Monday, 28 December 2009

I don’t know what all the fuss was about…….

This is what all of Bizibilders hard work has been for!!  Finally a clear night and he was able to get the telescope out and do some proper observing.  The drawing here is of an area of the Moon with a couple of craters named.  North is at the BOTTOM – as all astronomical telescopes give an inverted image.
(Gassendi is about 67miles across.)
Gassendi Drawing 1
Went out later on and drew another Lunar feature, this time a crater called Schiller.  It was below zero!  Bizibilder’s telescope had ice all over it by the time he had finished this drawing.  Brrrrrrrrrr…….. Schiller Drawing 1

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Once I couldn’t spell injinear, Now I is one!

A few shots here to show progress on Bizibilders pier adaptor.  Firstly using a rotary table to get all the ‘oles in the right places.  Three to be tapped for bolts and one, slightly larger, for the “azimuth pin”. IMG_1414
IMG_1419 A useful tapping guide – just an odd end that has been faced both ends and drilled just clearance on the tap – keeps everything straight and true, which is important.
The finished adaptor resting on the upper plate. IMG_1421

Thursday, 24 December 2009

If you knows of a better ‘ole!

Roughing out the hole for the EQ5 mount.  60mm diameter and 20mm deep. IMG_1400
The almost finished adaptor sitting on the pier – just the mount bolt holes to drill and a post for the azimuth alignment screws to push against. IMG_1402

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The start of the end of the pier show!

The top of the pier has now had its corners rounded and has been drilled and bored with the necessary holes.  There is a second top plate that is identical except that the central hole is 10mm clear for the telescope attachment bolt. (Unfortunately that plate is a little camera shy!)

All the shaping work on the top and bottom plates was done with a hacksaw and files – not too difficult really.  The holes with a drill press.
Bizibilders pier – waiting for the snow to clear so that it can be taken for welding – (there are some bracing plates that are not shown). 1m tall x5” diameter.

Starting on the pier adaptor – a billet of 4” steel 1” thick – First operation - drilling the central 10mm clearance hole.

Second operation – facing both faces of the billet.
IMG_1388  IMG_1392

Monday, 21 December 2009

Every little (LED) Helps!!

Bizibilder has been skulking around Tesco’s these past few weeks looking at their LED Christmas lights with a view to using them as “red lighting” for the Observatory.  These have finally been reduced to £5 (from£10) for a twenty LED set. IMG_1369
IMG_1370 First he had to cut the petals and strange plastic retaining ring off the back, then remove the red “inner petals”.  This has left Bizibilder with a string of LED’s about 2m long that he intends to somehow “fix up” once the snow that currently has half buried the Observatory has finally thawed.
Bizibilder thinks that he may build a holder for about six or eight LED’s to use as a “reading light” and to just string the rest along the north side of the Observatory as general background light – mainly for finding eyepieces that have run away and hidden!  The whole lot runs off a couple of AA cells – but for how long?  Nobody knows!! IMG_1371

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

Snow Day

This mornings snow scene. IMG_1311
Four people, two dogs and a bicycle (I think!) IMG_1321

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Let there be (first) light!!

IMG_1300 Bizibilder has finally attached the doors to his Observatory – if you compare this picture with one a few posts back you can see that the doors are now no longer bowed.  For the time being the building can be considered “finished” in that is is now useable.  There is still plenty to do – as soon as the weather warms up!!  There needs to be an outside step – so Bizibilder doesn’t have to walk on a flowerbed to get to the doors!  as well as an interior, slightly raised, floor so that Bizibilder doesn’t have to stand for hours on cold concrete – All the comforts of home!!
Bizibilder has finally put the telescope and mount into the Observatory.  The tripod is deliberately set to the proposed height of the pier (still to be finished) so that Bizibilder can check on visibility – especially low to the south. IMG_1304
IMG_1308 As snug as a bug in a rug!!!

All closed up and locked – Bizibilder’s Observatory, phase one, completed.

