Friday, January 1, 2016

Luling Skies Observatory Construction, Day 2

After heavy rains on Wednesday, the skies cleared and the crew got an early start to complete the observatory on Thursday Dec 17.   First task at hand were the 4" x 4" supports for the roof rails.  The posts sit on 10" diameter concrete footers.

Next came the 4" x 4" rails.  

 The rails and supports are constructed of pressure treated lumber.

The roof was assembled from trusses on 24" centers with a 2" x 4" side rails.  The roof profile is a shallow 1 x 12 pitch so that the roof blocks as little of the sky as possible.  The use of such a shallow roof pitch is possible as we have no concern with snow accumulation in my Southeastern Louisiana location.

Here the first of the v-groove rollers is added.  The v-groove wheels and track were obtained from Gate Depot.  For the 8' x 16' metal roof we used 3  wheels on each side.  The 4" diameter v-groove wheels have double bearings and roll very smoothly.   The wheels ride in a metal box .

Here is the heavy duty track that the v-groove wheels ride on.  Note that because of the width of the "ears" on the track, a 2 x 4 had to be screwed to the inside of the roof header and the roll off rails.

With the floor nearly 12" above the ground and 80" high walls, these guys were really stretching to hoist the roof frame into place.   

With the help of a third worker on a ladder, they set the wheels on the track.

Attaching the roof decking and then will come the metal sheeting.

Fascia added to the sides of the roof to cover the wheels. 

As night fell, they crew kept working to complete the job.

The roof rolls easily when pushed by hand, but using a 4' long 2" x 4" "pusher" makes the job easier.

At the end of the second day, the observatory was complete except for door sills and stops on the roof rails.   The important thing for now is I have a functional observatory !  In the days to come I need to install fittings to secure the roof, shelving, complete the electrical wiring, add lighting, etc, etc, etc..

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