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Loose Rooster Observatory

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#76 audioaficionado

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 04:18 PM

Once you get the exterior all wrapped, you can work on the interior at your leisure rain or shine.

#77 Footbag

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 11:07 AM

I'm ahead of schedule...

The angle iron showed up early...
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I've been mentioning to my friends that I was going to need to pull a favor. I would love to have them show up Monday to give me a lift. That was about my time frame for having the rolling roof base finished. Well, I got out of work early yesterday and banged them out before it got dark.
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After it got dark, I began convincing my wife and our friend that the three of us could manage it in the morning. They didn't think so. I told them I had a plan, but they wouldn't listen. Then at 11pm, I told them nevermind. I had an idea. I put in an hour or so of work and look what is on top of the observatory.
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It rolls very smoothly. I do need to add some bracing to it. That should help keep it square while I'm building the roof.

I'm going with a stick built roof with a ridge beam. I've got my angles calculated, I just have to get the beam up there. That could be tough or easy. We will see.

#78 Footbag

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 02:34 PM

Between thunderstorms, I made some progress on the roof...
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Got all of the framing done in 4 hours of work. Then it took me at least as long to sheath it. I don't mind cutting 2x's, but I hate cutting plywood and OSB.

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Since I haven't ordered the roofing yet, I put felt up. I think my roofing will take a week and a half to come in. My siding will be delivered tomorrow, but I'm taking a building break until next Monday.

My Dan's pier plate also shipped. That means I'll be doing the final concrete soon too.

My feeling is all of the tough stuff is done. I've lifted my heaviest boards, cut my toughest cuts; now I'm just waiting till I can say I have an observatory. I'm really looking forward to doing some observing and imaging.

#79 Footbag

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:45 PM

We had heavy rains and flash flood warnings through the night. My observatory isn't sided or roofed yet. I stopped home to see how much water got in and where.

Nothing. Not a drop. Where I was a bit concerned before, I'm feeling good about this.

#80 Raginar

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:44 PM

Rain inside isn't that big of a deal. Contractors do it all the time and you just use a paint to seal the wood... I'm assuming your floor is already sealed since you have the walls up.

A little water ain't gonna kill it.

Looks great.

#81 Footbag

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 08:58 AM

Rain inside isn't that big of a deal. Contractors do it all the time and you just use a paint to seal the wood... I'm assuming your floor is already sealed since you have the walls up.

A little water ain't gonna kill it.

Looks great.


I've already been there. I couldn't prevent the framing from getting rained on. Fortunately, I used PT for the flooring. I did use OSB for the walls and roof, I don't believe it is advisable to let that get wet. So I wrapped the walls and put the tar paper on the roof. Ironically, roofing felt was originally designed not as a waterproof layer, but as a protection for the roof during construction. At some point, they integrated it into the building process, slightly changed the material, and suggested leaving it on as an added protection layer.

My roof is up and felted and my walls are on and wrapped. So I'm really just assessing the water resistance of the structure without the vinyl siding and metal roofing.

Since it keeps all the moisture out without the final coverings, I think that means it is well waterproofed. I had concerns about my eaves which currently don't have an overhang, but will have a 2" one when I'm done.

#82 Raginar

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:09 AM

You made a deck for your flooring right? How are you keeping the bugs and crawlies from getting into your shed? Did you put down screen material?

#83 Footbag

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 09:27 AM

You made a deck for your flooring right? How are you keeping the bugs and crawlies from getting into your shed? Did you put down screen material?


Actually the PT plywood is the subfloor. I am going to put something like luan over it and then use some leftover flooring I have from another project.

I'm moving away from carpet as I'm hoping to be able to wipe the whole interior down with a rag. So the interior wall and flooring must be waterproof. I may use PVC panels for the walls.

As for the bugs, I'm going to use a pesticide.

#84 Raginar

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 10:45 PM

:) Pesticides are my favorite answer.

#85 Footbag

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:00 AM

I finished all but a 15m worth of siding(the opposite peak). I had to paint the fascia first and am about to order my roofing.
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I also poured the top of the pier. It has a generous amount of conduit in there. I'm wondering whether I can bring AC and DC through the same conduit.
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I love it when you get twice as much done as you expected.

