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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5801000 - 04/15/13 04:53 PM

Thanks for the advice on the photos. I'm going to keep plugging away at the glass work, and hopefully I'll have at least the dome framework finished up by next weekend (the initial glassing. Looks like I'm going to have a bit of "body" work to do also. I did save a few of the trimmings from cutting the dome from the body, so I might still consider screwing a 3/4 inch wide piece to the final product here to smooth out the top edge where the shutter dollies run, to avoid too much work, that or a piece of aluminum.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5823836 - 04/26/13 09:03 AM

Been too cold to do any glassing work... Looks like the weekend will hold some "warmer" weather, and I can get this dome wrapped up.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5829019 - 04/28/13 08:10 PM

Picked up some more resin and chop over the weekend. Got 3/4 of the shutter frame glassed up. I plan on putting a layer of fiberglass over the upper part of the ply ring yet, then just resin over the bottom of the ring where the wheels run. Just trying to keep the ply from delaminating.

The first bit of resin I did was from West Marine (epoxy), which had a flash time of several hours. Great stuff, but messy and once rolled in, it is better to forget it than to fuss with it, as it as usually it ends up looking worse. Today, I walked into a auto parts store and picked up a gallon of polyester resin. Much easier to work with, but 1 quart of resin at a time is too much for working with at long stretches. Seems to roll in nicely though, and already sanding. Hopefully will get a chance this week to finish the dome glass work, and ready for painting! Not much to post for pics, and sorry for the fizzle out of the project, but it's still moving, and soon I'll have the shutters all glassed up before long too. Then all I gotta do is build a platform and a pier!

Pics to come as soon as I finish the shutter frame!


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5854838 - 05/12/13 04:31 AM

weather , rain, bringing the project to a stop, lol

I know here in Conneaut, the weather has really been bad, had four nights, of hazy nights last week and right back to rain.


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: droid]
      #5855519 - 05/12/13 01:46 PM

Thanks for thinking of me and the project! I got the marathon out of the way and managed to tear a big toenail off in the process. Bettered my time by an hour from last year, so all the training paid off. Will be nursing the toe for a while so hope to work on the OB to completion.

I did manage to get the exterior framing glassed. Needs a little more work, and the rotation ring fiberglassed and some finish sanding and she'll be ready for paint.

I'm planning on setting the dome without doing the shutters so at least I'll be able to put the thing to use (with my tripod). Hope to update you guys next week with some pics!


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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5856864 - 05/13/13 05:33 AM

Owe that toes gonna smart for a while, might keep it clean and take it easy for a while.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: droid]
      #5857360 - 05/13/13 12:19 PM

Yep. I'm on a MED called Enbrel for psoriatic arthritis - knocks your immune system down to nothing, so, the marathon that I planned to run in 5 weeks is out. Can't risk an infection!

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droid
rocketman
*****

Reged: 08/29/04

Loc: Conneaut, Ohio
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5868808 - 05/18/13 05:35 AM

Hoping your ok......start taking vitamins.
My doc tells me I need to take vitamins for "Seniors"
lol
Gosh I'm only 56
Be well......and keep posting photos, when your up to finishing it ,that is


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5869022 - 05/18/13 09:28 AM

Please take care of yourself; that comes first, observatory second!

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5890367 - 05/29/13 09:16 AM Attachment (52 downloads)

Good God... I need more than vitamins!!! More hours in the day, more days in the week, or just a clone! I DID manage to get the shutter framing glassed up and the ring sealed with a layer of resin. I still want to add some tabbing where the dome meets the ply ring for strength as well as to prevent sag of the ply ring.

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5890372 - 05/29/13 09:19 AM Attachment (52 downloads)

The overview picture that I posted - you can see my technique for getting a layer of glass over the ply - 4" wide strips of glass matt over resin, then rolled in with some overlap. Between the overlap and where the strips cross the edge of the framing, the glass came up a bit and will need to be sanded out - I can get the inner shutter on, but now it won't roll because it's catching on the glass (more work before paint!).

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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5890380 - 05/29/13 09:27 AM Attachment (51 downloads)

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Very busy around the house and prepping another hobby . That's one of my problems... WAY too many (that's a 28' Donzi by the way)!

Was hoping to get the scope out over the weekend and try it out in the base (domeless), but no kidding, the afternoons were cloud free, but then the evenings and nights clouded up! Almost like the weather is pushing me to get this OB project completed (which I need to do anyway).

Once sanded and I get this framing where it will work well with the shutters, she'll be ready for paint!


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5899143 - 06/03/13 08:09 AM Attachment (46 downloads)

Got some work done on the dome over the weekend... Ground out the fiberglass work, taking off the overlap and grinding down the seam that mated with the dome so that it would be blended. All that accomplished, I fitted the shutters back on the framing... Still catching! I may have to build a new set if these ones don't work out. Last resort - I'll try grinding out a little of the inside of the shutter sides for the clearance (got my fingers crossed).

I managed to get one coat of white on the exterior as well. There are a couple of places where the resin dripped on the dome that I'll have to grind off. Such a large field that I didn't notice it until a coat of paint was applied. Hopefully the dome will go up by this weekend!


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5899144 - 06/03/13 08:10 AM Attachment (54 downloads)

View 2!

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Midnight Dan
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortl...
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5899163 - 06/03/13 08:34 AM

Wow! The dome looks very professional with the white coat! Hope you can get the shutters working.

-Dan


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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: Midnight Dan]
      #5899257 - 06/03/13 09:39 AM

Looks great ! I had the same issue with clearance when I fiberglassed the hatch on my OBS and ended up grinding some of the glass back off plus I added a little bit of height to the "rails" and that helped the most
Norm


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: stmguy]
      #5904683 - 06/05/13 08:49 PM

2 coats of white on the outside, and a good coat of flat black on the inside. Set the dome tonight!!!

Pics to be posted tomorrow!


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5907442 - 06/07/13 08:06 AM

Well here it is with the dome on. Day late on the pic. The dome turns with ease. Literally it's a one hand effort. I have some spare 3/8 nylon dock line for the boat that I plan on turning into some grab handles to bring the rotation down to about chest level. At present, it's a reach, and if my hand slips, I worry that I'm going to run my fingers over with the skate wheels, which would be very painful.

Hopefully going to get one of the two shutters completed (glassed) by the weekend!


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berlinstar
super member


Reged: 03/28/11

Loc: Berlin Center, OH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5907443 - 06/07/13 08:07 AM Attachment (51 downloads)

Pic

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stmguy
sage


Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Western NH
Re: Observatory from a Fiberglass Storage Tank new [Re: berlinstar]
      #5907852 - 06/07/13 12:29 PM

Looks great, good job !

Norm


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