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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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Peter9
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/30/08

Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5908080 - 06/07/13 02:36 PM

Congrats on the successful inspection Dan. Hope the weather plays ball for you.

Regards. Peter.


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ben2112
Cloud Magnet
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Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Peter9]
      #5908227 - 06/07/13 03:59 PM

Glad the inspector didn't find anything, Dan.. I can't wait for this to be finished.

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mikey cee
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/18/07

Loc: bellevue ne.
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: ben2112]
      #5908854 - 06/07/13 09:50 PM

Looks good Dan. Can't tell for sure but did you guys remove the extra 1-1/2" from your bottom step riser?? Most don't and end up with a larger first step which is always fun in the dark by the way. Mike

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: mikey cee]
      #5910470 - 06/08/13 09:36 PM

Hi Mikey:

I did compensate for the first step, but only by 1/2". I used 2x lumber for the bottom riser for stability. The other the risers will have 5/4 decking boards on their face so the difference between the two is 1/2".

-Dan


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tim57064
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/23/12

Loc: Southeast South Dakota,USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5911066 - 06/09/13 09:55 AM

Dan, looking good. Hopefully the weather is cooperating better where you are than it is here.We have had Over 9 inches of rain here in the past week and the clouds have been unrelenting. Great for drought relief, terrible for astronomy. Clear skies to You.

Edited by tim57064 (06/09/13 09:56 AM)


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: tim57064]
      #5911138 - 06/09/13 10:59 AM

Hi Tim:

Yeah, can't believe how bad it's been! Rain through yesterday (Saturday), but looks like I'll have a break to get a bit of work done today, then rain predicted again for the next few days. Everything's soaking wet and even working today, I'll be slogging around in the mud.

-Dan


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5912093 - 06/09/13 09:35 PM

Got most of the decking done today. Put the stairs and risers on and installed the posts for the handrail for the stair. Building code says it needs a handrail if there's 4 risers or more on the stairs.



Still need to put the last few pieces of decking in. These are the ones that need to get cut out to fit the pier. As I was looking at the area around the pier, it seemed like there was a bit too much space around it to properly support the composite decking, especially since there will be some thin pieces once I cut out the pier circle. So I added some extra bracing around the hole to better support the deck boards:



So far this has been fun, but other than the pier it's pretty much "Deck Building 101". Can't wait to get the POD and get into the actual observatory part!

Next step after finishing the decking is to get the final inspection. Yes, here in the great, over-regulated, state of New York, we need *three* separate inspections for a simple 12' x 12' square deck! No wonder our taxes are so high!

-Dan


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ben2112
Cloud Magnet
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Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5912126 - 06/09/13 09:53 PM

Looking really good, Dan. But that is crazy about the inspections. I would think that as long as it's not used for a living space, you wouldn't need an inspection.

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corpusse
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/11/10

Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: ben2112]
      #5912764 - 06/10/13 10:39 AM

Quote:

Looking really good, Dan. But that is crazy about the inspections. I would think that as long as it's not used for a living space, you wouldn't need an inspection.




I'm shocked you needed it inspected to, or was it just for your own piece of mind?


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: corpusse]
      #5912852 - 06/10/13 11:32 AM

No, I've had enough experience building things to not need peace of mind inspections for such a straightforward project.

All decks are required to have inspections according to NY state building codes. They inspected the depth of the holes before the concrete was poured, then the framing, and a final inspection when it's complete.

Just seems nuts to me! The thing is out in the middle of a field and not anywhere near an occupied structure!
-Dan


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5913051 - 06/10/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

All decks are required to have inspections according to NY state building codes. They inspected the depth of the holes before the concrete was poured, then the framing, and a final inspection when it's complete.

Just seems nuts to me! The thing is out in the middle of a field and not anywhere near an occupied structure!




Hi Dan,

You would understand if the deck was attached to a house. The state would have a legitimate need to ensure that a domicile which may be sold to someone else meets code. But, as you say, a deck out in the middle of a field???? Where is the state's legitimate interest in that? Talk about government overreach! Oops! Gotta be careful here that I don't get on a soapbox and violate the TOS!

Deck looks good and the observatory is going to be great! Good work, Dan!


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munchmeister
sage
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Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5918965 - 06/13/13 03:11 PM

Quote:

Lots of rain over the last week put the brakes on construction. I was able to get some work in yesterday and finished up the framing. I added the last joist and headers around the pier. Also put blocking in between the joists to stiffen the floor.

Finally, added the stair stringers. Took a LONG time to measure and cut them all. Now I have to get an appointment for the inspector to check it out before adding the decking. That should be pretty straightforward and take less than a day. Then It's just a matter of waiting for the Pod to arrive.



-Dan




As a former framer, I just love a nice photo of a good sub floor with joists on 16". To me it is a thing of beauty and this looks super. The Trek decking is a nice touch, hope you'll keep us updated on how this works out in NY winters. Color me green !


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5919029 - 06/13/13 03:46 PM

Thanks, Doug!

The joists are actually 12" OC. Composite decking boards aren't as stiff as wood and they can feel a little spongey at 16" OC. Years ago, when Trex was the only brand around, they specified that it had to be laid down on 12" OC joists. Now it appears to be rated for 16", but I still think it feels a lot better on 12" centers. I probably could have gotten away with 2x6 joists at this spacing, but I decided to stick with 2x8's for the same reason - I wanted a good solid feel to the floor.

-Dan


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5919141 - 06/13/13 04:54 PM

What kind of lumber are the joists made of?

How weather resistant does it have to be?


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5919492 - 06/13/13 08:29 PM

looking good Dan.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5919510 - 06/13/13 08:41 PM

Quote:

What kind of lumber are the joists made of? How weather resistant does it have to be?




All the lumber is pressure treated, although surprisingly it doesn't look like it! This stuff was green when I bought it, but after a few rains it it looks like regular lumber now!

I'm guessing that, when they outlawed the green chromated copper arsenate solution for pressure treating, the new stuff is not green. They probably added green dye or something as a marketing ploy so that it appears pressure treated in the store. It seems like the green color washes off pretty easily.

-Dan


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5919806 - 06/14/13 12:11 AM

As long as they don't poison the soil or rot it's all good.

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5921124 - 06/14/13 07:30 PM

Installed the last boards on the deck and put some trim boards around the sides. Also added the handrail for the stairs because the code requires it.



Here's my pier plate. I designed this to use with my iEQ45, and had a local machine shop fabricate it. It's aluminum plate, with stainless bolts and pins. To save a little money on anodizing I painted it black myself.

Note that it's sitting on my 16 year old deck up at the house, which has a floor made from the original Trex brand material. No wood-grain look in those days. This stuff has really held up well, and no maintenance!



-Dan


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munchmeister
sage
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Reged: 04/04/12

Loc: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5923048 - 06/15/13 11:39 PM

Beautiful !!!

Man I wish I had gone with Trex when I built my deck on the house. Maintenance is a PAIN.


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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Dark Arts Observatory new [Re: munchmeister]
      #5924193 - 06/16/13 06:07 PM

OK, I couldn't wait. Had to get the mount and a scope out there just to see what it looks like. This is my smallest scope, the EON 72mm refractor.







Now it's just a matter of waiting. I Have to get the final inspection for the deck, and wait for the Pod to arrive.

-Dan


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