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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5786098 - 04/08/13 01:56 PM

Look to see if the cracks have separated much or if the level of the floor is different on either size of the crack. A reinforced slab will stick crack, but the cracks will be thin because the reinforcing mesh will not allow them to separate, and will keep the two sides at the same level.

As for digging, if the first floor room will be kept heated to above freezing, you shouldn't have to go below the frost line. You'd still want a decent size base to start with. For a pier that tall, I'd try to go a good 2 feet down, with a base about 3' by 3'. If you're going to let the base cure first, then embed some rebar in it sticking up where the pier will be. That will tie the pier pour to the base.

If the first floor room will not be heated, then you're back to evaluating the ground conditions. The problem with freezing ground is that the ice expands with enormous force and can move buildings, foundations ... and of course piers. The lay of the land is important. For example, if the building is on high ground, and the ground consistency is somewhat porous, then you have good drainage and there may not be enough moisture build up in the soil to be much of a problem. In that case, going down a couple of feet *might* be ok.

On the other hand, if its a low lying area and the ground gets pretty soppy in the spring, it could indicate that there's a higher danger of frost heaves, in which case the base should go below the frost line.

I'm going into all these details just to give you an idea of some of the factors at play here. Fact is, like I said before, there's a good chance that you could just pour on top of the existing floor and be fine. But it is a risk and there are a lot of variables that go into the decision. The only way to make a better decision would be to get a structural engineer out there to look at the building, it's foundation, the floor slab, and the soil & drainage conditions ... and even then he'll be making an educated estimate of the situation.

So what it boils down to is ... how much effort do you want to put into this, vs. just taking the risk and pouring on the slab? As Clint Eastwood said ... do ya feel lucky?

-Dan


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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
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Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5786325 - 04/08/13 04:20 PM

Putting that much weight on a poured slab will result in cracking and sinking of the slab in that spot. You need a proper footing under the pier to support the weight.

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tim53
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: Mary B]
      #5786430 - 04/08/13 05:09 PM

How about a steel pipe for a pier?

-tim


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: tim53]
      #5787780 - 04/09/13 10:38 AM

So the next time I go up I will test dig outside the building. If I can get deep relatively easy I will try and go for the frost line. If I hit large rocks then I will dig a wider less deep area. Maybe something like a 4 feet by 4 feet block can be the bottom as deep as I can go.

If I'm no where near the frost line, I will have to invest in some sort of heater to keep the ground level above freezing.

I think a steel pipe for the top of the pier will be great but it's way too tall to just make it out of steel.

I gotta find out if there is anywhere I can rent auger's and jackhammers anywhere near by. There is a home depot that is about an hour and a half away.


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5829707 - 04/29/13 09:00 AM

So my dome will apparently FINALLY be delivered today. I could not be more upset how this went. I originally told exploradome way in advance I'd need the dome shipped for delivery within a 2 week window as no one lives at the house. They said it was fine I even offered to pay right away to ensure it would be delivered then but they insisted it would be no problem. I had just assumed it was on route and when I finally got a hold of them the last day of the 2 week window they informed me they "lost track of time" and didn't ship it out.

I know the product itself gets great reviews but the service is just terrible. Shipping was also 100$ more then quoted with no notification and when I emailed about this no reply. It is what it is, but they could have at least mentioned this to me.

Anyway the dome sat in a warehouse in the nearby city for a couple of days, they left a message on the house phone which of course no one got. They now inform me that I need to supply a forklift to get it off. You would think for $1250 they could get it off the truck but no deal. I asked if they could decrate it and blanket wrap it, they said no. Apparently it just barely fits on a 5 ton so it won't be possible to go in the truck and cut it out of the crate. Granted this is a unique situation with no one living at the house full time but they were informed of this long before I actually placed an order.

With this in mind my contractor has more wood being delivered today so we are trying to time it so that it can be delivered this afternoon at the same time and the lumber company will have a forklift. Something could still go wrong then who knows what. The good thing is these small town companies are not as anal about time constraints and whatnot. Here I would have already been hit with a storage fee, there the warehouse manager was fine with holding it until whenever at no charge. The thing is it's already way behind schedule after I informed the contractor it would be coming within that 2 week window and he has other jobs coming up so this has to get done asap. I'm sure all these delays and hassles will be reflected in my bill.

