Meta: Do you know how to build a sky view observatory? Here, we have gathered a few tips and expert guidelines that will help you to finally build a remarkably efficient, comfortable, and durable structure for a perfect telescope view into the vast galaxy!
Are you thinking of installing a sky view observatory in your home? Well, this is not a bad idea as such structures provide a sneak peek into the diverse solar system. In fact, over the last couple of years, they’ve continued to grow in popularity mostly because of our lavish lifestyles.
However, in truth, it’s like watching the weather and the freedom from personal commitments come in sync. That’s why in this guide, we will show you how to make small, cheap and remarkably well-suited observatories to place your modern telescope. We hope that using this information; you can finally build your own observatory!
Lay Down the Foundation for Your Sky View Observatory
Your sky view observatory should last many seasons. It’s therefore essential to make sure that none of its structures are overbuilt or inadequate. Start the construction with permanence in mind by securing the building using strong, pressure treated, and wooden posts to avoid rot.
Now, although local building codes vary, basically, any foundation like that of a garden shed should suit your home telescope observatory. However, if you feel stuck, contact your nearest building and supply store for guidance.
Another crucial aspect while laying down the foundation is framing. Although standard construction procedures advocate for the need to place wall studs on 16-inch centers, putting them instead on 24-inch centers is cost effective and useful for small structures. Even so, we would recommend that you keep the 16-inch spacing for the joists in the floor.
Finally, choose a waferboard that can last for a long time. Usually, this would be the exterior-grade model, but you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets just to afford the extra plywood siding. Don’t worry; this will be money well spent!
The Rolling Roof for Your Home Telescope Observatory
Your doghouse will require seven sheets of 4 by 8 feet. The two long walls and the floor should be of one sheet each while the other walls were made from a single sheet cut in half. Both halves of the roof and their corresponding side wall should again be made from another sheet. Once you get everything right here, you might even have some left for constructing some shelves.
We did the framing using two by 4s, but for the floor, we used some two by 6s. We also installed a three by 4 feet access door at the back wall. Our roof rolled on eight wheels made using a ball-bearing design for more comfortable movement even in snowy seasons.
For the track, we feel that it’s better to use the aluminum angle stock. It’s a product that’s not only readily available but also highly efficient. For instance, if you use the 8-foot lengths of at least 1-inch in angle, it makes the perfect load-bearing track portion for the wheels to move on. An extra length of the angle stock should be mounted slightly above the wheels to keep the roof firmly in place especially during intense winds.
In areas where both snow and ice blog the track, use electric tape to wrap the track in a kind of groove that’s routed to the observatory’s wooden support. This is a tape that’s usually used to prevent freezing in water pipes and is only needed for that portion of the observatory roof that extends out of the structure.
Cozy Quarters for Comfortable View through Telescope
As you build your own observatory, don’t forget to make it as comfy as possible. Your sky view observatory should hold a rich array of books, accessories, atlases and of course the best telescope. Ours even had enough room for a desktop computer!
Now, if you intend to have a perfect view through telescope, remember to choose the right device for your observatory. Our four by eight structure could only accommodate the Cassegrain-type of telescopes which are pretty compact and can be positioned in a polar-aligned mode. If you decide to go with this option, you’ll have to stay in one position with your scope pointed to the skies.
Applying the Final Touches to Your Sky View Observatory
For a clear view through telescope, we kept the southern part of your observatory roof open. We also installed a panel on the structure’s southern wall to give the scope full access into the horizon. We even kept some star charts and other items in the area just between the observatory’s wall studs.
Well, it’s incredible how much space is essential especially if you’re working in a congested area like in our case here. However, if you have a larger space to construct your sky view home observatory, don’t be afraid to install as many accessories as possible.
How Much Will It Cost to Build Your Own Observatory?
We live in a world of constantly changing prices on goods. Hence, it’s only natural for any home builder to be worried about price. Therefore, to answer your question; we recommend that you visit your local Home Depot to confirm the prices on equipment needed for laying down a strong foundation and rail support.
Even so, any honest builder will tell you to have an extra budget for miscellaneous expenses like door locks and other essential hardware. Also, don’t be afraid to be a bit extravagant on wiring and lighting as this is what adds some ‘life’ into the sky view observatory.
As you can see, learning how to build an observatory at home is pretty easy. It only requires someone with modest skills, proper planning, keen attention to detail and most importantly, time. So, using these expert guidelines, do you think you can finally build one?
Author’s Bio: Charly is a freelance writer with an engineering background from Los Angeles. Most of his time he devotes to the astronomy. Now he is sharing knowledge with others.