Help/guidance with larger dome project

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Help/guidance with larger dome project

Postby jahreed » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:50 pm

Hi all -

Some friends and i are working on plans for a 42' 5/8 dome and i have some questions that the internet at large does not seem to want to help with.

[b] background[/b] - we are looking to build a solid, steel dome that is strong enough to support some climbing as well as arial silks/a swing and similar high-jinx

questions -

[b]We are planning on a 5v dome[/b] for increased strength and keeping the struts under 7' - is this a good idea or overkill? How hard is it to keep organized with so many different lengths?

[b]Is there an ideal pipe[/b] to use for this? We are looking into 1.25" or 1.5" muffler pipe as an option over EMT conduit. Any other ssuggestions or ideas of best overall weight/price/strength combo.

[b]any tips for the opening?[/b] - if we want to do a large entrance.

last question -
best places to get raw coduit/pipe cut and or stamped

any help is mucho appreciated!

thanks everyone :)

jr
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Postby Savannah » Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:10 pm

I don't know much about dome construction, unfortunately, but I can tell you that if you want bold (or quoting or italics) to work in your posts, click "Profile" at the top center of your page, scroll down to "Preferences", select "enable BBCode" and save/submit at the bottom. Subsequent posts will look how you want them to.

The technologically marvelous may be along soon to give advice on more crucial matters. :)
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Postby jkisha » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:22 pm

Not my area of expertise either, but I'll give the post a bump for ya.
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Postby Boijoy » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:32 pm

the Dome Geeks will be along any minute. Don't worry your pretty little head. :)
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Postby hookahdude » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:01 pm

Maybe try contacting Death Guild to see what they can tell you about Thunderdome?
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Postby Bob » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:27 pm

The Death Guild dome(s) were made by Pacific Domes in Oregon, AFAIK.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby some seeing eye » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:51 pm

My camp made a 56'. If you are making a cover, they did, vinyl fabricated overseas, you may find the cover to be heavy. They needed the DPW crane to get it on and off. Even the 24' 5/8 vinyl cover was #500. The famous El Circo dome was made by Pacific in Ashland, OR and suspends acrobatics. Pacific has cover fabrication and their domes have resale value. Very professional while being down to earth.

Cover makes it warmer to dance in at night. A non warm at night cover is aluminet which can be unrolled climbing the dome.

I would strongly suggest looking at aluminum tubing for that size instead of muffler pipe which I doubt has any structural specs. I have seen more than one collapsed dome @BM. My friends who made 3 24's and the 56 made a factory with some of my equipment, but it is a lot of labor to cut, flatten, drill, clean up the ends and mark. Use jigs.

The diameter and frequency is going to make a big difference in the waste from standard material lengths, so adjust to minimize waste and cost.

You will also need at least 22' high scaffolding, ideally wheeled or a scissor lift. The scaffolding can be fun for other uses in the camp. like a sleeping platform.

Looking forward to the result!
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Postby jahreed » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:36 pm

Thanks to all who chimed in here.

Looks like we are going with a 5v 42' 5/8s dome. also we'll get 1-2 builds of scaffolding to get the top on!

on to a couple of months of construction!

cheers
j
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Postby Bob » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:28 pm

some seeing eye wrote:...They needed the DPW crane to get it on and off...


That's absolutely fucking pathetic, but maybe that's how everybody rolls these days.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby illy dilly » Mon May 02, 2011 9:12 am

some seeing eye wrote:Cover makes it warmer to dance in at night. A non warm at night cover is aluminet which can be unrolled climbing the dome.


Some seeing eye, could you please elaborate on dome coverings? So far our main thought has been, keeping as much sunlight out as possible, so that is it cool during the day. But yet still breaths, so minor open areas to let breeze through, so it doesn't get muggy/ stale.
I don't think night warmth has been considered. Possibly my other members of our camp, but so far not me.

We were planning to use the aluminet, pre-cut to match the hexagons and pentagons (12' radius, 3v @5/8th) created by the different triangles.

Any and all tips, tricks, and snarcs are welcome!
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Postby some seeing eye » Mon May 02, 2011 5:38 pm

We just wrapped 7' wide aluminet off the bolt onto the dome. It stretches and catches on the unions and can be tie-wrapped to anchor the ends or where needed.

I have been curious to look at boat/ construction/ freight industrial shrink wrap. It's one use (boo) recyclable polyethylene which specialty construction recyclers might take after you cut it off the dome. But it is white and will let some light and heat through.

The custom made vinyl covers were one piece and heavy. My friends made one for a small dome from a bright color and some sort of special blue vinyl glue and it looked great, especially on the aerial photos. If you break it into polygons, grommet the corners and then tie-wrap or bolt it on you can control the individual piece weight.

