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Gina's Observatory


Gina
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Gina - do they do a sticky-backed plastic that looks like concrete?? :)

Seriously though - I'd go with Malc's suggestion also, although if the floor will be above the pots, I don't see the need to remove them as they'll be hidden anyway. EDIT - just re-read your post and now realise the floor will only part cover the bottom pot. My mistake. Take 'em off !

Kevin

Edited by Astrokev
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May I suggest not painting the pier with anything for at least a month (or three!) to allow the concrete to fully cure and the water content to completely come to equilibrium with the outside world. Many modern paints are pretty good water sealants as well!

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The paint on the pier adapter plates has dried and hardened enough not to be marked or dented by finger nails. So I've attached the rest of the pier adapter to the bottom plate and checked for level. N-S level is perfect but E-W is very slightly out and will want slight adjusting.

Photos attached :-

1 & 2. Pier adapter N-S level

3. Pier adapter E-W level

4. Pier adapter from SW

5. Pier adapter from NW

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Gina - do they do a sticky-backed plastic that looks like concrete?? :)
Not that I know of. Plain colours, patterns, wood grain effect, marble effect and clear.
Seriously though - I'd go with Malc's suggestion also, although if the floor will be above the pots, I don't see the need to remove them as they'll be hidden anyway. EDIT - just re-read your post and now realise the floor will only part cover the bottom pot. My mistake. Take 'em off !

Kevin

Thanks Kevin, agreed :)
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May I suggest not painting the pier with anything for at least a month (or three!) to allow the concrete to fully cure and the water content to completely come to equilibrium with the outside world. Many modern paints are pretty good water sealants as well!
Thank you, yes I'll do that :) I think even masonry paint is waterproof. So I'll just smooth the surface with mortar and maybe filler ready for painting but do the painting later.
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Just looked at your pier top, how you going to get the centre bolt into the EQ6? or were you planning on putting the plate onto the EQ6 first?
Yes, I did a test indoors and although mount plus top plate is heavier than the mount alone it's easier to handle.

Of course, I'll need to take the top plate off first. To keep the piles of washers in control I held them on with the nuts (without the bottom plate). Then lower the whole top assembly onto the bottom plate. The bolts are long enough to permit removing the nuts (one at a time) from beneath the washers and putting them back on the bolt below the bottom plate. This is how I put the top plate on this afternoon (without the mount).

OK so this is a bit more complicated than using studding and four nuts, times four, but is more rigid. If I find I have difficulties I can always change over to the 4 pieces of studding and 16 nuts method.

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I think the pier will stand the odd few hundred mph winds :)

At least get a black bin liner or something over the pier to protect it from the wet for now. My experience of masonary is that they are not water proof but 'breathable' and they don't take well to new concrete (always use a sealer/primer first). In any case I'd protect your metalwork from the rain.

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Where did you get your plates made up Gina? Need to get a couple myself soon...
I got ready cut mild steel round plates (250mm diameter x 10mm thick) off eBay and also a square aluminium plate (200mm square x 5mm) as I couldn't find anyone selling round ones. I made the holes myself. We have an ancient hand operated bench drill and some time back I bought a small electric bench drill. I had to buy some special drill bits. 15mm as good clearance for the M14 bolts and threaded rod and for the big mount hole (30mm) I used a 25mm drill and 30mm tapered reamer.

I was able to use my electric bench drill for the 15mm holes but it didn't have enough clearance for the centre hole so had to use the hand drill for that. With much elbow grease I might add!!

For the large hole in the ali sheet (to take the larger shoulder on the mount) I bought an adjustable trepanning tool. With care I was able to use this in my electric bench drill.

To get the rounded corners on the ali sheet I drilled a series of small holes, joined them up with a hacksaw and smoothed off with a file.

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At least get a black bin liner or something over the pier to protect it from the wet for now. My experience of masonary is that they are not water proof but 'breathable' and they don't take well to new concrete (always use a sealer/primer first). In any case I'd protect your metalwork from the rain.
Thank you :) Yes, I have a big heavy duty plastic bag we got a water butt delivered in that will well cover the pier. I'll put that over and secure it.
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I got ready cut mild steel round plates (250mm diameter x 10mm thick) off eBay and also a square aluminium plate (200mm square x 5mm) as I couldn't find anyone selling round ones. I made the holes myself. We have an ancient hand operated bench drill and some time back I bought a small electric bench drill. I had to buy some special drill bits. 15mm as good clearance for the M14 bolts and threaded rod and for the big mount hole (30mm) I used a 25mm drill and 30mm tapered reamer.

I was able to use my electric bench drill for the 15mm holes but it didn't have enough clearance for the centre hole so had to use the hand drill for that. With much elbow grease I might add!!

For the large hole in the ali sheet (to take the larger shoulder on the mount) I bought an adjustable trepanning tool. With care I was able to use this in my electric bench drill.

To get the rounded corners on the ali sheet I drilled a series of small holes, joined them up with a hacksaw and smoothed off with a file.

Thanks Gina! :)

Part of me was hoping you was going to say you found this great little firm that make and sell them really cheap :) ...but it looks like i'll have to do what you did and pop to ebay and then get the drill out....

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I've removed the pots - did it yesterday evening. No problem :) Must say, the pier looks a lot better without them. There are no voids and the concrete surface is absolutely smooth - moulded by the smooth plastic :)

Photos attached (it wasn't as dark as it looks - the automatic flash kicked in) :-

1. Smaller pot removed.

2. Larger pot and most of the duct tape removed.

3. North side view with discarded pieces of plastic pot.

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I was over between Dunkeswell and Upottery this afternoon. I looked for a field with a big concrete post in it, but I couldn't see one :)

James

You'd need to be in the right lane and look in the right place with a pair of bins to see it. It's not visible from the road outside the property.

Not much doing on the obsy shed lately mainly due to the wet weather. The floor beams are in our big shed drying off still - creosote takes a long time to dry. Just been doing a bit of tidying and clearing up when it's been fine enough. Also been working out all the bits and pieces I want like coach bolts and wood screws. I've worked out what timber I need and expect to go and order it next week when the weather is supposed to improve - I don't want it lying around too long so not ordering it while the weather is unsettled.

In the meantime I've been sorting out the LX and amp off mod on one of my Philips SPC 900 webcams - see DIY Astronomy forum.

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When the weather hasn't been just plain unpleasant, it's been little short of freaky here over the last few days. It seems to have fluctuated rapidly between periods of sunshine when even a t-shirt and shorts felt overdressed, hurling rain down and blowing a gale when full waterproofs would be more appropriate. I really don't understand what's going on...

James

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When the weather hasn't been just plain unpleasant, it's been little short of freaky here over the last few days. It seems to have fluctuated rapidly between periods of sunshine when even a t-shirt and shorts felt overdressed, hurling rain down and blowing a gale when full waterproofs would be more appropriate. I really don't understand what's going on...

James

Dreadful, isn't it?! :) Now after several forecasts predicting good weather from Tuesday onwards for a few days, the ITV weather forecast a couple of hours ago was now for more wet weather all the week :):( Goodness knows when I'm going to be able to get on with my build!!

Depressed of Devon!

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Dreadful, isn't it?! ;) Now after several forecasts predicting good weather from Tuesday onwards for a few days, the ITV weather forecast a couple of hours ago was now for more wet weather all the week :( :( Goodness knows when I'm going to be able to get on with my build!!

Depressed of Devon!

Buy a very large and very strong gazebo! :BangHead:

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