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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294784 - 06/29/12 12:19 PM

Quote:

....The 3 beams (doubled 2x8s) would be supported by and attached to PT 4x4 posts sunk 3 feet into the ground with a concrete plug at the bottom and back filled with gravel....




Wood rots, concrete doesn't.
The best construction practice for this case is to pour a concrete pier instead of sinking PT posts into the ground. While the concrete is still wet an anchor bolt for a metal beam pocket is inserted.
What Roscoe said about doubling the headers and adjacent floor joists is standard practice and good advice.

dan k.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294839 - 06/29/12 12:55 PM

Quote:

While I was playing around a bit, I thought of perhaps starting from scratch on my floor joist layout. 2x8s spanning nearly 16ft seems a bit of a stretch.

What about breaking it into 2 8x24 sections? 4x6 posts at the corners and mid points with a 3 double 2x8 beams running the length of building. I would then only be spanning 8 feet between the beams. I'd rather overbuild than under...




You can never overbuild. I used 2x10's for my floor joists and then I supported them midspan. So they are supported at 9ft, making a pretty rigid floor. I wanted no floor droop or worse.... bounce.

Rob


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294874 - 06/29/12 01:22 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

Quote:

Quote:

PS I'd triple that center carrier beam......
R




Even with a support post at the mid point?




David..you can easily support the midspan by using a preformed concrete footer with steal 4x4 post insert.

I was considering your approach with my 18x18 ROR...but counted the cost and the inevatable uselessness of pouring concrete. I simply leveled all the places I would place these concrete footers(I think I placed 8 exterior an 4 interior). I wanted my OB off the ground..plus the spot I selected had a slight hill in the middle..so I just dug and put the pier footer at the crest and the footers out from there. Even though you are using treated 4x4's they are still going to rot over time(they always do) So none of my OB is touching the ground for that very reason..and the shear weight of the building is keeping it stable and planted.

This picture shows the pier blocks. I used them for the roof supports as well. They work well IMV.

The OB has stood steady against 50~70 mph winds and heavy snow and rain torents of Biblical preportions.

Rob


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5294882 - 06/29/12 01:28 PM

I'd thought about that route Rob. My concern is the soil in the area where I'll be building. It's pretty much solid clay which tends to expand and contract a good bit (not to mention frost heaving in the winter here) so I was planning and getting whatever the pier base is down below the frost line to make sure it doesn't move.

But, of course, I also have to figure out a way to get the concrete back there without killing myself in the process


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294916 - 06/29/12 01:50 PM

Quote:

I'd thought about that route Rob. My concern is the soil in the area where I'll be building. It's pretty much solid clay which tends to expand and contract a good bit (not to mention frost heaving in the winter here) so I was planning and getting whatever the pier base is down below the frost line to make sure it doesn't move.

But, of course, I also have to figure out a way to get the concrete back there without killing myself in the process




One thing to consider.....when you place an object *IN* clay it is very susceptible to movement...lateraly due to the clays expansion(as you noted), but if you place your weight directly on top of the ground..there is no lateral flex of structures. There may be slight marginaly noticable vertical expression if any. Typically any object placed in clay will be forced up and out or laterally due to those expansion and contraction issues...however, placing an object on top suffers little from this phenomenon.

I'm sure your building will not *walk* away..and being isolated from the telescope piers will be very beneficial.

Some thing to consider. Maybe get a hydraulics test done or at least get an opinion from a hydraulics expert on clay stability under certain conditions.

Rob(Just think of the concrete you Won't have to haul... )


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5294927 - 06/29/12 01:55 PM

I'll definitely ask around about the stability issue. This weekend I'm heading over to the zoning inspector's office to get the zoning permit so perhaps they'll be able to help out. There isn't a building inspector out where we live, but I'm sure I can find someone to give a rough assessment.

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294955 - 06/29/12 02:08 PM

Quote:

I'll definitely ask around about the stability issue. This weekend I'm heading over to the zoning inspector's office to get the zoning permit so perhaps they'll be able to help out. There isn't a building inspector out where we live, but I'm sure I can find someone to give a rough assessment.




I'm sure a quick google search on clay properties and stability issues can produce some information for you.

Study and doing your research can save you lots of time and most importantly..MONEY. Plus in many areas a building that is sitting on the ground requires different permitting then one *bolted* down. Sometimes no permit at all.

Good luck.


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5294957 - 06/29/12 02:10 PM

Only permit required around here is a $55 zoning permit. They just need to see a rough sketch of the site plan and a cost estimate. Oh and I'm limited to 4,000 sq. ft. for my out building. Dang...

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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5294969 - 06/29/12 02:19 PM

Quote:

Only permit required around here is a $55 zoning permit. They just need to see a rough sketch of the site plan and a cost estimate. Oh and I'm limited to 4,000 sq. ft. for my out building. Dang...




4000 sq ft.... OMG! Poor you.

324 sq ft is all my OB is currently..

Have fun. I built my entire Ob for roughly $1200...doing all the work myself(cept pouring the 2.5 tons of concrete).

You can do it inexpensively if you are willing to do it.

Good luck.

Rob


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5294976 - 06/29/12 02:25 PM

That's my plan so far. The plans are with the lumber company get a quote on materials and I've taken the first two weeks of August off to begin work. The concrete work is the only thing that really causing me hassles due to the location of my site.

If I could guarantee that it would be as dry as it is now, I'd have no problem getting a truck back there. Unfortunately, when it gets really drenched there's no way a truck would make it.


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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5295266 - 06/29/12 06:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:

PS I'd triple that center carrier beam......
R




Even with a support post at the mid point?




