Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank
Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:17 PM
Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:23 AM
Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:00 PM
Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:06 PM
Along another train of thought, there was (is?) a company in Plainfield, Illinois that used to advertise in Sky & Tel for their aluminum observatory domes - but they also made the tops for grain silos that looked amazingly like their domes- sans the shutter!!!
Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:27 PM
That still may happen some day, it just needs to be in the right location, or take one down, and place on some dark sky ground somewhere in Potter County, PA!
I think I'll make the plunge on the door tomorrow. I havent posted a pic of the business end of the tank yet (this area would be where all the fittings are for vents, plumbing, etc). Thats the part that is going to be cut out for the door. Theres some really weird compound cuts to make through the reinforcement ribs, then there will be a radius cut to make on the frame of the door to fit the curvature of the tank body. Im hoping to find a scratch n dent door tomorrow (keeping my fingers crossed)!
Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:41 PM
I got the other half of the shutter built. Went ahead with the design that telescopes within the other half - wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but, if you look closely in the photo, you'll notice that there is a gap between the upper shutter and shutter frame! I intend to minimize the gap by cutting the 2x4 framing down (thinning), so that the dolly wheel won't be as high a profile off the frame, and the mating shutter. Worse comes to worse, I'll just cut a new set of ply rails (thicker to accommodate the gap).
Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:50 PM
Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:25 PM
Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:41 AM
Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:44 AM
Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:52 AM
What I did manage yesterday was to cut the door down to fit the entry hole. As indicated a couple of days ago, the six panel door went to a four panel in a hurry. I don't know exactly how much I cut off the top, but overall the hole height wise is 67.5 inches. I sawed the top off right at the level of the top panels and wanted to make it look as symmetrical as possible, so I ended up taking a couple inches off the bottom as well. Of course, trimming both ends meant more work in fitting the frame, etc, but it was worth it.
After making my cuts, I recovered the top and bottom end plates that were in the door, roughed out the polystyrene foam in the core of the door, then glued them back in with some polyurethane glue. As you can see from the picture, it came out just as good as a factory door.
Hopefully I get over this cold this week and I'll be back in business.
Posted 03 March 2013 - 10:33 PM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:08 PM
Then came the really exciting part. I grabbed a couple of 2x8's out of the basement and set them on the top edge of the base. Then I dragged the dome out of the garage and proceeded to ramp it up atop the base - yes I used my little Kubota with a front-end loader to push it up there, ever so slowly so as to not topple it or knock the dome off the boards! Successfully got it safely in-place!
The dome turns very freely! One thing that I did not consider, is that by mounting the wheels tight against the base like I did, and with a tapered skate wheel, that there is NO need for wheels to keep the dome centered on the base. The wheels are just as tight against the dome edge, so the taper of the wheel is doing this job.
I'll put up pics of the mock-up on Monday!
Lots of finish work to do, and, I still have to finish the shutters, and glass them.
So far, so good!
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:15 PM
Sorry Couldnt resist. I await your photos
Do you have a peir in the ground yet???
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:20 PM
Trouble by the house is limited view.
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:45 PM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:53 PM
Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:57 PM