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Old 22-03-2022, 11:04 AM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Best tracks and rollers for ROR

I’m planning to convert a resin (plastic) garden shed (Keter brand) into a ROR obs. It will require putting a track/rail with a few suitable rollers on each side, an extension framework out the back and finally, cutting the roof off the shed body.

I wonder what type of guide rail or track people are using and what sort of rollers.

The roof on this shed is not very heavy so the solution does not need to be “industrial” strength. The rollers will need to be V- shaped or just plain concave. The options for track seem to be a bit limited to either 25x25 angle iron or various aluminium angles - 16x16x1.6 or 20x12x1.5 or 3mm seem to be the options.

I can’t find any T-shape track or rail so plain angle seems to the only choice.

I’d be glad to hear what others have done though.
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Old 22-03-2022, 11:45 AM
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mldee (Mike)
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Plain 1" alum angle worked fine in my previous ob, with $6 plastic roller wheels. Space the angle correctly for minimum sideplay and the rollers don't derail, sort of like a locomotive wheel in reverse. I didn't bother with any wind-lift protection while open, although might be a consideration with a light roof. Used four bungie cords to hold it down when closed. Worked extremely well and very easy to push open/closed.

I went with the C-channel and rollers from a panel garage door for my latest obs roof, and found it a bit of a PITA to install and align, probably just my geriatric incapabilities, but it has the advantage of captive rollers for wind protection up here in the valley.

For your concept, I'd just go with the 1" angle iron/alum from Bunnings and small wheels, three to a side. I'm also tempted to get one of the sheds for my second EQ6 pier, which presently sits unused and lonely on a slab at the rear of my obs. Found the front veranda with the EQ6 tripod to be far more convenient even if no northern coverage.

I presume your obs is plan B from the previous caravan concept?
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Old 22-03-2022, 12:02 PM
glend (Glen)
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I agree with the use of simple plain angle, I used galvanised shell angle iron on my ROR. Aligned properly it will contain and guide your roller wheels just fine. I used simple nylon wheel casters for my rollers. You will need to think about roof tie downs and track locks. For track locks, simple C-clamps work very well. And the downs can be simple rated the down straps. You can find all tjis stuff at Bunnings.
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Old 22-03-2022, 12:31 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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G’day Mike. Plan A took a bit of a nose-dive recently thanks to my medicos intervention: Likely aortic valve replacement on my near-horizon it seems so the word is “stay close and no strenuous etc etc”.

So plan B it is. No heavy lifting there, surely! 😁😁
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Old 22-03-2022, 01:54 PM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
I agree with the use of simple plain angle, I used galvanised shell angle iron on my ROR. Aligned properly it will contain and guide your roller wheels just fine. I used simple nylon wheel casters for my rollers. You will need to think about roof tie downs and track locks. For track locks, simple C-clamps work very well. And the downs can be simple rated the down straps. You can find all tjis stuff at Bunnings.
Thanks Glen. “Shell angle iron”? Is that a typo? I don’t really know what it is otherwise. Can you clarify?
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Old 22-03-2022, 01:57 PM
JA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmrid View Post
I’m planning to convert a resin (plastic) garden shed (Keter brand) into a ROR obs. It will require putting a track/rail with a few suitable rollers on each side, an extension framework out the back and finally, cutting the roof off the shed body.

I wonder what type of guide rail or track people are using and what sort of rollers.

The roof on this shed is not very heavy so the solution does not need to be “industrial” strength. The rollers will need to be V- shaped or just plain concave. The options for track seem to be a bit limited to either 25x25 angle iron or various aluminium angles - 16x16x1.6 or 20x12x1.5 or 3mm seem to be the options.

I can’t find any T-shape track or rail so plain angle seems to the only choice.

I’d be glad to hear what others have done though.
Hi Peter,

One possibility is to use sliding gate track, which is a track with a hump in the middle that is used with wheels with a U groove in them that has mounting holes on either side of the hump. The type of thing I was thinking of is attached in the picture. Possibly go for the smallest 60mm type, 2 different mount types of which I've circled and note that vendors some times sell the tracks in pieces to make up longer lengths. Typical lengths I think are 1, 1.2 and 1.5m and 2m - I would try to get a length so that the entire track is in one piece, where possible. Perhaps try to find a local industrial supplier of these rather than eBay (from which I sourced the pics) as I think you'd be more likely to find longer lengths and also that would afford you the option to have a look-see in person.

Best
JA
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Old 22-03-2022, 02:09 PM
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mldee (Mike)
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Seems we're all ageing badly! I hope the obs turns out well. Cosy and comfy inside the house has a lot to like.

One minor tip: I found that it required my neighbour's help to mount the 10" CF truss newt on my obs pier + mount and so there it stays. It needs the height in order to peek over the obs walls to see SCP and low elevation work etc. Keep the obs walls as low as you can get away with, whilst having parked OTA clearance. The peaked roof might decide your parked orientation. You don't need to be dismounting scopes in the middle of the night to close the roof.

Since I often want to play with my other scopes, that's the reason for the veranda tripod with an az eq6. It sits at a much lower level than the obs pier/CEM60 arrangement and I have no problems whatsoever putting the fitted-out RC8 on or taking it off even in the middle of the night for storage inside the house.

