Antique Christmas Tree Fence Restored

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A friend of ours had a small Christmas Tree fence made back in the 1930's that he wanted restored for his wife and he asked me to do it for him. I've just posted a few pictures in the Projects sub category of my Gallery, but will give you a little info here on the fence.

Here's the restored fence:

Overall, it's about 40" square and has 4-watt C7 bulbs in sockets on nine 4" tall posts. The original sockets and wiring were unsafe and inoperative; my chore was to disassemble the fence section-by-section, restore any damaged pieces and rewire it. 19" fence section rails were mortised and brad-nailed into the 1"x1-1/4" posts and the wiring (18 gauge lampcord) ran from the center rear post through the lower rail in a saw kerf 1/8" wide by 1/4" deep (rail is only 1/4" thick!). What a chore to get it apart without destroying it! I used a 1/8" burr in my Dremel tool to clean out the old rubber lamp cord insulation from the kerf and carefully took it all apart. I did have to repair and replace two dry-rotted sections of fence and rebuilt two posts and the gate base. I rewired it with new lampcord (embedded in the groove with silicone caulk), replaced several sockets, soldered every connection and protected junctions with crimp-on connectors. I put stick-on felt on the bottom of each post and put an in line switch in the new connector cord. The owner will repaint the unit (she didn't want me to alter the antique look). It took me about 14 hours of work. I'm sure I could have built it from scratch in less time!

Here is a few details of the gate section:
the new fence section:
and some of the replacement details at the rear:

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Clay Lowman
Corporate Member
That's a great job. I am glad to see something like this last for this long. No doubt it'll last that much longer


New User
Wow, that was a lot of work, but wonderful results. Restoring someone's Christmas memories is a wonderful project.

D L Ames

New User
D L Ames
Rob, I heard you mention this fence in another post and it sounded interesting. I am glad you posted some pictures of it. It sounds like it was an interesting project to work on. Great job.:icon_thum Thanks for the photos and the details on how you restored it.

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