Barker's Bluff Observatory Begins
Posted 06 July 2014 - 01:01 PM
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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:17 PM
Thankfully my fears were unfounded.
Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:18 PM
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Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:49 PM
These two plates are 18 inches in diameter and 5/8th steel. The four interior holes are threaded to accept the bolts that will couple the Linak base to the adapter plates.
- Keith NC likes this
Posted 30 July 2014 - 04:51 PM
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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:59 AM
FIRST MAJOR SETBACK !!!! ARRRRRGH
The dock company we asked to help with the roll-off roof frame and tracks has been slow. Very slow. At least two weeks behind shedule. they teased with a possible delivery date the week before last, but then told us they had powder coated the frame and tracks in the wrong color. I would have taken the product in a different shade at thsi point, but it was apparently already back in the booth for repainting. that process pushed us through the weekend and into the early part of last week.
The product was finally delivered, but of course my work schedule picked up that week such that I was getting home after 9PM each night and out the door before 6AM the next morning. I tried to inspect the delivered product by flashlight, but could not make sense of what I saw. At last Friday afternoon came and I was able to see it in the daylight. Alas, it still made no sense. Here it is:
Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:17 AM
The dock company had completely misssed the mark. To their credit, the workmanship is good. They did an excellent job of building a dock frame. Problem is I did not order a dock. Guess if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The frame they provided was in two sections which bolted together make a frame the size of the entire roof including 18 inch overhangs we palnned for each side. This behemoth's assembled size is about 19 by 15. Jeremiah said he thought he could make it work (he is very conscious of trying to speed this project up). So we started to list the things that were wrong and how they could be corrected since time is money.
Wheels: I had suplied these along with pictures from Taconic observatory web site http://www.taconicob.../page0/6/6.html
Instead, I got these:
Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:24 AM
The wheel holders are to couple to wood rafters within the aluminum frame.
That is 8 acute variables that I was trying to reduce by having the wheels encased in tubular steel. Not to mention the variable of wood 2x6's over time such as warp, shrinkage, fatigue....
Oh and how were the rafters to attach to the frame?
The tab marked by red arrow is the rafter/joist holder. Might be nice if it came with a few holes.... When Jeremiah asked about that the guy who made it said he did not notice the omission of holes until he was halfway through. He did offer to provide a drill bit
The orange arrow marks the place we asked for the tabs to attach rafters. Only off by 90 degrees
and speaking of 90 degrees... the rafters are supposed to be oriented North South on the frame to match the roof of the adjacent building. If we were to assemble and install this puppy, the rafters would be East West. Again, not waht we asked for.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:28 AM
And then there is the track:
We asked for 32 feet, with staggered joints from North wall to South wall and were told it could be 32 seamless.
We received four 16 ft sections Those joints will match, not stagger.
We aksed for variable end stops so we could fine tune the travel of the roof.
These appear to be welded on.
Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:46 AM
In summary, the roof frame provided by the company that will remain nameless is a FAIL.
It will cost far too much in labor to retrofit the product delivered. Even with correction, the product is so far off the design that the longevity and stability comes into question. With such poor initial communication from these guys, what kind of support can I expect over time?
So, we will not try to salvage this mess. It is going to get sent back. I'm sure that they can finish it out, pop some floats under it and still sell it as the swim platform that it actually is, so losses should be minor.
I am back at the drawing board, but this time with Larry, who made superb pier adapters to couple my Linak DL2 to the concrete pier and a similar but smaller adapter to link the Losmandy G11 to the top of the Linak DL2 (including an under-mount for the buttn that controlls the lifter). if I'd known he had a full metal shop, I'd have started with him. When I met him he was painting houses and just happened to mention he did metal work so I tried him on the Linak adapters. They are spot on and communication throughout the process was excellent. He lives nearby and drops by with stages of the product to clarify any and all questions before proceeding. Nothing went backward and the fit and finish are exact.
He and Jeremiah seem to be on the same page. We spent time Sunday morning roughing it out and then today finalizing measurements. New metal is on order for delivery to Larry's shop this afternoon.
HERE WE GO AGAIN !!
I guess the moral of this for those who might be contemplating such a build is that if you can't do it yourself (me for example) and you want a custom structure with specific design requirements, first hand communication with lots of pictures and examples, plus lots of follow-up communication is the best way to minimize risk of errors, but ultimately, I suppose there is no guarantee. I will be very relieved when the roof finally rolls. It is the most critical component, closely followed by the piers. Plus i'm itching o get back out under the stars.