2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
This Santa's Stuck In A Hawaii Chimney
"It wasn't my idea," admits Smith, who grew up on an Indiana farm. He saw a kicking Santa on a visit home more than 25 years ago. "I used that idea and made my own mechanism, Santa and chimney."
Smith's first model had a motor from a washing machine agitator, but it didn't work quite right. He replaced it with an old geared-down motor from a grocery store checkout conveyor, which moves the legs at a better speed. A piece of aluminum over the motor protects it from the elements.
"Imagine a bicycle being driven by a motor and the pedals attached at the hip part of the legs," Smith says. "As it revolves, the legs go back and forth."
Smith made the legs out of plywood and 2-in. Styrofoam before covering them with red cloth. He purchased the boots at a costume store. Smith made the realistic brick chimney out of 3/4-in. plywood with a 2 by-4 rim on top and painted in the brick design.
"I'm near a freeway, and it's quite an eye catcher," Smith says. "Kids sometime yell and point when they drive by."
Starting a week before Christmas, he plugs Santa in from dusk until about 10 p.m. and has two spotlights on the scene.
"Hawaii gets real crazy with Christmas decorations," Smith says. "Some of the neighbors go all out. But, I haven't seen any other chimneys like mine."
He adds that he'll gladly share his design for free with anyone interested in making their own kicking Santa.
"If it puts a smile on somebody's face, that's good enough," he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Herman Smith, 94-547 Loaa St., Waipahu, Hawaii 96797 (email@example.com).
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