Xmas Lights

Merry Christmas 🙂

Fwiw, panorama photo taken & merged on an iPhone (handheld).

(Guess it has to be anyway, my digital SLR is cactus, and I now have to debate what to do to replace it. Stay Sony (shudder) (my camera is a Minolta 7D, and Konica-Minolta sold their camera business to Sony) seeing as I still have lots of glass (lenses) for it, or sell it all and start again with Canon).

A Better Rivet Gun

Christmas time again, and I’ve been doing my usual trick of clambering over the roof rigging lights.

After 10 years, I decided that the old lights were due for retirement, so have started acquiring a new set of LEDs Used to rig over 5000 individual lights (although nothing compared to some), so it will take a Boxing Day sale or two, to build up the collection again. Have put up around 900 so far this year, and along with changing the lights, I decided to significantly improve the rigging mechanism I used.

This year I have attached small brackets at each corner of the various runs I want, and have strung 0.90mm galv wire between them. The new lights then get cable-tied to this, so the lights don’t have to suffer the abuse of being tensioned between points, wrapped around hooks etc. For longer runs, it means I can do all the lights at one end, then quickly drag them out, so efficiencies all round.

To attach the brackets to the metal fasade of the house I opted to rivet them on. Rivets are very underrated in my opinion- they do an excellent job when used as intended. We used them quite a bit during my engineering course (BE), and they proved very successful. After all, rivets (particularly hot rivets) have been used for a very long time in construction: buildings, bridges, ships. The Sydney Harbour Bridge has millions!

Sadly, most people end up with a rather lame gun when they think to do any which I think distracts more from the whole concept of using rivets. They break, need a decent amount of hand strength, and struggle to cope with anything more that aluminum rivets. Get a steel rivet, let alone a stainless steel one, and the gun can’t cope: flexes, bends, breaks.

However, in the Navy we used rivets quite a lot, and that is where I came across the Accordian Rivet Gun.

It is a lot more expensive than the standard gun, but well worth every penny. You can get your whole body behind this one to fire off the rivet- no hand strength required!

I’ve had this one for about 10 years, and it is still going as new.

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