Dome 2

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10/18/12  It was slow starting at first, but eventually the process got started and the dome skins started going on quicker. The dome passed the framing inspection this afternoon with flying colors. The county inspector let us know that we were doing a good job building a solid building. The roof rolls very quietly, far nicer than the old Thunder Dome of Chiefland.

It will take a couple of weeks to finish the sheeting, and then the fiberglassing will take about another two. After that the steel siding will go on the walls, the shutters will go on, and the thousand other details that go into a dome will be finished. We are still hoping for a  completion date before too long.


OK, so maybe the sheeting will take a little longer than a week. The winds keep blowing a bit too much every afternoon, so the work days are short.

Left to right are Gary Starkweather, Lon Shelton, and Tom.

11/6  No more Thunderdome. Now the neighbors a half-mile away won't hear distant thunder and then say, "Oh, that's just Clark's dome rotating."

This time we used two small gearmotors driving 8" wheels on a smooth aluminum track. The dome rotates very quietly. Next the fiberglassing commences. The materials arrived yesterday.

11/19  Well, this is the hatest job I like. Jeannie and I have been working about a week, and we are a little over half way done on fiberglassing the dome.   First the whole dome was painted with polyester resin, then the glass cloth is going on. It sure is nice already having the motors available to rotate the dome, because Jeannie can easily do it while I am up on the scaffolding.

Now that it is mid-November, the weather is very nice temperature wise. It is cool in the mornings but quickly warms up to the mid-60s. When the wind stays down the job is much easier. Should be finished in another week.

When the  wind kicks up or the weather doesn't cooperate, there is plenty of work to do inside the shop. This photo shows the aluminum tracks made for the roll-back shutter. The opening will be 66" wide. The wheels are made from a very hard nylon called nylatronGS. The back side gets sheeted and fiberglassed after the rest of the roof is finished.

12/2  The door tracks are installed. Now to paint and finish the back of the dome and the shutter.

12/4  By golly, at times it looks like the end is actually in sight - even though the projected completion date was a few days ago. Next up is building the shutter and closing in the back of the dome. It had to be left open until now so there would be access to the roof so the fiberglass and paint could go on.

12/8   Adding the rest of the stringers and then the 9 sheets took longer than I thought it would. Seems like everything is taking longer…  Oh well, the back of the dome is ready to fiberglass. Then to build the shutter and put the walls up. It's getting closer every day.

12/14  So what is six feet wide and sixteen feet long? The big sliding shutter. The little drop-down door is only four feet long. The gear for opening the door is on order. All of the outside fiberglassing is finished. The shutter will be finished inside and then installed. Getting closer to completion, and just think, it's only been 4.5 months so far!

12/18  The big shutter is sheeted and has the first layer of resin applied. Glass cloth will be added next. Then the first coat of primer was added to the back of the dome.

The dome was painted its final color. Next the walls will be added.


Yesterday the tan color was rolled on, and today half the steel siding was installed.

The siding was finished 12/30. Now to start finishing up the painting and hanging doors.

It's getting dark in here. Spray painting is being done with an old Wagner gun. It sure would be hard to brush or roll the inside of the walls.

The rack and pinion gear for opening and closing the shutter finally arrived after five weeks of waiting. Next it is finally time to get the shutter up on the dome.

1/24  Installed the bottom shutter. First I had to wait 5 weeks for the gears and motor, then 3 more weeks for a crane guy that never did show up.

2/28  Called a different guy today, and he came out a half hour later. Two hours later the door was in place. Not finished yet. Still have to have the wheels, motor, and gears installed and tested. Best not to be in a hurry when building a dome. Some fool designed the main shutter 6" too short. Oh well, easy to fix. I'll just add on to the bottom shutter.

Add to cost of dome, one favorite old shirt and pair of jeans, plus a trashed pair of sneaks.

3/2  Installed the gear motor to raise the shutter. It raised it a foot, then dropped it. Motor too small! Now back to the drawing board. Have to find a more powerful motor that will do the job, and return this one.