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Old 14-06-2019, 10:46 AM
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New observatory (simple)

I have started on a new observatory for the caravan site...
It is similar to the cube..its really two cubes ☺ each 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 mtrs.
The frame is overkill in the extreme, good old seasoned to the hardness of steel 2 x 4 (50 x 100mm) hardwood. However I had a stack of it and although difficult to work with it means the cost of the frame will only be bolts and drill bits (I expect to go through a few with this wood).
The frame will be 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.4 half being somewhere for the roll off roof to park.
Finished cutting it just a moment ago.
Still not sure about cladding...corrogated iron or fibrous cement...the cost will determine what goes on to a degree..and the work...iron is more work as the fibros cement should go straight on without cutting ..maybe if my estimates of frame cuts works out.
I have enough thin ply to line it and may build each wall on the ground with cladding insulation and lining ad bolt them all together...sounds easy that way but easy to stuff up if anything is not spot on...
Hopefully I can complete it in a couple of days as I have to return to Sydney...probably drill holes and bolt the frame and putting on cladding will be drill ever hole☺
I still have to move it to the van site which will be fun.
Alex
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Old 14-06-2019, 11:52 AM
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Lucky find...I was worried about using hardwood for the roof but just now found some pine that will do the job ..lots of nails in it but it will be ok...and found some flooring and insulation... its funny how all the materials are appearing...but I think I will take a rest even though its only morning I feel as though I have done a days work...maybe a couple of hours rest and see if I can frame up the roof...or at least get started.
Alex
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Old 14-06-2019, 03:13 PM
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Good stuff Alex and at least it wont fall over with that sort of timber holding it all together, looking forward to seeing it completed mate.

Leon
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Old 15-06-2019, 08:16 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement Leon.
I have spent a restless night as I have realised that when in this observatory the polar camera of Polemaster may not see the SCP and so ran various design ideas such that I went around and around...all that without looking at the scope on the mount...which I will do when the fog lifts...maybe its not a problem but if it is solving it will test me.
Cant convince the owner of the car trailer to go to town for materials...she unreasonably pointed out that she is busy until Monday...Tabby cant supply me so its a trip to Bunnings in Lismore...you should see the list☺ even with all the stuff laying around I find I need iron for the roof, coach bolts, cladding, hinges...cement ..there is more but you get the idea...but that only gives me one day to build it before I go back so that means a huge effort... I am going to build it at the house, shed actually, then take the assembled sections to the van site...But already the simplicity of this approach means anyone can build one this way...I am going to put it in place on chocks (rocks) to get it level and build the floor last which although sounding strange has various advantages.

I have denailed all the pine for the roof and hopefully will build it today..I am breaking the rules here as it is going to be flat...no fall really but to put in the slightest fall adds a great complexity ...its only 9 x 6 foot so I think I can get away with no fall...I mean the water wont sit in a pile in the center will it☺.
You should see this hard wood..the colour is beautiful..a really nice red...
Alex
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Old 15-06-2019, 11:46 AM
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So the roof is all laid out on a flat floor (something hard to get sometimes) but given I have to line up wheels I am wonderinf if to leave it until the bottom is built...anyways more good news...I just scored some cheap but as new black carpet which can either go in the van or in the double cube...and dragged out all the insulation laying around and it looks as if there is enough to cover the walls and the roof...been looking for wheels for the roll off roof on Bunnings site and could not find anything perfect for my particular needs...then it hit me..buy two cheap skate boards from kmart or big w sholud get something under $20 each maybe even $10 and just bolt those wheels to the roof beams...I dont know what the roof weighs but I doubt it would be more than 40 ...say 50...so 4 wheels each side should do it...maybe get 3 skate boards thats 6 wheels aside and that should roll easy.
Have not had time to work on the aspect of seeing the pole from within the box but I suppose if I cant find a solution I could mount the polemaster scope on top of the scopes... I could do it via sharpcap but I do like the polemaster and am determined to get my moneys worth out of it☺.
Its raining here so may give it a rest for a while and think a few things through...Sun started to shine during this edit but I need a rest for at least 30 minutes.
Alex
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Old 15-06-2019, 11:53 AM
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Maybe get 4 skate boards and keep one for relaxation☺ ...no but they are so handy to help move stuff.
ALEX
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Old 15-06-2019, 01:00 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Gee Alex you on a mission up there building your Obs
Skateboards are very useful
I had one in the late sixties and used it to put the garbage can out on the front lawn at my parents home ( my weekly chore amongst other things ) Full garbage cans in those days weighed a ton, especially for a skinny kid , skateboard worked a treat

