Sunday, September 28, 2014

Astro-shack now has a roof.

After the marathon build of the roof panels, tar paper and shingles yesterday, we had 3 out of 4 of the roof sides done.  Today we had the procedure figured out pretty well and the final side was done this morning.  We got the edge shingles installed also and they look quite nice!
Traci had to finish the top shingles along the top square since I had to go into work for a few hours and assist with a software upgrade  *ugh*.
I made it home before dark and we worked on a raised edge that the dome flange will sit on, and some flashing for the joint between the dome and roof.   More photos of that later.
Rain forecast the next few days, so it's tarped over again.  Probably not enough daylight after work now to get much done, but next weekend's forecast is looking ok so far.  I'm hoping to have the dome in place and get started on the siding and maybe have that done.
Our engineering of the roof worked.  No inside support is needed. 

Close up view of the roof along the corner. 

Roof done, now the dome is next.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Roof nearly completed.

Traci and I did a marathon build today.  Our good friend Ryan even came down to assist with cutting wood for roof panels and measuring twice before I cut once.  
Wood panels were installed, then we did a trip to Home Depot and traded in some flashing that wasn't quite right.  (don't tell anyone, but the person at the refund counter screwed up and I got $90 instead of about $30.  I bit my tongue not saying anything, the ran down down the aisle with a big smile - woot!). 
Tar paper was quick and easy to staple onto the wood panels, the flashing installed, then we spend the rest of the time until the way-too-early sunset at before 7:00pm and got most of the roof shingles installed.  We are in a race again before the Monday forecast rains return.  
Adding the roof panels.

Tar paper and flashing installed for rain protection.
(and we get plenty of that in this area)
Traci watching a plane take off, while installing
the shingles on the roof.  


Sunset over the Astro-shack.

We had a pretty sunset last night while I was out working on the roof with our dwindling daylight after work.  I managed to get the larger roof panels all installed.  Just the smaller ones left to put on.
Those clouds will thicken with the "astronomer's curse" as the Astro-Shack nears completion.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

This weekend we got a truckload of roofing materials, trim, siding and other stuff.  I've carried a lot of parts home in my Toyota hanging out the back, but we had to rent the truck again to get stuff home.   Not a bad deal for $20, and sure makes it easier.  
Today we didn't get as much done as we hoped, it was low 80s today (unusual for this area at this time of year) and I was getting damn hot out in the sun.  Nearly felt sick after a while, so had to sit down and drink a lot of water. 
We got the flange around the roof installed and the corner pieces between the rafters.  Yes, that was another alignment nightmare that took a long time to get working right.  We scored a great find a bunch of nails, screws, brackets and a rubber ducky airplane for Traci's bath time!  Probably nearly $40 worth of stuff for $3.50 - yeah!
I miss having a truck, but this rental is a nice deal.
All rafters done as well as corner and fascia boards.

Ready for roof panels. 



Building the roof.

Supporting the dome flange (Traci taking a picture of
me taking a picture).
The roof is coming along.     We first put up some cross piece boards and then the square that will support the flange for the dome.  After a lot of tapping, nudging, some cussing, more nudging and measuring then finally a few nails to hold it.  
Putting in the rafters was an extreme pain.  At this time, it kind of looks like a mini-McDonalds with a drive through window, but that will change as work progresses.  The rafters were fairly symmetrical between the north/south and east/west sides.  The walls are 10 feet, and 9 foot 9 inches, so there is some differences.

Don't even think of asking for fries and a Big Mac.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another perspective of the construction.

A couple nights ago I was going a flight review with a friend.  We flew over Crest and circled the house for some photos.  Observatory is easy to pick out in the photo.  Someday this will be a photon's final brief view inbound from a many light year journey to be sucked into the Meade, bounce off a couple mirrors and be preserved on the camera sensor.

View from 2,000 feet. 

Photons from across the universe will fall into that square. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Walls getting covered....

Tonight after work I was able to install most of the wall panels.  I still have some large gaps to cover, then a a 6 inch or so strip along the top of all the walls.  I should have that done early this weekend I hope. Then the fun of designing the roof starts.  
I have a few ideas for the roof, but will get to that soon enough.   I really hate this time of year when the days get shorter, every night I have less time to work until I need to turn on lights.  Weather here has still been like summer, and expecting some low 80s again this next weekend.


Daylight fading while walls go up.  The covering in the middle is over
the pier hole, it would suck if I fell down in there.  
Construction supervisor Alex on duty.
Almost done with the outer walls. 

When it gets darker, just attach a light and keep hammering nails. 



Monday, September 8, 2014

Four wall frames standing on their own.

I guess this is a major milestone that says this will really happen.  Wall frames are standing on their own on the cement pad.  I did drill a hole and add one more bolt for supporting the walls, but I think the rest should be ok.
I cut notches in the base of the frame to fit around the power and network conduit pipes, I'll drill holes in the wall later to run the cables.  You can see the blue foam between the cement and the treated wood, just something to help as a moisture barrier.  Nailing wall panels on is next...
Wall frames up. 
Just a closer view of the electrical/network feed.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The walls move out to the yard.

Last night I got two of the four walls up on the cement pad in the backyard.  Careful measuring where to drill the holes in the wood for the bolts in the pad worked out well and everything lined up nicely. This photo was taken tonight before I put up the other 2 walls.  Measure twice, drill once - and again it all lined up well.  
Photos of the 4 walls later.  The shortening days are a problem, so I had to use a flashlight to finish.   Alex the construction supervisor cat is seen in this photo.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Four framed walls.

I didn't get as far as I wanted today.  I was hoping to have 4 walls on cement today, but that didn't happen yet.  We are expecting rain tomorrow, and I didn't want the wood to soak up water and end up warped, and I didn't have a tarp yet.   Better to wait a few days until the dry weather is back trough next weekend, then the walls will be moved from the hangar to the cement.
Later this winter, we'll be building an airplane here, but for now it's the spaceship. 
Four walls standing.  I'm only off by about 1/4 inch on one side, but that can be shortened easily.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Holiday weekend progress.

We are just a little over halfway through the Labor Day weekend and have made some great progress.  Frames for three walls has been completed and temporarily set up on the taxiway in front of the hangar. The decision was made to put the window on the darker side of the observatory.  We have a neighbor across from us that has a bright light on every night and another that has an occasional annoying light.  There will be one more window on the yet to built wall where the door will be installed also. This will face the house so if needed, a peek out to see if anyone is waving at me to come in or anything.
Tomorrow, work will continue with the third wall and hopefully get this mounted on the cement pad.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

One of four walls has been framed.

Cruddy weather here today, so we didn't go up to the airshow at Everett today.  We took a trip to Home Depot and loaded up the Toyota with wood and some bags of cement - they have 60lb bags for sale this weekend for $1.99 - we'll go back for more, but didn't want to overload my little car too badly.
This will be the east wall of the observatory which will face one of the neighbors who has a bright light occasionally turned on.   We plan on installing a window on the West side which is the darkest side of the yard, just to have some daylight in there during the day.
The first wall is framed and we'll start on the next one tomorrow - weather permitting if we don't do the airshow - which is sure looking like it won't happen this year.   :-(

Lining up the studs.
A chair is so much better on the knees on a cement floor. 
First wall is framed!  Three more to build.