This is a star made out of either EMT steel electrical wire conduit or PVC and Christmas Lights.
Materials we used:
EMT OR PVC
EMT - Electrical Metal Tubing ~$40.00
- 10 @ 1/2 inch by 10 foot long Electrical Metallic Conduit ~ $3.50 each
- 10 @ 1/2 inch EMT Set-Screw Coupling ~ $0.38 each
PVC - Schedule 40 Drain/Waste/Vent ~ $71.90
- 10 @ 1.5 inch by 10 foot long Schedule 40 PVC ~ $4.10 each
- 10 @ 1.5 inch 90 degree elbow ~ $0.59 each
- 10 @ 1.5 inch 45 degree street elbow ~ $0.93 each
- 10 @ 1.5 inch 60 degree elbow ~ $1.57 each
LED Strands ~ $40-$100
- 150-300 feet LED Christmas Lights ~ $50.00
Step 1: Acquiring Materials
We got all of our supplies from Home Depot but Lowes has everything you will need as well. If you go the metal conduit (EMT) route, everything you need is located in the Electrical Section. If you are making this out of PVC then head to the Plumbing Aisle
Step 2: Mild Intro to Metal Bend
Metal bending is not as easy as it seems so here are some videos and ideas to help you along the way!
You can actually bend your metal at Home Depot using one of their tools instead of buying the tool itself! shhhhhh
Step 3: Bending the Angles to the Star
For this step we are going to use the metal conduit you bought to start forming the legs of the star.
❇What you will Need
- 10 @ 10 foot 1/2" EMT Tubes
- Tape Measure
- Conduit Bender
What you need to know about your triangle
Now let's talk a little trigonometry. A regular star is formed with 36° angle at the points and interior angles of 252°. since these are irregular angles, we modified the star to have a 45° angle at the points and interior angles of 240°. Making your angles at the point larger will result in a fatter star.
What you need to know about bending the angles
So grab your metal and let's start bending! Fortunately a star has 10 sides which makes it an even five tubes for the 60° and five tubes for the 135°. But hey, you say, 135° is not possible on a conduit bender. Well it is if you make a 90° bend and then a 45° bend. You can even make three 45° bends and it would result in the same overall angle. In our Instructable we will be bending a 22.5°, a 90° and another 22.5° to make the necessary 135° bend.
THAT'S A LOT OF ANGLES GOING ON. If you are thoroughly confused by now, just skip to the steps below or watch the video in the intro!!
Bending the 60°
- Mark the center of the tube: 5 foot
- Measure 2" from the center mark and make another mark
- Place the conduit in the bender with the second mark inline with the arrow.
- Bend the conduit towards the center mark until a 60° bend is accomplished
Reference the conduit bending video linked in step 2 if you are having trouble centering your bend on the mid-line of the conduit. Turns out, it you are off by a couple of inches it works out pretty much the same!
Bending the 135°
- Mark the center of the tube: 5 foot
- Measure 2.5" from the center mark and make another mark
- Measure 8" on either side of the center mark and place another mark.
- By this step you should have 4 marks at the following distances: (4'4'')(4'9.5")(5')(5'8")
- Place the conduit in the bender with the (4'4") mark inline with the arrow
- Bend the conduit towards the center mark 22.5°
- Place the conduit in the bender with the (4'9.5") mark inline with the arrow
- Bend the conduit towards the center mark 90°
- Slide the conduit to the (5'8") mark
- Bend the conduit away from the center line making a 22.5° angle
Again if that is just a mouthful check out the video in the intro where we show you how this is done.♥
Once all your metal conduit is bent head outside to start the assembly
Step 4: Star Assembly
So now that all our tubes are bent, first... take a deep breathe, the hardest part is over...then head outside and let's start putting it together!
❇What you will need:
- A large open space
- EMT set screw couplings
- A flat head screw driver
Steps to take:
- Lay all the pieces out on the ground to form the star
- Use the couplings to attach all the sides
- String the lights around the star
The tighter the lights are applied the cooler the star will be!
Also we used multicolored LED Christmas lights but you can use whatever you think is best, we do suggest getting bright lights because the brighter the lights the more amazing it'll look at night!
Do a range of 150-300 count lights. We used 6 boxes of 33' lights