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JamesF last won the day on September 23 2015

JamesF had the most liked content!

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About JamesF

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    Wiveliscombe-ish, Somerset
  1. JamesF

    An unused observatory

    Not my pics. Just some I found online of the observatory in happier days. James
  2. JamesF

    JamesF's observatory build

    Very much agree, Kev. It may be possible to drill millimetre-accurate holes in concrete blocks, but frankly I can't do it with the kit I have at home so I have to accept that they may "wander" a little. Not assuming that everything will be exactly the same will hopefully make life easier for me further down the line even if it does eat up a little more time now. James
  3. I think it's a smart design and does what it needs to. Hats off to solarboy for getting it done. There are always improvements that can be made, but if if achieves the intended goal then it has to be considered a success. Once my obsy is built I might have a go and making something very similar for a quick grab'n'go pier close to the house. James
  4. JamesF

    Fellside OB is water tight

    My plan, which is yet to be anywhere near execution, is that the roof will have pins that pass through holes in steel plates as the roof closes, so once in a closed position the roof cannot lift. The pins will also have a hole through the end allowing another smaller pin or something similar to be passed through so that if I'm away I can fix the roof closed. My inspiration was the pins used to locate equipment on a 3-point linkage for a tractor. Hopefully this link will point to my post explaining the plan: https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/315082-jamesfs-observatory-build/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-3448402 James
  5. JamesF

    50/50 Roll off build

    I wish Mistakes are however part of a learning process, not something to be regretted. James
  6. JamesF

    JamesF's observatory build

    Photos of today's progress: Whilst there's not a great deal visible, each block is about 70cm high (by 50cm square). My father-in-law insisted on helping which was a bit of a mixed blessing (he's not supposed to do heavy lifting and suchlike), but did mean the entire job progressed much faster as he was in control of the mixer whilst I was shovelling out the previous mix. So I was pretty much on repeats of "refill the mixer, push the barrow (with the previous load) to the pier, shovel out the concrete, take the barrow back" without a break for eleven mixer loads. The short lengths of timber with the threaded rod are supported on 6mm steel bar that we happened to have lying about. There's a nut on the underside of those pieces too, nipped up with the threaded rod in the holes in the concrete blocks so hopefully everything will fit nicely. Because I'm, well, not paranoid exactly, but perhaps just more aware of all the potential ways things can go wrong, I've labelled the orientation of the rods relative to the blocks ("front" is the top of the block where the slits are) and numbered them, so every block should end up going onto a set of threaded rods that it was tested against before they went into the concrete. It has been a really physically tough day's work, but I'm so pleased to have got it done.
  7. JamesF

    JamesF's observatory build

    I find that even if they bite, as long as I swat them as soon as they bite then I don't get any of the unpleasant after-effects. I've no idea why that should be, but it seems to work. The one that did get through today attacked my arm alongside my elbow. I swatted it immediately I felt the bite, but even after it fell off I had a bit of blood running down my arm. There are no visible effects now, however. In fact I can't even see the wound. James
  8. JamesF

    50/50 Roll off build

    Oh, another thing... For my design I've used (in old money) 6x2 timbers for the floor and doubled them up around the outside (so they're effectively 6x4). My wall timbers will be 3x2, which leaves an inch of the floor timber protruding to carry the edge of the floor. If the wall dimensions are the same thickness as your outer floor timbers then you'll need something else to support the edge of the flooring. James
  9. JamesF

    50/50 Roll off build

    Good luck with your build. Getting a rough design in Sketchup is great. It gives you much more of a feel for how things will end up. I look forward to seeing your progress. Powerline ethernet seems to work well for some and not for others, but is definitely worth a try because it's relatively cheap. If all else fails taking a network cable or two between the house and observatory on a catenary would be an alternative. You just need cable with a UV-stable sheath. James
  10. JamesF

    An unused observatory

    There are a couple more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landie_man/sets/72157623121713894/ James
  11. JamesF

    JamesF's observatory build

    Well, my pier foundations are now done. Photos later. For the moment I'm still replacing fluids and allowing my sore hands to recover. I reckon I've shovelled over a tonne of materials three times today -- once from dumpy bags into the trailer to get it all down to the site, once into the mixer and once from the barrow into the shuttering. I'm quite relieved it's all over. As things worked out I didn't need the extra two bags of cement that I bought this morning, but they'll get used anyway when the builder returns to finish making the steps that will lead from the house down towards the observatory. The horsefly score for the day is about 9.5 to 0.5 in my favour (I got bitten once, but swatted the fly almost immediately so I've classed that as a score draw). I have never known them be this bad before. James
  12. JamesF

    JamesF's observatory build

    Horseflies were out mob-handed today, too. Tricky blighters, but they get a bit over-excited when they think they're about to get a decent meal and drop their defences. Allowing them to land on me and then swatting them immediately seems to work well. Around a dozen have now been sacrificed to the success of my pier foundations. They're not having my blood whilst I'm still using it. James
  13. Gina! We spend so much time complaining about the rain and cloud, and now you're complaining because it's been too sunny! James
  14. JamesF

    Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Oh, and whilst I remember... Wickes. They used to be great. I always preferred to go there before any of the other local DIY sheds. At some point recently however, our local one has become utterly useless. It's now got to the point where I'll try all the others first. It feels like they've just become a kitchen and bathroom showroom now James
  15. JamesF

    Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Good to hear that it's working so well, especially given that I'll be using pretty much the same solution for my own roof I'm beginning to think that "It always takes longer than you planned" should be some sort of motto for home observatory builders... James

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