Jump to content


Photo

New Dome Observatory Build

  • Please log in to reply
184 replies to this topic

#1 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

The weather has finally permitted me to start building my new 11.5' diameter dome for the observatory. I thought I would build the dome first and the lower part of the building once the dome is completed. I will update this thread as I get more done. Following are links to view the work I have done so far.
Custom built 14 foot table for cutting out the arcs from the plywood.
Dual routers to make cutting the arcs faster.
36 4 foot arcs needed for the two base rings.
Layout of the 11.5 foot O.D. base ring to get an idea of the actual size.

#2 seryddwr

seryddwr

    Innocent Bystander

  • *****
  • Posts: 3365
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2010
  • Loc: La-la land.

Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:57 PM

That's such a good idea for making multiple arcs. :waytogo: Good luck on your final project.

#3 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11287
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:34 PM

Very cool! Just curious ... why the odd measurement of 11.5 feet?
-Dan

#4 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:51 PM

Very cool! Just curious ... why the odd measurement of 11.5 feet?
-Dan

I wanted the circumference of the dome to come out with a even number of one foot spaces. In this case, (11.46x3.14)=36. I plan on spacing the ribs 12 inches apart at the base. This also makes the cut of ribs at the top of the dome to be 90 degrees, 80 degrees, 70 degrees, 60 degrees and so on.

#5 Bill Leasure

Bill Leasure

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2014
  • Loc: San Antonio Texas

Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:58 PM

Wow really like the layout. The dual router is way to cool. Looks like this is going to be a fun build.
I will following this for sure.

#6 tadpoletoo

tadpoletoo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 167
  • Joined: 18 Apr 2011
  • Loc: NW Michigan

Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:05 PM

You are off to a good start! Nice size also.

#7 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11287
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:42 PM

Dual routers? Must allow you to get on the internet twice as fast! :lol:
-Dan

#8 Bob Griffiths

Bob Griffiths

    Getting Grouchy

  • *****
  • Posts: 10620
  • Joined: 10 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Frederick Maryland

Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:43 AM

Wow... I'm impressed with your work space and the amount of time it took you to build the table to swing the routers around on...

As a woodworker with a small shop ... space is something I envy

Bob G

#9 MHamburg

MHamburg

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1036
  • Joined: 21 Jun 2006
  • Loc: Brooklyn, NY/Berkshires, MA

Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:57 PM

Please keep the pics coming!
Michael

#10 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 01 April 2014 - 06:57 PM

I now have the dome assembly table finished and the two sets of base rings completed. The table has height adjustments on each leg. This allowed me to make sure the table was flat before gluing the base rings together. I have to measure and mark out evenly spaced lines where the ribs will go. I also have to mark out where the 16 wheels will go so the dome will rotate. A lot of calculating and measuring to do, so it might be a few days before I can update this thread. I am going to start on the ribs for the sliding door next and work on the wheels.
Base Ring Assembly

#11 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:22 AM

The location of the observatory has been decided and is marked (small white dome) on the light pollution map which can be viewed using the following link.
Dome Location on Light Pollution Map

#12 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:21 PM

I finished cutting out the 18 arc pieces that will become the slit to look out of the dome.
18 Arced Pieces for Slit

#13 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:09 PM

I have the slit pieces put together and set it up on the base for a test fit, some measurements and a few calculations.
Slit Pieces Assembled and Test Fit

#14 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:29 PM

Here are the sky views from the observatory location.
View to the North
View to the East
View to the South
View to the West

#15 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11287
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:20 AM

Wow! Those horizons will make for an awesome observatory site!

-Dan

#16 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:12 PM

Here are 32 pieces 4 inches wide cut from 2 sheets of 4x8 plywood that are going to be used as the side ribs. They are 3/8" thick and I am going to glue two layers together so I can reach the distance needed. Each rib will be 3/4" thick when finished. I estimate I will need another 32 for the other side.
32 pieces to make 16 ribs

#17 tim57064

tim57064

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA

Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:56 AM

jblockyou,It's great to see your progress on the build.I was wondering about the thickness on the ribs of the dome though.
I realize that nearly all home built domes have been made with the 3/4" thickness and I understand that it saves a lot of weight,yet would it not be better if they were doubled up 3/4" or at least one 3/4" piece along with say 1/2" piece to allow more edge surface? I would think that there would not be enough space for 2 panels to meet and be attached. Or are the panels overlapped on each other?
Still think 1 1/4" thick ribs would be stronger than 3/4".
Just curious here?

#18 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:38 AM

The base rings and the main arch for the door slit are actually 3/4" plywood doubled up to provide 1.50" thickness. The smaller ribs will be 3/8" doubled up to be 3/4" thick. This should be enough width when I put the 26 gauge metal on between the ribs. Each piece of metal covering will overlap the previous one 3/4" and be caulked between them. Then both pieces will be screwed down to the rib with a screw about every 6 inches. See the attached diagram.
Rib Assembly Diagram

#19 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:56 PM

Spent the day making the dome roller parts and attached the roller brackets to the rollers.
Roller Parts
Roller Brackets Attached

#20 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:51 PM

I finished up the parts for the inside rollers that will keep the dome centered on it's base. Also put in the posts for the lower half of the building which will sit under the dome.
Inside Roller Parts
Lower Observatory Posts

#21 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:16 PM

I worked on the observatory floor today. I cut the 4x4's down to three feet above the ground and I have the main frame finished and I am ready for the floor joist. I also got the pier hole dug.
Observatory Floor

#22 FOUNTAIN1

FOUNTAIN1

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 349
  • Joined: 07 Aug 2011
  • Loc: Winder, Ga

Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:35 PM

It's looking great! I love those skies and horizons. :bow:

#23 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:40 PM

I dug the hole for the pier and coated both base rings today with polyurethane and built the plywood form that will be used to hold the concrete when I pour it. The hole is 4 feet deep. The pier will be 5 1/2 feet above the ground level and 2 1/2 above the floor level inside the observatory. On top of that there will be a metal pier attached which is about 2 1/2 tall. This will allow me to view down to the horizon with 5 foot walls.
Plywood Pier Form

#24 tim57064

tim57064

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1498
  • Joined: 23 Aug 2012
  • Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA

Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:10 AM

jblockyou,that's going to be a pretty substantial pier. Are those metal straps around it to help with the possibility of blow out? Also,are you planning on leaving the wood around the pier? That would look better than the concrete itself.
It will definitely take some time for that much concrete to cure.

#25 jblockyou

jblockyou

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 19 Jul 2010
  • Loc: Greenview, Illinois

Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:28 AM

The straps are just the regular ratchet type cloth tie down straps. I just put them on as extra safety for blow out. I am taking the plywood off after the concrete sets. There is a 30 inch metal pier that will mount on top of this concrete one where the mount and scope will sit. The concrete pier will only stick up above the observatory floor level about 30 inches.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics