View Full Version here: : Update on my observatory construction
05-10-2009, 08:26 PM
Bit of an update,
I installed the carpet over the weekend and the outside skirting.
Click here for images and commentary (http://paulhaese.net/BuildinganObservatory.html).
If you have seen all this before skip to the bottom for the latest update.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
05-10-2009, 08:36 PM
Lookin good bigfella !Great job
Beautiful building Paul , you would have to be happy with that.
06-10-2009, 12:41 AM
Excellent work, it will make your life so much better.
I just finished mine a couple of months ago, lots of work but very satisfying when you get near the end.
I used carpet as well, feels nice under the feet.
Remind me to never build an obs on limestone!
06-10-2009, 12:36 PM
Man, too flash, unbelievable.
06-10-2009, 04:35 PM
Well done, its looking great. Wish I had the room to have my own :(.Maybe on my roof :question:
06-10-2009, 08:19 PM
Good stuff Paul, is that a road next to the obs?
07-10-2009, 02:34 AM
Very nice, The only thing that makes me shiver a bit is the fact that you shimmed the pier onto the concrete floor. Cold concrete and high / Low temperatures can produce condensation and as concrete contains certain acids you can also have a decomposition of your shimming material. Even if it is treated with zinc.
In that case I would have gone another way and instead of shimming 4 nuts and washer below and 4 nuts and washers on top.
So you could have levelled it easier and then just really tighten the nuts as much as possible. I have the fear that that shimming with the time will cause problems. Be it because of further compression or maybe rusting and disintegrating of the shims.
The other point is you have closed the outdoor for any easy adjustments of the pier for the future due to the way you have enclosed your pier. Any repair on the pier base is now not possible without a major surgery into the floor and the space you then have is very very limited ...
You should have put a trap door and make the square around the pier wider. Just my 2 cents ...
07-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Very nice Paul. I love the way us observatory builders photo-document every step so others can glean great ideas and improve on them when it's their turn.
Looks great mate. Are you a chippie also?
No-wonder you haven't processed that AVI of mine yet...:lol::poke:
07-10-2009, 05:23 PM
Scopemankit, yep there is a road near by but it is 40 meters away from the observatory. It has little traffic and never had any problem with its position so far.
rsbfoto, I have also mortared up the gap between the pier and the concrete. Being in the building trade I never allow anything to chance. The shims hold it intially and then the mortar holds it forever. I used the same mortar that sparkies use to seal the base of light poles. I don't agree on making it impossible to do service work. Power saws, tap measures and nail guns make this an easy job. Don't get me wrong I get your point but, I don't expect that I will need to do any service work for some time. By then I expect I will be pulling up the pier and moving further away from the city.
Baz, I am a commercial ceiling fixer ( I do also have a degree in Law, diploma in survey and post grad qualifications, but the building industry supplies my money these days). It requires a lot of carpentry skills and I come from a family with 3 carpenters in it too. So yeah I have carpentry skills.;)
Thanks all for your comments.
07-10-2009, 06:06 PM
Nice work, looks good. Space-age effect with the blue ceiling, carpet, black walls and white pier on the side :)
07-10-2009, 08:58 PM
Thanks Roger. The pier belongs to Wysiwig (AKA Mark) though. Lovely construction.
07-10-2009, 11:57 PM
Got it ;) Just remember that the godfather of the amateur astronomers is Mr. Murphy :rofl:
08-10-2009, 12:00 AM
Just checked out your observatory website. NICE JOB ...
If you don't mind my asking , pm me if you don't want to advertise publically the answers.
Who made your metal wall frames ?
How much did they set you back ?
Who made that spiffy metal gable roof truss structure ?
How much did it set you back ?
08-10-2009, 12:28 AM
I constructed the entire building. Each and every component came in singular lengths and I fabricated it all. I did get some help from my friend Tony to dig the pier hole and lay the outer wall cladding, the rest was just me. Being a builder (ceiling fixer) has provided me with a lot of skills.
