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Astrokev's ROR - The Build


Astrokev
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33 minutes ago, Astrokev said:

My window is internal, separating the warm and scope rooms, so doesn't need to be water-tight.

I have an internal window too - in the sliding door between scope and warm rooms.  The scope room also has a window in the apex also made of acrylic sheet cut to shape so that I can see to set up in the daytime without relying on electric light.

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7 minutes ago, Gina said:

The scope room also has a window in the apex also made of acrylic sheet cut to shape so that I can see to set up in the daytime without relying on electric light.

Great idea.  I like that, Gina.

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Didn't do much on the observatory today.

The eyebolt (singular) I ordered yesterday arrived this morning. Fantastic service. Problem is - I ordered 8 :( . No idea what happened to the other 7. I contacted the Ebay seller, who replied a short while ago and was hugely apologetic. The rest of the order is in the post! This, of course, meant that I couldn't fit the turnbuckles today, so looking forward to doing that at some point next week.

I did, however, measure up for the ply shuttering to cover the gaps under the rolling roof, and realised that I had enough 9mm ply left over in the shed to cut and fit all the bits I need, which is a bonus. I may do a bit of this tomorrow. The next other job I'm lining up is to tidy up the pier. I need to attach the conduit that's currently waving about helplessly, and then clean-up the galvanised tube so I can paint it. I hear galvanised steel can be tricky to paint, so thought I'd give it a scrub with my wire brush on the cordless drill to provide a key, and then get some special metals primer.

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My own warm room/observatory window is a piece of clear acrylic sheet let flush into the wall.  This has a sliding black opaque acrylic cover so that I can close it and keep the warm room lights on but the observatory dark - very useful.  The sliding part, slightly larger than the window itself, just runs in a top and bottom "U" channel made from an aluminium extrusion from the hardware shop.  

 

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1 hour ago, Bizibilder said:

My own warm room/observatory window is a piece of clear acrylic sheet let flush into the wall.  This has a sliding black opaque acrylic cover so that I can close it and keep the warm room lights on but the observatory dark - very useful.  The sliding part, slightly larger than the window itself, just runs in a top and bottom "U" channel made from an aluminium extrusion from the hardware shop.  

 

That's an excellent idea.  I shall consider doing something similar with mine.

James

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Spent a few hours this morning cutting all the bits of ply I need to cover the gaps between the rolling roof rafters - 14 in total - and giving them a couple of coats of the ubiquitous Cuprinol olive garden shades paint. These are, once again, drying nicely on my dining table. I'm actually thinking of moving my dining table to the shed, as it's clearly ideal for DIY projects, and gets more use for these than eating meals off ;) .

Baby-sitting my grandson tomorrow afternoon, and I'll be recovering from a very early morning eclipse watching before lunch, so not sure I'll get anything done on the observatory tomorrow. Hopefully the rest of my eye-bolt order will arrive, so at least that will feel like progress. I do like to achieve something, no matter how small, every day.

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I like his unshakeable optimism. Our lunar eclipse meant thick cloud and snow. :crybaby2:

The dome looks like an iced bun and the snow ploughs are plying their trade. ⛄

No sign of the bloody red wolf we were promised. At least not so far..  :huh2:

Observatories are never finished. They just grow older. Like their owners.  :wink2:

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The remaining eye-bolts arrived this afternoon, so I had another enjoyable and productive hour in the observatory.

Attached the stainless eye-bolts and turnbuckles, so I now have a roof that locks down. It's solid as a rock. The weather can do what it likes now and the observatory will (hopefully) still be standing :) .

Encouraged by the fitting of the turnbuckles I also attached all the fillers to cover the gaps between the rafters. The before and after pictures attached hopefully speak a thousand words. Although they were a pretty good fit, and the gaps at the seams were negligible, I still went round with caulk to ensure they were wind-tight. As stated in an earlier post, I intend to leave the gaps at the end of the rails to allow some air movement. These gaps are pretty well covered by the roof eaves, so hopefully no rain will get in that way, but I'll keep a close eye on this. If they do let some rain in I'll fit draft excluder brushes or similar, but we'll see.

Apart from possibly giving the fillers a cosmetic coat of paint I think the roof is completely finished. Hoo-bl**dy-ray !

