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Black Creek Observatory

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#26 Starman27

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:50 AM

Now I have next years project. You did good. Can't wait to see inside.

#27 csa/montana

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:18 AM

That's an awesome job! Really a nice looking observatory! Can't wait to see what you do to the interior!

#28 Wmacky

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

No pics for this update, but some has been accomplished. I'm finding that once the major construction parts are done the small piddly stuff really goes slow.

For some reason it took all weekend for me to do the electrical. Part of the slow going was because I drove a Phillips head screwdriver into my palm after it slipped off the screw on the very first receptacle I had wired! Anyway the wiring is done! I put in 4 outlets, A long florescent tube light in the warm room, and 2 bulkhead light fixtures in the OB. The white light is controlled by 2 (3 way ) switches, one that can be reached from the desk area in the Warm room, The other bulkhead fixture got a red light, and it was wired with a dimmer. At first I was disappointed in the output from the bulkhead "white" light after installing the recommended 60W standard bulb. I then tried a 75W equivalent twisted florescent, and all is good! It's really nice having lights! It now seems like a real "facility".

In other news, my employer ( a well drilling company) was kind enough to give me a 10" steel pipe, 5' long, and .5" thick free of charge. It's a little rusty, but should clean up. Can't beat the price! Our metal supplier will cut me 2 12x12 steel plates to cap the pipe. I can get them .5" thick for $24 each, or .75" thick for $35 each?

What size would be best?

One of the welder guys will weld it up for me for a bottle of Crown. So that's a little more than $100 total for my 10" pier. Not bad eh?

This weekend I hope to insulate, and install Sheetrock on the warm room ceiling.

More to follow.....

#29 Wmacky

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:08 PM

Issues!

Tomorrow I insulate, and will Sheetrock the warm room ceiling. Im starting to get concerned that I did not include any provision for venting or air circulation for the warm room roof. I did it for the main OB, and will do the reflectex thing there, but I couldn't in the warm room.

I felt that I just didn't have this option due to ceiling height preservation. I really cut it close with just a .25" clearance where the Main OB roof rolls over the peak of the warm room roof. I also went with a low pitch, 2x4 rafters, and a vaulted ceiling all to get what I consider an acceptable height, and I wouldn't want to give up an inch! The 2x4 rafters only provide minimal space for r-13 insulation, and that didn't leave any additional room for venting. It's to late now anyway as it's all done,and would be had to change. Any added air chamber above the insulation will compress it, and ruin the R rating of what little I can get in there. I see long plastic vent channels made for this purpose, but they are for larger 2x8 rafters. I have precious little space with these 2x4's.

The room will be air conditioned and with that pink R13 above, but just how bad will it be?

BTW I'll add that the metal roof is vented to a degree, as the Fabral roof does have some corrugation to it, but I guess that doesn't count? :crazy:

#30 BKBrown

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:51 AM

Super job on the observatory! You have a very well thought out, tidy design...and very nicely executed. My only regret with mine is that I did not have enough space for a warm room...

Clear Skies,
Brian :waytogo:

#31 Wmacky

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 04:28 PM

No thoughts on the roof issue anyone?

I installed the pink insulation this morning, and it does feel pretty hot at the peak.

The only other option I can think of is to rip all the insulation out, and install cut sections of that reflective foam wall board spacing it an inch down from the plywood decking creating a air channel. And reuse the pink stuff in the walls. I'll also have to remove the roof cap, and drill several 1" or bigger holes through the metal roofing, and plywood all along the ridge line, into each bay.

The foam board won't have a very high R value, but I will get venting. I just don't know if that would be better then the R 13 fiberglass with no venting?

EDit" The reflective foam board is R 5.

What a huge PITA that would be, and a huge time delay for me.

I just don't know. I have drywall cut and ready to go up tonight, and now I hesitant to continue.

#32 Wmacky

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

Well, I guess it was kinda of a complicated problem... :grin:

Posting this to help future builders.


