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Starting In on Buiding a Dome!

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#26 Spoonsize

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Posted 25 March 2019 - 10:35 AM

Did the fiberglass eat the foam dome?

#27 Cfreerksen

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 01:18 AM

I think we need an update.

 

Chris 



#28 PrestonE

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 03:53 PM

Hola Acer,

 

I built this same dome in a scaled up 12 foot diameter version for my Houston Observatory...

 

Due to our Hurricanes, I added 1/4 inch Luan ply to the inside and outside...then Tnuts and

all thread to hold the inside and outside ply tight together...then fiberglass and epoxyed the

seems...polyester melts the polystyrene foam...

 

You may not have the problem with this smaller size, but the wheels Do Not want to be 

flat to the dome...the axis of the wheel wants to point to the center of the dome level

with the surface of where the wheels are running...this way they will roll and not be 

always skidding...

 

Skidding causes the dome to shake when turning...and use more power to rotate.

 

Our dome, lasted 8 years atop my garage before selling the house and removing and selling

the dome...it was as good as new when sold.

 

Best Regards,

 

Preston


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#29 Acer

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 02:59 PM

Sorry for the late reply, but here is an update.

 

I haven't done much to the dome since the last post.  Owning your own company and having to work isn't all its cracked up to be ;)

 

Here's what I did so far.  I ended up cutting the dome in half to make a 24" shutter opening.  I then cut and glued half rings to frame out the opening.  

 

2h6uivq.jpg

 

 

I used 1/4" hardboard and 1x2 pine to frame out and cover the back of the shutter opening.

 

117ahb7.jpg

 

 

I used polyurethane glue throughout the construction.  The dome itself is now ready for filling, sanding and then fiberglassing.  

 

I am not going to be using polyester for the fiberglass work, I will be using West Systems Epoxy.   I still need to make the shutter itself, but that won't be too hard.  

 

The base will be epoxy painted, then sheeted with metal siding.  The aim is to make the dome look like a squat silo, so that it blends in better in the garden.


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#30 Stevegeo

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 04:00 PM

Nice work on the geodesic dome ...

FWIW..I happen to live in a 40 ft natural spaces 3v  5/8 th on a 36 in rizer wall. 

Mine has 96 panels , so I know the work ...

 

 I would suggest this . Fiberglass from the bottom up . Wet the surface with epoxy, a section at a time, apply the glass, I would use a fine weave first .. wet that and move around .. overlap each section at least 2 inches. 

Do hexs first , cut each 2 inches larger then needed  , wet surface then cloth .. let it set up , lightly sand each edge  for adhesion,  then do the pentagram same way .. if you do two layers, a finer cloth done the same way will make a super hard , super strong dome ... if you perhaps need cloth I happen to have 3500 ft  4ft wide  very fine cloth I could sell you .. it was used for a glider project.. 

PM me and I will send you a sample .. . If you need further technical  assistance,  just ask! 


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#31 Acer

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 06:28 PM

Today was a nice cool day, so I decided to dig the hole for the pier.

 

The only place that works in my back yard is in the center of my garden, which when the dome is placed, will look pretty nice.  I can then finish up the sandstone.

 

The pier is  7" diameter x 7 foot long by roughly 1/4" thick.  The pier is almost 4 foot in the ground, so I did not pour a footer, I really don't think it will need one.  I will be pouring concrete around the outside of the pier and using a tamping bar to compact the concrete.  I'll then fill the tube with concrete.

 

After the concrete cures, I am going to tig on a round plate that I can bolt the pier plate for my mount to.  This thing isn't going to go anywhere.  It should be very stable.

 

34o6k9j.jpg


Edited by Acer, 09 June 2019 - 06:40 PM.

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#32 TxStars

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 11:29 PM

I think the only movement you would get in CO would be from freezing in the winter.

As long as you keep the ground temp inside the dome just above freezing you should have no movement in the pier.



#33 MartinNH

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 07:53 AM

Quick question regarding the exterior of your supporting structure. What siding are you going to put on the structure? Vertical boards? 



#34 Acer

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:43 AM

Quick question regarding the exterior of your supporting structure. What siding are you going to put on the structure? Vertical boards? 

 

I will be using galvanized steel siding, similar to what they use on silos.  I plan to have it look somewhat like a very squat silo, so it isn't such an eyesore on the garden.


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#35 Acer

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:44 AM

I think the only movement you would get in CO would be from freezing in the winter.

As long as you keep the ground temp inside the dome just above freezing you should have no movement in the pier.

Yeah, the majority of the pier will be below the frost line, so I think I should be all right.  

I am also making an adjustable pier plate, so I can tweak the mount to relevel it if ever needed.


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#36 Acer

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:18 AM

Yesterday I finished installing the pier.  It took 400 lbs. of concrete.  With the tube weighing over 200 lbs itself, I think I have plenty of weight in this mount.

 

While the concrete was curing, I built the pier plate system from two brake rotors.  I used 1/2" all-thread for the leveling system, tapping, then tigging it into the top plate.

 

The brake rotor fits perfectly into the top of the 7" tube with nearly no wiggle room.  I tigged the pier plate to the tube itself, so this system should be extremely stable.

 

Welding-Pier.jpg

 

 

pier.jpg


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#37 Acer

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:18 PM

I painted the new pier today and decided to also mount up my scope for some photos ;)

 

I am going to image tonight with the new setup.  I think I am going to just take the scope off the mount and leave the mount there (covered), until I get my dome finished.

 

Scope-Pier-1.jpg


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#38 Acer

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:11 AM

Last night I tried out the new setup.  Works pretty slick!  I can tap pretty hard on the pier and I can't see any tracking blips in PHD2's graph.  I used to be able to see tracking blips in the graph when using the tripod and just lightly walking around the mount.

