Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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John Fitzgerald
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Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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Post by John Fitzgerald »

I just finished building and installing a custom 38 inch wide bay for my little round building. Pictures provided if anyone is interested.
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Re: Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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Post by KathyNS »

John Fitzgerald wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:27 pm ... if anyone is interested.
Heck yes! Pix or it didn't happen! ;)
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DSO AP: Orion 200mm f/4 Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,Oiii,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on HEQ5 pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome; iOptron CEM60 (pier); Hall's Harbour Observatory (H2O) Astrobin
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Re: Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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Post by messier 111 »

John Fitzgerald wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:27 pm I just finished building and installing a custom 38 inch wide bay for my little round building. Pictures provided if anyone is interested.
pics pls .
I LOVE REFRACTORS ,
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EYEPIECES, all Delos .

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John Fitzgerald
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Re: Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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Post by John Fitzgerald »

Here are a few pictures of the process:



Total outlay for this was just under $180. Some of the the materials were already lying around taking up space. If I had to buy it all from scratch, it would have cost maybe $250. That's far better than the $525 plus shipping of nearly $200 for a factory bay. This one is (inside) 38 inches wide, (slightly wider than a factory bay), 48 inches tall at the dome, tapering to 42 inches tall at the outside. It's about 18 inches deep at the center, and 24 inches at the sides.


I did not have to cut a hole. I removed one sheet of metal sliding, which covered about 33 inches wide and full height, and trimmed about 5 inches off the width of an adjacent sheet, using some relatively cheap electric shears from Harbor Freight, which I had purchased for a previous, larger project. Those shears are worth their weight in a semi precious metal. I also used them to trim down the new sheets to fit.

The roof of the bay is 1/2 inch PT ply with 1/4 inch HDPE sheet on top. The curved rings started out as 2x2x1/8 inch aluminum angle. I cut the bottom one down to 1.25 on the face leg. The floor is 3/4 inch PT ply.

I put 2x4 studs inside, where the bay joins the original round building, for additional attachment points. Shows in the inside picture.

First use was last evening. It's amazing the difference it makes for moving around that small dome, with the accessories in the bay.

It was a lot of work. If I counted labor, it might cost more than the commercial version, but in retrospect, building it proves to me I can do it. I didn’t have to wait months for delivery, and it's a custom fit for my relatively old dome.
Attachments
fully framed, painted with flat "coal colored paint" #3
fully framed, painted with flat "coal colored paint" #3
Framing nearly complete, glued with "Gorilla Glue" poly glue #2
Framing nearly complete, glued with "Gorilla Glue" poly glue #2
Preliminary fitting #1
Preliminary fitting #1
inside view #10
inside view #10
Finished. Held up with adjustable deck support #8
Finished. Held up with adjustable deck support #8
Finished. Side view #9
Finished. Side view #9
Sides going on #6
Sides going on #6
in process, still temporarily supported #7
in process, still temporarily supported #7
in process #5
in process #5
sizing up to building.  Temporarily supported. #4
sizing up to building. Temporarily supported. #4
Last edited by John Fitzgerald on Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:24 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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John Fitzgerald
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Re: Bay for 8 foot round ExploraDome building

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Post by John Fitzgerald »

My pictures are somehow out of chronological order, but you get the gist of it. I have them numbered in order of construction.
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