Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Building at last

The last few weeks has been spent gathering supplies and now with another break in the weather the building has begun. I now have all the materials to build the steel pier and all the wood for the observatory.

Here is the floor layout

Complete floor on wheels for easy moving around the shop

Steel for the pier

All the wall and roof parts cut and ready to go. Won't take long to assemble it now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nice weather at last

Weather during the first few weeks of March was quite a messy mix, warmer then usual with a lot of rain cutting into the deep snow cover and starting to pull frost out of the ground. I was down in the cities for the first week, did some shopping, mostly observatory stuff with some snowmobile parts added in for good measure. Picked up all the steel for the telescope pier, found some red lights and caster wheels at Ax-Man (for those of you who don't know Ax-Man, I'm sorry, you're really missing out. I also gathered screws, glues and all the little crap that up here is a 30 mile round trip if you forget something.

The trip back into the cabin involved snowmobiling over very wet snow, which for me was no big deal, but I brought the boys along and they're no big fans of this mode of travel! And after arriving, all they did was bellow about my audacity in putting my astronomy books all over their favor spot.

So after some clean up, there was peace in the house and we could get down to work

Yesterday I had a very helpful breakfast meeting in downtown Lutsen with the world renowned land surveyor, Samuel Parker and his wonderful and beautiful wife Diane. Sam's research team had assembled a packet of information including maps and GPS marks that will enable us to define the observatory site. Sam took the time to make sure I understood all that was in front of me, and he also explained a sun shot procedure for determining true north. I'm hoping he'll come out and demonstrate this when we set the pier.

After breakfast it was a trip to the lumber yard for a trailer load of wood to start the observatory. Back at the shop I cut everything out for the floor following the plans from Polydome. Assembly will be tomorrow.