Tag : roof

Observatory Finishing Touches

Once the roof had been put on and the opening doors re-attached, the work on the observatory was far from over.

To begin with, the next day rain was forecast, and that was the first test of the roof. I sat in the shed whilst the rain lashed down on the roof, and after a while I found I had four leaks.

The leaks came from where we had screwed in the hinges but then moved them, so the next day I was on the roof filling the holes with mastic.

I also found that I needed a lot more felt pins on the roof so hammered a load more in.

I also went to Wilkinsons and purchased a few more ironmonger bits, including some black cast handles which I have attached to the outside of the roof. I also purchased some cheap rope from the pound shop to allow me to open and close the roof.

I ended up buying some screw-in loops to tie the rope to on the inside and then push open the roof from the inside whilst keeping hold of the rope to lower the roof down onto the roof wooden stoppers which I also added to ensure the roof came down horizontally.

I then added the same rope on the outside of the roof and tide it to the black handles on the top of roof, then to close the roof, I go outside with a small lightweight aluminium ladder and push the roof closed, whilst holding onto the rope and lowering the roof back down.

I used cabin hooks and black tower bolts in order to keep the roof down. The cabin hooks attach the roof to the shed, whilst the tower bolts bolt the two roof pieces together.

I also purchased some cheap black carpet from Carpetright and put that down on top of some newspaper. I kept the carpet down by using a standard office staple gun and stapling it into the wood.

I purchased a cheap computer desk from Argos, and added a Belkin UPS so to keep everything on for a while in case the power goes off.

I have also added some shelves, very useful for keeping things neat and tidy, and I managed to purchase a wood drill bit the same size of a 1.25″ eyepiece and drill 6 holes in the shelf in order to hold my eyepieces.

I also purchased some cheap 3m USB 2.0 extension cables from eBay so that I could run these cables under the carpet from the PC to the telescope. This means that I have usb sockets ready to use around the wedge, useful for setting up webcams, DSLR and CCD imagers, plus they were only about £1.60 each.

Completing the Observatory Roof

After painting the inside of the shed all black, all the jobs had been completed except for the setting the bolts in the ground (which is another post) but first I waited a week or so for my dad to come over and help me work on the roof.

We began by taking the roof off again, and first removing the felt. I then found out I had to undo a lot of my previous work and remove some plywood sheets and polystyrene sheets in order to get to the screws that were holding the roof on.

Opening cut out of roof with jigsaw Next we decided on how large to make the overall hole in the roof. As the roof was tongue and groove wood, it was easier to let the jigsaw cut along where the wood joined itself.

Cutting out the roof was stressful, had I cut out enough? As this is a one time only cut.

We then removed the full piece of roof, but did not cut the roof in half until later on.

Roof with inner wood support I had purchased two lengths of 4 inch by 3 inch planed wood to go inside the open roof, so creating a lip and so also giving me about an extra 5cm in roof height.

As the main beams of the roof ran in one direction, the 4×3 inch wood could be screwed into that, but on the other direction where there was nothing to attach to,  I had to purchase a length of 2×2 treated wood to create some new beams, this also strengthened the roof some more.

Next came adding the felt back onto the roof in three strips and adding some beading wood to the outside to give the felt a tight fit, we also had to add extra wood to give the hinges something to sit on.

Laying on first section of felt on outer roofThe hinges were from my local ironmonger in Streatham, Cambs. I actually first went for some small ones at 450mm long, costing only £8 for 2 pairs, but as soon as I looked at them overnight I knew they were too small, so I returned them the next day and upgraded them to the 600mm hinges which were a lot more money at £30 for 2 pairs, but they were definitely the correct ones.

We then cut the main roof into half, but not quite in half, because as we had now created an inner roof we did not need to full width of the roof, so took off one section of wood, which left one rof panel slightly longer than the other.

Roof Demo a hinge in place for measuring We adjusted the jigsaw blade to cut the roof in half at 45 degrees so I had a slanted section which had to open first (the telescope side of the roof).

At this point we put the roof felt onto the roof panels, and then put on the hinges, but later we found out that the roof felt was being pulled and tearing the felt. So we had to actually cut around the hinge (gate post) end to allow the roof to open up.

We also left an overhang of felt on the section roof which comes down last to keep the rain out of the roof join. I also had to put a large line of felt nails along this line to keep it in place, especially when the roof is open and the felt is upside down defying the laws of gravity.

First outer door on roofWe then decided to put the roof back on, but not before taking off the roof panels, as now the complete roof was very very with all this extra wood we had added. So we put the roof outer on first, and then re-attached the roof panels afterwards.

To get around the problem of having a gap in the felt where the hinges are, I just put a loose line of felt over the top of the join, this was really going to be a makeshift thing just to keep out the next days forecast rain, but it has worked so well, I have left it in place.

The next day we did have a lot of rain and I stayed in the shed to watch for drips, and I had 4 leaks. They all came about because we moved the hinges once and left open holes. So I went onto the roof with some mastic in a gun and just filled the holes, and I have not had any leaks since.

Completed Roof with Hinges and Felt in place So now the roof was finished, but there was still lots more things to do, such as securing the two parts of the roof together, which I did with two black tower bolts, and fixing the opening roof panels to the main parts of the roof, which I did with brass cabin hooks.

I also found that the wide part of the hinge attachment had two screw holes that did not line up with the beam underneath, so I could not screw them to anything, so I purchased some small bolts and bolted them through the roof.

So now the roof was on, but I needed to work out how to open the roof. I have ended up purchasing some cheap plastic rope and two black metal handles which I put on each part of the roof section to tie the rope to.

I also purchased a small light 4 step ladder from Wilkinsons for £20 which allows me to open the roof from inside the shed and at the same time hold onto the rope which I also have on the inside of the shed and lower the roof down. Not forgetting that I had also added some roof stoppers on wood to the outside of the shed to hold up the roof panels when open.

To close the outside roof I stand up the ladder and push the roof closed and again lower it down with the outside rope.

There was still lots to do, such as setting the pier bolts and doing some more plywood work and painting as well as moving in.