One question, how are the termites up your way ?
They are a bit of a problem for us down the south coast , gotta treat everything

Canít wait to see the finished product up and running !
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Old 15-06-2019, 03:29 PM
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Termites are abundant. They will eat most everything...books clothes furniture ...anything that is stationary really. Not steel of course.
They will win so no point in thinking you have a chance really...I will make the floor as good as I can to hold them out so they have to come out in the open to get to anything but they will come thru cement ..I may lay some termie mesh if I can find any...maybe sit the box on iron sheet so they have to come out to get to the timber ... I bury pine around the place to monitor if they are near...they dont like movement I think..I had a door that survived for years but when I left that house empty for six months they ate it thru. I should be able to see them arrive and that is the key ... disturb them as much as possible... they can eat the hardwood it could be eaten out and is still very strong ..the pine is a different matter but if they get to it I will fibre glass it and they can eat the lot☺ ... Also there are three different ant nests around the van and ants will have termites for breakfast...but there is so much wood on the ground past the clearing one hopes they may leave me and alone....maybe pour that diesel I drained from the sunken boat on the ground ...I am not sure if that could work.
Anyways being realistic by the time it all falls down I will be in old age care or dead...I can build faster than they can eat☺
Alex
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  #9  
Old 15-06-2019, 03:42 PM
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Decided not to nail the roof up today as a bit tired and therefore prone to mistakes..but some careful measuring should enable me to nail up the roof...main thing is to think what goes where...and perhaps leave one side un nailed.
I will be alone most of tomorrow so it should get done..just assembling materials is a big job...I could cut up the insulation...paint stuff even ..maybe sand the hardwood..at least clean all the dust and dirt.
Like all jobs the more you do the more that seems to present...I could lay the carpet in the van ... anyways even if I wait till Tuesday to start (which is really the way of it) in ernest there are plenty of things to do..mmm cleaning up the mess I have made so far for example.
I figured I can at least have polemaster on one mount and see the pole by orienting the box North South...on the other mount I may have to mount the polemaster camera on top of the scope...anyways it is not the same problem that kept me awake last night.
Alex
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Old 17-06-2019, 05:59 PM
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So managed to get driven to Lismore with a car trailer.
Purchased everything I need to complete the "double cube" ...I decided to go with fibro for cladding and iron for the roof. I forgot to get a couple of skate boards when at the shopping center but fortunately Bunnings had some nice small cheap wheels that should work fine..they dont say what their limit is so I purchased 16 of them which should give the roof an easy rolling motion...each only has to carry less than five klgs if my guess as to the weight of the roof is close...purchased all the screws drill bits hinges door bolts and even two locks ..one for the "double cube" and one for the gate.
I wanted to get a 240 volt drill cause I have many holes to drill...so I start looking mmm $200 no and finally saw one for fifty..then along side that one in a drab box one for only $21... thats all I want I dont care if it breaks down so long as I get 50 holes done...at the register I ask the guy if it could be any good at that price. .he says its got 12 month warranty so you should be ok but why dont you get the "pack"..what pack I ask...over there. .its got the same drill and an angle grinder and a sander as well and its only $20...so to save a dollar I went with the "pack"☺. Three tools for only $20 how good is that☺
And I got a fibro cutter which hurts cause I know I have one somewhere but heck I need one tomorrow...and some neat clamps which will be so handy working alone.
So tomorrow its just a case of drilling a few holes and putting it all together☺ ..should be finished by lunch time tomorrow..or the next day at least...
May have scored some free paint..apparently it rubs off if you brush against it on normal walls but maybe it will seal the fibro..anyways its free.

