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Barker's Bluff Observatory Begins

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#26 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:46 AM

So after four more days, things are really shaping up.
The "Dob Deck" is framed. I didn't picture seat backs on the benches, but love the look. They will not block the view as I use my dob on a stand that gets it 16-18 inches off the floor.

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#27 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:50 AM

The 18 inch culvert forms are in the holes and braced. They will have rebar cages placed within, and Jeremiah plans to pass rebar through each tube within the deadman blocks to tie it all together.

Tubes are plumb... camera was not

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#28 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:52 AM

Pier formers.
18 inch culvert was easier to find than 18 inch Sonotube, plus the black will be less visible in elevated design

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#29 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:53 AM

Another image

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#30 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:56 AM

So here is the framing for the part I originally had in my head... 12x16 observatory with 16 ft usable deck below roll-off gantry.

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#31 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:00 AM

Here is the preliminary framing for the add-on "entertainment complex/multi-use room" that made the deal fly.

Floor is in place. Final roof height will be determined once ROR is in place. Pitch will be identical. The roof for this room will nest under the ROR, to allow this room to be watertight with the exception of the cased openings facing the outdoor fireplace.

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#32 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:03 AM

And the entire structure comes together like this:

It DID NOT look nearly this big when I had stakes in the ground and a little orange paint. Having said that, I think we will get a lot of use out of it for astronomy and entertaining.

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#33 Midnight Dan

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:32 AM

This is really nice! Combining the :entertainment complex" with the observatory is a stroke of genius!

Added bonus - you can still use the deck when it's raining by sliding the roof over it! Amirite? Wait ... there may be a flaw in that plan ... :scratchhead:

:grin: - Dan

#34 JHGIII

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

Entertaining complex was my "compromise" to get the deal done... Oh well, everyone has his cross to bear. Sliding roof for rain... Can you say wet astro gear?
The right side deck will be covered at all times of course.

One of the best things about living in the sticks is no zoning, no homeowner's association. All to code for safety reasons, but I can build whatever I want and change the plan on the fly. This has really been fun and I haven't even used it as an observatory yet!

#35 hm insulators

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:44 AM

Ha. Barker's Bluff is the name of our property here at the lake. My wife is a Veterinarian, so our home is the Land of Misfit Toys for dogs no one else could/would keep. All are special needs projects or found by the side of the road. Our Treeing Walker Coon Hound was one of the inspirations for the name. The lake is Alabama Power project that was made in the early 60's. When they flooded the valley, some areas of the lake are up on high rock bluffs overlooking the water. Gorgeous this time of year.


I've heard of coon hounds in general, but is the Treeing Walker Coon Hound a separate kind? Never heard of it.

Pretty countryside, though. Now where did I put my hiking boots? :grin:

#36 JHGIII

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:09 PM

AKC recognized Walkers in 2012, but they've been around here for many years.
http://www.akc.org/b...hound/index.cfm
Hiking is best here in the colder months unless you don't mind bugs, copperheads and rattlers. Oh and our coon hound was a snake alert dog too. Great to let her drag you through the forest knowing she'd pull up and point at so much as a shed snake skin.

Weather has been awful with lots of thunder and lightning since Friday so construction has slowed a bit. The Dob Deck is almost done. V-groove casters are here and waiting for dock company to incorporate into the frame for the roof.

Contractors were hoping for the big concrete pour on Friday, but the weather crushed that. Even though Obs floor plywood decking covers the holes for the piers, I found about 8 inches of water in the hole that went to solid rock. Water brought some silt with it. I built a small diversion wall Saturday to prevent that from worsening, and asked the guys to scoop out the mud and get back to solid rock base. Hopefully they'll pour today or tomorrow and that problem won't recur.

#37 JHGIII

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:13 PM

Guess building an observatory brings on an even bigger cloud curse than a new scope or EP. I had no idea that the effects would be cumulative. I guess it must be based on mass or cost. Anyway, my deepest apologies to any astronomers in the Southeast who are suffering because of my clouds.

#38 sewhite

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:40 PM

It seems most of us in the southeast are under "your new observatory" cloud blanket :cloudy: right now. Thankfully it's during a full moon week, but please get a BIG fan and blow those clouds away next week.
Great observatory / entertainment complex :bow:

Stan

#39 Aquarist

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:17 PM

Love this thread. And I have to admit stealing ideas from various threads on Cloudy Night when I built ours. Unfortunately, we do not have the pristine skies that you do, and we do have zoning issues that we had to fight. But all that being said, 3 minutes of setup for a permanent installation makes it all worthwhile. It is no problem to just take an hour or two to observe with no driving or setup. You will love your project!

#40 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:54 PM

AND THE CLOUDS PARTED !!!!
So the guys must have had a lot of pent up building energy with the rotten weather this week.I arrived home to find:
1. Dob deck 90% complete
2. Handrail along the boardwalk that connects the zones
3. Preliminary guides for the roof line of the enclosed entertainment area.

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#41 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:57 PM

Another view. I did not request a patterned floor or such heavy duty benches, but am very pleased by the product.

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#42 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:59 PM

Boardwalk with hand rail. Rest will be braided steel cable running horizontally to keep view open and to fit other decks on the property

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#43 Midnight Dan

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:01 PM

Wow! Brad does indeed do bodacious work! Close that thing in and you got yourself a nice sauna! :lol:

-Dan

#44 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:01 PM

Oh, and I have wheels. Just need a roof to ride on them.

#45 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:03 PM

wheels pic

#46 JHGIII

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:04 PM

sorry here is wheels pic.
Saunas are big boxes of clouds aren't they?

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#47 JHGIII

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

Well, I've been dark here for about three weeks. Weather was terrible and no progress was made for awhile. Then I was absolutely buried at work in preparation for going on vacation. Then I was out of town for about ten days.

Yesterday evening I came home to something that no longer looks like a giant bird's nest.

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#48 JHGIII

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:54 PM

The enclosed room on the far right is actually straight. Drove the contractor crazy but the roof line is level. The "tilt" you see in the pics is an optical illusion due to that portion of the building coming forward about six feet so the room starts to "wrap" the planned outdoor fire area. The pitch of the roof is constant and that West wall is longer that the corresponding East wall that abuts the observatory (central in the complex). Constant pitch over longer distance makes that front right post longer by over a foot. The illusion is enhanced by the fact that that front corner is about six feet closer to the camera when the pic is taken. You actually have to climb on it to convince yourself !

#49 JHGIII

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:56 PM

Here's the finished Dob deck and boarding lounge

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#50 JHGIII

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 12:57 PM

Seen from "ground level"

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