Yep

The sides don't have to be as strong, because your wall framing and sheathing, being nailed to them, will stiffen the edges right up, but with only doubles in the center, your floor will be bouncy.....


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5298608 - 07/01/12 10:08 PM

Alright, new (and hopefully final) floor joist layout.



The zoning inspector advises against deck blocks. Three foot deep concrete piers is the suggestion. Assuming I go that route, what brackets do you guys recommend for attaching the beams (2-2x and 3-2x) to the piers?

I also got the quote back from the first lumber yard. I'm in the process of going through it line by line since I just dropped of the blueprints and had them go to town. Is 24' lumber that hard to come by? They seem to have included 12' 2x8's for the beams when the blueprints call for 24' continuous beams. I'm sure I could make it work with 12', but I'm not sure what brackets I can use...


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Lord Beowulf
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/13/08

Loc: Cedar Park, TX
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5298778 - 07/02/12 12:37 AM

"...There's a hole in your mind..." Sorry, couldn't resist. That's what I always hear when someone starts out "And so it begins..." Babylon 5 reference for those who are less of a geek than I, BTW.

I'd go for more piers and less span myself, but trying to get a 24' 2xX is really just a waste of money for something like this. First off, it will be totally unmanageable, and probably nowhere near straight. When I built my wood deck years ago (a 16' wide L shape, about 36 feet on the long axis and 26 on the short) I made all my beams by laminating the most bowed pieces together, starting screwing at one end and pulling them straight as I went. Made for a really sturdy and straight beam. It's been 15 years, and it hasn't budged. However, the footings are on 8' centers.

Beo


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5299764 - 07/02/12 08:17 PM

Quote:

Alright, new (and hopefully final) floor joist layout.



The zoning inspector advises against deck blocks. Three foot deep concrete piers is the suggestion. Assuming I go that route, what brackets do you guys recommend for attaching the beams (2-2x and 3-2x) to the piers?

I also got the quote back from the first lumber yard. I'm in the process of going through it line by line since I just dropped of the blueprints and had them go to town. Is 24' lumber that hard to come by? They seem to have included 12' 2x8's for the beams when the blueprints call for 24' continuous beams. I'm sure I could make it work with 12', but I'm not sure what brackets I can use...




Inspectors will *always* advise against the route that saves you money but still does the job effectively. Since you will not be getting it *Inspected* a suggestion is merely that. Anyway..do what you think best. I did it and my building is roughly the same size you're attempting.

Good luck.

Rob


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Jim Curry
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 10/29/07

Loc: STL
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5300260 - 07/03/12 08:08 AM

It's going to take time to shuttle the buggy back and forth and fill your forms. The concrete quote is for a fairly short period of time, you better check on that. There will be extra charges if he's sitting around for say an hour while you unload.

Jim


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: Jim Curry]
      #5300316 - 07/03/12 09:00 AM

I'll definitely ask about that Jim. The concrete guy was the one that suggested the buggy in the first place, after I described the job to him. Hopefully he took that into account.

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bluestar
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/06/05

Loc: Maryland Eastern Shore
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: rwiederrich]
      #5301879 - 07/04/12 08:43 AM

Quote:

I'm sure a quick google search on clay properties and stability issues can produce some information for you.





Wow Rob, you're giving me flashbacks to college Soils 101 days. Clay can be either a blessing or curse depending on the final applications but life tends to focus on the organic and manure corner of the soils triangle these days.


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rwiederrich
Goldfinger
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Always Dark skies of Belfair W...
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: bluestar]
      #5302304 - 07/04/12 02:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm sure a quick google search on clay properties and stability issues can produce some information for you.





Wow Rob, you're giving me flashbacks to college Soils 101 days. Clay can be either a blessing or curse depending on the final applications but life tends to focus on the organic and manure corner of the soils triangle these days.




Oh so true bro. Building your home on sand sounds idiotic..till you find that the sand is going no were...then it becomes the best foundation...EVER. Same with clay. The moisture content and the compaction is the key. Clay can be very stable if the environment and situations are correct. Especially if the clay is undisturbed and you are building upon it...not *IN* it.

A telescope pier footer is in need of a secure foundation..so digging a nice deep hole is best..but resting a building on top of it is far less problematic given your special limitations , your funds...and design.

But who am I, and what do I know? I spend most of my time outside the box..so I can save money and still produce a quality item.

Blue PVC roofing for your Observatory...what a stupid idea.

Rob(If it can be done..it can be done many ways)


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MRNUTTY
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: Mendon, MA
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5307147 - 07/07/12 05:53 PM

Quote:

Well, the plans for my new observatory (16x24 ROR) arrived this weekend (thanks BYO) and it's time to start pricing out materials and such.






I got my BYO plans yesterday! I'll start in a couple of weeks. Nice!


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David81
sage
*****

Reged: 05/17/10

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Plans have arrived....and so it begins new [Re: David81]
      #5332268 - 07/23/12 10:45 PM

Quick update: Tentative ground breaking is set for this coming Saturday.

I'll spend a bit of time the day before (my birthday) laying out the locations for the pier and support holes. Saturday should be spent with a fellow astro club member digging/augering and setting sonotubes/forms. If all goes well, the concrete should be delivered and poured on Monday.

After that it's up to me to get as much building as possible done in the 2 weeks I have off from work. The local 84 Lumber has been great to work with in getting the materials and I'll be having them do the trusses. $400-ish seems money well spent for 13 16ft trusses.

And before you ask, yes, there will be plenty of pictures


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