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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Lorence]
      #3757095 - 04/20/10 03:58 PM Attachment (72 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:



Very impressive roll off roof design Lorence.

What kind of rail system are you using...steel wheels or some kind of rubber wheeled caster. You sure have plenty of them.

Rob




The rails are 3 inch C channel steel mounted vertically. The hard rubber casters ride on the narrow side of the channel.

The roof must weigh 5 to 6 hundred lbs. I can push it with one hand. I'm only guessing but I'd say it takes about a 40-50 lb. push to move the roof.

I did use a lot of casters. Temps. here drop below -40 deg. in winter. There is nothing harder on any sort of machinery than extreme cold. That and the possibility of a extra ton of snow on the roof were my reasons for spreading the load out over a lot of casters. The additional cost was negligible and well worth the peace of mind knowing that even under the most extreme conditions the load on each caster is well within it's design capabilities.

Buy the way these casters are very quiet, not that it's important where I am, but where neighbors are close it may be an important consideration.

As for my reasons for doing what I did, I'm on my own out here. I only know of one other amateur astronomer within a hundred miles. The only things around here resembling an observatory would be referred to a chicken coop or granary. Every decision was based on better to be safe than sorry. There is just too much time and material involved to cheap out and have to deal with problems down the line.

Good luck with your project.

Lorence




I'm impressed with your appraoch. My designs study shows that compression is minimal and even less when using pressure treated lumber.

I'm planning on using pressure treated top plates....so they will transition well into the pressure treeted 4X6's that the roof will rest on when open.

The casters I got permit pleanty of room for them to be off set every other one. I've amended my design to include an additional caster per side..making it 7 per side. I'm also going with the steel wheel design. It is much more hardy.

I ordered the casters today and the total was $42.

They are rated at 150lb each...that gives me loads of room. Since each caster will be loaded with 35lbs....this reduces compression each will impress on the cap plate.

It also leaves 1.75" for the center guide. More wheels less friction. Solid wheels...less friction.

The center guide will be treated lumber stripped and when fixed..be retreated.

It's all sound and will save me bundles of time and money.

PLus the profile is so short...it provides great security.

Here's a pic of one.

Rob


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3757404 - 04/20/10 06:17 PM

Quote:


I'm impressed with your approach. My designs study shows that compression is minimal and even less when using pressure treated lumber.

I'm planning on using pressure treated top plates....so they will transition well into the pressure treated 4X6's that the roof will rest on when open.

The casters I got permit pleanty of room for them to be off set every other one. I've amended my design to include an additional caster per side..making it 7 per side. I'm also going with the steel wheel design. It is much more hardy.

I ordered the casters today and the total was $42.

They are rated at 150lb each...that gives me loads of room. Since each caster will be loaded with 35lbs....this reduces compression each will impress on the cap plate.

It also leaves 1.75" for the center guide. More wheels less friction. Solid wheels...less friction.

The center guide will be treated lumber stripped and when fixed..be retreated.

It's all sound and will save me bundles of time and money.

PLus the profile is so short...it provides great security.

Here's a pic of one.

Rob




Pressure treated is the only way to go for lumber that is or may be exposed to the elements. I understand that the bugs don't like it very much either.

Correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it you will be rolling steel wheels on a wooden track. Personally I'd have the wheels rolling on steel, for minimum resistance. Not that I think there's anything wrong with your choice. If there ever was a problem it wouldn't be difficult to correct. Urethane will harden up a wood surface considerably. Wouldn't hurt to give the track a few coats for good measure.

Lorence


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Lorence]
      #3757478 - 04/20/10 06:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I'm impressed with your approach. My designs study shows that compression is minimal and even less when using pressure treated lumber.

I'm planning on using pressure treated top plates....so they will transition well into the pressure treated 4X6's that the roof will rest on when open.

The casters I got permit pleanty of room for them to be off set every other one. I've amended my design to include an additional caster per side..making it 7 per side. I'm also going with the steel wheel design. It is much more hardy.

I ordered the casters today and the total was $42.

They are rated at 150lb each...that gives me loads of room. Since each caster will be loaded with 35lbs....this reduces compression each will impress on the cap plate.

