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Astrokev's ROR - The Build


Astrokev
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First post in a few days. Quite nice weather today so decided to drag myself out of my Christmas laziness to do a bit of work on the obsy.

First job was to attach the door stops to the frame. Finishes the door off quite nicely and will hopefully keep out wind and, more importantly, stop rain from seeping behind the door. The door closes with a nice solid clunk now, which is quite satisfying. Just got to paint the internal face when I "decorate" the inside of the warm room.

I then thought I'd brave it and stick down the EPDM to the east and west edges of the ROR. There was some method in my madness. I realised that I really needed to get the EPDM finished off to allow me to put up the guttering on the north corners of the ROR which will help me fix the rain-ingress problem. It was really a bit cold for this; the contact adhesive was like spreading treacle, but the finished job isn't too bad (I still need to trim off the excess EPDM), and these edges will be covered by barge boards once I've made them.

In whatever daylight was left, I checked out the north-west corner of the ROR, which is where the rain was getting in. Most of the time was spent just staring at the design, mentally trying out different ideas and possible solutions to keeping the rain out. I think I've decided what to do, so will crack-on with this tomorrow once I've bought some guttering.

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Where does the time go?

Bought the guttering I need for the north side of the ROR, and a few other bits. The guttering will catch water flowing off the ROR and redirect it onto the centre of the warm room roof.

By the time I was home and had lunch it was already dull outside. Anyways, I made up some brackets to attach the guttering and gave them a coat of paint, but that's all I could do before it was too dark. No pictures taken but will share some once the guttering is up. 

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Nice simple jobs today. I put up the short gutters on the ROR north edge. It's a bit tricky taking pictures of black gutters in semi shade against a dark background, but hopefully you can see the basic principle. I must try and get some better ones. Although not essential, I still need to neaten up the edge of the EPDM between the gutters.

I also slapped a coat of paint on the upper edge of the scope room walls. These had been left bare until today and, although they won't get wet from rain, I realised they will get wet from dew, so thought it best to give them some surface protection in addition to the coat of preserver.

Next job is to try and construct small water barriers on the rail beam to help stop rain pooling and flowing into the scope room. Although the gutters should reduce the amount of water falling onto this surface, I think it's still likely to be prone to pooling in heavy rain.

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No work on the observatory today, but did buy a load more plastic ware for the south side of the ROR. Blimey, can't believe how how much it costs when you add up all the little bits ?.

All being well, I'll be back out there tomorrow ?.

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13 minutes ago, Astrokev said:

Blimey, can't believe how how much it costs when you add up all the little bits ?.

Sure does  ?

Edited by Guest
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Best not to add up all the little bits then, Kev :D

I've had a few days away from my own project, doing "brownie point" jobs, though in fact finally biting the bullet and cutting the worktop for the boot room cupboards has left me with an off-cut that will be just the right size for a desk in the warm room :)

It's my last day off tomorrow though -- back to work on Wednesday (where the last ten days have disappeared to I really don't know), so I am planning to spend it doing observatory stuff.

James

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Should've made better use of the decent weather today, but for some reason just couldn't get into gear.

Rather than fit the guttering I bought yesterday, I thought I ought to try and work on making a small water barrier on the rail beam while it was dry, to try and stop water running along the beam under the ROR and into the scope room.

Here's a rubbish close-up of what I came up with. Having considered a few different approaches, I ended up using contact adhesive to stick a stack of EPDM layers onto the beam between the rail and the warm room roof, to form a barrier about 10mm high. I couldn't make it any higher otherwise it would foul the wheel. I then glued another piece on the outer face of the stack. This looks a bit messy in the picture, but it's formed a solid block of rubber which I think should be effective. Although the adhesive has formed a good seal, I'll also add exterior silicone sealant to make sure this is fully water tight once I've made a similar barrier on the other rail. The barrier sits just behind the cladding, which is removed in the pic to give me access, and won't be visible once the cladding is reinstated. Even without the cladding it was really fiddly to get under the beam which holds the roof wheels. I really wish I'd considered this before I built the ROR when it would have been easy to make and fit a much better arrangement! Anyway, one side nearly done and I'm pretty confident this will do the trick, in addition to the guttering above the rail.

I'm also considering adding a short section of brush on the outside of the cladding to sweep the rail and rail beam every time the ROR is opened. With the pine trees in next door's garden I get loads of needles on the roof, and this will help keep the track clear, as well as reduce wind blowing needles under the ROR.

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Edited by Astrokev
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That's certainly going to make it far more awkward to get water to flow along that channel any further.  Hopefully it will do the trick.  I may need to consider the same problem with my own build, although in my case the gap is much narrower.

James

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On ‎01‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 23:02, JamesF said:

That's certainly going to make it far more awkward to get water to flow along that channel any further.  Hopefully it will do the trick.  I may need to consider the same problem with my own build, although in my case the gap is much narrower.

