View Full Version here: : Finally something.
11-07-2011, 11:49 PM
2 odd years procrastination and several plans and drawings later. I finally settled on plans to convert a 3.0m x 4.0m garden shed (which had been my garden shed since 1996) into my very own roll off roof obs.
The plan was basic enough, I already had all the concrete down, a steel pier in half a metre of concrete with reo etc. Then frame the walls, add some timber rails towards the house and then fit aluminium roller tracks to the rails for the mofified roller door wheels.
I sourced all the timber and fittings through Bunnings, and the roller track from a company "Cowdory" with I think they were Triumph wheels that could each carry about 68 kilos and fitted 3 to each side of the roof.
I was happily surprised with the cost of ordering 4.5m lengths of the rails, but the wheels were pretty pricey! All the framing was 90 x 45 treated pine and 90 x 90 posts to hold the rails up.
I also made some adjustable height post supports, I got the idea from the sky shed site, I got the 1/4 inch threaded rod from Bunnings for about $25 and $30 dollars to a local steel fabricator got the top and bottom plates.
I will update over the next couple of days as I've been spending most of today getting in the obs, so now going to bed.....It really does get finished.......
12-07-2011, 11:18 AM
Well done Mate. It looks a lot better now than it did with a bit of rope holding it all together and holding it down.
You won't know yourself.
Maybe the carbon tax will shutdown some of your local light polution and your suburb will return to how I remember it many years ago.... Well maybe not....... but it is a nice thought.
Now you just need a drill, roundup and a chainsaw for the palm tree.
Looking splendid mate and with a couple of stiff ones you might even get it all straight :rofl::rofl:
If you need any help just call me.
13-07-2011, 12:53 AM
From that distance, you could easily flick matches in that horrible dead looking thing blocking your view in your neighbour's yard.... alternatively, a 1 watt laser pointer should do the trick.... ;)
13-07-2011, 01:58 AM
Finally got it all done, walls trimed, roof and rollers on and away it goes.
There was a fair bit of trimming for all the little pieces of tin that were catching, a little ninox grease and I can open and close the roof with one hand.
I have 4 gate clasps to hold the roof tight plus the fact that the wheels are locked into the tracks. First night we got huge winds, recorded gust of 162 and I was in the obs with a torch praying that it didn't go anywhere. Well, it didn't, didin't even move, I was rapped.
I've lined the roof with "sarking" to prevent moisture droplets and to help with the summer heat and put red foam matting on the floor on top of a bit of sarking to help protect my feet from the cold.
Pic 3 is a shot of the adjustable post supports I made up. Excuse the welding, it's only the second thing I've ever welded, the first being my pier base.
All in all, I'm very happy. It was a little more difficult and time consuming to build, but every sore muscle was worth it. Now, to get everything working, and first light awaits.
13-07-2011, 02:22 AM
looks great mate!
Now you can get up here and do the 2 shed obs that the club has sitting here ready to make :P
Well done Dazz :thumbsup:
13-07-2011, 10:28 AM
Looks pretty Good Darren. I like the recycled use of the old shed, well done. The running track looks pretty good too. I do have some small suggestions for you which will help later.
1. to prevent water entering the observatory at ground level you should use a bead of silicone around the junction between the walls and the concrete. I would use Selleys All Clear.
2. Consider putting gutters on the shed roof. It will make a huge difference to how the water is directed away from the observatory. Any water entering in the floor level will lead to mould.
3. If you have not done so already, consider cutting an isolated pier support for your pier. If you bolted the pier onto the concrete you will get vibrations even just walking around outside. A concrete saw and digging a hole for a pier support is the best solution. Forgive me if you have already addressed this. I don't know what you did with the pier.
4. Pay some thought to vermin. I have sealed my observatory pretty well now after several instances of vermin entering and setting up home. Birds can be a pain as well as mice. Spiders will always find a way in, but thankfully baygon makes a huge difference. I once took the cover off the scope and a mouse lept at me. The killer mouse was later trapped and delivered. It had peed all over the scope and mount. Mice can be particularly persistent and cause lots of damage. They love to chew on things.
Well done on the job and I hope you get years of enjoyment from the observatory.
13-07-2011, 02:29 PM
Thanks Mate, I'm very pleased even with the palm tree!!!!
Ps, Happy Birthday! *late*
Help!, I actually need a new body, but thats another story. All together and doing what it's supposed to do. If you need a hand with yours, I'm more than happy to help!
I like your thinking Baz!
Thanks Ken, Been a long time in the planning. Do you really want the club to wait that long?
Thank you Paul.
I have already run a couple of beads of sikaflex round the base of the shed.
Gutters is an excellent idea, hadn't considered it in planning, but given our recent weather, a very valid point. The back wall is easy enoungh, not to sure yet about the front, not alot of room between door and roof, but I'll get there.
Hagar was most helpful when I put in the pier, so was your site and several others. Basically my concreter's left a hole for me when they poured the original slab, I then lined the inside of that with, I think it builders foam, or what they use in expansion joints. I then made the pier base set in in the hole and poured in the concrete. I still get a little vibration, but only if I jump around near it.
As for vermin. I've pretty much solved the bird issue by plugging as much of the openings with builders foam and some scrap marine grade ply. I plan on a chemical border around the outside and now will have to through in some mouse baits or similar, although we've never had that much of a problem with them, reading your post I can imagine the problems if they do get in.
All I need now is for the skies to clear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14-07-2011, 05:25 PM
Great job Darren, you have been the busy boy. You wont know yourself now.:thumbsup::thumbsup:
14-07-2011, 08:51 PM
Thanks Pete, All good now. I have somewhere to sleep when I'm in trouble!!!!!!
14-07-2011, 09:52 PM
Looking great Darren, you won't know yourself.I would love to have something like that.
14-07-2011, 10:11 PM
You have your own observatory and you want that too!!!!
what a fantastic job! I really want some sort of even semi-permanent set-up. As I said in another thread - I think I'll start with the tripoid set up and covered next to the shed and see how it goes. Really want to progress to something like this though.
My only comment would be to watch the builder's foam - my experience up at the block is that the birds tend to eat their way through it and then die on the inside from the chemicals in the foam - a real pain.
Anyway, good on ya!
28-09-2011, 09:35 PM
Darren, that should be a great home for your gear. An observatory makes such a difference to how you can operate. Well done.
Did you say that you've got a new toy?
ps - I reckon that I'm only about 2 welds ahead of you!
:lol::lol: you would never get in trouble would you Dazza :rofl::rofl:
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