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JamesF

JamesF's observatory build

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It certainly wasn't warm out there today, but armed with my newly-purchased stainless steel screws I decided to get on with the cladding on the sides of the roof.  To do that it was necessary to open the roof which I've not done in what seems like ages, so whilst it was open I took a rare daytime photo.

obsy-build-59.jpg

As usual it took rather more time than expected to get the cladding into place, mostly because I was trying to be very careful to avoid fouling any of the structure as the roof opens and closes whilst keeping the gap between the sides of the roof and the wall as small as practical.  Another minor little issue that I should have identified sooner also tripped me up: stainless steel screws are not magnetic, so they don't stick on the end of the magnetic driver bit that I have for my drill/driver.  This left me needing to use all three hands to hold the wood, the screw and the drill.  And that's when I noticed the problem :)

By the time it was too dark to work I'd got most of one side done.  It really was quite dark, too.  The chickens had all taken themselves to bed before I'd even finished tidying up.  There's no rain forecast for tomorrow so hopefully I can get out there again and it will be quicker having sorted most of the difficult bits today, which should allow me to finish most of it off and perhaps even start on the flap in the southern gable.

James

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Posted (edited)

And does the shed at right angles on the right contain a conveyor belt of instruments ready to feed into the observatory in the event of a target needing a small change in resolution, aperture, field of view, etc??? How splendid!

Or, more seriously, this really does look great. :icon_mrgreen:

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Typo
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Looking great James. 

Good luck for tomorrow. 

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2 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

And does the shed at right angles on the right contain a conveyor belt of instruments ready to feed into the observatory in the event of a target needing a small change in resolution, aperture, field of view, etc??? How splendid!

Or, more seriously, this really does look great. :icon_mrgreen:

Olly

Thank you, Olly :)

In fact the other shed is my brewery, so probably best if the two are kept well apart really.

James

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1 hour ago, JamesF said:

In fact the other shed is my brewery, so probably best if the two are kept well apart really.

Surely only during the build phase? 

You could run a pipe with a small tap directly into the obsy.......

Looking good.

Paul

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More worrying is that the Brewery seems somewhat larger than the observatory.

Do we detect a conflict in priorities? 

Or was the brewery just practice for the real thing?

"No, that's not a brewery, Dear. It's my warm room!" :biggrin:

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James said a brewery, but not what he's brewing, it could also house a distillery, much more apt on cold nights....

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4 hours ago, Rusted said:

More worrying is that the Brewery seems somewhat larger than the observatory.

Do we detect a conflict in priorities? 

No, a rare sign of sanity by SGL standards!

Olly

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......Brewery James :icon_salut: I can't believe no one as asked what you are brewing? :)

Steve

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I'm sure he said "beer" somewhere...

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The brewery is slightly larger than the observatory, but it does need room for three 100 litre stainless pots that I have made into a hot liquor tun, mash tun and boiler, as well as a temperature-controlled fermentation cabinet with sufficient space to ferment 100 litres at a time.  It also contains a sink, space for a worktop, storage for bottles and for malt, which I generally buy in 25kg sacks.  This is before it was finished, but gives a general idea:

beershack6.jpg

Mostly I brew beer, but have occasionally attempted lager (which I find tricky to do properly) and also press apples from the orchard to make cider or apple juice (so I also need storage space for the apple crusher and press).

press-11.jpg

James

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Anyhow, to return to the observatory build...

Today I started on cladding the other side of the roof.  Being on the lower side of the slope this involved far more time going up and down ladders, but having done most of the hard work yesterday meant it went pretty well.  There's a narrow strip at the top that I still need to do, but my intention is to use that to trap the EPDM where it folds back under the roof so I can't actually finish that bit until the EPDM is glued down, which is probably going to have to wait until the spring when the weather is sufficiently warm to use the adhesive.  Such is life.  I knew little things like this would come up when I failed to get it finished a couple of months back.

I also took the end flap off and fitted the cladding to that, including a strip of EPDM that I can use to cover the gap between it and the top of the southern wall so rain can't be driven through the gap.  The lengths of cladding I used must still contain a lot of moisture as after fitting about 12m of cladding I really struggled to lift the flap back into place despite easily carrying it one-handed before the cladding was fixed.  As a result I couldn't get it into position quite properly, but it's close enough and clamped into place again, so I'll leave it to dry out for a few days and then have another fiddle with it then.

Unless the blue tits continue to attack the remaining exposed membrane on the gables I think I shall try to get the inside moving forward a bit more now.

James

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Hi James, The one positive note that we do have some lovely spring days in February. Hopefully they will coincide with you being free to glue down the EPDM.

Steve

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8 minutes ago, sloz1664 said:

Hi James, The one positive note that we do have some lovely spring days in February. Hopefully they will coincide with you being free to glue down the EPDM.

