Santa Sleigh

Discussion in 'How is my display put together...' started by MarcD, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    We have finally started work on our sleigh as the feature item in our 2013 display. We're using the same Winfield pattern that AussiePhil used, although we've shortened the body vertically by about five inches to make it easier to get into for the kids. The plywood arrived yesterday and the first piece has been marked out ready to cut as per the attached photo.

    The feature of the sleigh will be a dashboard full of gauges, switches, knobs and lights. Everything will be wired up to a 12V power supply by an auto electrician friend. The idea is that the kids will be able to pretend they're controlling the sleigh (my wife even wants to add a set of reins). We made a rough layout for the dashboard back in January (see attached PDF) and haven't decided on a final layout as yet. A lot will depend on the availability of things.

    That's turning out to be the hard part. I need a piece of aluminium sheet to mount everything into and it seems to be really hard to come by. I can buy a whole 2400 x 1200 sheet, but it's like $150 and I really only need a piece about 600 x 300. Or I can buy two small sheets from Jaycar, but then I'd have a join in the middle. If anyone has any suggestions to source this in Brisbane or can suggest an alternative, I'd love to hear from you.

    The next problem is gauges. I visited a gauge repair shop down the road and they use everything as spare parts. The only other thing I can think is to visit a wreckers. I'm probably going to look like a complete dick asking a wreckers for old gauges for a sleigh. They don't need to actually work, they just need to light up when connected to power and look presentable. So I'm open to suggestions on this too.

    Any and all advice is most welcome. I'll continue to post photo's of the build as it progresses.
     
  2. ali

    ali New Elf

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    I have actually done something VERY similar and went to the wreckers and asked for an old dash cluster (the part with the speedo and fuel gauge etc)! Generally, you can then just mount a set of strip white lights behind and the light will shine through as though it is lit up in a car!


    Hope this helps!
     
  3. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I went out shopping today. I found a nice piece of aluminium from a local trailer company. Only $20 and it's the right size. Then I got ripped off at a wreckers paying $40 for two gauges. I then spent the rest of the day on eBay looking at switches, knobs and lights. I ended up with 30 switches (red, green and some with covers), 10 gold knobs and four large knobs and about 100 3mm and 5mm LED lights in various colours with some flashing. Along with the power supply, it came to about $125.


    I still need to find LED strip light for around the edge. It's a process, that's for sure.
     
  4. ali

    ali New Elf

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    Can u post the links to the power supply and lights u have got of ebay please?
    I am in need of some more and am not sure which ones to get!
     
  5. OP
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I have a database of all of the items I'm planning on buying. I haven't ordered anything yet. I'm waiting for the auto electrician to confirm it's all suitable. It has photos and the URL's. I'll attach a PDF version here tomorrow.
     
  6. ali

    ali New Elf

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    That would b awesome thanks!
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    As promised, here's my current shopping list. The URL links should (in theory) work directly from the PDF. The only two things I've ordered so far are the last two on the list. A pack of clear labels to print out a dashboard and stick it onto the aluminium and a microphone so the kids can call the north pole or air traffic control.

    The final item is a set of reins (wife's idea). They're not that expensive for a real set of leather reins from a saddlery or ebay.

    Construction update: Both sides have been cut out and both skids will be done by this afternoon. I'm going over on the weekend to help out with construction.
     
  8. ali

    ali New Elf

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    Just a note with the skids... I have found that mine are already broken as people tend to kick them!
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Ours are made of 12mm marine ply and they'll have a timber strip running along the inside. It'll take one heck of a kick to break it. There'll also be a solid timber spa steps for people to get in.
     
  10. ali

    ali New Elf

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    That's cool... Mine were similar, yet people still managed to trip over the back of them (mind you they were nder the back of the sleigh!!)!
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Sides all cut out and first one assembled. The fiddly bit is working out where all the bits go inside. The original plan was designed for decorative purposes only, so things aren't in great positions. Working out floor length, seat height etc. is time consuming.
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Picking up the sleigh from my parents place on Sunday. Then I'll probably spend from now until Christmas sanding, painting, more painting and fitting it out. The LED lights for around the edge arrived today. The power supply has been ordered and we just need to finalise the layout of the dashboard so we can start building it. Final size of the dashboard is 420mm wide by 675mm high. So far, I've only worked out one section as per attached PDF which is to scale. The large green circles are switches, the small green circles are LED's and the yellow circles are gold knobs.

    So much to do, so little skill. :-\
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    Turns out I'm really crap at sanding. Who'd have thunk it.

    I think I've finally worked out the layout for the dashboard, subject to final approval (my wife hates the idea of the dashboard). I've attached a pic of it below including a legend.

    Everything's been ordered. Now I just need to wait for it to turn up from China. I've never ordered anything from China before, but they were certainly quick (like under 12 hours) to mark them as posted. I assume it will take about two weeks by standard mail?
     
  14. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    Dashboard is really cool looking.
    Looks more complexed than your 1st layout.
    I was thinking a couple of lights and switches. You went all out. :)
    Looks rather large. What are the dimensions?
     
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    MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    The dimensions will be 420mm wide (length of an A3 sheet) by 675mm high. Although, based on that diagram, there's about 140mm at the bottom which is unused. I may make it shorter or throw in a speaker or something. I haven't started cutting or fitting anything yet.

    My staff want me to replace the world map with an actual Android tablet running Google Maps. I don't really want to A. spend the money or B. figure out a way to mount it so it can't be stolen, but can be easily brought inside each night.

    All up, the switches came to a total price of $83. The power supply $32. Aluminium sheet $20. LED strip light another $35. Plus a few dollars for some bits of timber and some screws from Bunnings to put it all together.

    Once it does come together, I'll post some pics.
     

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