Friday, June 11, 2010

How to build a shelter dome part 2?

I'm still searching the internet on How to build a shelter dome inexpensively.  So far, I've been really inspired by  But their prices are expensive for me. But their dome kit comes with everything you need.  I wanted a second opinion.  I found this great website that teaches you how to build your own or atleast gives you an idea on how to do it yourself with pictures.  Although his method is for temporary or emergency shelter.

Framework for the Shelter dome.
.5" x 10 ft, conduit pipe.  

Here is how you cut it, NO don't even think about using a hacksaw! You will make ugly cuts and screw up the pipe when you clamp it down in the vice while sawing on it. Using a plumbers pipe cutter guarantees a perfect cut every time!

Now you need to flatten the ends so there ready to drill. Use caution when you start to flatten the pipe. You can't just stick it in the press or vice any old way. Look carefully at the pipe and you will find a welded seam. If this seam ends up at the corner of the flattened pipe it will split and if you drill through the seam it will split there as well. Just put the seam at a 45-degree angle under the press, vice, or hammer and the seam will cause you no problems.

Ok, conduit sections are cut to length, the ends are flattened, and were ready to drill! A simple jig will ensure all your holes are the exact length they need to be.

The last process involves removing burs and sharp edges and paint. Yes, I know. Conduit is galvanized and no need to paint it; except where you cut and drilled it! It will quickly rust at the ends. Another advantage is using two different colors between the A and B pipes. This will save you from considerable confusion and headaches later, I promise! You may paint the entire pipe or just dip the ends in the paint can.

Assembly of the dome elements is easy. All connections at each hub use a single bolt, washer, and nut.

When you start to assemble the dome don't tighten the nuts tight, make sure the joints can move a little so the dome elements can flex and automatically self align as you assemble them. After all elements are in place then go back and clamp them down tight. You will be amazed at how rigid the dome frame has become!

At this point you need to secure the dome frame to the ground. The cheap and easy way is to use "U" shaped rebar and a sledgehammer.

I prefer the way of securing your dome frame.  They use and L brackets to secure the frame to decking.  Ofcourse pacific domes shelters are more permanent.  

And ofcourse my plan is to create a hardshell for my dome by using mesh wire and poured concrete.  Maybe I'll even stucko the exterior after the concrete.  and definitely paint it white.  or maybe something artistic.  and something that will blend the environment.  cool huh?!

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