Silver spandex polygons might be a strategy and the dance party/ corporate event design companies can fabricate them. Not cheap. but you can get wide spandex from Rosebrand fabrics in LA - it's used for projection screens.

There was a guy in the AEZ camp that had a fully enclosed dome covered with flexible fish scale layered aluminized bubblewrap. It required a special tie down scheme - maybe ask on the AEZ boards.

Swedish (Tyvek?) arctic camouflage was popular a few years ago. Haven't seen it lately.

For the larger domes, I have seen some outstanding second stories inside. It uses a lot of plywood and lumber, but maybe you could fly it with your scaffolding. I have also seen small sleeping platforms hung from the dome structure.
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Re: Help/guidance with larger dome project

Postby Token » Tue May 03, 2011 12:44 pm

It's entertaining that you are already on coverings with the dome nowhere near thought out, let alone built.


jahreed wrote:
We are planning on a 5v dome for increased strength and keeping the struts under 7' - is this a good idea or overkill? How hard is it to keep organized with so many different lengths?



Good idea.

Yes, overkill but that is good.

Paint ends different colors to match lengths.

jahreed wrote:
Is there an ideal pipe to use for this? We are looking into 1.25" or 1.5" muffler pipe as an option over EMT conduit. Any other ssuggestions or ideas of best overall weight/price/strength combo.


Ideal pipe = EMT Conduit

Don't even think of experimenting here. Well used, well loved: Conduit. Use anything else and no one can help you.

jahreed wrote:any tips for the opening? - if we want to do a large entrance.


Removing more than a couple struts for doorways will weaken the whole structure. You need an engineer to figure that out.

jahreed wrote:
last question -
best places to get raw coduit/pipe cut and or stamped?

jr


Well that's the crazy part of building a dome. Cutting and stamping and drilling is all done by YOU.

If this is something you cannot or do not want to do, folks at Pacific Domes will build one for you, if you got the coin that is, and it ain't cheap.
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Re: Help/guidance with larger dome project

Postby illy dilly » Wed May 04, 2011 11:24 am

Token wrote:It's entertaining that you are already on coverings with the dome nowhere near thought out, let alone built.


Wouldn't you think that its best to be thinking about all aspects and trying to round up all materials as soon as possible?
And I've heard of people using old Bill Board vinyl. I happen to work accross the street from our local 'CBS Outdoors' who does a lot of the Bill Board here. Do you know if anyone has had much luck with the bill board vinyl?
It sounds very sturdy and even more UV resistant. I figure (if we got enough of it) cut it to fit the different hexagon and pentagon shapes, and put eyelets at the bolt points we could just put it on as we build the dome.
I've never handled the stuff, but figure its kinda like cheap linoleum?

Token wrote:
jahreed wrote:any tips for the opening? - if we want to do a large entrance.


Removing more than a couple struts for doorways will weaken the whole structure. You need an engineer to figure that out.


This is how our entrance will work. But, we also don't plan to support much from the dome besides a couple hammocks and the dome cover it self.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Postby Token » Wed May 04, 2011 1:02 pm

Billboard Vinyl is very heavy. It's easy to work with WRT gluing or melting seams together. All depends on what your goals are. Will you have a crane or lift to put the heavy cover up or down?

Two ways to go about this:

Design a cover from the best available material for your requirements, usually this costs a bit more money,

or

Build cover from available or affordable materials and deal with the shortcomings.

My preference is to use the first method. I don't need the extra headaches of junkyard engineering.

I have used Tyvec and Shade Cloth. I liked the shade cloth better.
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Postby illy dilly » Wed May 04, 2011 1:50 pm

When you say shade cloth do you mean the aluminet stuff thats UV blocking but breathable for green houses, http://www.shadeclothstore.com/depts/aluminetshadecloth.html or more the camo/bunker hider type stuff http://www.camouflage-fabric.com/safari-camo-net.shtml

Our plan for getting the shade cloth on, is to make it out of small enough pieces that that we can put it on as we go. Instead of one huge piece to cover the whole thing and goes on after, we're thinking smaller pieces that go on as we build.
And again, we're only talking a 13'-ish tall dome. So we will be able to reach top easily with a couple 10' ladders inside the dome. And a few of us are pretty tall, so we figure we can use Ice chests with boards accross them as step stools. The last bits of the top of the dome will take a bit longer cause we only have two 10' ladders.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Postby some seeing eye » Wed May 04, 2011 4:42 pm

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Postby havoc » Thu May 05, 2011 12:38 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Aluminet shade cloth; http://www.gothicarchgreenhouses.com/shade_aluminet.htm


they specifically mention burning man on there and ask that you call to place an order....is that a good idea or a bad idea? or do you know? sometimes people are nice enough to offer discounts, but sometimes they're out to gouge people...
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Postby some seeing eye » Thu May 05, 2011 1:54 pm

Re Gothic Arch - I order from them, great service over the phone, and lowest price I've found anywhere. The price is standard and posted on the website. They do ask that people plan ahead, summer is busy for their farming customers, their main customers, at the same time burners are last minuting.

