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My Suburban Concrete Pier + cem120 + 12x12 Deck + Nexdome Build thread

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#51 markm75c

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:59 AM

Ha - I like the look on the face of your model that shows the space constraints!    I have a son about that age and it is like pulling teeth to get him to help me on these sorts of endeavors - I hope you have better luck than I!

Haha yes indeed, it certainly can be trying at times, though they did help quite a bit with the deck and digging.  They also dont really have an interest in using the telescope unfortunately (my son here is 16, my other is 12 and i have a 3 year old that does love the telescope haha).


Edited by markm75c, 19 August 2019 - 10:00 AM.


#52 Stevegeo

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:50 AM

so far everything looks good ..however ..i would suggest a vapor barrier under the floor.

i stapled 10 mil plastic to the underside of floor joists with wood lath across the joists ...

 

but i have from bottom up in this order ...

earth . gravel . vapor barrier.  concrete. 

1 foot air space . vapor barrier. joists. plywood.

then building ..the one foot air space isolates ground temp from building .. i have insulated the underside of building ..which helps a lot in humid or very cold temps.



#53 markm75c

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 02:25 PM

so far everything looks good ..however ..i would suggest a vapor barrier under the floor.

i stapled 10 mil plastic to the underside of floor joists with wood lath across the joists ...

 

but i have from bottom up in this order ...

earth . gravel . vapor barrier.  concrete. 

1 foot air space . vapor barrier. joists. plywood.

then building ..the one foot air space isolates ground temp from building .. i have insulated the underside of building ..which helps a lot in humid or very cold temps.

Interesting, i hadnt considered this, i havent seen many do this either.  Issue is since the decking is down, i really dont want to have to undo it all.  I'm going to have the rubber 3/4 gym mats for flooring and seal the outer edge of the dome with pl max loctite caulking as some have done.  I would hope maybe at least the flooring would help on insulation?



#54 markm75c

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:27 PM

on my previous statement about possibly doing the skyshed roll off instead.. i was concerned about wall height (6 foot the typical height) vs my current 52.5" scope height, but given the wall would be 5.5  feet outward (12x12 deck), that means it actually should be more than possible to see 22 degree targets (after i did a brief calculation using H elev = Tan(A elev) * D wall  (means i have an extra 7" to work with in fact, i think if i did this calculation correct)  but i still need to consider the dark adaption advantages of the dome and complete remote ability (so basically i havent abandoned the nexdome at all yet)


Edited by markm75c, 19 August 2019 - 03:33 PM.


#55 Stevegeo

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 07:55 PM

A concern here with the gym mats ...they are prob rubber or vinyl covered  and either way like many materials will collect moisture, underneath between the mat and the wood  and that's not good  (for).. I know this first hand ...that's the very reason why I suggest a vapor barrier under the platform  and if possible insulation .

Insulation could be done easily by lifting the platform . Glue foam board 1in thick under and use lath strips 90degrees to the foam screwed to platform every 2ft .. tapering the foam joints would help tremendously. And help midigate any moisture from the ground .   Moisture from the ground , or air temp difference , what we all hate ..DEW.

A good example of what I am talking about is lift a rubber Matt that has been outside after a rainstorm , but not exposed to the rain .in a porch or garage.....it will be damp ...to stop this moisture, either a barrier with insulation , or if your climate is somewhat dry, insulation alone ..the temp difference slowed by insulating even small, would make a great difference in your maintenance, equipment longevity , and building.  But that's my opinion.



#56 markm75c

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 10:27 AM

A concern here with the gym mats ...they are prob rubber or vinyl covered  and either way like many materials will collect moisture, underneath between the mat and the wood  and that's not good  (for).. I know this first hand ...that's the very reason why I suggest a vapor barrier under the platform  and if possible insulation .

Insulation could be done easily by lifting the platform . Glue foam board 1in thick under and use lath strips 90degrees to the foam screwed to platform every 2ft .. tapering the foam joints would help tremendously. And help midigate any moisture from the ground .   Moisture from the ground , or air temp difference , what we all hate ..DEW.