It also leaves 1.75" for the center guide. More wheels less friction. Solid wheels...less friction.

The center guide will be treated lumber stripped and when fixed..be retreated.

It's all sound and will save me bundles of time and money.

PLus the profile is so short...it provides great security.

Here's a pic of one.

Rob




Pressure treated is the only way to go for lumber that is or may be exposed to the elements. I understand that the bugs don't like it very much either.

Correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it you will be rolling steel wheels on a wooden track. Personally I'd have the wheels rolling on steel, for minimum resistance. Not that I think there's anything wrong with your choice. If there ever was a problem it wouldn't be difficult to correct. Urethane will harden up a wood surface considerably. Wouldn't hurt to give the track a few coats for good measure.

Lorence




The casters will be spending a majority of their life in the closed position...... the 15~30 nights a year it will be open isn't going to create a problem..I'm sure..and yes the exposed wood track will be heavely treated. It won't be any different then the wood beleath a steel angle iron rail. I think it will be OK...the build will tell if I need to reinforce the wood with a metal plate.

I bet it will be fine...no violations are being commited.

Rob


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Buhlig
sage
*****

Reged: 12/03/07

Loc: Derby, KS
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3757678 - 04/20/10 09:03 PM

Quote:


Sean..You said you have a steel roof. Is that over OSB?




No OSB, purlins. Trust me, I was just like you, I didn't believe in the v-groove and channel..and cost was a big deal for me too. But, my 12x16 was just too heavy to be manageable on a wood base.

Quote:

I figure 20 2x6's weighs about 400lb and the metal roof..about 100lb....total 500lb distributed over 14 rollers.
Each will carry 35lb.




My steel roofing was 3x what you have estimated...my son and I coudn't lift 8 sheets...I suspect you have 10 or 12 sheets? I would think steel rollers will dig in even more, esp treated lumber. My treated lumber here is very wet and super soft until it sits out for like a year. You might think about binding too. A center guide rail with rollers on both sides is just asking for binding. Not trying to be a naysayer, just trying to save you the pain of a stuck roof as the rain rolls in. Having said all that, I wouldn't have listened to advice in my build...I would have had to prove it to myself. Best of luck.

Sean


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Buhlig]
      #3757767 - 04/20/10 09:55 PM Attachment (62 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:


Sean..You said you have a steel roof. Is that over OSB?




No OSB, purlins. Trust me, I was just like you, I didn't believe in the v-groove and channel..and cost was a big deal for me too. But, my 12x16 was just too heavy to be manageable on a wood base.

Quote:

I figure 20 2x6's weighs about 400lb and the metal roof..about 100lb....total 500lb distributed over 14 rollers.
Each will carry 35lb.




My steel roofing was 3x what you have estimated...my son and I coudn't lift 8 sheets...I suspect you have 10 or 12 sheets? I would think steel rollers will dig in even more, esp treated lumber. My treated lumber here is very wet and super soft until it sits out for like a year. You might think about binding too. A center guide rail with rollers on both sides is just asking for binding. Not trying to be a naysayer, just trying to save you the pain of a stuck roof as the rain rolls in. Having said all that, I wouldn't have listened to advice in my build...I would have had to prove it to myself. Best of luck.

Sean




I'm glad you're telling me this Sean..because It makes me rethink. I have spring steel I can add as caster bases on the wood. But that is some time down the road.

These rollers are 7/8" wide and acceptable.

Well...everyone has to have a beginning...and this is mine.

Here is a site picture. I just roughly set the corner cement piers.

I'll place a 4x4 in them and them nail on the outer 2x10 and level them. The deck structure will be 2x10, with OSB flooring. I'll have one door and a small 2x3 window facing the house so I can see why wife yelling for me.....

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3757774 - 04/20/10 10:02 PM Attachment (66 downloads)

And here is a bit further down were the 4x6 roof suports will be located..via the 4x4's. This is the best place for the OB since I have a pretty good Eastern view and Southern...but only have a 30deg Western and about the same Northern. Polaris is easily seen...so I'm good.

