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I started hot gluing oak branches together in hopes of creating an archway for trick-or-treaters to walk under and then I realized:
A. This ain't that sturdy
B. Hot glue looks like Hot glue
C. I need help
Any suggestions on what I can do to improve my method, or hide the hot glue? I was thinking of maybe painting it (color ideas?) or wrapping it with some type of twine.

Here's the inspiration for the idea so you get what I'm trying to accomplish

100671363.jpg


and here's what I've got so far.. (please disregard the zip ties)

Photo on 7-24-18 at 9.49 PM.jpg Photo on 7-24-18 at 9.50 PM.jpg
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Now you know one of the reasons I stopped making them from real branches and made one from pool noodles. Real branches have to be pretty much built in place, supported with long rebar stakes on each side and woven, tied with fishing line and zip tied excessively to be sure it will make it through the month. You have to spend a lot of time assembling it so most the stuff holding it together gets hidden. Then you have to tear it down and toss it, which is more work on top of everything. Took me about 50 hours of work to do the noodle arch, but it is SOOOOO much better. Takes two people about 15 minutes to carry it out and secure it in place.

IMG_20171008_152436.jpg


 

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WOW! Absolutely stunning! Thank you so much!! I'll have to show you my Noodle Arch when I'm done with it. Thank you!!!
 

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I'm just happy I didn't log days of work into my original concept before learning your technique.

I apologize if you answer any of this on your facebook page but..

I've never worked with PVC pipes before, did you use glue ?

What did you use to secure the arch to the ground?
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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I put a screw through each connection because at the time I built it I was out of pvc cement and too lazy to run out for some. Would be preferable to glue each connection and also use a screw to be extra secure. My arch secures in two ways. On one side it sets up against a post we have for hanging plants beside our walkway. I made a sock of sorts that slips over the post and disguises it in with the arch. On the opposite side I drive a long piece of rebar or pipe into the ground and slip the arch over it so the support goes up into the pipe framing of the arch. Unless you have a post already in place where your arch will go like I did you will need to use rebar or pipe on both sides. It is preferable to use pipe that it just small enough to fit inside the pipe the arch is constructed from. That way you won't get a lot of wobble. I would try to get about 3ft of pipe driven into the ground with about 2ft sticking up, then once the arch is in place secure each side with a screw that goes through the arch and into the internal pipe stake. I don't need to worry as much with my setup because of the post I secure mine to on one side. Let me post a pic of the post here so you can see what I'm talking about. I mention it a few times in the Facebook tutorial, but I don't think I did in the video version.

2017-06-13_13-22-21_859.jpg

And here is a pic of when I was test fitting during construction. You can just make out the edge of the white post on the right side of the arch.

2017-05-31_13-27-58_022.jpg
 

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I put a screw through each connection because at the time I built it I was out of pvc cement and too lazy to run out for some. Would be preferable to glue each connection and also use a screw to be extra secure. My arch secures in two ways. On one side it sets up against a post we have for hanging plants beside our walkway. I made a sock of sorts that slips over the post and disguises it in with the arch. On the opposite side I drive a long piece of rebar or pipe into the ground and slip the arch over it so the support goes up into the pipe framing of the arch. Unless you have a post already in place where your arch will go like I did you will need to use rebar or pipe on both sides. It is preferable to use pipe that it just small enough to fit inside the pipe the arch is constructed from. That way you won't get a lot of wobble. I would try to get about 3ft of pipe driven into the ground with about 2ft sticking up, then once the arch is in place secure each side with a screw that goes through the arch and into the internal pipe stake. I don't need to worry as much with my setup because of the post I secure mine to on one side. Let me post a pic of the post here so you can see what I'm talking about. I mention it a few times in the Facebook tutorial, but I don't think I did in the video version.

View attachment 553397

And here is a pic of when I was test fitting during construction. You can just make out the edge of the white post on the right side of the arch.

View attachment 553399
I took your Arch idea and upgraded my 2017 arch and pool noodle "creepafied" it.

I also built out pool noodle walkway posts to match the new decor.

IMG_2676.jpg

IMG_3334.jpg


Here is the finished walkway poles

poles.jpg
 

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Planning on doing a portal into the upside down, think I just figured out how to do the spreading roots. Thanks so much for sharing, found your you tube channel. So much cool stuff.
 

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I would suggest a pvc internal scaffolding frame, clad in pool noodles/ pipe insulation. You can still use and blend in real branches stategically.

Larger branches will need a place to connect directly into the scaffold. A 45*, 90*, T's, etc. pipe couplings can be added directly into the framing, with an additional length of pipe to extend the support of the branch. Using a forsner or very big auger bit, drill a hole into the branch. Use an exterior wood glue and an appropriately sized hardwood dowel that fits the hole size you've drilled into the branch and slips *inside* the pipe extension. Drill through the pvc extension to grab onto the dowel. Pre-drilling the pvc pipe is recommended. (See attachment for a quick sketch to reference)


Reducer and increaser pipe couplings are also available, so you should have a nice variety of branch sizes.

Smaller twigs? Cut a small "x" in the pool or pipe foam, add some expanding polyurethane glue (Gorilla) to the end of the branch, and poke it in.

Low expansion spray foam can be added to the pool foam and branch connections to make a bark-texture, and big gap foam can fill in areas between the pool/pipe foam.

If you want to bulk up your tree in a hurry and can order from Menard's.com, they sell 100 foot rolls of 3, 4, 6 and 8 inch diameter ADS drain pipe on the cheap. It's durable, easy to cut with a utility knife, flexible but ridgid, and you can use self-tapping screws to connect it any where you need to. For your project, I'd recommend solid ADS pipe rather than perforated.

Don't forget plastic coated clothes line wire for making your branches, too! You can wrap the shaped wire with foam, or strips of plastic construction bags and Gorilla glue to bulk up the branches where you need them.

Hope this helps!
 

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