A good example of what I am talking about is lift a rubber Matt that has been outside after a rainstorm , but not exposed to the rain .in a porch or garage.....it will be damp ...to stop this moisture, either a barrier with insulation , or if your climate is somewhat dry, insulation alone ..the temp difference slowed by insulating even small, would make a great difference in your maintenance, equipment longevity , and building.  But that's my opinion.

I think what people end up doing is combatting moisture issues in other ways, like having a fan blowing at the pier was one i read (during the day i think).

 

However, i'd consider doing some extra steps here, but i think your still suggesting i unscrew all the 5/4 boards though right?  I'm not sure i follow the lath strips and foam board (are the strips wood pieces?), foam board would be pretty expensive wouldnt it?  Are you suggesting foam boards instead of the 10mil plastic or whatever material that was?  Trying to visualize this, as i havent seen anyone show this done in photos at least.  

 

Would just putting 5 or 10 mil plastic overtop the deck boards be bad (trapping moisture i assume, so no good)?   I'd still consider using insulation along the inside perimeter (and outside with caulking) as some have done, in fact some have put what i think is foam material from harbour freight, a gym bench material glued to the entire wall surface of the dome down to the edge of the floor) wiith success in the nexdome forum.



#57 markm75c

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 03:39 PM

My current thinking is to go with a layout like this to avoid the counter weight shaft issue (red square being the 22" lcd location, likely keeping the subpanel and data pathways in the other bay, slightly moving them is all that should be needed).    Putting the lcd in the lower right is the opposite of the original intention which was to be in the other bay in the upper left.  The data wires can just go under the deck in some tubing and come back up in the new spot pretty easily without much modification.

deckwithmount1mod.jpg


Edited by markm75c, 20 August 2019 - 03:40 PM.

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#58 Mel M

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 10:17 PM

Somebody planning a similar set up can save labor by digging the hole only a little larger than the diameter of the above ground pier and pouring the concrete against the undisturbed soil of the sides of the hole. 


Edited by Mel M, 24 August 2019 - 10:20 PM.


#59 markm75c

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 11:04 PM

Tonight I put the Celestron 11 Edge HD on its mount and did some testing.

 

Here my oldest smiling nicely for the camera:

scopeup1.jpg

 

Spent some time learning the basics of the GEM mount (my first).  Struggled a bit with the right angle adapter flipping around and not being able to really fully find polaris despite using an artificial star and centering in both the 9x50 and the scope.  I have a red dot finder somewhere but couldnt find it, i think that would help narrow things down visually.  I did try a 2 star align but something was off there as well.  I was ready to use my asi224 as the polar alignment camera with sharpcap or phd2 drift align (following some tutorials) but of course didnt get that far.  Jupiter looked great with my 1.25" 25mm eyepiece however.

 

Next time ill come armed with the red dot finder and get to the polar alignment, of course by then, ill probably just wait and the dome will be in place as well. (within 2-3 weeks i think)


Edited by markm75c, 24 August 2019 - 11:10 PM.

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#60 markm75c

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 10:49 AM

Well the nexdome finally arrived.  Ordered around July 16th, arrived on Oct 2nd, pretty much as expected.
Everything came intact, no issues.
 
dome1a.JPG
 
Setup was somewhat painful, i did most of it by myself, particularly the dome portion, which is really meant for 2 people.  But it mostly worked out, more on that in a minute:
dome3.JPG
 
I think it ended up being a little wider than expected, as i was able to push the walls out beyond my line i had made.
 
I ended up going with the bays at the back, figuring it was better to be behind the CW bar than on the sides or out in front to avoid striking the camera train unexpectedly.
 
So the bay in the back left will be for the LCD screen/keyboard, while the bay in the back right will hold a tool chest and on the sides i will use existing holes to mount boards to attach the mini pc, remote web power unit, dc generator.

This is the $129 tool chest i purchased at lowes (4 drawers), along with about $60 in pluckable foam (barely enough for maybe 2 drawers).
 
dome33.JPG
 
Only issue is that i ran everything to the "tool" bay, so ill need to run a power cord and hdmi and usb cable for keyboard mouse to the left bay, maybe along the bottom either under the foam mat tiling or along the wall using stick on clips.
 
dome1.JPG
dome2.JPG

 

I forgot to put the L brackets on for tethering to the deck.  I still need to go back and do those.

