Thursday, January 22 2009 @ 12:59 AM CST
Contributed by: bobmoody
|Observing in the open. Wide open skies, but wide open to rainstorms, too. Summer, 2003. All images by Bob Moody unless otherwise noted.|
|The proverbial "Day One", December 26, 2003.|
My actions caused Joe Roam to want to begin the other building and we started the framework for the large roll-off roof building before we even had the outer siding on the first building. I'd brought some building materials with me when I moved to the site in June '03, and that's what provided us with everything I'd used until this time. The only club funds use for the small bulding came from the purchase of the framing lumber for the roof and the sheeting for the roof and the neoprene roofing nails. Joe bought the lumber for the framework of the second building and we had that erected by March 1st. In the meantime, I'd decided to construct a fold-down south gable for the small building. A strip of piano hinge was just the thing to give me what I needed.
|Nearly all the materials in the framework for the small building had been used somewhere else before, then carefully disassembled and finally reused here.|
But how hard could it be to just build a roof and not secure it to the top plate of the walls? All I needed to do was rig some wheels under the framework to allow the roof to roll back on two 20-foot rails of 2" channel-iron. With the roof rolling northward, and the gable to the south folding down, I assumed I'd have enough sky to basically call it a wide-open view. The walls would only be 4' high on this smaller building, but that should be enough to give good protection from all but the windiest conditions......I hoped.
|Just attach the 2X4 purlings over the rafters on the roof, cover with sheeting, and voila, a solid roof! (I hoped)|
The only place I could locate the door into this building was the north wall. I also had to consider the fact that the roof had to roll that direction in order to expose the sky. That's why the structure had to be as solid as possible near the crown, to make it sturdy and yet give me the clearance for rolling over the frame of the doorway. Every point of attachment between two boards had to be cut as perfectly as I could make them, and extra screws added to keep them together even through strong storms and high winds. I used 2X4 purlings to bind the rafters together and provide the strongest attachment for the roofing tin.
|Moving day. June 14, 2004.|
At about the same time, Joe took pity on me and we found a old-but-solid 12X50 mobile home. Joe bought the trailer and we moved it to the site and I finally moved out of the 23' 5th-wheel trailer of Joe's that I'd lived in for 51 weeks. I split my good days when I could move without excess pain between the skirting around the trailer and the finishing touches on the roof. I finally called the smaller building complete around the end of July, 2004. Now we could concentrate on the larger building. But first there was a little thing going on in the solar system that took all our attention, the undivided attention of every astronomer on the planet during the last week of August.....Mars was coming as close to Earth as it had been at any time in the previous 58,000 years!
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