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Plastic Pig Obsy


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Finished :-) well as far as this thread, it will evolve over time, I have a list already, my pier ended up higher than expected so I need to make an extension .... the next stage will be to start imaging but for now I'm just going to enjoy observing in comfort.

Thanks to all who followed.

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Planning permission was applied for, two pictures had to be created for the Boss to contemplate... Choice one. Choice Two. Permission was granted but any shed construction had to remain looking like

Finished :-) well as far as this thread, it will evolve over time, I have a list already, my pier ended up higher than expected so I need to make an extension .... the next stage will be to start imag

The guy who I got the Idea from has had his for three years and still looks like new, I have keter plastic storage boxes at home and at my caravan and they are four to five years old and do not seem a

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Reading through this thread and seeing your final creation I really want to build my own, unfortunately I need to move first. So I need to figure out a way of hinting to the wife that our next house has to be in the middle of nowhere and have unobstructed views :grin:

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Excellent work Keith, glad to see you've got it up and running in time for the dark nights, I ended up making a pier with electric ram to raise and lower it but never used it much until recently when I started Solar stuff and needed to follow the Sun as long as I could,

Dave

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Reading through this thread and seeing your final creation I really want to build my own, unfortunately I need to move first. So I need to figure out a way of hinting to the wife that our next house has to be in the middle of nowhere and have unobstructed views :grin:

Junior it takes about 45 minuets to strip it down once the pier is removed, and about the same to re-build so get building.

Yes Dave I'm in for the dark nights :-) .

Next years project may be one of your extending piers but I'm down to 18° and happy for now.

After two nights out in it I have to say it has exceeded what I imagined it would be like, the protection the walls offer is amazing just stopping that light breeze makes it all feel so much warmer. Nights like tonight when it can go either cloudy or clear are all so not a problem :-) .

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Welldone for a cracking bit of invenstion . I'm very intrested in getting a (plastic Pig) but i wont go down the roll off route straight away . Would in be possible to take off the roof  without rollers ? or to much of a faff .

Nick

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Thanks for that Nick, the roof fixes on with 12 large plastic plug type screws they can be seen in at least one photo in this thread or my gallery. Eight of them are enough to hold the roof on once you have fixed corner brackets to hold the plastic roof sections together. It takes two minuets to remove these which leaves the roof free ready to be removed. Dave-t who also uses this shed and before he made his roof roll he fixed two bars on the inside of the roof so that he could lift it off. He found it easy to remove and replace, I have not made any handles for mine but did remove it once and I found it very awkward for one person, two people would make it easy. Another guy on here leaves the top roof sections on and removes the roof panels , I would imagine this quite easy and light but you then have the small apex ends to view over. The shed has loads of possibilities for various conversions but its one of those things that you have to just jump into and play with . The shed can be built and disassembled as often as you like and if you fail I would be easy to sell on on eBay.

I have to say that so far it has transformed my hobby , wish I had done it years ago....

Good luck and if you want any more info or pictures just pm me.

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What a lovely build Keith, I love the clean look of the inside, it looks a really pleasant area to observe from.  Did you need to reinforce or brace the walls at all?

Jim 

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Thanks Jim, the roof would normally hold the wall sections together , so I used galvanised building bar to hold the wall sections together. 

finnished

If you look at the top of the right hand wall in this picture you can just about make it out, it can be screwed or bolted.

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Cheers Keith, good idea re the builders bar - I've been looking for something to make tie rods to strengthen the walls on mine.  I think I can get it from Jewsons  at a reasonable price . Fingers crossed for dry weather this weekend. :smiley:

Jim

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... the roof fixes on with 12 large plastic plug type screws they can be seen in at least one photo in this thread or my gallery. Eight of them are enough to hold the roof on once you have fixed corner brackets to hold the plastic roof sections together. It takes two minuets to remove these which leaves the roof free ready to be removed. Dave-t who also uses this shed and before he made his roof roll he fixed two bars on the inside of the roof so that he could lift it off. He found it easy to remove and replace, I have not made any handles for mine but did remove it once and I found it very awkward for one person, two people would make it easy. Another guy on here leaves the top roof sections on and removes the roof panels , I would imagine this quite easy and light but you then have the small apex ends to view over. The shed has loads of possibilities for various conversions but its one of those things that you have to just jump into and play with . The shed can be built and disassembled as often as you like and if you fail I would be easy to sell on on eBay.