 

I decided to do an imaging run last night as well.  Since it is a weekday and I had to get up for work in the morning, I set a camping cot out by the mount so I could sleep and not have the mount/telescope walk off (I live in a nice neighborhood, but you never know).  

It was nice and cool 50° out.  I got roughly 4.5 hours on the Dumbell nebula and a good sleep at the same time.


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#39 zach540

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:34 AM

Andy, you're making me want to machine the adapter for my pier just to test mine out! 



#40 MHamburg

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:04 AM

Did you fabricate the mount plate/rings or had them custom made?

 

Michael



#41 jagakajaja

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:23 AM

Looks great! Where did you find the 7 inch steel pipe? I'm not having much luck finding anything that large online.



#42 gregj888

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:46 AM

jagakajaja,

 

I don't know where Acer got his, but try the local steel scrap yard.  Will probably cost less than shipping.

 

I just googled "scrap steel maryland" and got a dozen hits.

 

If that doesn't get you something, try the steel fabricators or distributors.  Ask if that have a scrap/surplus/partial piece and be a little flexible.  If you tell them what it's for, they may sell it to you for scrap prices.  Most of this material comes in 10' or 20' pieces so there's usually odds and ends that's just taking up space. 


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#43 TxStars

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:00 PM

Sometimes you can find what you need on e-bay.

 

https://www.ebay.com...HYAAOSw5UZY9FEr

 

 

 

There are numerous steel & pipe supply companies around the US, but you might have to but an entire 20'.+ length.

 

If  you do a search for local scrap yards or recyclers you may find a usable piece of pipe.


Edited by TxStars, 14 June 2019 - 03:05 PM.

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#44 Acer

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:04 PM

Andy, you're making me want to machine the adapter for my pier just to test mine out! 

Thanks!  It seems to be working great, and is much more stable than the tripod the mount came with.

 

 

Did you fabricate the mount plate/rings or had them custom made?

 

Michael

The mount plate is just two 2012 Chevy Malibu rear brake discs.  The hole in the center of the disc is the perfect size for the EQ6-R Pro and the outside of the disc fits the 7" diameter tube perfectly as well.  Much cheaper than buying pier plates (around $40.00 in total).

 

Looks great! Where did you find the 7 inch steel pipe? I'm not having much luck finding anything that large online

My shop landlord has about 50 of these pipes out in our shop yard.  He used them to make crash barrier bollards for the warehouse units I am in.


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#45 MartinNH

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 09:28 AM

Thanks!  It seems to be working great, and is much more stable than the tripod the mount came with.

 

 

The mount plate is just two 2012 Chevy Malibu rear brake discs.  The hole in the center of the disc is the perfect size for the EQ6-R Pro and the outside of the disc fits the 7" diameter tube perfectly as well.  Much cheaper than buying pier plates (around $40.00 in total).

 

My shop landlord has about 50 of these pipes out in our shop yard.  He used them to make crash barrier bollards for the warehouse units I am in.

Just a quick thank you to you! I was looking what brakes to use for a pier plate. Thanks for dropping that piece of information! 



#46 Acer

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 06:21 PM

I am starting back on the Geo-dome.

 

All the foam is sanded down and I pained a coat of epoxy on the exterior wood.

 

I made a plan on how to finish it.  I am going to use heavy screen material and acrylic stucco to stucco both the inside and outside of the dome.  The second photo shows a piece of the screen material glued to the foam.

 

The base will be taken outside and epoxy coated, then I am going to use galvanized corrugated metal to "skin" it. 

 

I hope to have it done in a month or so.

 

48944809282_728fa9a3b1_c.jpgDSCF2058-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

 

48944613031_09520b2d6d_c.jpgDSCF2057-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr


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#47 Cfreerksen

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Posted 29 October 2019 - 09:57 PM

I am starting back on the Geo-dome.

 

All the foam is sanded down and I pained a coat of epoxy on the exterior wood.

 

I made a plan on how to finish it.  I am going to use heavy screen material and acrylic stucco to stucco both the inside and outside of the dome.  The second photo shows a piece of the screen material glued to the foam.

 

The base will be taken outside and epoxy coated, then I am going to use galvanized corrugated metal to "skin" it. 

 

I hope to have it done in a month or so.

 

48944809282_728fa9a3b1_c.jpgDSCF2058-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

 

48944613031_09520b2d6d_c.jpgDSCF2057-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Nice. Watching...waiting.

 

Chris


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#48 Stevegeo

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 03:50 AM

Hey if you're interested, I have 3000 yes 3000 ft of SILK fiberglass  commonly used for sail plane skin.

I would sell you enough to skin the out side twice ... for cheap.... if you want to go that route.

It's over 4 ft wide on the roll.  I could send you a sample and let you decide.

Email me off line and I will get right back.

 

When applied right, it would be super strong, and smooth.  With an epoxy coat of paint, stay smooth and shiny and maintenance  free for many many years....

Steveg.



#49 philipdehazya

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 12:16 PM

I admire anyone who can weld in their shorts!

Yesterday I finished installing the pier.  It took 400 lbs. of concrete.  With the tube weighing over 200 lbs itself, I think I have plenty of weight in this mount.

 

While the concrete was curing, I built the pier plate system from two brake rotors.  I used 1/2" all-thread for the leveling system, tapping, then tigging it into the top plate.

 

The brake rotor fits perfectly into the top of the 7" tube with nearly no wiggle room.  I tigged the pier plate to the tube itself, so this system should be extremely stable.

 

Welding-Pier.jpg

 

 

pier.jpg


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#50 TxStars

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 02:39 AM

@ philipdehazya

TiG is a much cleaner process than MiG or Stick which have a lot of splatter that can be on the warm side..  lol




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