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Drywall alternatives

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#1 ErikB

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:50 AM

I have gotten to the point in observatory construction where I am about to cover the insides of the framed walls. This project has been going on for years, and there have been times when the top (ED2) was not yet on, and significant amounts of rain water collected on the concrete floor. This caused visible swelling at the bottom of the OSB on the walls. No lasting damage, but having seen the sight makes me want to avoid seeing it again, even if I should forget to close the dome in the future. I am thinking that if I choose a water-friendly material for the inside of the walls, and then caulk along the bottom with NP1, then water will not be able to hurt sill plates, studs and OSB. The question is what material to choose. I like plywood better than cement board or green board because it is easy to attach things to plywood (such as in hanging pictures etc). I am looking at 1/2" pressure-treated plywood that is affordable. That should keep termites away, but is the pressure treatment really good for avoiding water damage? Should I instead try to find marine plywood? Green board is not expensive, but how water-resistant is it really? Is it better than ordinary gypsum drywall for the picture-hanging scenario? Thanks in advance for any comments.

#2 Starhawk

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

There is the possibility of corrugated polycarbonate roofing panels. Put the exterior uv resistant side towards the interior. Of course, this isn't so good for hanging pictures on. It should be easy to clean, though. You would have the option of white (which could diffuse LED lighting behind it), black, green, or clear. Clear has the possibility of putting posters, star maps, or LED lights behind it.

-Rich

#3 csa/montana

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:11 AM

even if I should forget to close the dome in the future.



I would be more concerned with my equipment, rather than the wall material; if a rainstorm hit with the observatory open.

If the concrete floor is not sealed, it will absorb the moisture, and everything in your observatory will experience the dampness.

Years ago, in my former home; when we had our basement walls covered with cement board, a leak from our sprinkling system had found it's way in, and the cement board absorbed the moisture & completely warped, despite being painted.

I've used pegboard for my walls in the observatory. Easy to hang things, and very easy & inexpensive to replace, if damaged.

#4 stmguy

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:14 AM

I don't think I'd use PT plywood inside as I think it "gases off" some pretty bad stuff for some time

Norm

#5 berlinstar

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:19 AM

Are you planning on leaving the in-place OSB? Why not go to a fabric store and purchase some cheap cotton or burlap fabric, and afix it with tacs top to bottom of your walls? You could pleat it to cover the tacs and also improve on aesthetics?

#6 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

Here's what I'm using. We'll see how it works out. It looks pretty nice and was relatively inexpensive.

http://www.homedepot...t-Plywood-Un...

Beo

#7 berlinstar

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:43 AM

I'd keep it an inch or so off your floor to prevent it from swelling (moisture). Cover the bottom with another material (like the rubber baseboard you can buy, or even the foam baseboard.

#8 John P

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:28 PM

Why cover it at all? If you leave it uncovered (exposed studs) any water will evaporate better. There are ways to keep it attractive with exposed studs. Otherwise, leave a gap at the bottom that's covered by wood or vinyl base. Water resistant gyp board is far from waterproof

#9 mdowns

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:34 PM

The thought of not leting it come in contact to the floor is ideal. I would leave your choice 3" up.Green board is water resistant but only when uncompromised. If you tear or penetrate the surface,you've lost its moisture resistance at that point. If you leave your board 3" up you can find large covebase or make a ceramic cove (think cheap floor tiles) to finish the bottom with.As an alternative you can run the bottom 12" with concrete board then drywall the rest of the way up.

#10 berlinstar

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:03 PM

I was thinking of this stuff...

http://www.homedepot...d=10051&lang...

#11 ErikB

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for the many ideas. I take it the greenboard is like regular drywall but with a plastic surface layer. I really like the idea of rubber or vinyl baseboard, and will try to get a look at those products. If I go with it, I might use regular plywood above it. However, the baseboard idea makes me think of another idea. When I lived in Europe, I used to see a lot of bathrooms with vinyl floors that were welded with hot air into continuous sheets including baseboards. At Home Depot they have never heard about it, but I like the idea for the bathroom that is also part of my new building. (The building contains an 11x11 obs, a bathroom about the same size, and a 14x24 control room/workshop.) Maybe this kind of floor is too industrial-looking to be popular in the U.S., but I could see the baseboard parts being good and less expensive for the obs room. Maybe such products can be found here if I look for industrial flooring?

