Update September 13, 2004
The Dome Substructure and Siding

Above: The foundation cleaned up and ready for the dome support structure.

Below: Finally! The structure on dollies, ready to move

Above: The assistance lent by my neighbor, John Perry (the clean guy at right) on this project has been invaluable. On this occasion he not only helped me move the support structure into place, but he figured the critical locations for the two electrical conduit holes to be drilled on opposite sides of the sill plate (visible at John’s right hand and near my left shin) so that the structure could be lowered onto the foundation with the conduits protruding. He got them dead right, of course, taking about five minutes to measure and show me where to drill. I would have needed all day to figure it out, and at the end of the day it would have been dead wrong. Below: the support structure in place.
Above: my most valuable helper, my wife Leona. I fastened the sill plate to the stringers with seven lag screws as soon as John and I finished positioning the support structure. Leona and I had pre-cut the seven pieces of plywood sheathing, with joined edges beveled to 22-1/2° for a nice fit, and I attached them after the lag screws were in. Leona and I covered the sheathing with Tyvek. I had softened the corners with a power sander to prevent the Tyvek from being damaged by the sharp edges. The photos immediately above and below show how close to my garage the observatory is situated. The garage is on the west side of the observatory, and will aid in telescope tube (optical tube assembly, or OTA) cooling by shading the observatory in the afternoons. The location affords me views to the north, east, and south.
And then we again got ready for rain, and not a moment too soon.

Update 14 September: The 5/4 white oak that I need to build an apron that
will be attached to the top of the substructure, and upon which the dome ring
will rest, and which will divert water that runs off the dome away from the
observatory structure, is unavailable locally at the moment, so I have ordered it.
That will delay the placement of the dome by about one week.

Next Observatory Page: Dome Installation!
Previous Observatory Construction Page
Observatory Project Introduction

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