The new stairs are finished and they look great in the pics. My Dad who is the only one whos seen them says they were build well. I have no doubt in this guys skills as there are less then a handful of contractors on the island so anyone there who's been around a few years must be doing a good job.

All these problems have me somewhat regretting this build. Once it's done or at least the dome is there I will be happy but I could have got a new scope / mono camera and started narrowband imaging imaging from my observatory here in the white zone and had 1000s to spare.

I will be back on the island in 2 weeks to check out the dome and construction. Hopefully I will be able to start the pier too. I am thinking I will cut a 40x40 hole in the floor. I will go as deep as I can go and then on my next trip up I will pour the concrete, attach the rebar and order the chimney or cinder blocks depending on what's available.







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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5829859 - 04/29/13 10:28 AM

Stairs look great! Pain in the neck about the dome!

There will likely be more obstacles before you're done. But memories fade, and in a few years when this is all behind you, you'll be REALLY happy you did it!

-Dan


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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5830164 - 04/29/13 01:11 PM

For the concrete blocks I'd highly recommend using surface bonding cement.It will bond those blocks together far better than mortar.

http://www.quikrete.com/PDFs/Projects/MortarlessBlockConstructionWithQuikwall...

or
http://www.sakrete.com/products/detail.cfm/prod_alias/Surface-Bonding-Cement


Norm


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: stmguy]
      #5830494 - 04/29/13 03:18 PM

Here's a quick concern- is your dome going to be walled off from the rest of the building? You don't want the whole structure to chimney though your dome at night.

I think you'll be very happy when the build is complete.

-Rich


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5831932 - 04/30/13 10:28 AM

Success! I am actually surprised I was able to get a forklift to the house. Thankfully there is the one lumbar yard on the island.

The dome is going in the middle of the roof a small square extension will be built as shown in the picture earlier. The contractor says everything will be done by the weekend. My Dad will be at the house then to check everything out. I'll be going up for a quick weekend trip may 11/12th for the new moon. Unfortunately I have other commitments or I'd go this week. The following week is a long weekend so I'll probably take an extra day and try and get some work done like the floor footing for the pier, order the blocks ect.

Not that it was a big surprise but when the old downstairs drywall was tore down there were a few mice inside. I know exactly how they are getting in so that will be sealed as well but it wouldn't be a surprise to still find them as I get them even in the house here from time to time.

I think realistically the building can probably be used by july or august with completion done in maybe 18 months or so. I'm going to paint the building that should be lots of fun...


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5834015 - 05/01/13 10:24 AM

I will get some of the surface bonding cement for sure. I am hoping the concrete is not that hard to breakup. I'll cut the square with a skillsaw and then hopefully break it up with a sledge (not afraid of the hard labor just hope its possible). If not I'll need a large hammer drill I think its still going to be small enough of a job I won't need a jackhammer.

That will hopefully be done the next time I'm there. Then I can dig assuming that goes well and I pour the pad, how should I plan on attaching the blocks to the pad? Will I need to either drill them or use cinder blocks on the bottom and attach rebar to the pad when it's poured or should I simply attach the bottom of the pier to the pad with the cement? The pier on the bottom level will be extra wide to provide more stability then the top level will just be a steel pipe or something similar so the floor joists won't need to be cut.

Here are a couple of pics contractor sent me yesterday :





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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5834045 - 05/01/13 10:36 AM

I see you are making progress for sure. If it were me I'd place rebar in the concrete so it comes up through the first layer of blocks. Pour concrete in the first layer or two of the blocks and it shouldn't go anywhere

Norm


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: stmguy]
      #5834716 - 05/01/13 04:10 PM

Looks good!

First, I'd consider renting a jackhammer to break up the concrete after you cut around the edge with a masonry blade in a skill saw. For a small job like that, an electric jackhammer should work fine.

How big will your cinder block base be? How many blocks on a side? If it's only one or two blocks, you can probably fill all the cavities. If it's more, you might want to only fill some and leave some empty. But at a minimum, fill the corner cavities.

