole into the center of the stand. This hole is later used to route the wires from the LEDs to the electronics in the stand of the tree.
Finished: That's it. We have finished building the wooden parts of the tree. The hole for the wires will later be covered by the tree.
Wow, that was a lot of work, but finally we are done building the tree. In the next tutorial, we will integrate the electronics and bring some light into the darkness of the December nights.