Another "tip" is to put a side by side plate on the mount so you can accommodate the RC8/RASA (come on, you know you want one) on one side and have room for a refractor/guide scope on the other side. This will all minimise your lifting needs. It also gives a place to mount your NUC/Asiair in between. Oh, and a wonderful opportunity to disperse more of your retirement funds to the masses....

Pic attached.
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  #8  
Old 23-03-2022, 11:39 AM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Thanks JA, Mike and everyone else. I’ve ordered a 1000mm pier from Matthew Lovell in SA. to go in the Keter shed - a bolt-down type but looks nice and solid. I have a couple of pier extensions (200mm and 400mm) on hand so I have a good range of adjustments if I need it.

I will start a new thread on the build progress. It won’t be quick. This much I can guarantee.
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Old 23-03-2022, 07:30 PM
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Taking things easier does not mean you need stop altogether...I have been thru stuff and all you need to learn to do is..less work..but more rest...work comfortably for 10 minutes and rest for an hour approach...you will be surprised how much you still get done..make a plan and plan resting. It is so easy to forget and fall back to working hard that is what you have to watch out for..old habits die hard..the new you takes it very easy and rests a lot.
You will get there.
After my back operation it seemed life was over for me but I just eased off and kept going..and I get heaps done these days...the last year has been difficult but I kept going ..chip chip chip..and dont talk yourself out of things..like RASA 11 is too big or at 75 you should not have a sports car...I had goos reason not to buy either ..love my sports car and one day will get to use the RASA
Alex

And it is a good idea to start a thread cause it helps keep you focused and if you look over it after a while you realise you have done heaps..and put down the little things as they are easily forgotten...I look at my last thread and I find it very satisfying and I inspire myself to keep going.

I wish my "Cube" thread was still around..that although small was such an effort just carrying stuff up one storey...and the forth observatory ( two piers roll off) that was a lot of work but little by little...the one before this last one..mmmm its the fifth

I did not build it I only put in the floor and deck and a ramp and two motors to move the roof and an electrical shed...and making the van flash , the jetty, etc... seems a lot when you look at it but lust a little each day gets you there.
Alex

Last edited by RB; 30-03-2022 at 08:46 AM.
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  #10  
Old 24-03-2022, 01:59 AM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Thanks for the advice Alex. I find it very hard to be idle and being compelled by health and general infirmity to slow down and smell the roses is particularly galling.

So I tend to make work by always having some project or other on the go. Trouble is, when it is finished a sort of post-project tristesse sets in. Ah well, that’s life. On to the next!
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Old 24-03-2022, 02:26 PM
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I have always, in reflection, been over the top active, a workaholics workaholic...once when working two jobs (office job day time, cleaner early morning) I built I small cruising sail boat between the hours of 11-00 pm and 2 am ... I had to nap during the day but the boat got built...
And so I found it hard to readjust and entirely sympathise but it is a matter of deciding thats the way of it and not living in the past...I actually get so much fun out of silly things like getting a generator out of the car. .now I need a ramp and a rope and pulleys. Once I could grab it lift it and run a mile sortta thing but now everything is like building the pyramids...I delight in the clever approaches one needs now...I know you will adapt because I sense you have the strength of character to look forwards not backwards.
So start the thread, get an exercise book to record the plans and costing, ordering dates etc...photos of the vacant lot with string nailed on posts..

I used cheap little wheels for my roll off but 8 each side ..only $4-85 each and not very robust individually but given there were 16 all up they managed no problem..the big roll off has only 4 and its not flash but to add more is a demanding job..All I had for tracks for the 16 wheeler was two bits of board nailed on the frame so it could not fall off ... mmmm I have dismantled the piers in that thing I must get to work repurposing it...I need a hobby for it...
alex
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Old 15-04-2022, 05:29 PM
I.C.D (Ian)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmrid View Post
I’m planning to convert a resin (plastic) garden shed (Keter brand) into a ROR obs. It will require putting a track/rail with a few suitable rollers on each side, an extension framework out the back and finally, cutting the roof off the shed body.

I wonder what type of guide rail or track people are using and what sort of rollers.

The roof on this shed is not very heavy so the solution does not need to be “industrial” strength. The rollers will need to be V- shaped or just plain concave. The options for track seem to be a bit limited to either 25x25 angle iron or various aluminium angles - 16x16x1.6 or 20x12x1.5 or 3mm seem to be the options.

I can’t find any T-shape track or rail so plain angle seems to the only choice.

I’d be glad to hear what others have done though.
Hi Pete I used 2x 5 m s/s unistrut and 8x40mm wheel bearings .My obs is 3x3m with a split gable roof
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Old 16-04-2022, 12:54 AM
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pmrid (Peter)
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Hi Pete I used 2x 5 m s/s unistrut and 8x40mm wheel bearings .My obs is 3x3m with a split gable roof
Thanks Ian. Since I had a couple of 6 metre lengths of 25x25 angle iron on hand, I have gone that way using V-profile rollers. Tried a light aluminium T-profile track but it was too flexible and at just 1.6mm thick, just seemed flimsy.

Still waiting (3 weeks now) for Amazon to cough up the rollers.
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