Star Bell Christmas tree stands were introduced in the 1950s when futuristic-looking, shiny aluminum Christmas trees became all the rage, replacing both live trees and stationary artificial trees in many homes throughout the country. These plug-in revolving Christmas tree stands even played "Jingle Bells" while slowly rotating an artificial Christmas tree, which was a novelty at that time.
Unlike the cheaply-made rotating stands made today, Star Bell Christmas tree stands were heavy-duty stands manufactured in the U.S., made of steel and built to last. Many collectors still consider them to be the best rotating Christmas tree stands, which makes repairing a Star Bell Christmas tree stand an excellent investment. Plus, many families enjoy the nostalgia that comes with them and enjoy including these tree stands in their holiday decorations.
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This DIY tutorial contains step-by-step instructions for repairing a Star Bell Christmas tree stand so that you can start Christmas tree decorating in no time.
Things You'll Need
5-amp, AC 60-cycle, 120-volt, 600-watt replacement motor
Set of screwdrivers
16-gauge brown electrical wire (6 feet)
6/32-inch nylon crown bolts, 1-inch long and binder heads (4)
Inspect the Christmas tree
Inspect the elements of the Star Bell Christmas tree stand carefully. For safety purposes, it is best to replace old wiring, clean and lubricate the gears, and rebuild or replace the motor.
Disassemble the rotating tree base
Remove the rivets that connect the top and bottom portions of the artificial Christmas tree stand together and then turn the tree stand upside down. Slowly drill out each rivet with a metal drill bit that is smaller in diameter than the rivet itself.
Be careful not to damage the top side of the stand when the drill bit goes through the rivets.
Purchase replacement bolts
If any bolts are missing, purchase replacement bolts at your local hardware store.
If the stand base is damaged, take it to a metal-working shop for repair or solder purposes.
Remove and replace the motor
Separate the top and bottom sections of the stand base. Remove the motor and gearbox and take them to an electrical supply store. Purchase a 5-amp, AC 60-cycle, 120-volt, 600-watt replacement motor. Make sure that the replacement parts interface with the gearbox in the same manner as the original motor.
Rewire the stand
Use 16-gauge brown electrical wire to rewire the wall plug, the two-way switch that controls the lights and rotation, the side lever that turns the music on and off, and the motor.
Clean and lubricate
Clean the gears and lubricate them with a synthetic lubricant. Reconnect the motor and the gearbox and reinstall them in the tree stand.
Test to ensure that the rotation mechanism and the rewired switches work properly before putting the top and bottom of the stand back together.
Reassemble the stand
Turn the stand upside down and line up the top and bottom rivet holes. Insert a nylon crown bolt through each rivet hole, screw a binder head onto each bolt and tighten them. Use a box cutter to cut off the portions of the nylon bolts that extend through the binder heads.
While the Star Bell rotating Christmas tree stand is intended for indoor use with natural and artificial trees, do not add water to the center of the unit; you risk electrical shock and electrocution from Christmas lights.
Store the old parts
Put the old motor in a clearly marked box or bin if you replace it with a new one. If you opt to sell your tree stand someday, the buyer may want to have all the original equipment for rebuilding and reinstalling the original motor.