Just a quick post on this. For our Mega-Tree, I bought 1.5″ and 1.25″ galvanized conduit for the pole. We also have a hole in the ground for it already. I’ll post more details about that build once we set the tree up this year.
It quickly became obvious that these poles would be WAY too heavy to just prop up and drop in the hole, especially when everything was fully extended, including the pole for the star. So- I decided to use the most-excellent Monkhouse ASAP Jr. setup for it. http://www.magicchristmas.org/asap-jr.html
I ran into a small problem though. The ASAP Jr. is designed for a 1.25″ outer pole. The larger ASAP Sr. is made for a 2″ pole. So- ours was between the two. I actually built the whole ASAP Jr. winch assembly before realizing the problem. After looking at what would be needed to adapt the ASAP Sr. plans for our smaller pole, including buying a new winch and steel hardware, I decided it would be simpler and less expensive to just modify the ASAP Jr., and it was really pretty easy. I’m just going to call it the ASAP Jr.+.
All I had to do is widen the holes on the “T” plate so the screws were about 1/2″ further apart. I just did this by drilling the holes larger and using larger washers. The slot-holes on the winch were already wide enough, so I didn’t have to change anything there. Now the CPVC rollers were too far apart to hold the 1″ push-rod conduit properly. This was also an easy fix- I just slid some scrap 3/4″ PEX sections over them, making larger rollers. This added just the right thickness!
I also had to use 1.75″ muffler clamps to accommodate the larger pipe, and used longer bolts. It would have been better if the bolts were at least an inch shorter, but these were all I could get from Menards at the time. Otherwise- the rest of the build was the same as the original ASAP Jr. For whatever reason I still had some binding issues on the 1″ push rod, not from my rollers but from the height of the gap between the main pole and the winch. So- I had to tweak things a bit by adding some more washers. This was frustrating since the whole assembly had to be taken apart to add them, but once done- the system works perfectly!
I ended up shortening the push rod, and I believe I mounted the winch up higher than the original design. The reason for this is my pole goes 16″ into the ground. I’m not using the “Portable Hole” design. Still- the push rod extends the center pole as far as it needs to go for our tree, so this should work very well. 🙂
As I said earlier- I will be posting more detailed information about our Mega-Tree once we have it set up.