James

Yes I hope so. In my case I think the problem was exacerbated by the rain running off the rolling roof directly into the channel. A back of the envelope calc suggests this was more than doubling the amount of water in the channel, with most of it being dumped exactly where I don't need it - ie, right next to the transition from the outside into the scope room. The guttering has sorted that one out. The only water that will now be in the channel is that which directly falls into it from the heavens, and it will be evenly distributed all the way along the channel. On the assumption that the channel is fairly level (or at least doesn't have an end to end slope of more than ~10mm), then any pooled water should run out of the north end of the channel before it overflows my mini-dam. 

Well, that's the theory! If I'm feeling brave, I may test it with a hosepipe or watering can. 

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Bloomin' freezing this afternoon, but braved the elements in the short time I had available to make another "dam" on the east rail. Just need to give both dams a coat of sealant to make sure they're water tight. 

Weather and real-life permitting, hoping to get some more guttering up tomorrow. Well that's the plan anyway. 

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Well, I thought I had a completely clear day today, with plans for lots of observatory action. But...

I'm taking my daughter back to Cornwall tomorrow, so really needed to plan a bit for that. Being on the other side of the planet it always seems to be a bit of an expedition. And then I thought I really ought to put the Christmas decorations away. So, that took me most of the morning. All in all I finally got out in the garden at 2PM ?. I hate working in fading light. 

Anyway, I put sealant on the water barrier/dam things, and then started to make brackets for some more guttering. No pics taken, mainly because there was nothing worth taking pics of, but work will resume on Monday now. Still a few exterior jobs to finish but getting closer to being able to spend all my time inside ?

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Not much work done today - other routine chores took priority. 

That said, I did manage to get the ROR guttering up.... and then took it down again so I could take the brackets off for painting. These are looking pretty on my dining table at the moment!

I realised this afternoon that the single downpipe I bought isn't quite long enough, which is annoying. I'll have to get another one tomorrow to finish the job. 

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Strange bright thing in the sky today. Googled it and it turns out it was the sun. Well there's a thing.

Finished off the guttering on the south side of the ROR. As many folks have done, I made-up a hopper attached to the main structure, with a down-pipe flowing into this from the ROR. The clearance between the downpipe and hopper is about 1mm. Haven't tried it out yet to make sure it doesn't overflow, but hopefully will work OK.

Also reinstated the short guttering and cladding pieces around the rails on the north side of the ROR. The sealant I used to finish off the "dams" was butyl rubber guttering sealant which is as sticky as heck, but has made a good job of sealing the dams. I also went round other exposed edges on the rails where the EPDM ends and sealed the edges inside the obsy.

EDIT - Forgot - I also put clear sealant along the top edges of the drip bars above and below the door.

Before packing up, I went out to my second home and bought guttering for the north side of the warm room - the last edge I need to install guttering on. I also still need to put up barge boards, which will be the last outside job on the building.

 

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Edited by Astrokev
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5 hours ago, JamesF said:

"last outside job".  Wow :)

James

That's not including minor landscape work to tidy things up - chipping, a path to the door, a stone step.... (but they don't count ?). I'm sure to have forgotten something though!

Oh, and digging a trench for electrics. 

Actually, it seems I've got loads to do still ?

Edited by Astrokev
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But I still think I would have put the rails on top and had the wheels pointing "upwards."  :wink2:   Quote from Rusted

 

1 hour ago, Astrokev said:

?   Interesting idea

Indeed, always nice to see an alternate view and option.

Wonder why this has not become the norm, it has crossed my mind reading everyone's build threads.

Edited by Alan White
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9 hours ago, Rusted said:

Amazing!  :thumbsup:

But I still think I would have put the rails on top and had the wheels pointing "upwards."  :wink2:

Agree, this is how I did my ROR many years ago, made it easier to make a drip seal just inside the roof against wind blown water during rain. It did however leave 6 wheels outside in the elements but I managed to get stainless ones with sealed bearings so it wasn't really a problem. Putting the rail on the bottom posed a potential water problem for me but I think Kev got this sorted. ?

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With the wheels on the roof rather than the walls it's possible to roll the roof off entirely, which may be handy.  I actually rolled mine around on the ground a fair bit until it was ready to go on.  In the general case perhaps the wheels are a little better protected if they're on the upper section of a roll-off roof, too -- having the wheels on the bottom might mean that some have to be exposed to the elements all the time.  Such wheels might also end up blocked by ice in cold weather.  Imagine how miffed you'd be if it was a lovely clear winter's night with excellent transparency and you couldn't get out with a telescope because the roof wouldn't roll off your observatory :)  Granted it could still happen with rails, but I think it's a lot less likely and easier to fix.  I guess you could put removable gaiters over the wheels to keep them clean when they're not in use.

James

Edited by JamesF
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