Shadow of the Mountain Observatory - The Build

In March 2011 I broke ground on my new observatory. It is to be a 10' by 16' roll off roof observatory of my own design along the lines of those seen at Backyard Observatories and Sky Sheds. The pier is centered in a 10' by 10' area utilizing the remaining space as a control/warm room. It is located at 3400 feet elevation in the mountains of western NC. I call it the "Shadow of the Mountain Observatory" since nearby mountains tend to block unwanted light pollution.

March 12-13, 2011: Base Foundation

3/12/11: Rocky ground made post hole digging "fun". Holes are approximately 12" wide by 36" deep.

3/12/11: Corner holes dug. I need a break. Posts set in holes to see how well we are lined up with Polaris tonight.

3/13/11: First joist in place and posts cut. A chainsaw was used to cut the 6x6 posts and the "funky" end placed in the hole. Joists were cut with a miter saw and a 1.6kW generator...we're roughing it baby! The compass laid on the joist shows we are dead on pointing north.

3/13/11: Outer joists and posts all in place. Everything level and plumb...time for concrete. The front left post is a little proud, but we'll take care of that.

3/13/11: 8" x 5/8" galvinized carriage bolts installed. Again, the generator is used to run the drill. It's tedious work drilling treated wood as the bit gets clogged rather easily, but the generator held up fine. One 80 lb. bag of concrete is poured in each hole and backfilled with dirt. That's enough for this weekend. Next we'll set up the remaining posts and start hanging joists.


Quick Links

Base Foundation Part 1
Base Foundation Part 2
Pier Footer
Pier Footer Cleanup and Pier Prep
Wall Framing and Siding
Trim & Paint
Door, Trim & Paint
Porch, Interior Door & Equipment Test