Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

  • Announcements



Advanced Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

64 Excellent


About Astrokev

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
  1. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Haven't posted a picture in a while, so here's a screen grab of my SketchUp design (minus cladding of course). Hopefully the finished build will look pretty close to this My SketchUp model has all the main elements of the build on 13 different layers, with everything dimensioned. This has proved really useful so far in serving as the blue-prints to take all my measurements from.
  2. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Indeed. Frost isn't really a major risk. I live quite close to a river so, although the garden doesn't flood, the water table is probably quite high. I'm not sure there's much I can do about this. I don't want to move, and re-routing the river is probably outside my budget ;-) I've taken on-board the various comments and think hammering rebar into the ground in the hole before filling with concrete should be effective at reducing the risk of the pier moving if I accidently bump into it in the dark (in addition to putting rebar in the pier, as suggested). The image I have in my mind is like a radial root system of a small tree or bush. Having had to dig-up several of these over the years reminds me how solidly the trunk is held in place by only 4 or 5 main roots radiating out into the surrounding soil. Kev
  3. Roll off roof observatory ideas

    Hi Hunter. That question is quite general, and difficult to answer simply. Have you tried browsing through the ROR builds on this forum to see how other folks have done this? I'd suggest this as a good starting point, then post specific questions about details if necessary.
  4. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    I'm afraid I tend to over-engineer most things DIY, so plan to use rebar in the block as well as the pier. Being at work during the week really drags out the progress . I've found it surprisingly difficult to find a store that sells rebar - Wickes and B&Q don't seem to stock it. I think the local Travis Perkins may have some, so off there on Saturday. Also need to order delivery of endless bags of ballast and cement - too many to carry in the car without using up a tank full of diesel! Also need to find a concrete mixer. Local hire shop may be the answer if I can't 'phone a friend'. Looking forward to the next stage. It'll be hard graft, but the end result will be the first bit of my build that will be visible when the whole thing is finished! Kev
  5. 5 sisters observatory

    Of course, with an equatorial head, you don't need to have the top of the pier level in either direction. (Although the perfectionist in me will I'm sure try and make sure my pier is as level as possible! Not far off that stage now with my build ). EDIT - Hmm, seem to have responded to a previous post (note to self - always click on the next page button before submitting reply!). Anyhoo - Looks really neat with the OTA's on-boarded. I'm very envious of your horizons! Do you plan to build an observatory around it? This is the Observatories sub-section after all
  6. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    After removing the shuttering from the last foundation block, today saw me start on the pier. First came digging the hole. I decided on a 750 x 750 x 750mm hole for the pier block. This was harder than I expected. After the heavy rain recently, the ground was soft enough, but it was difficult to wield the spade once the hole got below about a foot deep! Ended up using a garden trowel to scoop up the last bits of soil into a bucket. I was also getting close to the water table, so it was really sticky down there. Glad to finish it! Here's a few pics of today's progress. I now need to figure out how to hold my air-con tubing in place, and at the correct height, before filling with concrete. What have other folks done to achieve this? I'll probably use some rebar (when I find out where to get some from) hammered into the ground to try and create more anchorage for the block. Not sure if this is necessary, but I reckon better safe than sorry.
  7. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Tell me about it! I hand mixed 30 bags of ballast + 6 cement for the footings - spread over several weekends mind! All over now though - hooray!
  8. 5 sisters observatory

    Would be great to see more pics between the rain showers
  9. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    No picture tonight (getting a bit dark out there) but the good news is I've finished pouring all 6 footing blocks. Looking forward to the weekend when I can unveil the last one. Next step is digging out the hole for the pier block. This will be too large to mix concrete by hand, so will have to use a mixer. My son reckons there's a chap in the village who may be able to lend me his, so fingers crossed. I also need to give some thought to how I'm going to support the air con duct tube in the right spot and at the correct height. Looking forward to this bit, as I'll be able to start cutting some wood!
  10. 5 sisters observatory

    Lol. No worries! I can relate to that. My obsy had loads of false starts, but I think this time I'm going to see it through to the end. Just not sure how long that might take! I'm aiming to finish before the winter season but things are going slower than I anticipated so far. The wet weather of late doesn't help. I thought it was summer?
  11. Gingercat's Roll Off Roof Observatory

    Excellent and innovative solution for your roof. Well done! Finished result looks very neat and professional.
  12. 5 sisters observatory

    From the leaves on the trees in the garden and the background landscape, and weed growth between your paving, I'm guessing the work before this post was done earlier in the year before the trees came fully into leaf?
  13. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Footing block #5 finished . Torrential rain this afternoon so decided not to start on the last block - maybe tomorrow.
  14. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Thanks Roger. Sensible idea about the middle block - I finished concreting this today and certainly tried to do that . I guess I'll have to wait till I buy the joists to see how well I did. Here's an image of the finished block. I decided not to put metal strapping in this block. I think having the ends of the joist fixed only to the corner blocks should be sufficient. Rain forecast for later this afternoon, so polythene sheet at the ready! Five down, one to go! Getting a bit tired of concrete to be honest and can't wait till I start on the woodwork. I'm going to have to get a mixer for the pier block; I think it'd kill me mixing that amount by hand! I need to decide whether to hire, buy second-hand off flea-bay, or try and find someone to lend me one.
  15. Astrokev's ROR - The Build

    Next job is to make the foundation blocks in the middle of the two long walls to give extra support to the floor joists and spread the weight of the obsy a little more. I used the orange marking line to try and get the form aligned (I reused one of the forms I'd used for the corner blocks), levelled the form with my trusty spirit level, then fixed the form in position with 4 pegs hammered into the ground. Of course, having got the first block ready, the heavens opened and it didn't stop raining for the rest of the afternoon. Rain stopped play (again)