Raining today..so we quite early...but as soon as it stops raining like a mad dog...we'll set the corners and begin the Deck......Yippy!

Rob


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3758179 - 04/21/10 06:05 AM

Rob; hey just a thought, you might want to use exterior grade plywood instead of OSB, I just did tear of of my OSB floor after only 1 year , due to standing water from the spring melt and rain,stuff just wicked into the wood, I would have never thought it, but it happened.
I replaced it with three quarter inch exterior grade plywood.
Should last a lot longer.
just my 2 cents.

I look forward to seeing photos of your build, I love the refractor.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: droid]
      #3758669 - 04/21/10 12:04 PM

Quote:

Rob; hey just a thought, you might want to use exterior grade plywood instead of OSB, I just did tear of of my OSB floor after only 1 year , due to standing water from the spring melt and rain,stuff just wicked into the wood, I would have never thought it, but it happened.
I replaced it with three quarter inch exterior grade plywood.
Should last a lot longer.
just my 2 cents.

I look forward to seeing photos of your build, I love the refractor.




My little contracting buddy is coming over at noon to begin digging the 40" X 40" X 60" hole the cement footer will be poured into....... 1.75 yards of cement will be poured by weeks end.

There is a brand of OSB that is superior to plywood..from what I'm told..it doesn't buckle or seporate. but still..if your OSB floor is INSIDE your OB why did it rot and need replacing?

Rob


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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Lorence]
      #3758840 - 04/21/10 01:01 PM

Quote:

.....Pressure treated is the only way to go for lumber that is or may be exposed to the elements.......
Lorence




Not really. This is a common misconception. Pressure treated (PT)lumber is usually made from Southern Yellow Pine. This is a fast growth tree and it is famous for splitting and twisting as it dries. PT lumber is fine for lumber that needs to be in contact with the ground, but there are many better woods to choose from when you need an outdoor wood that won't warp.
Here's one way to go:





Notice the chamfer on the edge of the beams that sheds water.
The finishing touch (not visible in this image) was a metal cap on the beam top so that there's never standing water on the wood.
Not only is it nontoxic, unlike PT, it was cheaper, and, to my eyes, prettier. <g>

dan


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Avi
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/19/09

Loc: San Tan Valley, Arizona
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #3758939 - 04/21/10 01:43 PM

I have noticed a not-insignificant amount of cracks and warps in the PT lumber I've purchased for my observatory.

Was considering moving to a rot-resistant wood instead, but I'm too far along to change now.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #3759002 - 04/21/10 02:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

.....Pressure treated is the only way to go for lumber that is or may be exposed to the elements.......
Lorence




Not really. This is a common misconception. Pressure treated (PT)lumber is usually made from Southern Yellow Pine. This is a fast growth tree and it is famous for splitting and twisting as it dries. PT lumber is fine for lumber that needs to be in contact with the ground, but there are many better woods to choose from when you need an outdoor wood that won't warp.
Here's one way to go:





Notice the chamfer on the edge of the beams that sheds water.
The finishing touch (not visible in this image) was a metal cap on the beam top so that there's never standing water on the wood.
Not only is it nontoxic, unlike PT, it was cheaper, and, to my eyes, prettier. <g>

dan




Hunterof-the-photons... You make a wonderful point..and your example is more furniture then basic construction.....

Agreed..if you keep the standing water off the wood...it will last much longer.

Beautiful.

Rob


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Lorence
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/15/08

Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #3759080 - 04/21/10 02:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

.....Pressure treated is the only way to go for lumber that is or may be exposed to the elements.......
Lorence




Not really. This is a common misconception. Pressure treated (PT)lumber is usually made from Southern Yellow Pine. This is a fast growth tree and it is famous for splitting and twisting as it dries. PT lumber is fine for lumber that needs to be in contact with the ground, but there are many better woods to choose from when you need an outdoor wood that won't warp.
Here's one way to go:

Notice the chamfer on the edge of the beams that sheds water.
The finishing touch (not visible in this image) was a metal cap on the beam top so that there's never standing water on the wood.
Not only is it nontoxic, unlike PT, it was cheaper, and, to my eyes, prettier. <g>

dan




Very nice Dan. Excellent joinery. Your work? Looks like sawmill lumber, what species?

