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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure!
      #5934686 - 06/22/13 02:11 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

December has been a dangerous time for me... I tend to have weeks of vacation time I need to burn before the end of the year, so the last half of December turns into a staycation. Lots of time at home... Nothing much to do... My thoughts can wander. Last year, they wandered into 'I want to build an observatory!' land. However, work was busy enough the following January that the thought never took root. Not so this year. So, due to an unusually quiet January, and since I told so many people that I was doing this that there was no good way to save face if I didn't follow through, my Exploradome Adventure began!

I decided on building my variant of the Exploradome 10' x 10' building, heavily depending on the instructions found on their site (the 11-2012 version of the document). The instructions could really benefit from editing... There are a few inconsistencies and the writing isn't the easiest to follow. But, the diagrams and photos help compensate for this.

I'm not a carpenter. Up until this, I didn't own a circular saw. Or a level. Or a square. I've never built anything of this scale before. I also started without having everything completely planned out, much to the chagrin of one of my engineer friends. Honestly, if I had to plan every last detail in advance, this project would have died again. Although this led to a few "Well, now what?" moments, the project is complete enough that I'm sharing it with you!

A few other details... I'm using Exploradome's 8' dome, aluminum ring and roof panels. While I wasn't completely thrilled with the documentation, a have no complaints whatsoever with the products or people I dealt with. I don't have a neighborhood association, and the county doesn't require a permit on sheds less than 200 sq. ft. So, as far as the county is concerned, this is a shed. I'll be running an extension cord from the house to the observatory, mainly to avoid permitting issues. I'm located in southeast Virginia, within the light dome of Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and maybe 20 feet above sea level. Humidity is an ever present annoyance and a main function of the observatory will be as a dew shield. 'Cause, why buy a $500 anti-dew system when one can build... this?

First step: Download SketchUp and 'build' the building using ED's instructions. The theory being "If I can draw it, I can understand it. If I can understand it, I can build it."


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934692 - 06/22/13 02:15 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

First thing I needed was a pit for the concrete. Not a problem, I can dig a hole. Groundbreaking took place on March 9th, 2013!

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934697 - 06/22/13 02:20 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

From reading what others have done on this forum, I was aiming for a 3' x 3' x 3' hole. It ended up being a bit larger than that. Unlike what I've see elsewhere, where people have excavators attacking layers of rock, there's nothing but clay and sand here. Didn't find so much as a pebble in my pit. Easy to dig, but a bit worrisome for stability...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934705 - 06/22/13 02:23 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Made a semi-random rebar cage and plopped it in the hole. This was a miserable day... Concrete truck is showing up the next morning and it's cold and -snowing- and I'm trying to wrangle chunks of metal bare handed. Not fun.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934711 - 06/22/13 02:27 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Pit and form ready to accept concrete!

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934722 - 06/22/13 02:32 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

The truck arrived about half an hour early on a chilly March morning. It couldn't get through the fence, so the driver and I hauled the mix the 80' to the hole. Ended up taking 2 yards and about 45 minutes. Cost $25 extra for the driver's help and $5 for the company's wheelbarrow (in addition to my little red one). Totally worth it.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934727 - 06/22/13 02:34 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

The ruts will last forever...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934728 - 06/22/13 02:36 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Yeah, I really don't know what I'm doing with this. I swept the little finishing tool around from time to time with the hope the that concrete was smarter than I was...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934731 - 06/22/13 02:38 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

I -did- know enough to carve my markings and the date into the concrete before it set completely!

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934734 - 06/22/13 02:41 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

Of course, it got cold right after this. Like, for the next week. While the ambient temperature was 45-50, I used some cardboard and the padding one uses underneath one's sleeping bag to insulate the pad. It nearly hit 70 under there. This also helped keep everything wet while I was away at work.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934736 - 06/22/13 02:43 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

We have very aggressive dandelions here in Virginia.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934744 - 06/22/13 02:48 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Things remained at this point for a time. Then, NEAF rolled around and the folks from Exploradome announced that, if you were on the east coast, this was the time to place your order. I placed my order.

I got a call the weekend of NEAF that the dome would be delivered that Monday! In a day that will forever be known as 'Dome Day,' I finagled time to get away from work to be at the house for their expected noon delivery.

