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New Dome Observatory Build

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#51 jblockyou

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

I don't really measure the length of the ribs. I start with an oversize rib and just start trimming it down until it's the right length. I start with the longer ones in case I cut one too short. That way I can still use it where a shorter one needs to be. I plan on moving the dome on a flat trailer out to the observatory when it's ready. I think I'm going to have to use a small crane or a heavy duty bucket truck. My last dome (8 foot) was setup on the garage observatory using a bucket truck from a friend of mine who work for the electric company. It only weighed about 150 pounds though. Thanks everyone for all the great comments.

#52 SteveGR

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:38 AM

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


Ah, interesting, you built a dome previously, your current was a roll off and now the new one will be a dome again? Did you find that you preferred a dome to the roll off type? I know each have their advantages, but I haven't talked to many people who have had both.

#53 jblockyou

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 12:42 PM

I like both types of observatories but since this observatory will be located in a open field, a dome works better when it's windy, and there seems to be a lot of wind where I live now. The roll off observatory is nice because it lets you see more of the sky but it won't block the wind as much. There always seems to be part of my telescope that sticks up above the top of the walls (dew shield) in a roll off, unless you have really high walls, which cuts down on your viewing area. Since the new observatory location allows me to view almost to the horizon, the dome will allow me to do this and still block the wind. In my last dome I was able to do deep sky imaging with 20 mph winds and it didn't affect the scope at all. I just need to make sure I get the telescope up high enough inside the dome to view over the walls. If I was in town where there were trees or buildings (a little wind block) and didn't have a very low view near the horizon, I would go with a roll off. They are much easier to build.

#54 jblockyou

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:18 PM

I picked up the sheet metal this morning and managed to get the back installed.
Sheet Metal On Back

#55 SteveGR

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:22 PM

What type of fasteners are you using? Self-tapping? Are you using any kind of sealant between pieces?

#56 jblockyou

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:55 PM

I'm using sheet metal screws to attach the metal to the wood. I use a sheet metal punch to make the holes first and silicone sealant where the pieces overlap.

#57 jblockyou

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:10 PM

I managed to finally get all the ribs installed on one side.
Outside View
Inside View

#58 tim57064

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:44 AM

Wow,13 ribs per side. That should make it quite stable and the finished look should be great. :waytogo:

#59 jblockyou

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:42 AM

I managed to get the back part of the dome sealed last night and painted this morning.
Back Sealed and Painted

#60 SteveGR

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:51 AM

I managed to get the back part of the dome sealed and painted last night and this morning.
Back Sealed and Painted


That looks good. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it is complete. Did you do anything special to prepare the surface? What type of paint are you using?

#61 jblockyou

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

The wood was coated with Minwax Polyurethane and I cleaned the sheet metal with vinegar before I painted them. The paint I used was Rust-Oleum Satin White Enamel. It takes a couple of coats to make it look smooth.

#62 jblockyou

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

I managed to get three pieces of metal cut and installed this afternoon.
3 Pieces of Metal Installed

#63 tim57064

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:26 AM

Very Nice. What are you using to make the clean cuts in the sheet metal,electric shears?

#64 jblockyou

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 10:53 AM

I'm using electric shears to cut the sheet metal. I tried both types, the ones that take out about a 1/4" of metal and the nibbler type. The nibbler type seem to work better and faster on thinner sheet metal like what I'm using.

Attached Files



#65 dmcnally

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:40 PM

I've really enjoyed watching your progress. You're going to have a great observatory when you're done.

This should be enough width when I put the 26 gauge metal on between the ribs.

I'm curious. Is the skin aluminum?

Dave

#66 jblockyou

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 09:25 PM

The skin is 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal typically used for furnace ducting and other things.

#67 dmcnally

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:01 AM

The skin is 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal typically used for furnace ducting and other things.


Thanks. It just didn't look like the galvanized pipe cover I replaced a little while ago.

I have another question. Are you going to put insulation, or some kind of liner, inside the sheet metal for condensation?

Thanks again,
Dave

#68 jblockyou

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 10:25 AM

The inside will be all bare with a couple of coats of flat black enamel paint. I am considering an exhaust fan mounted near the top back with a thermostat that kicks the fan on when the inside gets to a certain temperature. I have five days off work starting on Thursday, May 22nd and plan on working on the dome each day for 10 hours. I need to get this done!

#69 MHamburg

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

The skin is 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal typically used for furnace ducting and other things.




I have another question. Are you going to put insulation, or some kind of liner, inside the sheet metal for condensation?

Thanks again,
Dave

I have never sen evidence for the need to insulate the dome in the 25 years it has survived all types of New England weather. (It does have some dents from giant hailstones.)
Michael

#70 jblockyou

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:50 AM

I'm caught up on painting. Now to install some more ribs and sheet metal. I have to paint as I go so I can reach it.
Painting Caught Up

#71 Midnight Dan

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:23 AM

Are you putting any kind of caulking between the metal panels during assembly? Or are you planning to do that afterwards? I would think without some kind of sealant, it would leak in a storm.

-Dan

#72 MHamburg

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:41 AM

Are you putting any kind of caulking between the metal panels during assembly? Or are you planning to do that afterwards? I would think without some kind of sealant, it would leak in a storm.

-Dan

I would suggest using an opaque sealant, so that even if sealed from the weather, you don't have the disquieting effect of light coming through the seams (in the daytime, of course).
Michael

#73 jblockyou

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 11:10 AM

There is a pretty heavy bead of silicone caulk between both pieces of metal. I am also caulking the inside and then painting both sides. Hopefully there will be no leaks.

#74 jblockyou

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:05 PM

Today I got 5 more sheet metal panels cut, drilled and mounted. I also started on painting the inside.
5 More Panel Installed
Started Painting The Inside

#75 dmdouglass

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:24 PM

You are indeed, a busy man.
And your project is looking good !!!






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