Just got to convince someone to deliver everything that I have assembled to the van site early tomorrow..
I did not have time to get all I need for the two new piers but I can start digging the holes if I get everything else completed. ..only need some pvc pipe, star pickets and cement and I dont need a car trailer for that...
Alex
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:46 AM
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Ready for moving to the van site.
I am glad I did not think this thru as its a bigger job that I thought☺
Alex
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:49 AM
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Cladding and iron roof.
Alex
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:18 PM
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Not as much done as I had hoped for but at least transported everything down...materials tools a small genny and established exactly where it is going to sit and made a level area to assemble stuff on...and laid out the first wall with cladding in place ready for drilling and assembly which took a really long time but if it is out if only to a small degree the rest becomes hopeless to get right...just a little thing like the door is a little tricky but all now seems ok..I may go down later tonight to take some star trails thru the trees to confirm I have North South spot on.
Alex
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Old 19-06-2019, 07:01 AM
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I am so glad I did not screw anything yesterday ..the door was in the wrong spot.
I was too tired to get star trails and they are not critical at this point.
My legs feel like they are at melting point but I am not going to let them hold me back ..I can still crawl☺.
Alex
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Old 19-06-2019, 03:01 PM
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And crawl I did today ..what else can you do when you build a wall laying flat on the ground☺.
After many small and most stupid mistakes I have completed the first wall..frame cladding insulation and ply panelling on the inside ...this one is the cruticial one as it sets the squareness and has the doorway...the others should not take long...The hex driver was too small for the large screws so I had to use a socket and ratchet. ..that slowed things down and each hole needed a large hole in one piece of timber and a smaller hole in the other so changing drills slowed me down..still neede butter one the screws to manage the hardwood..butter makes it better☺...admittedly there is still daylight and I have time to do perhaps the remaining walls but to be honest I am spent at the moment so rather than over tax myself I decided to stop.
And I think I can get away with cutting two small trees of only about 100 mm width and perhaps ring bark two others to get a view of the CSP. AND ...more good news..I have scored some paver bricks which I can use for the floor short term and when they settle perhaps cover with a cement skin...but even just the pavers will allow me to lay the plastic timber flooring...and found one of those old fence post hole diggers which I can use to get holes for the piers ..its a most robust unit and very heavy which means it will dig well...may have to buy some star pickets they can be both plentiful and scarce in the bush.
Sorry for no photo of today but I forgot to take my phone on purpose so I would not be interrupted.. .forgot about photos.
The new drill is a little ripper..forward and reverse, variable speed and a depth gauge which was real handy. Runs off the little genny which is a boon as the larger genny is just a little heavy for me to lift into the car.
And I will get to use the angle grinder as I found some chain that I can take a section from so I can padlock the gate...isnt it exciting☺ ...but like most jobs the more you do the more there is to do...
Alex
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Old 20-06-2019, 09:44 AM
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Wall number one with door way.
Alex
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Old 20-06-2019, 01:56 PM
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All walls completed now just have to stand them up and join them.
Alex
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Old 21-06-2019, 01:12 PM
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The paver bricks fell thru so I am going to have to pour concrete which I wanted to avoid to let the ground settle mainly as I dont know how they levelled the dirt..they probably cut down to hard clay to accomodate the water truck and I dont need to worry about the soil compacting... anyways pavers would have been perfect..maybe I can borrow them..I will ask☺.
So started early today and now have all the walls standing upright with a holding screw at each join but still have a few on the bottom to go but its pretty well done...happily my cuts left the top beams (that will be the track for the roof wheels) at the desired separation so all things being equal the roof should go straight on and the wheels not run off the beam...I will add something to guide them of course. ..Given the weight of the roof I am thinking I may have to build it in place either that or build a ramp and drag it up with a block and tackle...which I would have to make cause I lost my block and tackle in the bush a couple of years ago..a huge loss..I have two endless chains but they dont work well unless vertical..at least mine dont..if not vertical they jam and it's near impossible to free them up...I suppose a giant tripod could work but thats not easy for me to put together by myself these days...my legs are burning but I only have another day here so I am going back this afternoon and get all done that I can...I certainly would like to finish the roof.
So here is a photo showing the thing upright.. .the photo shows one wall still on the ground but its up now.
Alex
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Old 22-06-2019, 09:54 AM
Sunfish (Ray)
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Novel construction with good solid hardwood for the ROR . I like it.

A solid concrete slab with 100mm visible clear to the ground would be better than pavers to keep the white ants and the black ants out. It will float the whole construction , keeping it braced and level so that the top can be open.

Or you will need knee braces in the top corners , which is what the Japanese post and beam kit builders do in every building .

Maybe the roof could be super lightweight like a caravan or composite material, old freezer panels. It will blow away , not blow in.
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Old 22-06-2019, 10:56 AM
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Hi Ray
The pavers will be temporary...two reasons ..I dont know what the ground is like and want it to settle as much as possible and also my cement mixer is at another property and I just wanted to get this finished rather than wait to put down a slab.
The roof will be pine sime because I need to build it in place ..I am not physically very capable with my crook legs and although not old I have been around for 72 years☺
I have spent all morning attaching the wheels..the battery for the hex driver went flat..why I dont know..so I had to hammer to sctews in which took ages..it should have been a 15 minute job.
Here is a photo of the first stage of the roof..two bits of wood with wheels☺
Alex
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Last edited by xelasnave; 22-06-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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