Kevin Mark Klughart
PhD, PE, JD, MIP, LLM
Patent Attorney / Engineer
A lady at my church responsible for Christmas decorations asked me to help her solve a problem with their Christmas wreaths. Apparently, after some number of years the internal wire supports for the wreaths were falling down on the job and the once-circular wreaths were now looking egg-shaped, becoming elongated due to their significant weight. So I decided what was needed was a couple of support rings to maintain the circular shape of the wreaths. So far so good. The only problem is that these wreaths are HUGE, with a 7-foot outer diameter. The church facilities people already had significant problems in hoisting these things up, and any additional weight would not make their lives any easier.
The solution was to construct two rings out of thin gauge aluminum tubing and tie them together with radial struts. However, I didn't have a ring roller, so the first task was to cobble one together out of available scrap. I ended up using pieced of 4-inch pipe left over from some welding classes and then turned them true on the lathe after capping each end with TIG welds. Add in some bushings and a crank and you have a one-off ring roller! Here is a picture of the ring rolling setup...
More detail of the machine...
Another view of the machine... The vise grips were a last minute addition to overcome some additional hardware that needed to be installed - time didn't permit this luxury given the impending rain and timeline for completion...
There were two wreaths to support, so two sets of rings had to be made. I want to give big credit to my wife Jean for stepping in and running the ring roller crank while I fed material to get this job done. Were it not for her efforts, the job wouldn't have been completed. As you can see, the weather during this job was overcast, and soon turned to rain for the remainder of the day - but with Jean's tireless help, I was able to get the rings rolled and do the TIG welding (76 welds per wreath) elsewhere. The final result wasn't perfect, but more than acceptable for the job requirements...
Here is the finished result applied to the Christmas wreaths in the church sanctuary...
Kevin Mark Klughart
Registered Patent Attorney, USPTO
3825 Leisure Lane, Denton, TX 76210-5589
tel: 800-353-1211 / 940-320-0580 - fax 940-320-0581