This page describes the construction of the lighted mountain snowflakes. See below for comments from our snowflake friends.
The snowflakes are constructed using standard 8' firing strips (1 X 2 X 8' pine) secured in the middle at 60 degree angles to form the six sections of the snowflakes. The spurs are added at the appropriate dimension according to the table above.
** The diagram and table above assumes that the light sets are approx. 45' long. Look on the package before you buy. Some cheaper sets are shorter in length. Costco is a good source. They usually sell 3 in a package for around $9.00.
1. Start by cutting all the pieces required. For example, an 8' snowflake requires 3 - 8' firing strips, 6 - 20" pieces and 6 - 10" pieces.
2. Using a protractor, mark two parallel lines at a 60 degree angle at the center of one of the 8' strips on both sides. The two parallel lines are the width of the strip (approx. 1 1/2"). Mark the center point of the other two strips. The angle should be fairly accurate but the center distance could be + or minus 1/2" without causing too much of a problem.
3. Screw one strip to the center strip using the lines as a guide with 2 - 1 1/4" Drywall screws.
4. Flip the assembly over and fasten the other strip to the center using 2 - 1 1/4" Drywall screws using the lines as a guide. NOTE: For a stronger, more accurate joint, you can chisel out the area between the lines on the center strip approximately 1/8" deep.
5. Using the table above, mount the pieces as shown to each spur at the D1 & D2 dimension. For an 8' snowflake, the shorter piece mounts 5 inches from the end and the longer piece mounts 13" from the end. Mount each one at the center using 2 - 1 1/4" Drywall screws.
6. Follow the diagram and staple the light strings to the snowflake starting approximately at point D1. The key is to make sure a light ends up at the end of each spur as shown which means that you may have to adjust point D1 one way or the other to keep the string taught.
7. Follow the diagram and staple the rest of the lights.
E-mails from our visitors
From Dale and Shirley Jobe
I made my snowflakes back in 1993, or so, I think. But found them hard to store for next year.
So, I drilled a 1/4" hole in the center and put in a bolt with a couple of big washers that made them easy to take apart or put together.
Also, in place of staples I drilled small holes and put 1 inch shingle nails in about half way to facilitate winding the light on and making them easy to come off.
-- Thanks Dale & Shirley for a great suggestion. Frank
From Jesus and Maria Gonzales
Thanks for doing this every year. Our family really loves the snowflakes and plan to put them up every year. We even helped our family build some in Mexico.
Not only is storage a problem though but we found ourselves having to rebuild them every two years because of our Phoenix sun and weather. We decided to
spend the money and make them out of aluminum channels. Instead of staples we used self drilling 1" screws at the key places and simply wrapped the wire around
the screws. The arms are connected at the center with a 1/4" bolt and wing nut so disassembly and storage is really easy. With this method we can
literally put a snowflake together in about 5 minutes.
-- Thanks Jesus and Maria. I followed your lead and made 10 of them this year with LED's.