In May 2010 I began the journey of fulfilling a dream of mine and having my own observatory. With the assistance of family, I began construction of a roll-off roof observatory based on the popular SkyShed design.
Before the observatory itself could be built, a concrete footing had to be set into the ground to support the telescope pier. I hired a local guy to come out and auger a 14″ wide by 5′ deep hole with a “dingo” digging machine.
Following the hole being bored, concrete was mixed and poured into the hole. I had previously created a template for the base of my pier and where the anchor bolts needed to be, and they were sunk into the concrete. Great care was taken to level the bolts as well as possible to facilitate easy pier levelling later on.
At the end of the day, I had my pier footing set and ready to cure.
The observatory itself was constructed over the course of a week. We stuck fairly close to the original Skyshed plans, with the exception of beefing up a few areas that we thought could use it. The build itself was fairly easy, although there was a fair bit of preparation necessary to make sure things went well.
Laying the floor was probably the most tedious part. Grass was cut out where the paver stones were being laid, and gravel placed underneith them to provide a stable and level base.
Once the floor was completed, the walls were constructed individually and carried to be bolted to the floor.
Following the walls going up, the roll-off supports and roof were done.
Finally, a couple of coats of stain, and it’s done!