It's odd how things work out. I passed their truck four blocks from work!


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934747 - 06/22/13 02:50 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

Now that I had the dome, it was time to get serious...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934751 - 06/22/13 02:51 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

Had the lumber delivered later that week...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934758 - 06/22/13 02:54 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

And rented an auger to dig the holes for the deck supports. Let me tell you, it is a -lot- easier drawing 18 support posts than it is digging out the holes and installing them. Yikes. It would have been less painful impaling myself on the auger bit...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934763 - 06/22/13 02:57 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

After days of adjusting and leveling and backfilling, an almost square frame was completed!

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934767 - 06/22/13 02:58 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

1/2" galvanized carriage bolts attach the 2x6s to the 4x4s.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934771 - 06/22/13 03:00 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Since I wasn't especially careful in aligning the building with the pad, I needed to find the offset.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934778 - 06/22/13 03:06 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

The plan was to have the base of the pier on-hand so I could use it as a template to drill the holes for the anchors. However, the shop ran into some issues, so I decided that I could build the building as long as I didn't complete all of the subfloor. This is also where I deviated from ED's plans. I didn't understand why they arranged their joists the way that they did, so I did what made sense to me. I came in from each side spacing the joists 16" on center, leaving a 2' gap running down the center. The joists bordering this gap are doubled and I added a couple of cross members, again doubling the ones that border the opening for the pier. By leaving out the cross members closest to the door, I could complete the building and still have access to the pad.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934782 - 06/22/13 03:07 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

This was a mistake. I though that I should install plastic sheeting between the joists and the floor. Seemed like a good idea at the time...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934785 - 06/22/13 03:08 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

...and the floor seemed quite happy with it...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934788 - 06/22/13 03:10 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

But then it rained. And, wow, did the water ever collect. How long would this take to dry out? Weeks? Months? So, up came the floor and out came the plastic.

Edited by SFGagnon (06/22/13 05:10 PM)


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934794 - 06/22/13 03:13 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Once that was sussed out, time to start the framing. I personally have a very difficult time telling when I have the piece aligned with the blade so that the cut happens where I want it. Read about this method and happily used it. In essence, a sacrificial piece is mounted to the saw's fence and cut through...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934797 - 06/22/13 03:14 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

...the cut is then used to align the work. Easy peasy.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934799 - 06/22/13 03:16 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Here's another point of departure from ED's plans. I -think- they have their studs set for siding that 'wraps around' the building, as you would have if you were building their metal building. I adjusted the spacing for standard plywood T1-11 siding.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934805 - 06/22/13 03:21 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

Not having done this before, and having a bit of OCD, I was always wondering how square was square enough. I would secure the wall sections to the flooring as they were being built. However, once I released the clamps, there would be a 'thunk' sound as stresses readjusted and my nice, square section would no longer be square. Measuring diagonally, they would be off as much as 3/8". So, it was with some trepidation that I raised the wall sections onto the flooring...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934808 - 06/22/13 03:22 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

It all went together incredibly easily, much to my surprise!

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934809 - 06/22/13 03:25 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Space between adjoining wall sections was tight, but these right angle brackets made the job of securing the walls to each other a lot easier.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934811 - 06/22/13 03:28 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

The roof/dome support took a fair amount of time. As far as I can tell, it's intended to be built as a single unit and then placed on the building. This wasn't an option for me as (1) I didn't have a space to do it and (2) I'm more or less doing this on my own. Lifting that whole assembly just wasn't going to happen. So, I started by attaching the outer border and then fitting the two main beams in position.

Edited by SFGagnon (06/22/13 05:25 PM)


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934813 - 06/22/13 03:29 PM Attachment (15 downloads)

The main beams are double thickness, glued and screwed together.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934814 - 06/22/13 03:30 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

Straps and the secondary beams make for a good clamp for allowing the glue to set.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934818 - 06/22/13 03:31 PM Attachment (17 downloads)

At least now I can see where the dome's ring is going to go.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934821 - 06/22/13 03:33 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Since I can see where it's going to go, I might as well put it there. How does one person lift an 8' diameter ring onto a building?

