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New Dome Observatory Build

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#26 BPO

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:36 PM

One possible option:

A technical college not too far from me has industrial laser-cutting workshops that get almost no use because these days their students do most of their learning on job sites. The tutors and staff use the workshops for their personal projects now, and are willing to cut ply arcs for me at a very low cost.

The computer-controlled cutters are fast and efficient, with absolutely minimal wastage. And of course it means I'm not fooling around with jigsaws and routers and making a huge mess of it all. Any off-cuts can be accurately shaped to fit between the arcs, or for anything else, because the computer has no problems cutting figures, where I definitely would!

On top of that, ply prices in the area have collapsed due to the vast quantity imported into the region as a result of the Christhurch earthquakes and the subsequent repair jobs. It's still way more expensive than it is in the US, but much cheaper than anywhere else in NZ.

Maybe contacting your local technical colleges could be worthwhile for anyone planning to cut dome arcs. The cost would likely be low and the savings in time, labour and wastage would be immense. (Well, certainly in my case, anyway! :grin:)

#27 jblockyou

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:26 AM

I finished up the rollers on the base ring and have the main arc installed for the slit. here's a short video of the dome rotating.
Short Dome Rotating Video

#28 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:44 AM

I see that this video IS PRIVATE....
LOL

Bob G

#29 Midnight Dan

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:21 AM

Nice! Those inline skate wheels are the same ones they use on the SkyShed POD. They work well!
-Dan

#30 Bob Griffiths

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:33 AM

Thanks for changing the Private problem...

While I appreciated the video I was honestly blown away by the room you have in that shop..

I have to move my drill press to use my joiner and have to use my outfeed table on my cabinet saw as a workbench ...

Bob G

#31 Rustynuts

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:38 PM

If you haven't poured the concrete yet, may I suggest that you use a thin layer of caulk or silicone to line the inside edges of the Form. if the form is not water tight then it will leak some and if it leaks enough can create voids. also vibrate the concrete as you go.

#32 jblockyou

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:19 PM

Been busy this weekend working on observatory.
I finished getting all the floor joist in and the pier poured. Worked on the dome also and have the main slit secured and two side ribs attached.
Floor Joist Installed
Pier
Dome Front View
Dome Side View

#33 Raginar

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 08:21 PM

Beautiful, are you going to automate it too? The pier looks great.

#34 nytecam

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:41 AM

Very nice construction and progress reports on your fine obsy - hope it's ok to share my similar DIY 10ft dome from the '70s -
it's frameless...
except for very strong diaphragm box-beam at perimeter...
with 1/8" marine ply gores - 3 per 8' x 4' sheet...
"stitched" together at 4" intervals with copper wire...
and clad in aluminium [ex-Roneo plate] "tiles"....
with seams sealed with Flashband self-adhesive strip...
still there after 45yrs but now a store - see avatar background :grin:

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#35 jblockyou

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:17 PM

Looks Great! Very novel design.

#36 jblockyou

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:11 PM

I finished the floor this morning. Ready for the stairs and walls.
Finished Floor

#37 jblockyou

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:16 PM

I finished the wall framing and got the stairs installed. I put a tarp down on the floor since it is suppose to rain this afternoon.
Wall Framing and stairs

#38 tim57064

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:31 PM

Lookin' Good,weather must be interfering a little huh?

#39 jblockyou

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 03:31 PM

Yea... It keeps sprinkling then it quits and then it sprinkles again. The wind is really bad today.

#40 Midnight Dan

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 05:02 PM

Looks like you've got some framing experience. :waytogo:

-Dan

#41 Lord Beowulf

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 10:14 PM

Looking cool. I still want to do a dome some day, but not sure the wife will let me!

Beo

#42 jblockyou

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 06:45 PM

I got the carsiding on and painted this weekend and the inside stained.
Carsiding on and Painted
Interior Stained and Still Wet

#43 SteveGR

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:23 PM

Out of curiosity, is the equipment in your signature the equipment you are going to mount in the observatory? That would be a heck of a nice setup. Equipment like that is a ways off for me, but luckily our club has an excellent facility.

#44 jblockyou

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:06 PM

Yes, the equipment list is what I'm going to be using once the dome is finished. I just moved about a month ago to darker skies and my roll off roof observatory at my previous house still has the equipment in it. Hopefully I can get this dome finished in a few weeks or so and get everything moved in. Here's a photo of my old observatory.

Attached Files


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#45 SteveGR

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:40 PM

Very nice. Are you going from plans? Or is most/all of this your own design? I ask, because I may be able to do something like this in three or four years.

And the big question, have you picked a name for your observatory yet?

#46 Midnight Dan

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 05:28 PM

Eh. Not bad. :bigshock:



:lol:
-Dan

#47 jblockyou

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 07:24 PM

Its my own design. I built an 8 foot dome about 16 years ago. This is a much better design than I did before. I haven't picked a name yet. I have been working on making and installing the ribs. I have the back quarter made and installed and I have one piece of sheet metal cut, bent and fitted in the back.
Right Rear Ribs Installed

#48 averen

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:02 PM

How are you measuring to cut the ribs? That caused me a good amount of pain on my dome.

Jared

#49 mikey cee

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:47 PM

Looks like a very professional job on the steps...right down to the correct height on the first riser. Clean looking equipment layout also. :waytogo: Mike

#50 MHamburg

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:11 AM

Beautiful job on the dome! How are you going to get it on the building?
Michael






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