Black Creek Observatory
Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:44 PM
Here's the history:
About 20 years ago, I purchased my first real Telescope, a Meade 10" Starfinder on a EQ mount. After lugging it out a few times I decided I HAD to have an observatory. This was a pretty bold move as I this was before the Internet, and I was isolated from any other Hobbyist. I never heard of anyone owning there own OB, and neither had any of my friends, coworkers, or family! I was just 25 years old then, and had no construction experience. What a did was just copy some half built homes I found being constructed, and guessed on how the roof should operate. All in all it worked pretty good considering I had no resources back then, and it was utilized a lot over the next 5 years. Things change though, and eventually the scope was sold, and the OB became a lowly storage shed.
Fast forward to now. We moved from that home about 5 years ago, but kept it as a rental property. The poor OB always ends up being a trash dump for my lousy tenants!
Now, having bought a another large scope, I have found myself having to lug it around as I did 20 years ago. I was ready for another Observatory, but funds are tight this year. The idea to reclaim my old OB and have it moved 10 miles to my current home started to enter my thoughts. After a post on the forum, and a estimate of only $100 to move the beast, I was convinced. I spent all last weekend getting the structure ready for the big move, and laying down footer blocks at it's new home.
Here's a pic of my old friend. Please excuse it's beat appearance. I shall install new siding, and trim, Paint here up, add a 5x10 warm / control room. An ad a 12" concrete pier / footing.
Posted 22 January 2012 - 08:20 PM
Got the call about 9AM this morning to meet the driver at my old property. I always said that if a moved I'd take that observatory with me, but could believe I was actually seeing that big building slide up into the air and on the flatbed.
I was planning pictures, but it was touch and go for a few moments, so I concentrated on the effort. The operator had some difficulty getting the building completely off the truck. He finally stack up several blocks, and "drove out" from under it, dropping it 2 feet onto the blocks. This left one end jacked up at a 45 degree angle!!!!!!!!!
Still it was $100 dollars well spent.
Me and the wife spent the rest up the day levering it down from the block stack, and monkeying it around to it's finally level resting spot! We just got back from the lumber yard with $500 in new siding, and lumber. We Will fix it up first, then add a pier, and new rook tracks. The finally touch will be a 6x10 warm room extension, And much further down the road, perhaps a Exploradome.
Much more to come!
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:11 PM
Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:00 PM
Stage 1: Remove old beat siding!
I decided to re-frame the door opening on a different wall. I may even rough in the warm room window, and door opening into one of the OB walls before hanging the siding on that side. Warm room is still a couple months out however.
Got started on nailing up the new T-111 siding.
I feel the interest in this project may have been low due to the neglected condition of this OB. Believe me, it's about to look a whole lot better!
Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:11 AM
Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:19 PM
Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:28 PM
Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:14 PM
I had posted a question about this topic a while back, but had hoped to find a pic or two of my options. Believe it or not, after reading through multiple builds, I couldn't locate even one good picture of the connection. Recently Gastrol has posted some good pics showing this detail, and I'd like to add to that to perhaps help the next guy!
My OB was originally framed years ago without thought as to how the beams would connect, and I ended up setting them on cleats, much as Gastrol has. The contruction was standard practice at the corners, with one wall having a single end stud that was nailed into double studs at the end of the adjoining wall. A lapped top plated tied it all together as shown here:
Temporarily ignore the new stud of the right that was added after cuts were made. I began by making the vertical cut on the right with a sawsall to disconnect the walls.Next a chunk was cut out of the top of the double studs to form a 4X6 Pocket.
Next a spacer, and stud was added on the right to support the right hand wall, and reattach it to the other wall.
Another shot showing the new pocket.
Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:20 PM
Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:34 AM
Roof support structure is up and primed
Building is primed and awaiting paint.
V groove casters, and steel track installed, and first roll off has happened.
So how do you install, and align Casters when the roof is currently sitting on top of the walls!
I tried a few different things, all ending up being extremely dangerous.
Then it hit me.
I rushed to Home Depot, and purchased a fence post. I then cut off 4 chucks of posts I stuck one at each corner. All I had to do at that point was gently roll the roof over 6 inches to gain access to the caster mounting areas!
Installing casters. after aprox. 15 years the roof is again wheeled!
Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:45 AM
Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:00 PM
Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:45 PM
Been a while! The exterior is almost done! Still need to add the door AFTER the Pier is done. Then on to the warm room extension.
I've been fighting a Tin roof since the OB was originally built. The tin had no underlayment and the condensation Rained on everything every morning for the last 20 years, and slowly killed an old Meade Starfinder scope.
I ripped off the old tin, and layed down sheathing and tar paper. Then I went with a Fabral steel roof like everyone else. ( I had been jealous!) How do you like the new roof?
Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:53 PM
Fantastic job! Thanks for taking us along, on this great trip!
Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:21 AM
Phase 2 begins!
Now that the basic remodel is complete the good stuff is about to begin. This will include a nice size warm / control room, complete with heating / cooling, mini fridge, and audio system!
Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:58 AM
Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:43 PM
Posted 12 September 2012 - 06:10 PM
I have to say it's pretty much what I have envisioned for a few years. Here's the neat thing. The main OB is 10x10 square which means if I get tired of the ROR, I can roll it right off the edge, and install a Exploradome. I think it would look even better with that dome on it, but alas. It's right on the road next to my house and the neighbors could take issue!