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Glow Balls 2 - the sequel

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind came howling out of the northwest like a flock of banshee sending the outdoor furniture skittering to the desk rail. That was the night my Christmas ball was taken by the storm. When the tempest calmed, I spent a sad Saturday plodding the neighborhood downwind of the decorated tree searching to no avail for the missing ball. I faced the fact that it was gone. I came to realize that I always knew what must be done. To make that tree a happy tree, I would have to rebuild. Rebuild a Christmas ball that was bigger, stronger, bright enough to make that tree happy enough to be worthy of a Bob Ross painting!!

To be better, I had to consider the original. These balls have served well for 12 years or so, but there are opportunities for improvement. The duct tape had weathered over the years and required some maintenance each of the last several Christmases. When boxing them up, they tended to squish unless you were careful. When making them I still remember the duct tape was a pain to cut and wrap, and incandescent lights were so 2003.


The begining is the same as the original. Start with four wire coat hangers.


bend the hangers into a nice circle. Bend one hook 90 degrees, a second hook 45 degrees, and a third hanger -45 degrees.


Tape the hangers together to make one big hook and the circle parts of the hangers 45 degrees apart. as in the this photo. I also used electrical tape to join them at the bottom.


To add stregnth to these balls, relative to the old ones, I added some wired wrapping around each of the coat hangers so pushing on any hanger, pulled on all the other thangers, like spokes on a bicycle wheel. I went with three wires going around the ball. The wire was given several wrapps around each hanger it passed so that it would not slip.


Hey, it's 2015: use LEDs. Not only are they much more energy efficient, you can connect a lot of them end to end without blowing fuses or starting fires. This style of bulb also looks much better while not illuminated in the day than the old incandecent bulbs did. I used 2 strings of 50 for this ball.


To avoid the weathering of the duct tape the older version of the balls suffered after a decade or so. I tried wire ties this time. I did have a bunch of then from the large number of light strings on the other trees this year. I'll try to get back to you in 2025 or so and let you know how this works out for me. I followed the coat hanger wires first, then moved to the support wires next, then just went for wrapping where there wern't many lights with what was left of the 2nd string.



Ya gotta do a test glow. This was mine.


Now it is placed right from the branch the old ball was blown from. I did tie it on better this time.


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last updated 2-3-15