You didn't use box store lumber, which is what most do and what I'm basing my advice on. SPF, around here is 99.9% spruce, and is what most use for construction. Outside in the elements it may last five years. Locally fir and ceder are way too expensive for the average budget. For the average handyman around here PT is the material of choice for outside work. When finished properly it doesn't look too bad. There are two grades of PT available. One for situations where the wood is in contact with the ground and another less treated version for above ground use.

Here' a photo of the front of my house, both decks are PT. At the time of the photo they only had the first coat of finish on them. By the way, I built the house and decks.

http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/cabinfront7.jpg

Speaking of sawmill lumber I'm building my kitchen cupboards out of Tamerack (Larch?).

http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/cupboards3.jpg

The locals use this wood it for firewood. They used to use Tamerack for building and fence posts around here a hundred years ago. A lot of it is still standing.

There's no argument about better woods available for outside construction. Unfortunately the average person heads for the cheapest wood available. Especially after they have seen the prices. My neighbor did some timber framing around the front of his house and deck about five years ago. Sawmill spruce. Some of it needs replacing already.

Lorence


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory [Re: Avi]
      #3759082 - 04/21/10 02:50 PM Attachment (66 downloads)

Quote:

I have noticed a not-insignificant amount of cracks and warps in the PT lumber I've purchased for my observatory.

Was considering moving to a rot-resistant wood instead, but I'm too far along to change now.




I'v amended my roller design simply by adding spring steel plate for the steel wheels of the casters to roll on. the center wood guide will remain..but it will be metal on metal.

I just so happen to have a roll of spring steel and I can easily roll out the amount needed for each side and the screw it down on each end. The weight of the rollers on it will keep it nicely placed. I will probably screw in some screws along its edge to help.

Here is a drawing of the modification.

I'm also having 1.75 yards of cement poured by weeks end to finish off the pier base.

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760212 - 04/21/10 11:12 PM Attachment (57 downloads)

Well..I had a good afternoon of working. My helper dug the massive 40"x40"x60" hole for the pier base. Here are some images of the progress..

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760220 - 04/21/10 11:14 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

Tim(helper) doing some measuring of the hole.
A lot of dirt has to come out of that hole.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760235 - 04/21/10 11:22 PM Attachment (76 downloads)

After the hole was dug and champfered at the bottom..I built the form for the above ground portion.

The pier top is going to be at the same level as the floor...so the form has to be as tall as the 2X10's top.

I will be drilling holes in two sided(oposite) and bolting in 2 *J* bolts...so when the cement is cured I can then bolt 4x4 sub floor suports that will suport the floor joists at the pier. You'll see this later.

Tim is setting it and adjusting its level..before we back fill it. The wood flanges on the bottom will be covered by dirt to aid in securing it agains the weight of the cement.

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760243 - 04/21/10 11:24 PM Attachment (68 downloads)

Tim leveling the form. He's standing oan the bottom...

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760252 - 04/21/10 11:29 PM Attachment (50 downloads)

Now a bit of backfill. I'll set rebar next and then make the templet that will hold the 3 anchor *J* bolts for the pier. That simply sets on top after the cement has found level on the top of the form. I'll simply hold the top templet over the area the bolts are supose to be...then slowly vibrate the whole thing till it sits level on the top of the form.......then let it set. Nealry 2 yard of cement for this pier base.

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760277 - 04/21/10 11:40 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

One as it was getting dark. It is extremely rigid and will be great. I designed to have 2 *J* bolts anchored into the sides fo two sides of the pier base. This way I can bolt 2 4x4's to both sides and use these as sub joist to suport the 2x10's at and around the pier. Briliant on my part.

Anchor bolts in the base can be bolted to for great substructure suport.

I'll order the cement Friday morning and it will be deliverd by noon.

Lumber might be delivered next week.

Rob(Here we go)


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: Gold Mtn Observatory new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #3760284 - 04/21/10 11:42 PM

Quote:

Nealry 2 yard of cement for this pier base.




Meh, there are 4,360,000 cubic yards of cement in Hoover Dam.


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