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934822 - 06/22/13 03:34 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Straps take the place of having a wingspan of 8'...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934825 - 06/22/13 03:35 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

And it can be stepped into place with sawhorses, ladders and the building itself.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934829 - 06/22/13 03:37 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

Hooray! Although, the problem of getting the dome up there was still looming. And, this was a bit taller than I thought...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934833 - 06/22/13 03:39 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

While it was tall, it wasn't tall enough. The aluminum ring is a couple of inches shorter than the plastic ring that can also be purchased. This is potentially a problem since the bottom of the dome could end up resting on the roof. This would not do well for rotation.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934841 - 06/22/13 03:41 PM Attachment (19 downloads)

I contacted ED and, yes, there are spacers that should have beed delivered with the dome. They weren't, but I had them in my possession, along with mounting hardware, a few days later.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934852 - 06/22/13 03:47 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

The last piece of framing before the siding was installed. It became a problem later...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934855 - 06/22/13 03:48 PM Attachment (24 downloads)

Starting the siding...

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934863 - 06/22/13 03:54 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

An oops moment. The stud spacing that I rearranged on my own? Didn't properly account for the spacing of the adjoining wall. It was an easy fix, though. I just chopped a bit off of the first 4' panel and, since I was spanning a 10' wall with 4' panels, it wasn't an issue making-up the difference on the far end. I had actually drawn it wrong. So, I guess the good news is that I built it as it was drawn? Yay?

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934869 - 06/22/13 03:56 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

I also discovered that a gallon of paint, which claims to cover 400 sq. ft. of surface, doesn't quite cover ~200 sq. ft. of new wood.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934870 - 06/22/13 03:59 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Test fitting the roof panels reveals another problem. I'm not sure if I misunderstood ED's instructions, if the design of the roof panels has changed from when the instructions were (first?) written, or if something is just wrong. In any event, the roof panels didn't properly fit on that final 'rim' piece of wood. By quite a bit.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934874 - 06/22/13 04:01 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

My solution - a series of cleats made from leftover 2x6.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934878 - 06/22/13 04:02 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Mark the locations of where the mounting screws should go before everything gets covered over.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934883 - 06/22/13 04:04 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Attaching the roof panels was accomplished by rigging a series of straps around the perimeter of the roof, using some 'C' clamps like belt loops, and then tightening the straps while pounding the sections into place with a dead blow hammer and a scrap of 2x4. Pound, pound, pound. Ratchet, ratchet, ratchet. Rinse and repeat.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934907 - 06/22/13 04:18 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

Should have mentioned this earlier, but you might notice a difference in the number of rafters in my original drawing and in what was actually built. I realized part way through that if I used an even number of rafters (which is sometimes shown in the documentation), then the seams of the roof panels wouldn't be supported by anything. Using an odd number (which is sometimes shown in the documentation) puts the seam right on a rafter, so the mounting screws have something to screw into.

Speaking of mounting screws, ED included a -lot- of them. They are painted white and have a little rubber washer to help seal out the water. I like 'em. I had enough to put two into every cleat (coming up through the bottom portion of the roof panel to further reduce the likelihood of water getting in) and six into the lap between sections. That 104 total. There's still a bunch left over, too. I was not hurting for screws.

The edge of the roof doesn't quite fit against the building in all places. Mainly near the corners. The largest gap is about 1/4". Most of it is in contact with the building, though.

I also have a sizable gap (~1") between the 'top' surfaces of adjoining panels. The space is still covered, by a lot, by the 'tab' section of the 'bottom' section, so this isn't an issue for weather proofing. It just makes the joint a bit ugly. I'm assuming this is because I have my siding between the edge of the roof panels and the building. Building it this way, rather than placing the roof and then positioning the siding under it, made sense to me, though.

I ran a bead of silicon calking 'inboard' from where the joining screws were going to go and another on the external part of the seam. It has rained a couple of times since, and I haven't seen a single leak!


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934925 - 06/22/13 04:25 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

The dome... I was so worried about this, becoming more so as the building neared completion. About 5 minutes after the last of the caulking was done, I walked over to my next door neighbor's house. They were out in the yard and had previously offered to help. Suckers!!

The plan: Take their pick-up truck and drive it through the fence (about 2" clearance on both sides) and park the truck as close to the building as possible. The five of us would then move the 160 pound dome from my deck to the bed of their truck, resting the dome on the 'walls' of the truck's bed. Climb into the truck and use the bed as a raised platform. Lift the dome and place it on the ring, which is now about 4 feet up rather than the 7 feet it would have been from the ground. Job done in about 5 minutes. Sorry that I don't have photos of the process, but it went too quickly. And, while we had 5 people, we could have done it with 4. Possibly 3.


