My astronomy project:
Making of an Observatory
Part II, Roof
1: Building the roof frame
Today I will build the first step of the roof. I'm starting with the framework that holds everything up.
Here is the lower part (to the right) of the hatch that holds the upper sidewall in place. The upper part of the hatch will be modified to fit my new ideas.
The upper part of the sidewall of the roof.
As you can see I have divided the roof in two parts, each part will be smaller and lighter and the observatory house will get a nicer look I hope. When roof is finished I will cut the roof apart with a saw as you see in the photo above.
Now it have started raining as it normally does in Sweden. Sorry, no outside view photos because I'm was in hurry to protect the building from rain. But under the weather protection I could work further. Here has the upper part of roof come in place. Because one side of the roof is open I have to reinforced it. At the same time I want it to be as light as possible. Here has one diagonal stud come in place.
Even the corners of the roof are reinforced with diagonal studs.
Another reinforcement, but this one will be replaced with some other construction later. I need the space around here for the lift construction of the roof. To the left you can see the beginning of the new hatch design, now it will be joined with the front part of the roof as one unit.Back to contents
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2: Building the door
New weekend and today it's time to build a door to the observatory.
Here is the first part of the frame to the door with its hinges mounted.
Now the frame is finished and it's time to mount the panel.
When we did a renovation of another house we got some used white panels left over. Just cut the bad part away from the end, a new paint will later make them as new.
The door was complicated to get to work properly, maybe I replaced it with a readymade door that I cut down to correct size.Back to contents
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3: Building the hatch
Last time I was so in hurry to cover the building that I didn't had time to take photos.
Here how it looks when I left it last time. Today I continue to build on the hatch.
First I need some locking mechanism to the roof and hatch, later I maybe ad a motor to open hatch and roof. This eccentric lock is adjustable, it looks maybe a little bit weak, but this is just for the small south part of the roof. The plywood behind the lock is just a temporary solution.
The hatch much have a hinge, you can see it here, just left to the red panel.
I need to lower the hinge and the stud it's attached to. Also cut openings in the panel for the hinges.
Here is the upper stud that has to be lowered to get a lower free view out.
First hinge attached.
Just two hinges will not be enough, I will ad a third one in the middle, and that one will be mirrored to lock the hatch to not move in sideways.
First opening of the hatch!
Now I have attached the hatch to the south part of the roof. I also added another red panel.
Now it's time to separate the roof in two parts. Will the roof hold together or fall apart?
The cut operation was a success!
Here I have planted tiny small green plants. The idea is that those small plants will grow to two meters height to the next summer. The purpose is to have a wind protection and also make the observatory invisible. I have also cleaned the rock from all other green stuff.
To the main roof I use a bigger version of the eccentric lock.
The backside lock.
Here where the letter "A" is I will place a counter balance weight and a chain to lock the hatch in open position.
Added white corners to get it look like an old Swedish house.
This was the last work on the observatory 2016.
I have not found a roof yet to the observatory and now the winter are coming.Back to contents
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4: Mounting the roof panels
Now at late spring it's time to start to building on my observatory again. I have bought one channel plastic panel in dimension 6x1.2 meters 32 mm thick, cut it down to two 2.2x1.2m pieces.
First panel mounted. If I get problem with my two part roof design I can connect them again as an one roof construction. The roof panel are still long enough to cover both roofs.
Screw that hold the roof in place.
Under the screw there is a gasket to make it water proof, I don't want any water on my equipment!
Both roof panels in place. I will cut the end later if this two roofs construction will be good.
On the sides I shall also have this kind of panel, but not that thick, maybe 12 to 16mm.
The profile of the roof panel is X-form. It shields against heat and cold and I hope that it will not be a dew buildup on inside problem.
What's left over of the panel I use to the small part of the roof.
First side panel mounted.
Second side panel mounted. How many screws do I need to let it withstand the wind?
Waiting for a special solution to keep top joint tight against weather.
I think it will be a solution with a steel or aluminum panel over the roof top.
Seen from inside.
I think it will be wise to reinforce the roof against the weight of snow in winter. The panel has low friction and it should not build up any big piles of snow atop, it just fall off, but who knows.
Later I must reconstruct the hinges, it must open at a more wide angle and also be stronger, see in the roof mechanics part 3.Back to contents
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5: Roof top panels
Today I shall try to make a top cover of the joint of the two roofs. Not an easy project.
I need some profiles with length of 2.5 meters, these was the only ones I could find, they are made of steel. I need two of them.
First I made this distance of wood to have something to mount the top panels at.
The distance in place.
The profile that cover the lower big roof at right. You can see how the right side of profile ride on top of the plastic roof panel.
From other side and now the second top roof panel in place. To the right is the panel that cover the lower roof panel. The joint between the two steel profiles I will use as an air ventilation outflow with a filter to stop bugs come in.
A view over the small roof panel with the top cover, it looks nice.
The left roof swing over the right roof panel when closing. I already now see that I will get a problem here. The right roof panel isn't very step. If the wind blow from wrong direction it will press the water up under the top cover and then drop over the edge into the observatory, a soft gasket maybe will be the solution.
In closed position.
View over the big roof panel. I feel this will not be easy to get to function properly. It had been easier If I had chosen an ordinary sliding roof. But then it hadn't been as exiting as this solution, and if I don't want to have any problems I shouldn't doing astronomy at all! I can always change the construction easy to a sliding roof. The drawback with a sliding one part roof is that I need an opening to the telescope.Back to contents
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To the third part, Roof mechanism