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Astrokev's ROR - The Build


Astrokev
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I made my observatory door from the same shiplap as I used for the walls attached to a framework of 3x2 with diagonal bracing to hold it square.  The inside filled with polystyrene foam and lined wit 6mm marine ply.

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Yes that sounds like how I intend to do mine. Just need to work through the details. I may add a frame around the edge similar to the design by @RayD

In the last pics I posted you can see the shiplap lengths I've reserved for the door, keeping dry in the warm room. 

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Seemed reasonably bright today so found time to do a little more on the build.

To help me maximise the available time should it ever warm up enough to allow me to stick the EPDM down, I decided to finish off the edges of the gable ends. As mentioned in a previous post, I'd intentionally left the edging timber off the eaves to allow access to the side cladding. So, today I painted the top edge of the cladding which will be difficult to access once the edge timber is on, and then put up the edge timbers. These strengthen the edges, provide support to stick the EPDM to, and also give me a flat surface to attach the barge boards.

Whilst I was in a painterly mood, I also painted creocote on the ROR support framework. Please forgive the rubbish tip underneath the framework; it's amazing how small piles of surplus timber grow into huge piles of debris. I must organise a trip to the local council tip!

Finally, in my haste to lay the EPDM on the roof the other day, I noticed I'd put it on upside-down, with the blue manufacturing data on full view in the middle of the roof - not very attractive. So, with some difficulty, I climbed on the roof and managed to turn the rubber the right-side up. Imagine trying to take the bed-sheets off the bed whilst you are lying in it and you'll get the idea. This was a double pain since the exposed surface had gotten somewhat messy with bird mess, debris from the pine trees next door, and a load of mud (no idea how that got up there!) since I laid it down. So, decided to give it a rub down with an old towel to clean it up a bit before turning it over. I hope this doesn't affect how well the adhesive sticks. Anyways - a few pics -

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11 hours ago, Gina said:

Sunny here too but cold.  Hard frost this morning.  Gradually warming up in the sunshine though.

Sadly still not warm enough to stick down the EPDM. The creases are still very evident and I'm increasingly concerned that I won't be able to finish laying it until Spring, unless we have an unseasonably hot spell.

In the meantime then, I guess I'll just crack on with other bits. Bought the wood for the main door this morning, which involved cutting up an 8x4 sheet of 9mm ply in Wickes car park to enable me to fit it in my car. So much cheaper buying a large piece and cutting it up rather than 2 smaller pieces!

Couldn't be bothered to do any work outside once I'd got it home, so varnished the door sill in the dining room. Will start work on the door tomorrow - probably also in the dining room where it's a bit warmer! 

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Blessed with a dry and sunny day, but chilly once the sun started to go down. That said, the ground underfoot is still wet and resisting any chance to dry off. The lawn, such that it is, is therefore looking increasingly like the Somme.

Made a start on the main door this afternoon. Only had a few hours so didn't get it finished, but pleased with the progress made. The first hour was spent measuring, drawing, measuring again, then some more measuring and checking that I wasn't going to cut the ply backing too small. I wasn't sure how big a gap to leave between the door and frame, so eventually plumped for around 3mm. The frame is slightly out of square by about a millimetre top to bottom, but hopefully this won't cause any major problems.

Tomorrow I'll finish the cross-bar and diagonals. Then I'll take it apart again (!) to treat the outer frame with a hefty dose of preserver before re-assembling. Once done, the plan is to add insulation, cover the front face with breathable membrane and then vertical cladding. Tonight I'll do a search for stainless hinges. Also need to decide what type of lock to use - whether to go for a more traditional shed-style, or a more secure "Yale" house-style lock.

 

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31 minutes ago, Astrokev said:

Looking at 4" stainless hinges for the main door.  I note that some folks use 3 rather than 2 hinges.  My door is ~1670mm high.  Would I better going for 3 d'you think, or would 2 be sufficient?

I would go with 3 as it's minimal cost and prevents centre buldging/warping ? plus if you mirror the top and bottom hinges with internal barrel bolts it creates a 6 point security strength including your door handle/lock if central. ?