#86 tim57064

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:12 AM

Wow, the shake style siding you chose looks great,love that look. Great job. Thanks for keeping us up to date. I check out the observatory posts,as they are my favorite, every day and seems as though the number of posts are slowing. Keep up the good work! :waytogo:

#87 corpusse

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 09:51 AM

Building looks great! Sorry to hear about the Rooster.

#88 Footbag

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

Thanks for the comments. I haven't posted much because the weather wasn't cooperating. Fortunately I got twice as much done as I expected in the last two days.

I will keep updating it as posts like this were my best reference when I was planning and building my observatory. To be honest, 75% of my building knowledge came from forum posts. Hopefully this helps others in the future.

It looks like I may be using the observatory in a week or so. I have plans for the interior, but haven't done any observing or imaging in over a month.

#89 shawnhar

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:53 PM

Coming along very nicely!

#90 Footbag

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:24 PM

Well, my observatory has AC power! My friend came over to help me get an electrical plan and parts list. He offered to come back the next day to help me out. By the time he called, I had it all setup and the breakers were on.

There's no DC yet, but that should be the easy part. At least now, I can switch on the light and work in the dark.

I'm planning on getting the conduit to the pier setup for DC, Ethernet and USB and then taking a building break. I think I'm going to mount the telescope tomorrow. Or maybe tonight. But then I'll break it down.

I still don't have my roofing, but it should be here Friday or so.

My plans for the interior are to use moisture resistant sheetrock and some basic trim. I'm considering buying some white plexiglass and fabricating a glowing chair rail. This would glow red or white or whatever color I chose. I may also make it double as a flatpanel if possible.

#91 audioaficionado

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:32 PM

Make sure that sheetrock is mold proof. I have black mold all over my house that comes out of the old style paper backed gypsum sheetrock.

#92 Footbag

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:38 PM

Yup. This will be the green stuff.

#93 audioaficionado

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 03:50 PM

Make sure it's mold proof. That product has been around for decades and is great for mastic glue on ceramic tile as it doesn't crumble, but it has to have nothing for the mold to eat or strong inhibitors to prevent its growth. Perhaps the new versions already have these properties since black mold health issue are so widely published.

#94 Footbag

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:00 PM

Make sure it's mold proof. That product has been around for decades and is great for mastic glue on ceramic tile as it doesn't crumble, but it has to have nothing for the mold to eat or strong inhibitors to prevent its growth. Perhaps the new versions already have these properties since black mold health issue are so widely published.


Yes. They say something like mold resistant right on the side. I'll look further into it to make sure, but I know it has something about mold on the side.

#95 audioaficionado

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:10 PM

Then your paint will be the final mold barrier.

#96 Footbag

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:40 AM

I was debating whether or not to put the telescope on the pier. I figured that as soon as I put it on, I'd want to polar align and start using it. It may just kill my motivation to put some of the finishing touches on the observatory.

Well, I couldn't resist...
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But as soon as it was up, the clouds moved in. I guess I will have some time to do the finishing touches. I really hope to be using it next week. I just need to find or build a desk and run my DC. I'm going to hold off on sheetrock until the end of the summer.

I don't want to cover up the walls to have to rip them out to add something.

#97 Raginar

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:17 PM

Looks great. Nothing wrong with leaving it studs, bro.

#98 JJK

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 06:58 AM

The observatory looks great and you got it built rather quickly.

#99 Footbag

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:46 AM

Thanks for the comments.

Right before I started construction, I bought a new finderscope and sold my old one. I completely forgot about it, but when I tried to use it, I found it didn't quite let me hit the alignment point. It turns out the diagonal was rubbing the bottom of the finder bracket. I did some grinding a few months ago and though I had ground enough. Turns out it wasn't enough.

So I couldn't use really the observatory last night, and I'm away for the weekend. But, I think the finder is sufficiently ground and I should be using it Monday.

The roofing still isn't on, but the building is keeping the water out well. Roofing should be here next week. That should go quickly, as with DC, USB and Cat5e wiring.

I'm still just coming to grips with the fact that I have an observatory. It was cloudy last night, but between the clouds I had the roof opened up a few times(trying to align the finder). Normally, when I break down, I regret it. Now, there is no breakdown. Just an occasional switching of the solar scope for the refractor.

#100 csa/montana

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

Adam, you will wonder how you did without an observatory! So many times I lugged my dob, access. case, chair out on the deck for it to cool down, only to have clouds move it as it got dark.

Now, just a few seconds & I'm observing!

Congratulations on your new observatory! :bow:






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