After about 5 hours of reading last night I came the the conclusion, that although venting may offer some cooling effect, it's main purpose is to prevent moisture issues, and keep the sheathing from rotting. This happens when warm moist air rises from the heated room, and condenses when it hits the cold sheathing. Venting isn't mandatory in a vaulted ceiling if the assemble is air tight, and non air permeable insulation is used such as spray polyurethane foam. Fiberglass alone can't be used as it passes moist rising air!

Well! I'm not paying for a spray crew to come out to spray a glorified DIY shed. No way! However, there appears to be a cheat. If a non permeable foam board is first applied to the underside of the sheathing, and then sealed all around edges, the fiberglass batts can be used underneath. Yes this will compress the batts some, and the foam board does offer some R value to help the issue, and building a OB is a set of compromises as you know! :p

SOOOO, with my wife now in a very bad mood, with have returned with yet another $50 haul from Home Depot, and are now tearing out all the Pink stuff we installed yesterday. We will be using liquid nails to glue these cheap precut white poly boards into each cavity, then will reinstall the pink stuff..
Just more time, and money!

In other news I dropped my trusty 10 year old Ryobi cordless drill, and had to replace it yesterday at the Depot. I was going cheap, but you know how that goes. There was that new Dewalt 20V max system kit that included a super nice drill, and impact drive, price was now $50 lower, and much to my wife's chagrin, I had to have it. Shes not to happy with me this week!

#33 Mary B

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:09 PM

You can buy DIY spray foam kits online.

#34 roscoe

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:23 PM

OMG my apologies, I haven't seen this thread for a couple of days, and so it's probably way too late to suggest that you just put a really good vapor barrier - like 2 layers of 4-mil plastic, on the inside surface of the framing, and sheetrock it. You get some ventilation with air entering the bottoms of the big corrugations, and exiting the top under the ridge cap, so your roof will get hotter, but it'll survive.

If you're putting the foam board on the roof side, then the fiberglas under (inside) it, you'll still need to put the vapor barrier in, because otherwise, the dew point tenmp will be reached within the fiberglas, moisture will condense there, and will migrate back down into your sheetrock, thus making things messy.

Always, on any insulated space, you want to put a good vapor barrier on the inside (warm in cold weather) surface of your insulation. Always. The more airtight the outside wall sheathing is, the more important it is.

If you already have the wall surface up, there are vapor barrier paints that can be applied to the wall surface.

Russ

#35 Wmacky

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

OMG my apologies, I haven't seen this thread for a couple of days, and so it's probably way too late to suggest that you just put a really good vapor barrier - like 2 layers of 4-mil plastic, on the inside surface of the framing, and sheetrock it. You get some ventilation with air entering the bottoms of the big corrugations, and exiting the top under the ridge cap, so your roof will get hotter, but it'll survive.

If you're putting the foam board on the roof side, then the fiberglass under (inside) it, you'll still need to put the vapor barrier in, because otherwise, the dew point temp will be reached within the fiberglass, moisture will condense there, and will migrate back down into your Sheetrock, thus making things messy.

Always, on any insulated space, you want to put a good vapor barrier on the inside (warm in cold weather) surface of your insulation. Always. The more airtight the outside wall sheathing is, the more important it is.

If you already have the wall surface up, there are vapor barrier paints that can be applied to the wall surface.

Russ


Thanks for the replies!

No, Sheetrock hasn't been installed yet as everything went slow this weekend. I temporarily removed the fiberglass batting, and installed tight fitting .75" polystyrene foam board right up against the "underside" of the sheathing. I still need to caulk remaining gaps. I'm reading that I can then install fiberglass below this as a substitute to using sprayed foam only. I can't install foam above the sheathing, as there are clearance issues with the roll over roof. Anyway, this has to be better than bare fiberglass against the sheathing?

#36 Wmacky

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:10 PM

You can buy DIY spray foam kits online.