(The padlocks are the only visible security on the building – for obvious reasons Bizibilder is not showing or describing any further measures taken)

Sunday, 6 December 2009


IMG_1296 Bizibilder has finished the construction and modification of the doors of his Observatory.  Here are a couple of pictures of the new lower “sliders” for the doors.  When hung the doors slide easily both ways and there is less than 1mm free play on the bottom door runner when the doors are closed – slightly more when the doors are open due to the design of the runners.
The “sliders” are tapered slightly so that they follow the taper of the folded steel that they run in.  They are made of Aluminium and simply bolted through from the top. IMG_1298
IMG_1299 The “posh” side of the doors with the two hasp and staples in place.  All Bizibilder needs to do now is redo the matt black paint on the insides of the doors – which will be done in the warmth of his workshop - and then hang the doors for good.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

It’s a game of two Hasps!

Fixing the door “hasp and staple” locks was the next job for Bizibilder.  Not as easy as it seemed when trying to get four pressed steel “countersinks” to lie flat on a very thin sheet steel door!
These were the tools for the job – a 90 deg cone made from a steel off-cut and a nice big hammer!
It worked – Bizibilder was worried about distortion of the door but this did not happen.
The inside of the hasp – with a metal backing plate for strength.  One down one to go! – Bizibilder said it was a game of two hasps!!! IMG_1295

Turning things round…

Bizibilder has spent the evenings this week getting the insides of the doors braced.  It has been a long and repetitive job!

As the original door fittings have been scrapped a few new parts have had to be made.  The upper runners will still function as designed but may need a washer or two to get the alignments right.  However the lower door runners will no longer fit so Bizibilder has had to make new parts.  Originally a plastic “angle” (held in place with one screw) that was at least 5mm too “narrow” for the lower runner was supplied – it was effectively useless.
Four neat “lower runner buttons” were turned up on the lathe this afternoon.  These will bolt to the lower angle bracing and are sized to fit within the lower runners with minimum clearance.

(Oops! Bizibilder has admitted having a lathe!! whilst extremely useful for this kind of job it is not essential – suitable parts could easily be filed to shape, in fact there is no reason that they should even be round!)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Bizibilder puts his braces on…

IMG_1281 To solve the door problem Bizibilder has spent a VAST sum of money on 10 metres of 20mm x 20mm aluminium angle (A quarter of the cost of the original shed!!!).
Anyway – three braces, as seen here, were enough to straighten the door panels.  This proved to work! Bizibilder did a trial door hanging and the difference was quite remarkable!! The door slid easily (with no appreciable shake) in both directions – success!!  The door was also tight against the runners – hopefully making future weather sealing a somewhat easier task.
The top runner had to be slightly cut away to allow access to the door hanging holes.

(Sorry about the pics – the matt black paint is a pain to photograph!)
IMG_1284 Finally additional braces were fitted to the door simply to strengthen the structure.  Now when the door is shaken it is quite rigid – originally the door panels were so flexible as to be virtually useless.  I could easily flex them almost sufficiently to get the hung door to “pop” out of the bottom runners!  They are not “security” doors – and never will be.  Lets face it, its only a shed!

Monday, 23 November 2009

A man with at least two vices!

Bizibilder thought it would be useful to show how he dealt with the components of his pier.  The slab of steel shown is roughly 8 inches square and half an inch thick!  But not to worry!

The first requirement is to be able to hold the thing securely – for this Bizibilder uses two vices.
To trim the corners it is far easier to make several cuts to the line and then cut each “tab” away separately – you can’t cut round a curve with a hacksaw. IMG_1278

Saturday, 21 November 2009

A Long Felt Wont…

The Observatory porch has finally been felted!  After a couple of weeks of heavy rain and showers.  (By the way Bizibilder thanks JW for the off-cut of felt!) IMG_1265
Bizibilder has included another close up of the “post shimming” method employed.  This has proved to be a great success. IMG_1267
“Underneath the Arches”
A view from inside the Observatory showing the roof rails, wheels and braces.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

A little touch of paint….

