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Thread: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

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    Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    I didn't realize that a commercial Christmas tree stand could cost $472. Figure 1 below shows a typical one.

    1. Commercial Tree Stand
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    One of the engineers that I work with dropped off an heavy duty Christmas tree stand to be repaired. Originally it had 4x 1/2"-13 UNC PEM type nuts pressed into tabs that held screws that contacted the tree as shown below. Two of the four PEM nuts had pulled out.

    2. Broken Tree Stand
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    3. PEM Threaded insert
    Name:  3. PEM Threaded insert.jpg
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    My friend had replaced the missing PEM nut with two nuts as shown below.

    4. Nut to replace missing insert
    Name:  4. Nut to replace missing insert.jpg
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    The tab that supported the PEM nut was kind of wimpy as shown below.

    5. Not much metal on tab
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Some of the tabs were bent right at the hole instead of the base of the tab.

    6. Bent tab
    Name:  6. Bent tab.jpg
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    The other problem was that the base of spike that supported the tree was cracked where it was attached to the water pan.

    7. Crack at base of spike
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    After I removed the spike from the pan, I found that there was a cold lap joint on the weld that attached the spike to the pan. The rusty metal in the next two pictures show that there was large areas of the weld with no penetration.

    8. Cold lap on weld-1
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    9. Cold lap on Weld-2
    Name:  9. Cold lap on Weld-2.jpg
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    This defective weld also minimized the foot print supporting the spike, The minimum foot print in conjunction with the damaged PEM nuts caused a moment on the base of the spike that cracked the bottom of the pan as shown below. This is a problem because it would cause the tree water to leak out of the pan.

    10. Bottom of stand
    Name:  10. Bottom of stand.jpg
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    Last edited by Don52; 05-30-2020 at 02:01 PM.
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    11. Crack on bottom near spike
    Name:  11. Crack on bottom near spike.jpg
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    I cut out a disk to beef up the area where the spike attaches to the pan.

    12. Cutting disk
    Name:  12. Cutting disk.jpg
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    13. Disk cut
    Name:  13. Disk cut.jpg
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    I TIG plug welded the spike to the disk as shown below and then fillet welded the top of the spike to the disk on the other side (not shown in this picture)

    14. Spike plug welded
    Name:  14. Spike plug welded.jpg
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    Next I MIG welded the spike/disk assembly to the bottom of the pan as shown below.

    15. Spike replaced-1
    Name:  15. Spike replaced-1.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    16. Spike replaced-2
    Name:  16. Spike replaced-2.jpg
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    I also TIG welded the spike to the bottom of the original pan.

    17. Spike welded to top-1
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    18. Spike welded to top-2
    Name:  18. Spike welded to top-2.jpg
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    I decided to remove the wimpy tabs and replace them with thicker wider tabs. Notice the fill-in weld shown in the upper left hand view. (You have to work with the geometry that you are dealt.)

    19. SolidWorks drawing of new tab
    Name:  19. SolidWorks drawing of new tab.jpg
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    I tap drilled the tabs for 1/2"-13 UNC threads. I wanted to orient the flats of the nut parallel to the chamfer so I made a threaded arbor to align the tap drilled hole in the tab with the threaded hole in the nut.

    20. Nut alignment arbor
    Name:  20. Nut alignment arbor.jpg
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Next I TIG welded the nut to the tab.

    21. Nut in place for welding
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    22. Nut TIG welded
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    Then I ran a 1/2"-13 UNC tap thru the nut and tapped the tab as shown below.

    23. Tab tapped
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    24. Tab - nut asm done
    Name:  24. Tab - nut asm done.jpg
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    Next I cut off the four tabs.

    25. Old tab cut off
    Name:  25. Old tab cut off.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Then I clamped the new tab/nut assembly in place.

    26. New tab clamped in place
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    Finally I TIG welded the tabs to the base.

    27. Weld on bottom of brace
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    28. Top weld on tab
    Name:  28. Top weld on tab.jpg
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    29. Bottom Weld on tab
    Name:  29. Bottom Weld on tab.jpg
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    And here it is all done except for painting.

    30. Tabs all welded
    Name:  30. Tabs all welded.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Nice job as always!!!! You certainly put plenty of top quality workmanship into your repairs

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Last but not least I painted it.

    31.Bottom Painted
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    32. Top Painted
    Name:  32. Top Painted.jpg
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    33. All Done
    Name:  33. All Done.jpg
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    -Don
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Nice job as always!!!! You certainly put plenty of top quality workmanship into your repairs
    Thanks, I like to always fix the root cause of the problem in addition to the welding.

    -Don
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Some gussets welded to your modification going to the legs would give your tabs some support when the screws are against the tree. A little pressure from the screws will bend your tabs. Bob

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by rhunt View Post
    Some gussets welded to your modification going to the legs would give your tabs some support when the screws are against the tree. A little pressure from the screws will bend your tabs. Bob
    I agree, the weight of a large tree leaning in any direction will bend those tabs.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Nice mod.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Crazy price for a IMO ugly and weak stand... gives me hope! haha

    Pretty involved fix, and though very well done I (like others) think those tabs will also bend with the forces involved.