The stud work walls are easy to make yourself. I used 1.15BMT steel studs by a company called Studco. Similar products are Rondo Steel wall framing. You need to cut it on site and the stud lengths can be bought from 2.7 and up. I made my stud centers 450mm and added noggin track to it too.
As for cost, well I got these through my own account and I think materials for walls and roof were around $900. Steel of that strength is not cheap. Even if you get it at 36% off the price.
In terms of the whole observatory, not including the mount; I would say that this building with furniture cost over $8000. I would have to go through the list of materials to count it all up. By way of example the carpet I laid on the weekend cost $219.00. The metal for the skirts outside cost $319.00. It is remarkable how quickly things add up. You can skimp by not putting in formply linings. That was nearly $1000 for all the sheets alone or maybe it was more. I just don't remember now.
The gable roof was real easy. I bought the lengths. I cut them almost in half; just enough so I could bend them up to a pitch of 300mm from the bottom of where the bottom cord would normally be. I then used off cut and screwed these to the stud when correctly set. I used 6 tech screws on each truss. I then fixed the top hat sections onto the truss which I plumbed up.
Yep it has been an interesting process.
08-10-2009, 05:23 PM
I've got inlaws who are in the building trades (a bricky / concreter and carpenter) unfortunately they both live too far away to be of any help to me in my ROR project.Dammit.
I kinda suspected you might be a builder or in the building industry.
I may copy your pier bolt support / spacer arrangement when I get my footing laid , I'll likely abandon the offground timber platform concept as it looks like the materials costs and work involved is too much and I'll go with a slab surrounding my footing instead.
Will probably be easier and cheaper for me to stay with a timber framed bullding and roof with timber trusses, making my own wall frames from pine , and paying someone to make my 3 gable trusses (so they'll be done right !).
My ROR shed is going to be prosponed while I sort out lightening my OTA by going to a Carbon Fibre DIYS tube , since I've still not recieved the quote to have my CF tube made by that mob in Perth and I think labour costs wll be significant in paying someone to make a custom CF tube.
Bathroom carpet (nylon carpet with a rubber backing) might the go for a deck or softening a concrete slab (things sometimes get dropped in the dark).
08-10-2009, 05:34 PM
I liked that particularly .... may take a closer look at that approach for my gable trusses.
09-04-2010, 12:00 AM
Well I have finally finished this observatory (well for now at least).
This year I painted the outside and put in a garden which is just going nuts with growth.
I decided not to put in a ceiling, just because I am not sure if this will help in reducing heat buildup. It will have to be something I have a think about yet.
Click here for the page (http://paulhaese.net/BuildinganObservatory2.html)and look for the last image.
I changed the page to two pages just to speed things up.
The observatory is a real joy to use and makes astronomy so much nicer. I encourage all to do the same if they can.
09-04-2010, 09:30 AM
It really looks like a magnificent construction and I hope to see many more great shots taken from it.
09-04-2010, 12:05 PM
Paul, a great piece of work!
I notice there's a street light nearby. Does that give you any grief?
Also, nearly everyone seems to paint the insides of their observatories black - a fairly 'severe' finish. I wonder if this is really necessary? I'm planning to paint my ROR fixed walls a light colour. Hope this won't be a mistake!
09-04-2010, 12:23 PM
LOL love the garden - leaves my lonely pines for dead. ;)
the tin around the base - is that to stop airflow?
09-04-2010, 04:12 PM
the street lights in our little town have been permanently disabled thanks to a local bylaw making it a dark town site. We only have 5 lights on the entire town and none are near me.
I have not painted my obs black, this is the colour of the form ply sheets I used. You can get them in black or dark red. I got the black ones as they are harder than the dark red ones. It just makes for an added bonus to get them in black.
The tin is there to stop snakes and vermin. I have rural property and snakes are a constant problem.
07-05-2010, 06:31 PM
Excellent observatory Paul. Nicely designed and constructed.
07-05-2010, 06:49 PM
Good idea....it'd give you a fright early one morning to grab what you thought was a cable, only to have it turn around and hiss at you!!!:eyepop::eyepop::D
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