I have to say that so far it has transformed my hobby , wish I had done it years ago....

Good luck and if you want any more info or pictures just pm me.

This thread has got me thinking about an obsy again. I'd just discounted as all options looked like £1000 plus (up to £5000 for those lovely domes :o)

A £500 - £600 obsy is much more achievable. Thanks for sharing this really detailed build.

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I do hope that it helps some people . I can not explain in words how happy I am with the result. I thought long and hard about a dome but I enjoy looking at the whole sky when im out and looking through a slit isn't for me . I'm amazed at how much protection you get from the walls . The cost for just the shed and materials to make the runners etc. costs under £600 as long as you have a vice, drill ,hacksaw ,file and taps you should be able to make it all at home. I found the aluminium angle cheapest at Wickes....

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Yes it is classed as 6x6 but its longer than it is wider the dimensions are on this link http://www.screwfix.com/p/keter-apex-shed-plastic-6-x-6-x-7-nominal/80298

What made you decide on the 6x6 keter shed?

Looking at screwfix there is also and 8x6 which would have given more room. http://www.screwfix.com/p/keter-apex-shed-plastic-8-x-6-x-7-nominal/96672

The 8x6 roof attaches using the screw in plugs but also some additional metal bars join the roof to the shed walls.

Did you consider the 8x6 at all?

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I did look at that shed , quite a few reasons stopped me attempting to use it. First and probably the main reason was the way the roof was constructed, it would have needed a fair amount of additional supports in the roof section to stiffen it up enough to remove like mine does and the door arches into the gable end. I can not remember all the reasons but I felt the 6x6 was a safe bet. If you look at the dimensions of the shed I used it is not exactly square ,so the shelving at one end leaves quite a nice square inside to work around the scope.

If however you could make it roll off like Davey-t's it would probably be fine . The main thing is finding one built up to go and look at , we have a JTF warehouse that has them outside . I went with spanner and removed the roof fixings to feel the weight of the roof :-) . I did put it back and no one saw me.

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I did look at that shed , quite a few reasons stopped me attempting to use it. First and probably the main reason was the way the roof was constructed, it would have needed a fair amount of additional supports in the roof section to stiffen it up enough to remove like mine does and the door arches into the gable end. I can not remember all the reasons but I felt the 6x6 was a safe bet. If you look at the dimensions of the shed I used it is not exactly square ,so the shelving at one end leaves quite a nice square inside to work around the scope.

If however you could make it roll off like Davey-t's it would probably be fine . The main thing is finding one built up to go and look at , we have a JTF warehouse that has them outside . I went with spanner and removed the roof fixings to feel the weight of the roof :-) . I did put it back and no one saw me.

This is good to know. Thanks for the extra info.

I had the same concerns about the 8x6. I studied the install docs of both the 8x6 and the 6x6 yesterday and whilst the 8x6 is better for extra space, it certainly has additional strengthening and would be heavier to roll off/support.

I like 'safe bets' as my DIY skills are limited. Happy to give something a go but not a lot of experience.

My kit is a modest HEQ5 and ED80 and I'm only interested  is astrophotography so don't need to house large dobs.

I reckon this 6x6 will fit the bill snuggly. Looks like I'll basically copy your design  :evil:

The wife has already approved the purchase. I'd like to get it installed before Christmas and use as a lift and shift roof until the weather improves in the Spring when I can get to modding the roll off roof.

I haven't seen the Keter sheds close up. Do you think my idea of manually undoing the plastic screws and then two people picking up and removing the roof for an evenings viewing is doable?