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934926 - 06/22/13 04:26 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

I was so worried about the dome that I didn't put any though into the door. Oh, well. A tarp will do for now.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934930 - 06/22/13 04:27 PM Attachment (23 downloads)

The pieces of the retaining ring are ready for installation.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934938 - 06/22/13 04:29 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

This is a blind job, so the little scrap of wood was shoved behind the ring so that I could get the retaining ring to a uniform height.

Edited by SFGagnon (06/22/13 05:35 PM)


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934942 - 06/22/13 04:31 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

Still waiting for the pier (and the door...), but it's enough that it can be used on a temporary basis. An C-11 on a CGEM will call this home, along with a couple of smaller siblings.

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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5934956 - 06/22/13 04:37 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

And that's where things sit now. I've already gotten 'lost' in the dome a couple of times. It's odd looking at the sky through a slit. I'm also happy to report that no dew has formed on the scope's corrector so far! It's also funny that it's roomy and crowded inside at the same time. Some of that will be fixed once the tripod goes away, but all that space that's under the roof but not the dome?? NICE... I'm already planning on building a desk that runs the length of one of the walls. What am I most excited about? I'll finally have someplace to put my glasses!

If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. They'll be a few additional updates as the pier (and door...) make an appearance.

Clear skies to all and my apologies to my fellow astronomer in my part of the world. I'm afraid that my construction will be affecting the weather for months to come!


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sewhite
member


Reged: 05/29/12

Loc: On a spinning rock
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5935029 - 06/22/13 05:21 PM

It's looking good! Thanks for sharing your build.
What pier are you planning on using?

Stan


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SFGagnon
super member


Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Carrollton, VA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: sewhite]
      #5935060 - 06/22/13 05:43 PM

Quote:

It's looking good! Thanks for sharing your build.
What pier are you planning on using?

Stan





Not a problem! I've learned so much from this forum that it was only appropriate that I gave something back.

The pier is being built by a local shop. Nothing fancy. It'll be about 4' worth of 10" schedule 5 pipe (if I can get it) welded to a couple of 1/2" steel plates.


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Goodchild
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/31/08

Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5935114 - 06/22/13 06:23 PM

For someone who's never done construction before you've done an impressive job. Better, I'm sure, than I would have done. I have been considering ED for some time now and this helps to confirm my plans. Thanks for sharing. Job well done.

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starquake
sage


Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Nádasdladány
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: SFGagnon]
      #5935136 - 06/22/13 06:40 PM

I think that's the funniest building log I've ever read. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your observatory, it looks very pretty.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: starquake]
      #5936093 - 06/23/13 09:55 AM

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. You did a very nice job on the obs. Congrats.

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MikeCatfin
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 03/12/04

Loc: NJ, USA
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5938171 - 06/24/13 02:47 PM

Great read, wonderful job on the ED.

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Starman27
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: MikeCatfin]
      #5940473 - 06/25/13 09:01 PM

Thanks for sharing.

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Bob Griffiths
Getting Grouchy
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Frederick Maryland
Re: PBG Observatory - My Exploradome Adventure! new [Re: Starman27]
      #5941136 - 06/26/13 09:57 AM

I too had a few laughs and some major grins while reading your thread...
When I read that you were 3/8 of an inch out of square I almost fell off my chair..(said to myself wait until he gets to install the roof panels!)

My ED was one of the first dozen or so ever sold and many of us very early buyers had trouble with the roof panels....it was easy however to install the panels IF the ring was not mounted solidly in place so that you could move the ring around so that the roof panels fit the edge of the building with about a 3/4 inch space to install a drip edge...Then go back inside and screw the ring down nice and solid...( My ring like all the original ones needed to handcrafted by the buyer out of wood ...

Mine is elevated 8 foot off the ground so I knew I would have some trouble mounting the dome itself So I hired (#120.00) a local sign company to bring their "crane" and drop it in place...

Good job...and IF you are as happy with yours AS I AM with mine...you will be able to enjoy it problem free for years ...

Bob G.


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