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Plastic Shed Observatory

Started by Ibartman, 01/30/2007 04:26AM
Posted 01/30/2007 04:26AM Opening Post
I was told that i might get a little more response on this forum so here it goes.

OK guys it is me again, I purchased a plastic shed from Sams Club yesterday and as i was setting it up i was thinking what a good observatory it would make. Since I am in the beginning stages of building my observatory (Clearing area and getting ready within the next few weeks to pour pier) i went to google and typed in "Plastic shed observatory and this popped up

This is the exact plastic shed that i am considering purchasing. What i am wondering is if anyone else has made an observatory using these or something similar to these and could they give me some words of wisdom.

My biggest concern was that the easy bolts that hold the roof in place are plastic and i was wondering if they would wear out over time or if the roof would wear out.

also should I put the scope up higher than the guy in the pics. any ideas would be great. I am picking your brains again. So please give me all points of view. Good or bad. The shed from Sams Club is $862.00 which isnt too bad. Thanks guys

Posted 01/30/2007 06:20AM | Edited 01/30/2007 06:21AM #1
I did several "roll-off" (Really "lift off") in both Plastic and Steel Sheds. The two biggest issues I had :

1. The roof adds structural support so you either need to add "L" brackets to the corners, or better still, build a wood frame around the edges.

2. I was a bit disappointed in the wall height for use with a GEM. Walls on these things are usually in the area of 6.5 feet High. Not as big an issue with a fork mount. Of course if your horizon isn't viewable this may not be an issue.

If I were to do one again, I'd go with a Roll-off observatory, where the scope sits and whole shed slides away....Check the internet - there are a number of sites on building these plastic shed observatories.
Posted 01/30/2007 07:08AM #2
Rick I have seen a couple of these and have not been impressed. They are a bit small inside and tend to blow away in strong winds. There are two better choices in my opinion that are available or will be soon. The Explora-Dome and the POD. The POD is a complete unit but is limited to a little less than eight feet in diameter while the Explora-Dome is a DIY and is put on your wood frame leaving it up to you how big. They both appear to cost about the same when done ($1500). Look into these I think you will find them interesting.

Dark Skies Will Travel
Magic Man
Posted 01/30/2007 02:23PM #3
I have been using the "Thinking Outside" shed for almost two years now and it works great. This shed cost around $700 when I bought it and only took a couple of hours to assemble. I anchored it to a frame of treated 4x4s annd it has made it through 75+ mph wind storms. I will admit it is a little cramped but it works much better than rolling the scope out of the garage. After I retire I plan to build a bigger observatory, but until then this is a great solution.

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