I really liked the foam geodesic domes and following is one of
the best sites I've found regarding this type design: Joe's
Foam Geodesic Dome.
I initially decided on building a foam
price of the styrofoam, fiberglass, epoxy resin, and marine paints
proved to be too much. These materials are very expensive in Europe
and this also clashed with my basic theme of keeping everything simple (KIS)
more importantly inexpensive.
I next looked at two very excellent websites for birdcage
Observatory and Terra Rouge
The basic birdcage type observatory is constructed from layered
plywood. This is a very straight forward type design, but I
concerned that it would be very heavy and very expensive (plywood also
costs too much in Scandinavia).
The final design is my own modification of a birdcage
I eventually came up with a
design idea that I don't think anyone else has tried as of the present
(at least I can't
find any other domes using this construction on the www). My
design uses steel
drywall supports as a dome frame, which are covered
with a composite exterior roofing material. This greatly decreased the
dome weight and was also inexpensive,
easy to build, and
Note: As with anything you build, you
for following all local building codes and assuring a safe structure. If you have any doubts about
what you are doing, seek help from licensed construction
assume no responsibiliy or liability for damages incurred if anyone
disregards this warning. I regret the need for this
however I feel it is necessary.
You are responsible for following all local building codes and
assuring a safe structure. Be sure to check your local
codes before you
begin planning the structure; I
have heard of home observatories that were completed, only to be torn
down and rebuilt because the builder didn't follow all local codes.
Remember that these codes exist to make sure that structures are safe.
Many homeowner associations also have
rules regarding what you are allowed to build and you need
to check that you will be allowed to build a home observatory.
also recommend that you take the time to discuss your plans with your
neighbors. Making a neighbor unhappy is something always best to avoid.
theme was to keep it simple (KIS)
and inexpensive; this means common materials and tools. The
observatory was constructed from the following building materials:
Exterior nails, screws,
and Bolts (Regular and Self Tapping)
Clear Builders Silicone
Misc. Fittings (Hinges,
Angle Irons, Hasp and Padlock, etc.)
Exterior Oil Based
I have a very basic workshop and only used common tools:
Reversable Power Drill
Telescoping Miter Saw
Screwdrivers, Spirit Level, Carpenter's
Framing Square, etc.
As I also wrote on the Telescope
Design Page, one of the best things about living in Europe is
that everything is metric, which is so easy to use! All measurements in
pages are metric.
You will need to
convert them yourself.