 

The other issue is the dome rotation, in the section that is the rear stationary back end of the shutter, on the one side its higher than the rest, so the dome bumps going over the wheels.  Not a normal thing.  It can hopefully be fixed by loosening screws and adjusting on the one side or maybe using sugru moldable glue to make it even out in that one area:

bump.JPG

 

 

So i have those few issues to iron out, then work on the flooring.  I'm going to encircle the pier with 1/4" plywood in half moons on each side, leaving about 1/2" gap, filling with steel wool and some foam the remainder.  Then I'll put the gym flooring tiles on the floor.

 

For the plywood in the bays on the left and right sides, i'm likely using 1/2" sanded plywood and cut 2 holes in the top to line up with the existing bay holes and at the bottom a bracket to the floor.  After its attached ill brush on white stain to the wood to prevent it from going bad from condensation (not treated plywood, i couldnt find treated in anything that was less than 3/4" thick).

 

After all this there is the dome automation which i need to install and the shutter automation and Cloudwatcher (and rain detection) kit are a few weeks away from arriving.


Edited by markm75c, 04 October 2019 - 10:56 AM.

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#61 markm75c

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 11:13 PM

Last day or so i worked on the dome rotation motor / kit.

 

So far mostly everything went fairly well.  I had some issues with a few high spots in the dome section, mitigated with some moldable glue.

 

However, I’m pulling my hair out over the rotation kit losing its grip in a few spots.

 

I got the track installed, no issue, motor mounted no issue, motor connected to the wheel via the bolt, no issue.

 

I kept having to tap the rear of the dome, two support bars (North side) where the motor is to get it to engage the teeth (moving the wall outward there, then secured it to the deck).  I even put a screw through the flap near the ground in the bays (I have two bays together on the north/north east side).

This seemed to work, full rotation no issues.

 

I went ahead and sealed off the wall bottom with spray foam.

 

Tested this evening, more issues, teeth losing their grip at various spots.
So I decided to use 3M tape in those areas to “thicken” up the track to get it closer to the teeth.  This mostly worked, but then I found another 2 small areas and ran out of 3M tape.

 

I’m thinking there has to be an easier way to fix this.

And maybe I should have used a level to check the vertical support bars, maybe some are at a slight off angle creating a gap, I’m unsure.

 

When I look outside there are some spots on the south side that practically touch the outer wall with the dome lip, whereas on the north side/motor side, there is more like 1" there.

If a bigger COG wheel could be put on that would be a sure fire fix (maybe ½” larger in radius on all sides), or, an option for a shorter “wheel connecting bar”, if that were about ½” shorter, it would pull the teeth further in for those few spots that are literally only out about ½” or so.

 

Here is a shot of the motor and its connector to the wheel:

motorgrip.JPG

Thanks,

Mark

From: NexDome Sales <sales@nexdome.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 3:43 PM
To: markm75c@gmail.com
Subject: Re: order/shipping

$80 for foreign transaction fee? Wow, I wish you would have paid by PayPal.

Yes received your order.  Thanks

Babak


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#62 guyroch

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 04:59 PM

I drilled some small pilot holes from the inside all the way through, see red dots, and then I screwed it in from the outside using stainless steel screws and small rubber washers (or Teflon washers, can't remember).  The pilot holes removed all the guess work, I knew the screws would be right where they needed to be.

 

2 screws per panel was enough for me.

 

Good luck,

 

Guylain

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Edited by guyroch, 06 October 2019 - 08:00 PM.

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#63 guyroch

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 05:08 PM

I'll add that if the motor does not reach and loses it's grip at a few places then your dome is not round.  I would suggest you loosen all nuts on the walls and/or dome (just a little bit) and manipulate the dome/walls, then rotate, manipulate some more, until you get it round.  Then tighten those nuts.  Mine is round and motor never loses its grip.

 

Do this *BEFORE* you drill holes and screw the track in place as per my previous post.

 

Hope this makes sense.

 

Guylain


Edited by guyroch, 06 October 2019 - 08:01 PM.

