Our Observatory

Our second scope was the 10" meade reflector. This was a bit of a beast especially when it came to setting up

So we decided to convert a n old shed into an observatory. Fellow enthusiasts Steve and Jeff were allways available to help us.

The original plan was to cut the existing structure down and add a removeable roof. However as work progressed it was discovered that most of the timber was rotten, so the whole lot came down.......

....... leaving the concrete pillar which had
already been constructed between the joists of the old shed.
The new building was constructed as a timber frame with shiplap externally. The inner walls were covered with 1/8th plywood.

The roof panels were a corrugated bitumin product nailed to a timber frame. Four panels allowed reasonably easy removal when required.

This served us well for a few years but the panels became more difficult to handle as we got older. So a new design was required.

After much debate a 'Dome' was decided on.

Work on this started in the summer of 1999.

3/4"ply was used to create a new roof. 2 circles were constructed out of 2" wide ply segments, overlapped for strength and then glued and screwed to the roof. A router was used to cut the inside circle.

The dome was constructed from arcs of 3/4" ply and covered with hardboard.

Upper and lower shutters were also constructed in the same way.

Wheels were used to support the dome, one can just be seen in this picture. Wheels were also used horizontally to stop the dome binding when rotating.

The outer surface was then covered in fibreglass.

The walls of the observatory were cut down level to the required height.

All finished except for the decorating.

The door was eventually replaced with something more in keeping with the design.

Fresh coat of  preservative required all round

Shutter rolled back for use.

The lower shutter can be lifted off or left in place as required.

The Meade now mounted on a purpose made adapter.