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Another Pier Stuck Into the Ground

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#1 Dynan

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:39 PM

Losing so much time to tweak a good PA every time I set up for the rare two-clear-night stretch had me frustrated. My dear friends that have a farm in southern MS were so kind as to let me do something permanent about it and more conveniently use the Bortle 3-4 sky.

 

So I started on my pier today. First things first... I chucked this baby up in my 1/2" Dwalt drill and turned her down a tad. Didn't know it would handle a 380 pound load... what.gif

 

PIER 6.jpg

 

PIER 4.jpg

 

PIER 2.jpg

 

I think it'll hold my CGX fairly stable.

 

I originally went to Economy Iron Works in NOLA (great people) to see if they had a piece of 6" schedule 80 pipe they could turn down to fit my CGX base. They said they'd have to look in their stock to see if they had a drop piece to cut, or otherwise I'd have to purchase a 21 foot stick. They didn't have a piece of schedule 80 but they had this 6 foot piece of a special 7" O.D. x 7/8" thick wall pipe I could use. Worked out better, since it gave more thickness for the mount bolts to bite on.

 

I went with this instead of a pier plate, since all information I could find stated that a constant leveling of an EQ mount isn't critical. (One comment by a well respected astronomer said, "You could mount an EQ on a WALL if you have enough adjustment so that you can still get a good polar alignment" rofl2.gif )

 

Drilling the hole Monday, and pouring the concrete. Going to expand the bottom of the 12" hole as well as possible to give it the widest footing possible. Don't want to tear up more ground that needed, since, if the weather this year is anything like last year, I'll only be imaging a dozen times.gaah.gif


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#2 Cfreerksen

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:21 PM

Losing so much time to tweak a good PA every time I set up for the rare two-clear-night stretch had me frustrated. My dear friends that have a farm in southern MS were so kind as to let me do something permanent about it and more conveniently use the Bortle 3-4 sky.

 

So I started on my pier today. First things first... I chucked this baby up in my 1/2" Dwalt drill and turned her down a tad. Didn't know it would handle a 380 pound load... what.gif

 

attachicon.gif PIER 6.jpg

 

attachicon.gif PIER 4.jpg

 

attachicon.gif PIER 2.jpg

 

I think it'll hold my CGX fairly stable.

 

I originally went to Economy Iron Works in NOLA (great people) to see if they had a piece of 6" schedule 80 pipe they could turn down to fit my CGX base. They said they'd have to look in their stock to see if they had a drop piece to cut, or otherwise I'd have to purchase a 21 foot stick. They didn't have a piece of schedule 80 but they had this 6 foot piece of a special 7" O.D. x 7/8" thick wall pipe I could use. Worked out better, since it gave more thickness for the mount bolts to bite on.

 

I went with this instead of a pier plate, since all information I could find stated that a constant leveling of an EQ mount isn't critical. (One comment by a well respected astronomer said, "You could mount an EQ on a WALL if you have enough adjustment so that you can still get a good polar alignment" rofl2.gif )

 

Drilling the hole Monday, and pouring the concrete. Going to expand the bottom of the 12" hole as well as possible to give it the widest footing possible. Don't want to tear up more ground that needed, since, if the weather this year is anything like last year, I'll only be imaging a dozen times.gaah.gif

Dynan,

 

That is some pretty bold material. I am sure it will hold your CGX and maybe a Volvo just fine.

 

Chris


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#3 Dynan

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:09 PM

Dynan,

 

That is some pretty bold material. I am sure it will hold your CGX and maybe a Volvo just fine.

 

Chris

At 63 pounds per foot, I think the Volvo will help this sink to bedrock. smile.gif



#4 roscoe

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:32 AM

I'm confused..... I'm sure I added a post to this thread, and it's gone...??



#5 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 08:58 AM

I'm confused..... I'm sure I added a post to this thread, and it's gone...??

Try again! waytogo.gif   I'd love to hear any C/C... Pouring concrete tomorrow, so now's the time.


Edited by Dynan, 13 January 2019 - 08:59 AM.


#6 Cfreerksen

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:47 AM

Try again! waytogo.gif   I'd love to hear any C/C... Pouring concrete tomorrow, so now's the time.

Pictures please.

 

Chris



#7 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 11:18 AM

Pictures please.

 

Chris

Pouring concrete and a decidedly large pipe into the ground tomorrow. I'll snap some pics as I go.

 

As I said, I'm not doing a full-fledged pier process with the large footer and all. I can't tear up the ground needed for that. I'll be mounting aforementioned cannon barrel in a 12" hole widened out as best I can at the bottom. I'm going to make a flat top a few inches thick with reinforcing mesh at the top about 2' x 2' to add a little help against subsidence. If it starts to tilt in the future, I'll just adjust the PA accordingly. It's all I can do for now without 'overextending my welcome'.



#8 Mel M

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 02:49 PM

What width and depth is your hole? Will the pipe go to the bottom of the hole? Nice chunk of iron!



#9 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 04:51 PM

I'm only going into the ground 42", leaving 30" above ground. Hopefully get 8-10 bags of concrete in there. Going to put flat cinder block at the bottom.

