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Hatch Observatory Progress

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#1 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:42 PM

Remember my roof-mounted "observatory?" Hatch Observatory

I named it Hatch Observatory, not because it has a hatch covering it, but because our house was built in 1887 by Judge David Patterson Hatch.

Anyway, I've been making progress recently. We're making the large attic space into a theater room, so my desk and computers that I use to operate my 9.25" need to be out of sight behind a door. Well, my daughter got this idea that we should have a secret doorway, so here it is, in progress.

Closed:

-Tim

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#2 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:43 PM

And here it is opened:

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#3 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:52 PM

Today, I'm continuing work on the wall-unit, combination bookshelf and entertainment center that goes across this wall (about 20 feet square space inside the theater room). ON the opposite wall, we have a pull-down 100" screen, with a 780p projector mounted on the ceiling above the wall unit near the center of the wall.

The cables you see hanging down above the open bookcase-secret doorway are the worms that go to the telescope, out of sight above.

I'm using the ladder again while I work on it, but have some rolling/folding scaffold that's behind the wall on the right for the time being, that I'll use for general access to work on the telescope. It's got a camera in it and one piggyback on it for a finder, so I never actually LOOK through it!

After I finish the wall unit, (today, I'm putting up crown and baseboard moldings to further hide the door and finish off the cabinet), we need to move some lighting around and put in some outlets, then we'll work on the ceiling. The door under the scope will slide from the corner into the center above the wall unit. We're planning on designing the door and other three corners of the ceiling to look the same, and the tracks for the door to mimic the "beams" dividing the ceiling into a sort of tic-tac-toe pattern. Hopefully, then, when the door is close under the scope and I'm shut in behind the bookcase, nobody will know I'm imaging! :grin:

...except everyone who we've showed it to in person and all who read about it here! ;)

-Tim.

#4 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:58 PM

Here's a somewhat wider shot with the door closed, also showing the cables and the opening under the scope better.

-Tim.

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#5 csa/montana

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:09 PM

Tim, what a cool idea! Wow! That is such a wise use of the space; plus a fun "find the door" topic for visitors! :lol:

Very, very impressive! :bow:

#6 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:23 PM

Carol:

I even plan to make a latch that's operated by pulling on a book! Natch, it's going to have to be an ATM book!

-Tim.

#7 akman1955

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:35 PM

:jump:That is NEAT Tim!! thanks for sharing..john

#8 tim53

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:36 PM

And if anybody else is considering a project like this, here's where I got my idea, though of course I made it about as difficult as I could have, because I wanted the bookshelf to be part of a larger unit. Gary Katz' hidden doorway

-Tim.

#9 Starman27

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:46 PM

Graet idea! It seems to fit an 1870s house.

#10 csa/montana

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

Carol:

I even plan to make a latch that's operated by pulling on a book! Natch, it's going to have to be an ATM book!

-Tim.


Ohhhh, that will be great! :bow: :bow: :bow:

:grin:

#11 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

I had to put a threshold in, because doors always rub high spots in floors if you don't have clearance under them. The floor the contractor put in to replace the one that burned when we had a fire in 2001 is rather... subspiffy, to use a polite term.

So, the threshold is 3/4" high and part of the baseboard will be attached to it and part to the door.

Here it is open:

-Tim.

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#12 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:51 PM

Here it is closed, with the first piece of baseboard attached to the non-moving part of the wall unit:

-Tim

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#13 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:52 PM

And here it is partway open, so you can get an inklling of the complexity involved in an undertaking like this:

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#14 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:53 PM

Back to work! ;)

#15 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:39 PM

Now I've got the baseboard and base shoe "done"...

Still, I'll have to fill all the screw holes with epoxy (I use Abatron, great stuff!), prime and paint, but you can get an idea here:

Open:

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#16 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:40 PM

Partway open:

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#17 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:40 PM

And closed!

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#18 StarWrangler

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:48 PM

Shades of old mystery's Tim,

Your daughter was thinking along the same lines as I.

I was talking to my wife a while back about the next

observatory I had would be attached
to the house with a secrete door to it.

I love secret doors and rooms so I will be keeping on
eye on your progress.

Alan

#19 tim53

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:24 PM

Alan:

It's been a lot of fun, but adding moldings makes the fitting a little complicated!

I'm running out of light, but I almost got the crown put together. It's going to consist of a piece of base shoe, like at the very bottom in the pic above (hard to see in these iphone pics), turned upside down and attached to the top of the door and bookcase to the left and right.

The crown molding will be mounted to the support structure and the unmoving bookcases above that, so when the door opens the "base shoe" on top moves with the door, and the crown above doesn't move. kind of like the way Gary Katz did the crown on his bookcase.

I'm amazed at how well the door hides when it's closed. Right now, you can see the seams and screw holes, but when it's painted a dark color and the holes are filled, it should be harder to see them.

-Tim.

#20 Digital Don

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:35 PM

Didn't Sherlock Holmes find Professor Moriarity hiding in there?

Actually, that's pretty neat and very nicely made!

Don:usa:

#21 DaemonGPF

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:54 PM

And here I clicked the link expecting to see an Observatory in Hatch, New Mexico LOL. Very cool though.

#22 astrotrf

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:13 PM

And here I clicked the link expecting to see an Observatory in Hatch, New Mexico LOL. Very cool though.


Ha! Me, too! I was getting all warmed up for a field trip to the Hatch Chile Festival!

#23 tim53

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:06 PM

Well, you coulda found something like The EARL

When you should have found this:

The BETTER EARL

Which is a more better and believable story.

-Tim.

#24 tim53

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 05:55 PM

More progress.

Since it's a rainy day, I decided to work indoors and trade my "toys" weekend for one where I work on the house.

Today, I'm putting up the crown over the door. Here it is closed. The bullnose on top isn't attached yet. Need to rout some more of that first.

-Tim.

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#25 tim53

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 05:57 PM

And here it is open. Only the "base shoe" that's upside down for use at the crown, moves with the door. The rest stays put (thankfully! getting it to clear the moving mechanism would have been an nightmare!).

-Tim.

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