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#64 markm75c

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 02:13 PM

I drilled some small pilot holes from the inside all the way through, see red dots, and then I screwed it in from the outside using stainless steel screws and small rubber washers (or Teflon washers, can't remember).  The pilot holes removed all the guess work, I knew the screws would be right where they needed to be.

 

2 screws per panel was enough for me.

 

Good luck,

 

Guylain

Thats a good tip, thank you.  If my track doesnt hold i'll have to give that a shot.



#65 markm75c

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 02:16 PM

I'll add that if the motor does not reach and loses it's grip at a few places then your dome is not round.  I would suggest you loosen all nuts on the walls and/or dome (just a little bit) and manipulate the dome/walls, then rotate, manipulate some more, until you get it round.  Then tighten those nuts.  Mine is round and motor never loses its grip.

 

Do this *BEFORE* you drill holes and screw the track in place as per my previous post.

 

Hope this makes sense.

 

Guylain

Yeah i did try that but it didnt help.  I think it might be because i have two bays back to back.

 

Since removing the washers its been fine, however, the ultimate fix even mentioned by babak was to take the nut off the wheel and close the gap that way (of course means lifting the dome).

 

My latest dilemma is whether i want to simply park the cem120 in a different position aside from true north (maybe with the ota on one side and cw the other), as now when i enter i often make contact with the back of the OTA.

 

I'm considering swapping the door with the panel to the left to fix this otherwise, but concerned i may need a brace, to avoid taking the dome off.



#66 markm75c

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 02:20 PM

Here are some shots of things so far.  I did the plywood mod to allow for attachments and a shelf that is lower and not sticking out.  May coat it with some paint, went gray to avoid reflections vs white, i may also take the arms off the chair to make it easier to get around:
 
bay1.jpg
 
Added the subpanel and web control to the other bay so far:
 
electrical2.jpg
electrical1.jpg
Note above how the foam is failing (in spots), water is getting in, so i either need more foam or to definitely try the PL Max Caulking i have on hand (and also to trim the excess foam sticking out)
electrical3.jpg
Above : I will be putting the mini pc and the dc generator on this panel.
Then under the LCD shelf on the right ill put another outlet (as well as one more single or double gang outlet on the pier itself)

 

Ill only have 3 USB cables coming from the mount under the floor in pvc (2 usb 2.0's and 1 usb 3.0) along with an ethernet and the dc from two anderson poles off the rigger runner connected to the dc generator (so the dc generator powers the scope and scope accessories ports only).
 
Im also not completely satisfied with the LED lights I got from amazon (for $29).  They dont seem very bright when using white to see things in the dome and the placement isnt the greatest, i dont think, perhaps i may put them in the slot just below where they are:
lights2.JPG


Edited by markm75c, 07 October 2019 - 02:27 PM.

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#67 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 02:37 PM


Note above how the foam is failing (in spots), water is getting in, so i either need more foam or to definitely try the PL Max Caulking i have on hand (and also to trim the excess foam sticking out)

 

 

The best solution for you is to get some treated plywood and cover the slatted floor with it.   Screw it down tightly with treated deck screws.   In my experience, that's the only thing that will prevent water intrusion since your floor extends outside of the enclosure.   Water will still get under the treated plywood, but won't hurt it.  At least the floor will be dry on the upper surface.   No amount of caulking will fix this.  I've been there.  Just some friendly advice.


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#68 markm75c

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 03:11 PM

The best solution for you is to get some treated plywood and cover the slatted floor with it.   Screw it down tightly with treated deck screws.   In my experience, that's the only thing that will prevent water intrusion since your floor extends outside of the enclosure.   Water will still get under the treated plywood, but won't hurt it.  At least the floor will be dry on the upper surface.   No amount of caulking will fix this.  I've been there.  Just some friendly advice.

In other forums it was said that PL Max Premium did the trick, but maybe only for so long.

 

I was trying to avoid raising the flooring even more.  The floor will be 3/4" higher with the foam gym mat tiles.  My chair barely clears / or brushes the CW bar as is.  Adding 3/4" more would put that at risk if i forget to move it out of the way (or get a shorter chair or for around $150 i could switch to a shorter CW bar direct from ioptron).