Obviously I'd put the strengthening steel bars in place before removing the roof!

(I don't mean to hijack your build thread here, I'll create my own one once I get underway :grin:  )

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... I'd like to get it installed before Christmas and use as a lift and shift roof until the weather improves in the Spring when I can get to modding the roll off roof.

I haven't seen the Keter sheds close up. Do you think my idea of manually undoing the plastic screws and then two people picking up and removing the roof for an evenings viewing is doable?

Obviously I'd put the strengthening steel bars in place before removing the roof!

... Dave-t who also uses this shed and before he made his roof roll he fixed two bars on the inside of the roof so that he could lift it off. He found it easy to remove and replace, I have not made any handles for mine but did remove it once and I found it very awkward for one person, two people would make it easy. Another guy on here leaves the top roof sections on and removes the roof panels , I would imagine this quite easy and light but you then have the small apex ends to view over. The shed has loads of possibilities for various conversions but its one of those things that you have to just jump into and play with . The shed can be built and disassembled as often as you like and if you fail I would be easy to sell on on eBay.

I have to say that so far it has transformed my hobby , wish I had done it years ago....

Good luck and if you want any more info or pictures just pm me.

Looks like I've / you've answered my question already. RTFP again  :grin:

I'm off to order a shed methinks. Let me just pluck up the courage to hit the 'buy button'

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Yea you will find it easy for two people to lift, the roof panels are screwed on with big self tappers I found these came loose quite quickly with the flexing when removing. I replaced with bolts and nylock nuts , I think you may have to do that along with the corner supports to remove the roof regular.

Good luck with the build :-) .... Look forward to following it.

If ever your close to Stoke you can always pop in for a brew .

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Looks like I've / you've answered my question already. RTFP again  :grin:

I'm off to order a shed methinks. Let me just pluck up the courage to hit the 'buy button'

£436.00 in Argos but they come up on EBay quite often.

Dave

Roof lift bar made from wardrobe hanging rail, end welded on but you can just use the fitting that comes with it, excuse the rust have painted it all nicely now.

Bolted through with 6mm roof bolts, you don't need the bracket that's bolted to the lifting spring, you can just bolt it straight through.

post-21198-0-55750600-1415987800_thumb.j

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Yea you will find it easy for two people to lift, the roof panels are screwed on with big self tappers I found these came loose quite quickly with the flexing when removing. I replaced with bolts and nylock nuts , I think you may have to do that along with the corner supports to remove the roof regular.

Good luck with the build :-) .... Look forward to following it.

If ever your close to Stoke you can always pop in for a brew .

@Fish

Stoke's a bit far but I'll be sure to get a thread going and post progress.

Do you have a close up picture to hand with those bolts and nylock nuts?

£436.00 in Argos but they come up on EBay quite often.

Roof lift bar made from wardrobe hanging rail, end welded on but you can just use the fitting that comes with it, excuse the rust have painted it all nicely now.

Bolted through with 6mm roof bolts, you don't need the bracket that's bolted to the lifting spring, you can just bolt it straight through.

@Davey-T

I've found it from Tesco for £395 and the wife gets some free points! (perhaps she won't notice the extra spend on her credit card this month  :evil: )

I'll sleep on it tonight and hit order tomorrow (assuming I haven't chickened out)

Thanks for the lifting bar picture. I was wondering how you would have done that.

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New pictures added to album.
Here are the galv coach bolts and nylock nuts that replace the self tappers 50mm long x 6mm.

replace screws for 6x50 bolts

nylock

The gable ends and the sides slot together and these brackets at the top of the picture make sure nothing slips.

roof angle supports

You will need 4x building bar from Wickes to hold the walls together when the roof is off.

wickes building bar

And just to add some recent work to the thread I was getting dust blowing in over the top of the door, there is quite a large gap, door brush draught excluder to the rescue.

door top draught excluder

And a new observing chair :grin:

new observing chair

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