 

The auger is 12" diameter and am going to 'rock' it to widen the hole, especially at the bottom. Once that baby goes in, at 380 lbs., it ain't coming out again...noway.gif

 

That's the plan anyway...


Edited by Dynan, 13 January 2019 - 04:52 PM.


#10 Mel M

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 05:22 PM

Sounds like a very stout pier. I haven't tried adding cinder block in the bottom. Adding cinder block you have slightly less concrete so slightly less strength but a place for water to go?


Edited by Mel M, 13 January 2019 - 05:23 PM.


#11 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 05:29 PM

The cinder block at the bottom is just for more area directly under the pipe to keep it from sinking. With the very wet concrete I'll be putting in the hole, it'll be one large boulder down there. I don't believe water will migrate down the pipe/concrete seal, and the pipe will be covered at all times, so not so worried about that. That, again, is the plan...


Edited by Dynan, 13 January 2019 - 05:30 PM.


#12 Mel M

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 06:07 PM

I don't see how the cinder block would help but I'm just guessing.  



#13 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 07:21 PM

I see your point. Maybe not necessary, except for getting a firm seating for the height.



#14 Real14

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:19 PM

I see your point. Maybe not necessary, except for getting a firm seating for the height.

 

If you sink your steel pier into grown soil you will have water creeping up the metal and your steel pier will start to rust, so the cinder block helps you as an insulation between grown soil and your steel.

 

Also, one should never stick the bare rebar into grown soil. Happens the same thing water creeping up the rebar, rust and then the concrete will crack.


Edited by Real14, 13 January 2019 - 10:20 PM.

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#15 Dynan

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 10:46 PM

That's why I'm throwing down the flat cinder blocks in the bottom of the hole. With that, there will be no soil/steel contact...or any appreciable amount. I'll be sure and cover the wire mesh at the top swell completely with concrete, with no soil contact.

 

But also I figure even if I start washing this pipe with hot salt water, it may disappear in a hundred years...lol.gif

 

Thanks for the tips!



#16 Dynan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 09:05 AM

Well...for right or wrong... I'm committed.

 

Found a convenient meteorite crater:

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (2) 2.jpg

 

Perfect dimensions too! 30" wide by 6" deep":

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (4) 2.jpg

 

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (6) 2.jpg

 

With a little investigation, it turns out to be 42" total depth. What are the odds?:

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (8) 2.jpg

 

Spying a strange dual meteorite at the bottom. Just right to keep the pipe supported so sloppy concrete can keep the pipe off the soil:

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (10) 2.jpg

 

And with a grunt:

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (12) 2.jpg

 

Wire reinforced:

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (28) 2.jpg

 

 

 


Edited by Dynan, 15 January 2019 - 09:07 AM.


#17 Dynan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 09:15 AM

Had to keep the phone compass away from the steel pipe to get a good reading:

 

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (26) 2.jpg

 

The next Polar Alignment will be the final test:

 

PIER CONSTRUCTION  (21) 2.jpg


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#18 dmdouglass

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 05:33 PM

And it begins.....

 

You will enjoy it  !!!


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#19 Dynan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

Thanks Dave. Going to get a four outlet power hook up installed and it'll be ready to go.



#20 Cfreerksen

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 11:27 PM

Nice work.

 

Chris


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#21 Dynan

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 11:33 PM

Thanks Chris.

 

Now if something can be done about the clouds... One good night upcoming and it'll be down to 24° that night, so it'll have to be a determined effort.



#22 Dynan

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 09:26 PM

The pier came out STURDY, as I had no doubt.

 

Time for a cover.

 

Tap, tap, tap, tap...

 

PIER 29 2.jpg

 

Two supports already wide enough for the mount cover box. One advantage to working with a 7" cannon barrel, I guess.

 

PIER 30 2.jpg

 

Primer coat, mainly to fight rust.

 

PIER 31 2.jpg

 

Now to get a 2 gang GFCI installed. 60 feet of conduit and 12-2 w/ Grnd.

 

Now it's box-craft-time...


Edited by Dynan, 18 January 2019 - 09:31 PM.

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#23 pkwj

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 10:18 PM

Great progress Dynan. What's sort of construction are you planning for the box/cover?


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#24 Cfreerksen

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 11:46 PM

Great progress Dynan. What's sort of construction are you planning for the box/cover?

+1

 

Is scope apartment in order? I will look....I saw a great one that a guy made for his deck. He had a great layout. What's your plan man? Or are you just making it up as you go?

 

Chris


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#25 Dynan

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 11:47 PM

lol.gif  Just a box/cover.

 

Light plywood. Marine enamel, 15 coats. (So much for the 'light'). (Just waterproof.) Every crack and crevice silicone sealed to keep the critters out.

 

Going to run the 2 gang into the cover so I can run a 40W light bulb (may be a thermostat controlled low watt heater) when not in use to keep everything dry here in the Deep South. Going to paint it WHITE so the brutal Southern Sun doesn't melt the mount, or the grease.




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