Last night Alex and I finished the dome.
Thank you, thank you. No, you are too kind. Thank you! Everyone sit down please!
I loaded up all the cut and smooshed conduit into the Jeep and headed for Alex’s house after work. We had to take a short detour to the hardware store for various bits of wood, metal, nuts and bolts. We were also forced to stop by 7-Eleven and get gallons and gallons of Slurpees. MMmmm.
Anyway, once we got everything settled we got down to building jigs. We needed a jig to hold the pipes as we drilled them and we needed a place to mount a vise to bend the pipes. Alex described it in more detail than I want to bother with here so go read all about it.
Finally everything was drilled and bent and assembly time was at hand. There was a minor moment of panic when we decided to make a test pentagon on the ground. We put the 5 spokes in and started hooking the bounding struts up. We got to the last one and it was about a foot too short! We ran upstairs to look at the picture and everything looked fine. After a few minutes I realized the problem was that we didn’t bend at all. The spokes that meet in the center needed to be pulled up and then it was perfect.
The actual assembly went very smooth and was fairly easy. We built from the bottom up and had no real problems. The dome is a little taller than I can reach but Alex is able to stretch to get the top layer of struts affixed.
Once we were done we painted some of the vertices to make things easier next time and we walked away. Saturday we will try to come up with a suitable covering and then tear it all down for next weekend.