Thanks Mary. I've seen those kits, but even those are kinda pricey. I read there is a learning curve too! :shocked:

#37 roscoe

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:16 PM

Yep, fiberglass under foam will work fine, it's not even necessary to caulk the foam in. It's better to peel some of the fiberglass off the sheets than to cram it in.....the R-factor is highest with the recommended amount of air pocket space in the insulation. Just be real sure to put the plastic vapor barrier on under the fiberglass before you put the sheetrock up. 4 mil works, 6 mil would be better, but it's harder to find. the paper face insulation (if you're using that type) isn't effective as a vapor barrier, the aluminum face version (if you can find it) works pretty well as a barrier, but you gotta tape the seams, unless you put plastic up anyhow.
R

#38 Wmacky

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:32 AM

Yep, fiberglass under foam will work fine, it's not even necessary to caulk the foam in. It's better to peel some of the fiberglass off the sheets than to cram it in.....the R-factor is highest with the recommended amount of air pocket space in the insulation. Just be real sure to put the plastic vapor barrier on under the fiberglass before you put the sheetrock up. 4 mil works, 6 mil would be better, but it's harder to find. the paper face insulation (if you're using that type) isn't effective as a vapor barrier, the aluminum face version (if you can find it) works pretty well as a barrier, but you gotta tape the seams, unless you put plastic up anyhow.
R


Thanks!

The Polyethelene sounds like good idea, But I have read a few guides, that state that a full interior vapor barrier should not be used in warm climates do to the vapor drive being downward toward the air conditioned room during summer.

Most seem to only recommend a air tight "air barrier" on the interior side. They do state that a vapor barrier above the insulation is ok.

I'm just not sure about that polyethlene, but I thinking on it!....... :confused:

#39 roscoe

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:40 AM

True that, I'm not thinking clearly of a hot-climate situation......being a new england builder. Moisture coming in from outside would indeed be a problem for your climate, so in that case caulking the foam in would solve your infiltration situation, and I can still see the use/need for an air barrier inside for those cool-weather times when it's warmer indoors.

Around here, a fair part of my repair work has been rebuilding the lower outside walls of older houses that have rotted completely away from years of moisture condensing within the walls, running to the bottom of the wall cavities, and soaking into the sills.
Russ

#40 Wmacky

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:28 PM

Update:


Slow but steady...... Getting close to finishing the warm room interior.

Still need to poly the wood veneer walls, install trim, install interior door, install grey carpet, and install the main viewing window! then it's is on to the main OB interior.

I will be installing the same veneer paneling that's in the warm room, into the main Observatory.

( This is the same stuff I mentioned getting at Lowes for $11 a sheet. I recommend it highly. I don't know if you can tell in the photos, but in person it looks spectacular for $11!)

In the Main OB I'll need to decide if I want to paint it black, or poly it natural like the warm room?

Some pics! (BTW: The smudgy marks on the walls are sanding dust that I need to wipe off. :foreheadslap:

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#41 johne

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:35 AM

It looks great and it looks like a professional job. Well done. What a personal satisfaction it will be, when its finished and you begin to use it. Something you'll be/are very proud to have accomplished.

#42 MHamburg

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:29 AM

I hope your wife is duly proud of your project.
Michael

#43 hm insulators

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 11:55 AM

I love the color of the paneling!

#44 Wmacky

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:26 PM

I love the color of the paneling!


For some reason it looks kind of yellow in that pic. It actually is closer to natrual birch in color, but with bamboo type grain!

#45 Wmacky

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:39 AM

Well it's been a few weeks but things have moved forward. I had been putting off the last major hurdle. Most here will find this odd as this task is the very first that most tackle when building a Observatory. The pier, and it's base! This was a situation that existed because as earlier stated, the Observatory was moved to the property already built, before the rebuild. The floors framing needed reconstruction due to a central main joist. Not a fun project, so I left it for last. I have now got to the stage were it was holding up other tasks, so I bit the bullet and got it done. Here are some pics of the project, and the pier I had constructed.




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#46 Dennis H.

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:08 AM

Wow, that looks like hard digging! :p






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