Have a set of cinder blocks ready to go for the first course at the bottom. Once the concrete for the pad is poured and leveled, set the cinder blocks on the surface, buttering the ends with mortar. You want the cinder blocks to be resting on wet concrete so they adhere well, and you want it to still be wet enough to able to accept rebar. Once you've got the first course in place, jam a piece of rebar into the concrete in the cavities that you intend to fill later. Shove it down into the wet concrete so it sticks out of the cavity to the height of the finished base. If the base will be very tall, then only go up a few feet with the rebar, otherwise it will be hard to get the next layer of cinder blocks over them. You can wire on extra pieces of rebar as you go up.

Once the pad has set up, you can start adding courses of cinder block until you reach final height. Then fill the rebar-containing cavities with concrete.

-Dan


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5837287 - 05/02/13 09:24 PM

The thing is the closest home depot is real far so renting is not really ideal. I'm not afraid of the manual labor. There are a few people on the island who have augers apparently. If I can pay one of them to do the hole I'll do that, otherwise I'd have to go to HD and rent it for 24hrs as it's too far to go back and forth. I mean I could but after using the auger I know I'll be beat.

The good news is the dome is going up tomorrow. They will use a forklift to raise it. Also everything is more or less on budget. Considering the extra hassles and delays I am very pleased. He originally was supposed to do this work earlier. The only additional charge is to add siding to the addition the same as the roof will be a couple hundred more.

My Dad will be at the house Saturday I'll get him to take some higher resolution photos and I will be there next weekend to inspect it myself.







It's really looking exactly like how I wanted it to. Of course I need to fix a lot of little things and I do hope to get around to paining the building as well but it seems like everything is going well.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5837318 - 05/02/13 09:47 PM

Nice! It's gonna be a beauty!

-Dan


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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5837364 - 05/02/13 10:22 PM

If you look real close just over the house in the left hand corner you can see the water



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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5837461 - 05/02/13 11:32 PM

Wow! That is going to be soooo cool to have that height advantage!

-Dan


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ErikB
super member


Reged: 02/05/06

Loc: Central Arizona
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5837479 - 05/02/13 11:44 PM

What are you going to use to isolate the new slab/pier mechanically from the old concrete floor? In my still unfinished project I used 1" neoprene foam from foambymail.com. They were considerably cheaper than the other vendor I looked at. The material itself seems ok, but I was surprised to find that it tears rather easily.

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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: ErikB]
      #5838231 - 05/03/13 12:09 PM

I was planning on just using styrofoam. Either 1" or 2" Just buy a few pieces at HD and then put it around.

I'm still torn about the pier again the contractor is urging me to use a big sonotube. Maybe he had a bad experience with cinder / chimney blocks but he keeps telling me it will be hard to work with. He won't have anything to do with it so it's not like he's doing that work. Next week I'll go price out the blocks and go from there. Price will not be the deciding factor but if there is a big difference either way that may steer me.

I have been looking at this pier a lot
http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/4664464/page...

Of course I could do the same thing with blocks. Once the dome is up I asked him to cut the largest possible hole in the floor without cutting the joists. The pier can be as big as I want up to that point and then it will shorten to fit through the floor. I will look into steel pipes in the area when I get to this point or I could even do a smaller sonotube on top. That would at least be a mixable amount of concrete. For the pad I'm going to have to bring in a truck in all likelyhood. Unless I open my own labor camp


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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! new [Re: corpusse]
      #5838464 - 05/03/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

....I'm still torn about the pier again the contractor is urging me to use a big sonotube. Maybe he had a bad experience with cinder / chimney blocks but he keeps telling me it will be hard to work with......




To put it politely, your contractor doesn't know what he's talking about.
An astronomical pier needs a large footprint to be stable. A large sonotube isn't appropriate. The weight of a large sonotube filled with concrete is considerable. A properly-sized base is a must.
A tall sonotube filled with wet concrete is a nightmare if there is a blowout. You don't ever want to deal with that.
Has your contractor considered how to fill a tall sonotube? A pumper truck is what is called for. They're not cheap and rarely available in sparsely inhabited places.
Compare this with a block pier that is cheap, has a large footprint, and can easily be built by one person.
You might want to reconsider using this contractor, too. <g>

dan k.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Brainstorming dream obs which will become real! [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #5838491 - 05/03/13 02:31 PM

What about a steel pier?

-Rich


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