Steve

Indeed we do.  Perhaps even earlier.  I seem to recall that even the tail end of January was pretty much t-shirt and shorts weather two years ago.

James

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Posted (edited)

I was lucky in getting the EPDM glued down in the last decent warmish spell before the rot set in. Having said that, today has been quite mild. Hopefully this will continue so you can finish the rubber work soonest.

I love the brewery by the way :)

 

Edited by Astrokev

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Yes, I don't think I was very far behind you with the EPDM, but it was just enough that the weather wasn't really in my favour.  I'm unstressed about it though.  The time will come.  It just means there are a few bits that look a little untidy because I can't finish them off.  It's hardly the end of the world.

James

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2 minutes ago, JamesF said:

Yes, I don't think I was very far behind you with the EPDM, but it was just enough that the weather wasn't really in my favour.  I'm unstressed about it though.  The time will come.  It just means there are a few bits that look a little untidy because I can't finish them off.  It's hardly the end of the world.

James

Nope- That asteroid out there with our name on it is the end of the world.......

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Well, this weekend didn't really go to plan as my intention was to have time today to roll off the roof and get some work done inside.  It's been a rather depressing and dark day however, combined with a few hours of horizontal rain, and I found that I really just wasn't in the mood to be out in that.

Things had calmed down a little by 3pm, so I sat inside the observatory in the semi-darkness (roof closed just in case the rain started again) and measured up for the first sheet of flooring.  Then as quickly as possible I got the first sheet cut to size (it needs to fit over one of the piers, so there's a square hole in the middle), dumped tools back into the workshop and got the sheet of ply inside the observatory.  Pleasingly (and with a certain amount of relief) it fitted perfectly.

That was about as far as I got, really.  It was too dark to do anything else by that point, even fixing it down.  I did take my shoes off and walk up and down on it a bit though :D

James

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Wait a minute, an obsy, a brewery making beer and cider and what looks like a bit of grass we can all pitch a tent on, when's the inaugaral @JamesF star-party 😁

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2 hours ago, JamesF said:

I did take my shoes off and walk up and down on it a bit though :D

 

I know how that feels - Great! :)

 

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7 minutes ago, Dinglem said:

Wait a minute, an obsy, a brewery making beer and cider and what looks like a bit of grass we can all pitch a tent on, when's the inaugaral @JamesF star-party 😁

Well.... Once we have the holiday cottage conversion done and have water and electrickery somewhere near the "upstairs field", there's a whole acre of relatively flat grass that would serve for tent pitching (indeed has done, in the past), though I might need to "have a word" about the cricket club insecurity lights first.

James

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19 hours ago, JamesF said:

though I might need to "have a word" about the cricket club insecurity lights first.

A well hit six can do a lot of damage to security lighting 😉

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2 hours ago, Dinglem said:

A well hit six can do a lot of damage to security lighting 😉

I thought you meant six pack.
Which is either an awful waste of the amber nectar.
Or unduly pessimistic about the chances of hitting the spot. :wink2:

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I spent some of this morning fitting more of the ducting under the floor to each pier, realising in the process that I was short of a few elbows and will probably need another length of tube too.  I might nip out and get those tomorrow morning.  I also set up a light so I can see what I'm doing without opening the roof.

This afternoon I measured up for the next sheet of flooring.  The sky was looking a little ominous by the time I lifted a sheet of ply onto the trestles to cut out the hole for the pier, but I thought I'd get away with it.  There was after all no rain forecast for this afternoon.  The first raindrops were falling just as I started the cut for the last side :(  Then it was a mad dash to get electrical tools out of the rain, cover over the remaining stack of ply and get the one I'd just cut into the observatory.  I didn't have time to cut the holes for the ducting, but those can be done in situ.  Once I had everything tidied up I went back to the observatory and fought the new sheet into position.  I'm sure 18mm ply never used to be this heavy.  It did at least drop very neatly over the pier block which is good news.  Then I sat inside for ten minutes listening to the rain hammering down, waiting for it to ease off a bit so I could get back to the house.

I have also discovered that I have a similar "leak" to Astrokev recently discovered in his own build, with water running back along one of the roof rails and then dripping inside, possibly in part because the unfinished roof covering is tending to channel water onto the inside of the track where it runs next to the warm room roof.  I'll probably adopt a similar fix to him, too.  For the moment however I've just stuffed the gap with an offcut of membrane to keep out as much of the water as possible.

I'm also toying with the idea of lifting the rear sections of the rails off (which I can do without taking the roof off) and squeezing a big dollop of silicone across inside the raised section, so that should any water get inside the "V" of the rail it won't have anywhere to go other than out of the far end.

James

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