 

Or maybe using 3/4" treated wood (i also dont see anything less than 3/4" treated in 4x8's at lowes, ie: nothing 1/2") in narrow planks all along under the dome walls as a dam to block out water, then the flooring up against it.


Edited by markm75c, 07 October 2019 - 03:17 PM.


#69 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 03:24 PM

I have seen 1/2 inch treated plywood at both Lowes and Home Depot.  Probably others carry it also.



#70 markm75c

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 03:33 PM

I have seen 1/2 inch treated plywood at both Lowes and Home Depot.  Probably others carry it also.

Well they do but in much smaller sheets.

 

However, if the plank method works like others have done, it might be just as good but creates a bit of a ridge / lip at the edge:

 

planks.JPG


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#71 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 04:34 PM

I was involved with helping a guy who had already built a building on a concrete slab that was larger than the building.  He used the concrete slab as the floor.  He spent a huge amount of time and quite a bit of funds trying to stop water intrusion.   All kinds of caulk, even cutting grooves into the floor to channel water.  He should have poured a raised area the size of the outside of the building less siding for the building to sit on.  His solution would have been to raise the floor inside to stop intrusion, by pouring another thin slab inside, after jacking up the building a couple of inches. Last time I looked, the building was gone.  Water will intrude horizontally.  If you raise the floor inside it should stay dry.  Your choice.   I am only trying to help.  I won't comment further unless asked by the OP.


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#72 dflateau

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 07:43 AM

Does this work for other people? It would seem the water would just go under those planks like it does the dome.

 

Well they do but in much smaller sheets.

 

However, if the plank method works like others have done, it might be just as good but creates a bit of a ridge / lip at the edge:

 

planks.JPG


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#73 markm75c

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 10:08 AM

I was involved with helping a guy who had already built a building on a concrete slab that was larger than the building.  He used the concrete slab as the floor.  He spent a huge amount of time and quite a bit of funds trying to stop water intrusion.   All kinds of caulk, even cutting grooves into the floor to channel water.  He should have poured a raised area the size of the outside of the building less siding for the building to sit on.  His solution would have been to raise the floor inside to stop intrusion, by pouring another thin slab inside, after jacking up the building a couple of inches. Last time I looked, the building was gone.  Water will intrude horizontally.  If you raise the floor inside it should stay dry.  Your choice.   I am only trying to help.  I won't comment further unless asked by the OP.

I do appreciate your input.  Ultimately i might end up having to do this.

 

There are some in the nexdome group that use the foam flooring on the wood deck and claim that their mats dont get wet, that the water just goes under or is blocked.  I'm of course skeptical, but a few simple hose/water tests can confirm this.

 

Yeah i'm also sure the PL max that another uses with success wont last forever.  I thought maybe flex seal spray too, but even that would eventually pull away, granted maybe the combination of all that plus the foam mats and they might not get wet.

 

In the end it might mean a shorter chair and 3/4 plywood and good to go.

 

Also, in that photo of the planks, they put their L brackets on the inside.. many have, i'm not sure why, though i do know that doing this it raises the dome much less, maybe 1/8" versus 1/2" like mine on the outside.  I figured the outside was structurally better, but maybe not?


Edited by markm75c, 08 October 2019 - 10:09 AM.


#74 markm75c

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 10:28 AM

I think the water that came in led to condensation on the bay walls, so maybe getting rid of the water would reduce the condensation, however..

 

In terms of added reduction of condensation, i may try these foam tiles on the walls and parts of the dome area ($15 for 24 square feet 0.375" thick, using spray adhesive which others have done, might need two)  and maybe couple this with a continuous drain hose dehumidifier (such as this one for around $159) may through oct (they tend to run about $160) https://www.amazon.c...ods&sr=1-6&th=1


Edited by markm75c, 08 October 2019 - 10:39 AM.

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#75 spacemunkee

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Posted 08 October 2019 - 11:22 AM

Maybe look into some rubber flashing seal like is used to seal home band board to fountain. Stuff sticks solid. Could be cut in sections secured up a couple inches inside dome wall, ran out underneath and overlapped a bit adhered down to deck. Then maybe add a bead of some good tar sealer around the perimeter.


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