Tomorrow I pick up the double glazed unit for the interior wall. If time permits, I'll also start tidying up the pier.

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Picked up the warm room window this morning. Pleasingly, it actually fits the hole in the studding! Not sure when I'll fit it yet; it's probably one of those jobs to fill-in between other bigger jobs.

This afternoon I started work on the pier. This had quite a few concrete splashes, and I wanted to prepare the galvanised surface to more readily accept a coat of paint. I did this by sanding the surface with AlO2 paper. Even with the electric sander it took quite a while and I was frozen by the time I finished. This cleaned it up pretty well and I hope has given the surface sufficient tooth to help the paint adhere. I still need to wash it to get rid of the dust and then I'll give it a coat of Hammerite Special Metals primer.

I also filled the top of the pier as this was pretty rough after pouring the concrete. The final job was to drill a couple of holes to attach the power supply conduit. Getting through the metal pipe was straight forward but I blunted a drill bit drilling through the concrete. I'm wondering whether I may have used Kryptonite to fill the tube by mistake ?.

It's nice to be working on something that isn't roof shaped!

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1 hour ago, JamesF said:

That's not a Bosch CSB 550 drill on the floor, is it?

James

No, the 500. Had it years and gets used very rarely. It has a bit more oomph than the cordless, so used it to cut through the impenetrable concrete ?. I intended to drill 4 holes for 2 brackets, but after struggling I'm settling for one bracket!  It must be the ballast that I struggled to get through.

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I wasn't too far off then :)

I've had the 550 myself, for very many years.  The chuck is just about giving up the ghost now, but given how well the drill has lasted I'm more tempted to just replace the chuck assuming I can find something that will fit.

James

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Before and after shots of the pier after giving it a nice coat of Hamerite Special Metals Primer this afternoon. Seemed to go on OK, but will have to wait till it's fully dry to check the quality. It probably needs another coat before applying a top coat.

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Gave the pier a second coat of primer this morning. Was hoping to give it a top coat this afternoon (I plan to use Rustoleum spray paint, which I hope will be ok), but the temp is dropping rapidly now and, according to the instructions on the tin, it's really too cold - and looks like it will be for the next week at least! Oh well. I'll turn my thoughts to other jobs in the meantime. 

Next up is to install the window and then plan what I need to line out the interior walls; probably with 9mm ply. I plan to make the panels easily removable to provide easy access for when I do the electrics. 

I also should start looking for those wonderful jigsaw foam floor tiles. I think I saw some in B&Q. Does anyone have any recommendations for other suppliers I could consider?

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55 minutes ago, Astrokev said:

I also should start looking for those wonderful jigsaw foam floor tiles. I think I saw some in B&Q. Does anyone have any recommendations for other suppliers I could consider?

I used these Kev, durable and cheap but there are many suppliers out there of this type.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-Interlocking-Mat-Yoga-Exercise-Gym-Fitness-Gymnastics-Soft-Foam-Floor-Mats/162770944180?hash=item25e5e780b4:m:mbI3bOVHtQF5XPjkpmTBk4Q&var=461808241845

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Yup - Ebay is the cheapest by quite a way.  As nigelg said leave a gap - about 1/4 inch (6mm) at winter temps of 1-5°C.  If you don't it will buckle badly in the summer months.  You can buy bigger "mats" of the stuff - look for anti fatigue matting - If you can find the right size you can create a floor covering with fewer joins in it.  It also make a good lightweight dew shield material ?

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51 minutes ago, Bizibilder said:

Yup - Ebay is the cheapest by quite a way.  As nigelg said leave a gap - about 1/4 inch (6mm) at winter temps of 1-5°C.  If you don't it will buckle badly in the summer months.  You can buy bigger "mats" of the stuff - look for anti fatigue matting - If you can find the right size you can create a floor covering with fewer joins in it.  It also make a good lightweight dew shield material ?

Yes, now I look, EB has lots of suppliers so will go this route. We used to use anti-fatigue mats made of this stuff in an old lab I used to manage, so may be worth exploring this option too ?.

I'm currently thinking of putting the matting "under" the wall lining, so I should be able to leave a gap that won't be seen. 

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