#12 Mary B

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:13 PM

maybe this? http://www.menards.c...wood-siding/... pre-primed just make sure to prime any cut edges then paint to your interior color. Takes paint well, used it to side my house. 50 year warranty too

#13 roscoe

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

Or.....the old-time carpenter-in-me speaking again, you could use real wood. it doesn't de-laminate. or off-gas.
R

#14 Starhawk

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:39 AM

Home Depot is useless. You'll need to talk to a dedicated flooring shop to find the welded vinyl flooring. But think about your expensive stuff as CSA Montana suggested. You could seal the concrete and use metal for the building. But if your scope and mount are ruined, does it matter?

-Rich

#15 ErikB

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:27 PM

I plan to seal the concrete in the entire building with 2-component non-water-based epoxy paint from Sherwin Williams, as I am impressed with how that worked for my garage. The main question there is whether I should go for a different color for the obs and bathroom vs the control room. It comes in 2-gallon kits, and it is tricky to mix less than the full kit. The welded thermoplastic floor would be nice for the bathroom, but I am guessing that it would be rather expensive if I can find it. Actually, I did find one brand at ctsflooring.com, but it seems to be 1/4" thick, whereas I had expected less than 1/8". For just baseboard the black ROPPE stuff at Home Depot ($69.54 for 120 ft) should work for the obs, but I don't particularly fancy the black color for the bathroom. Of course it would be nice to have a soft rubber floor for the obs, so that is something to consider. A slight complication is my cable trenches that lead up to the pier. BTW I made those with a piece of lumber pressed into the wet concrete, attached to a wider strip of 1/4" aluminum (also pressed into the concrete) that functions as a lid. (This was a less than optimal approach, as the edges of the concrete chipped when I pulled out this form, and the fit of the lid is too tight. I will need to use a grinder and patching cement to make adjustments.) If I use any type of rubber to cover the floor, it will have to be cut to allow the aluminum strips to be lifted. Carol is of course right about the need to protect the equipment. Both because of possible moisture and because of high summer temperatures here near Phoenix, I intend not to keep computer equipment permanently in the obs. OK, maybe some old computer. The mount, scopes and cameras will need to stay, as I am building the whole facility in order to avoid nightly equipment assembly work. Based on advice I got in another thread some time ago, I have a ventilation fan as well as a window a/c unit in the obs. Maybe the biggest issue with equipment protection will be to remember to shut the dome and to turn on the fan or a/c. I see the attraction of pegboard walls, but I like something more solid to which I can easily attach shelves and maybe dome rotation motors and control equipment.

#16 1965healy

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

Are you planning on leaving the in-place OSB? Why not go to a fabric store and purchase some cheap cotton or burlap fabric, and afix it with tacs top to bottom of your walls? You could pleat it to cover the tacs and also improve on aesthetics?

The inside of my ROR has black weed stop fabric stapled to the walls. It gives me access to the studs for hanging shelves, it covers the insulation between the studs and being black it makes it really dark inside. It's cheap, easy to put up and over the years I've been very happy with it. The Obs is weather tight thanks to Scotty at BYO and I've never had a leak.

#17 Starman27

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:22 AM

I used exterior wood paneling for the interior walls and stained it. The observatory by design is open to the outside when in use and not fully sealed when not in use, so the exterior material made sense. The walls have been up 23 years now with no problems and no maintenance issues.

#18 iandodd

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:53 PM

In my industry we use a product called Centrex. I believe it is made as a material for making molds but we use for so-called "dance floor". It comes in 4' X 8' X 1/4" sheets and looks akin to black ABS plastic. Tough and smooth on both sides. It makes a great surface for rolling heavy objects with minimum vibration. I've always thought it would be a great wall material in my someday observatory. Googling it doesn't turn up anything useful by that name.






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