Construction of the new Observatory

in Happy Jack, Arizona

Uploaded 6/30/2002

Framing the Walls and Stabilizing the Deck

Click on the thumbnails for the 640x480 sized image.

June 2002 images

The walls are built back at home in the front yard to the required dimensions. We then loaded them into the trailer, and hauled them up the road to the new observatory site.

The walls were lifted into place, and nailed together. The door opening can be seen here, and the five foot walls are secured on top with double locking 2x4s. The doorway is 32 inches wide, and just under 5 foot in height. A temporary ladder was made to access the inside, five feet off the ground.

The support structures are removed on the corner footings and now the frame is tied to the ground with a solid concrete foundation. T plates were nailed to the beams and plunged into the concrete while wet for a secure hold.

To insure a solid floor, struts are installed between the floor joists to firm it up. The concrete pier can be seen to the left.

On the weekend of June 29-30, we covered the walls with cardboard siding. The huge pyro-cumulus clouds from the fire on the Mogollon Rim east of us towered overhead, darkening the sun and turning daylight into twilight.

Late morning skies, deep thick fire smoke fills the sky turning the sun a deep orange. While not inspiring, we went ahead and pushed forward on the construction. The fires are about 80 miles east of us.

John Offarrel puts the final touches on the under side of the siding to keep the water from getting into the fragile material on the bottom.

The two coats of latex stain on, the painting for now is done. You can see the pier inside the doorway, waiting for the 8 inch schmidt camera that will be installed here.

Looking east. Next we put in the stairway and railing, then the roll off roof support framework.

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