Update September 2, 2004
The Floor

Above and below: Late August, 2004: Checking the pier-base cutout for position. Later, I enlarged the cutout a bit so that the hardwood floor will overhang the plywood slightly and hide the plywood, with neither the plywood nor the hardwood touching the pier base. Handling and positioning this unwieldy piece of 3/4" exterior-grade plywood was made much easier by help from my wife, Leona. She spoils me by buying me toys like telescopes; helping me to build this observatory to house them, computers to control the telescopes, and trucks to carry all my toys (and construction materials.)
Above: September 1: the sub-sub floor is made of pressure-treated plywood. It is caulked where necessary, especially in nooks and crannies where it is not attached to cleats by construction adhesive.
Above: Ready for the sub-floor. The foam will provide additional insulation and prevent squeaks. I packed leftover scraps of R-19 insulation around the pier base and in nooks and crannies. The white object at right (near the face where the door will be located) is the envelope shown below. It is meant for posterity and it holds a lucky dollar and a note with construction dates and the names of everyone who has contributed to the construction project.

Above and below: the completed sub-floor. The conduit at left will carry 12vDC to power the telescope and accessories and the conduit at right will carry computer cables; all cables will enter the bottom of the pier. I had Le Sueur put a 1" hole with rubber grommet near the top of my Aurora Model Astro Pier on the north side for the cables to exit the pier. The observatory will be run mainly from Macintosh PowerBooks connected an 802.11b/g wireless network. There is a Buffalo Wireless Distribution System (WDS) relay in my garage, i.e., near the observatory, that I hope will ensure good signal strength and a concomitant high speed connection in the observatory. The Buffalo will relay the 802.11b/g connection to my AirPort Base Station. In these photos the sub-floor has not yet been trimmed to the size of the stringers. This will be accomlished first with a circular saw, then with a router and a 1/2" straight bit with a guide bearing. I don’t want to brag, but the sub-floor is dead level in every direction. Yes, I had to shim some joists to level it because pressure-treated lumber is sold wet and it shrinks transversely as it dries, with different pieces shrinking by different amounts.

Next Observatory Page: The Door and Shelves
Previous Observatory Construction Page
Observatory Project Introduction

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