It was quite apparent to Bizibilder after his first (and, so far, only) observing session in his new observatory, that lights from the neighbours houses were reflecting of the nice bright white internal walls of the shed.  So Bizibilder has bought some matt black paint.  The trouble is that the temperature outside is barely warm enough and the paint is taking twice as long to dry as it should – He thinks he will wait for warmer weather! IMG_1259
He has also started to caulk around the lower door slides to try and stop the, admittedly small, amount of water that is finding its way into the shed.  It POURED down yesterday – the only water in the shed was below one side of the lower door track. 

So: The Porch seems to work!!!!!

(Bizibilder, of course, knew it would and is therefore most definitely NOT surprised at all!)
This pic shows “the new door problem” – both doors have bowed by about 1cm.  Bizibilder will have to make some sort of internal “frame” to try and get the doors flat again (and simultaneously strengthen the rather flimsy doors).  IMG_1263
Another view of the “bowed doors” – there is no point in trying to seal these gaps until the doors are made straight.  Hopefully this will also ease the currently VERY jerky sliding action of the doors.

They really are not very good at all – even for a shed!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The shot that I forgot!!

This is the shot that Bizibilder forgot!  It is quite important as the whole project depends on it!!

Each of the four corner posts was cut to length.  BUT with the slight errors in marking out and setting the saw to the line all the posts were SLIGHTLY different lengths - if only my a millimetre or so.   Additionally Bizibilder required all four corner posts to finish JUST above the height of the metal wall panels – so that all the rails etc did not foul the tops of the panels.

The solution he adopted was to use a strip of “damp proof course” (plastic tape 100mm wide and 0.65mm thick) folded over and over to “shim” the posts to the correct height – you can just see it, under the post, in the picture.  This worked very well, Bizibilder was able to control the heights of the posts very precisely, thus everything fitted as desired.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Porch - I hope it keeps the rain out!!

Bizibilder’s Observatory now has a rather fetching porch – only a piece of OSB on a frame plus a couple of posts to make it look “posh”.

It will be covered in felt to make the whole thing waterproof as soon as Bizibilder can scrounge a suitable piece.
(By the way everything IS square – Its just that Bizibilder had to take the pic whilst standing rather too close to the Observatory.
The idea of the porch is to prevent rain from hitting and running down the doors straight onto the lower door rail and hence straight into the Observatory!! Bizibilder wants it dry in there! He decided that fitting the porch was easier (and cheaper) than trying to make the doors both robust and totally waterproof.

This pic shows the final shot of the bracketry at the “front” (door) corner of the Observatory.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Another day done…

Bizibilder managed to do dozens of little jobs today. The most obvious being the bracing of the roof rails. IMG_1247
The ends of the rails will be cut and tidied up once Bizibilder is sure just how far the roof needs to go back in the most extreme case – no point in cutting now and finding that the rails are a bit short!!IMG_1249
Bizibilder has also stripped off the original silicone sealant that he used round the base of the shed – it did not stick to the concrete properly – hence the leakage seen when it rained. The new sealant says “sticks to concrete” on the label – We shall see!!

He has also come up with an idea for preventing water ingress through the sliding doors – Build a porch!! The doors will then not require such a perfect seal to keep the rain out – He hopes.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

(Especially for Ann.)

"Bizibilders Observatory Movie"

or "25 seconds of Pure Movie Magic"

(complete with wind noise and the Sun shining straight down the camera lens!!)

Boy did it rain today!!! But – Things GOT DONE!!

Today Bizibilder finally managed to get the last weatherboard in place.

To be fair to him it must be said that the weather this morning was AWFUL. It rained heavily AND blew a gale – so little work was done until after lunch.
The rear corner where the weatherboard had to be cut away to clear the roof rails – the gap is less than 5mm – it looks bigger due to the light flooding in and the fact that Bizibilder has not yet painted the bare wood green yet!!IMG_1236
The effect of the extended weatherboards can be seen here from the inside. They do keep out a considerable amount of unwanted light – the camera is higher than my normal eye level in this picture. IMG_1240
The door showing the flood due to the rain pouring down the doors and straight into the shed via the lower rails – this needs fixing! IMG_1237
The open roof buffer stop – very gentle and entirely natural!!!IMG_1243