    My advice for a fix would be either

    A ring of thicker material welded to the top, or ring reinforcing existing material with stitch welds tied into legs - with nuts attached to thicker portion (might need load spreading washer/backer depending on strength of ring),

    Or You could also attach thicker flat bar that runs all the way down the tube (tying into the legs) - essentially extending the thick tabs to to the base of the stand.

    If your fix works in the long run I was wrong and owe you a beer though! Like I said, it was well done though I think the design was wrong.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    Thanks, I like to always fix the root cause of the problem in addition to the welding.

    -Don
    Very nice work!!! It's at least a couple times stronger than stock

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair


    Don52


    Quote Originally Posted by Don52 View Post
    One of the engineers that I work with dropped off
    a heavy duty Christmas tree stand to be repaired.
    'The engineer' - what field? . . . and who build the
    original-miscarriage . . . ?


    Opus


    .

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Very nice work!!! It's at least a couple times stronger than stock
    I have the cat to test xmas tree stands. He may look dumb, but that's just a disguise. Name:  20200327_171618.jpg
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    Last edited by 12V71; 05-30-2020 at 10:47 PM.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I have the cat to test xmas tree stands. He may look dumb, but that's just a disguise. Name:  20200327_171618.jpg
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    Lol!!! Yeah I've seen a few 12 pound kitties go climbing before.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Lol!!! Yeah I've seen a few 12 pound kitties go climbing before.
    This guy is closer to 21. We call him the O'beastie. He loves to open UPS packages.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Poorly engineered stand.....Nice repair on a piece of junk.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Make you wonder if it would be cheaper to build from original parts instead of modifying/fixing the broken design.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by robson1015 View Post
    Poorly engineered stand.....Nice repair on a piece of junk.
    It's an age-old problem. The cost of the repair would have gone a long way toward the purchase of a new stand. But then he'd have a new, poorly designed stand that is sure to fail in the same way eventually. So repair and modify the old one so it lasts a bit longer this time around. Anyway, I always enjoy seeing how people do these sorts of things--I'm only a hobby welder so I have a lot to learn.

    Tim

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Several people suggested additional steps that could be taken to prevent the tabs from bending. I always enjoy brainstorming with competent mechanics. I agree that any of these approaches would have made it much more robust. If it were my stand I would have incorporated one of these enhancements.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhunt View Post
    Some gussets welded to your modification going to the legs would give your tabs some support when the screws are against the tree. A little pressure from the screws will bend your tabs. Bob
    Quote Originally Posted by Dee_veloper View Post
    I agree, the weight of a large tree leaning in any direction will bend those tabs.
    Quote Originally Posted by SlowBlues View Post
    Crazy price for a IMO ugly and weak stand... gives me hope! haha
    Pretty involved fix, and though very well done I (like others) think those tabs will also bend with the forces involved.
    My advice for a fix would be either
    A ring of thicker material welded to the top, or ring reinforcing existing material with stitch welds tied into legs - with nuts attached to thicker portion (might need load spreading washer/backer depending on strength of ring),
    Or You could also attach thicker flat bar that runs all the way down the tube (tying into the legs) - essentially extending the thick tabs to to the base of the stand.
    If your fix works in the long run I was wrong and owe you a beer though! Like I said, it was well done though I think the design was wrong.
    The customer just asked me to weld on four nuts, because two of the four PEM nuts fell off. After examining the stand I noticed a few things wrong.

    1. The tabs were bent in the middle.
    2. There was very little metal left around the hole to weld on the new nut.
    3. The tree spike was cracked on the bottom.
    4. There was a crack through the bottom, which would cause the tree water to leak out on the floor.

    I ran the additional cost to repair the obvious problems by my customer and he agreed to cover it.
    My customer owned the stand for 5 years and the base of tabs were not bent (as you can see in slide 17).
    He must have been careful with the stand, because a screw gives you more than enough leverage to bend the tabs.

    Quote Originally Posted by timrb View Post
    It's an age-old problem. The cost of the repair would have gone a long way toward the purchase of a new stand. But then he'd have a new, poorly designed stand that is sure to fail in the same way eventually. So repair and modify the old one so it lasts a bit longer this time around. Anyway, I always enjoy seeing how people do these sorts of things--I'm only a hobby welder so I have a lot to learn.

    Tim
    I encountered the classic problem; How far to go on a repair.
    Thank you for all of your comments.
    It makes the thread much more interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I have the cat to test xmas tree stands. He may look dumb, but that's just a disguise.
    This guy is closer to 21. We call him the O'beastie. He loves to open UPS packages.
    If my customer had a cat like O'beastie, he would definitely require the suggested enhancements.

    -Don
    Last edited by Don52; 06-01-2020 at 02:32 PM.
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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Looks about as good as a guy can do with what's at hand. Good job.

    Issue ain't the tabs...……………...wrong to focus on the tabs as the weakness. It's the material the tabs are connected to that poses the issue. The thin pipe is just that...…..thin pipe. It'll bend before the tabs do...……..can't do a thing about it, unless you literally redesign the crazy thing.

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    Best suggestion so far....a piece flat extending to base of pipe incorporating the bolt thingy. You spread the load all over that thin wall crap. I think ShowBlues got it right

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    Re: Commercial Tree Stand Repair

    test post

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