Building My Observatory

Part Three

There is no way that I could have mixed a huge amount of concrete to keep a normal pier in position so I decided to use a 4" post, held in place by a drive-in post anchor with a bolt down post shoe on top of the post, mounted upside down from its normal position. The plan was to use the base of the post shoe to hold a wooden plate on which to mount a wedge for the scope.

I marked the position for the slot and fixed a handle in place before I cut out the slot as I wanted to be able to replace the cut-out part when the scope was stowed away.

I used a jigsaw to cut out the slot but didn't do too well in keeping the lines straight.

With the handle in position, the slot fitted back in place quite well.

I used plastic clips for holding sheets of A4 paper together to stop the edge of the slot from marking the pier. You can see the brake lever on the castor in this image.

Here is the pier in position with the paving slabs finally finished. I used a 3" post as a pile driver to batter the soil and coarse sand around the post spike, poked holes in the soil, poured water down to help the clayey soil to bind and battered it again after it had dried out for a week. The bottom of the post was deliberately kept above the level of the soil to keep it dry. I battered some stones in around the spike, finished the paving and topped the space up with some granite chips. Throughout all the battering, I carefully checked that the post remained vertical.

Here is the box pulled up with the pier in the slot.

The back end of the slot was cut away to make room for the post and it all fitted quite well.

The doors still closed OK and I added a bolt to the inside of the left hand door and a hasp and staple to the bottoms of the doors. The hardware is screwed into some 4"x2" timber which was fitted into the gap between the front and back of the doors.

Part Four is here!