Edited by Guest
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I would also suggest three - both for security and to help control things when you open and close the door on windy days. 

Don't forget that if you put the top hinge 6" down from the top of the door the bottom hinge goes 8" up from the bottom!  It is an old carpenters trick as evenly placed top and bottom hinges just look strange - all an optical illusion of course.

(I suspect everyone will be checking their doors now ? - honest its true!!!!)

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2 hours ago, Bizibilder said:

I would also suggest three - both for security and to help control things when you open and close the door on windy days. 

Don't forget that if you put the top hinge 6" down from the top of the door the bottom hinge goes 8" up from the bottom!  It is an old carpenters trick as evenly placed top and bottom hinges just look strange - all an optical illusion of course.

(I suspect everyone will be checking their doors now ? - honest its true!!!!)

Thanks ?

And does the middle hinge then go midway between the two, or on the centre line of the door, which would be slightly closer to the bottom hinge?

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14 hours ago, LeeRich said:

I would go with 3 as it's minimal cost and prevents centre buldging/warping ? plus if you mirror the top and bottom hinges with internal barrel bolts it creates a 6 point security strength including your door handle/lock if central. ?

Thanks Lee. Please can you explain more on what you mean by internal barrel bolts?

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Those bolts are quite easy to pick though, given an appropriate tool.  Not that I'd know from personal experience, obviously.  Oh no :)  Even a duplicate key will do the job, as they're all identical.  So you'd want some other sort of lock, I'd suggest.  Perhaps two of those bolts top and bottom with a proper mortice lock in the middle?

James

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7 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Those bolts are quite easy to pick though, given an appropriate tool.  Not that I'd know from personal experience, obviously.  Oh no :)  Even a duplicate key will do the job, as they're all identical.  So you'd want some other sort of lock, I'd suggest.  Perhaps two of those bolts top and bottom with a proper mortice lock in the middle?

James

Yer i suggested a normal lock (above ^) in the centre and two of these top and bottom for extra security. If someone is coming to break in and has any form of tool to do so then pretty much all locks are futile, i suggested these purely as an extra deterrent but they also help with strength in case a would be thief wanted to prize the door top or bottom ?

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@LeeRich those are what I thought you meant, and I agree with James. They may serve as a short term deterrent or delay but are not ideal. They are meant to be locked from inside the building which is obviously not much use when you only have one door! ?

I will be using some sort of mortise lock in the middle. Will have to think about whether to use something additional to this. The barrel bolts certainly won't do any harm, but will give this some more thought. 

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Yer, it's a shame these internal bolts don't have a key system once in the locked position ? but you're right not ideal but a useful deterrent of sorts. Let us know what you decide on ?

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May I suggest that you don't oversecure your observatory.  To the prospective thief it is a shed plain and simple and one decent lock should be enough for him to try his luck elsewhere.  Any truly determined thief will get in no matter what you do!

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Quick update on today's progress.

Finished the framework on the door, then took it apart to paint the outer edges with preservative. I'm usually not very good at angled corner joints, but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out on this occasion. Will hopefully reassemble tomorrow, add insulation and make a start on the cladding. Still need to order the hinges and sort out a lock!

 

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Edited by Astrokev
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46 minutes ago, Bizibilder said:

May I suggest that you don't oversecure your observatory.  To the prospective thief it is a shed plain and simple and one decent lock should be enough for him to try his luck elsewhere.  Any truly determined thief will get in no matter what you do!

There's a lot to be said with that approach.

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Looking really good, Kev.  That door looks familiar ?

I used these hinges on mine and they have worked a treat.  Not cheap, but in the scheme of things..........

Agree with all of the above re. security.  I have a very good 7 lever lock on mine, a sensor connected to the main house alarm and internal and external CCTV.  In the warm room, under the rubber flooring I have a large pressure mat which arms when the roof is open (providing I'm not in there of course) and does the alarm and lights etc. if it goes off.  From the outside it looks pretty 'sheddy' so not glaringly containing expensive stuff.

You really are doing a super job, bravo Sir!

Edited by RayD
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