Sometimes bargains may be had on CL for used standard shade cloth in agricultural areas. It may be a little beat up and is usually the black polyweave type, heavier than Aluminet.
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Postby havoc » Thu May 05, 2011 2:08 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Re Gothic Arch - I order from them, great service over the phone, and lowest price I've found anywhere. The price is standard and posted on the website. They do ask that people plan ahead, summer is busy for their farming customers, their main customers, at the same time burners are last minuting.


ah cool...just making sure. i'm thinking about ordering now-ish, cause i'm the plan-ahead-er type. :) thanks for the info, i've been wondering where i can pick some of this up and it sounds like these are good people.
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Postby illy dilly » Thu May 05, 2011 2:41 pm

I had the same question for why they asked for burners to call.
But then I realized that most of the shade cloth companies reference Burning man in one form or another. http://www.shadeclothstore.com/products/burningmanshadecloth__aluminetshadecloth.html
Call it their 'desert festival shade cloth' and burningman is right in the URL, LOL!

The going rate seems to be about $.27/sqft for 50% and $.32/sqft for the 70%.
What shade percentages have worked best for people in the past? My thought is that since the 70% is woven tighter, it might not breath very well. I wonder where the balance is between cost/shade/ventilation?
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Re: Help/guidance with larger dome project

Postby capjbadger » Thu May 05, 2011 6:33 pm

illy dilly wrote:It sounds very sturdy and even more UV resistant. I figure (if we got enough of it) cut it to fit the different hexagon and pentagon shapes, and put eyelets at the bolt points we could just put it on as we build the dome.
I've never handled the stuff, but figure its kinda like cheap linoleum?

Do NOT put on the covering as you build. The dome has no strength until the last strut is bolted in place. The first wind that comes along would smash your unfinished dome.

Never cover a dome until it's done and fully staked down.

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Postby Token » Thu May 05, 2011 10:00 pm

illy dilly wrote:When you say shade cloth do you mean the aluminet stuff thats UV blocking but breathable for green houses, http://www.shadeclothstore.com/depts/aluminetshadecloth.html or more the camo/bunker hider type stuff [url]http://www.camouflage-fabric.com/safari-camo-net.....


Last dome I built on playa was 2002. Aluminet was not widely available then.

I gave up on domes back then. Too much work to accomplish the same thing that can be done with 4 pieces of lumber and some rope.

I have used Aluminet in agriculture, I know, I know, how weird to use something for it's intended purpose ;).

Shade cloth of any kind is NOT UV blocking. It shades some but you will sunburn under it.

Aluminet is a type of knit shade cloth. It is generally much lighter than typical shade cloth of equivalent shading performance.

As the good cap badger sayz: don't put nothin' or noone on that dome until it's fully built and anchored.
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Postby Token » Thu May 05, 2011 10:12 pm

illy dilly wrote:... My thought is that since the 70% is woven tighter, it might not breath very well. I wonder where the balance is between cost/shade/ventilation?


It is knit, and no, it is not knit tighter to get more shading. Them clever Israelis done figured a way to do it counter to common logic.

Go for at least 70% in whatever type of shade cloth you choose.

BTW, you usually need to wrap only 60% of the dome to keep the whole footprint in the shade throughout the day. Solar azimuth and all that in late August.
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Re: Help/guidance with larger dome project

Postby illy dilly » Fri May 06, 2011 8:13 am

capjbadger wrote: The first wind that comes along would smash your unfinished dome.

Never cover a dome until it's done and fully staked down.

-Badger

Good call!
With our canopy, once we started putting the cover on, it was always one persons job just to make sure it wasn't catching air, until we had it staked down.

Our plan is bring the cover down to the bottom. Try an limit the amount of dust that blows through.

So if the aluminet shade cloth isn't UV blocking- What would be a better solution?
I don't wanna pass out in a hammock, in the dome, and wake up crispy.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Postby Token » Fri May 06, 2011 9:21 am

So if the aluminet shade cloth isn't UV blocking- What would be a better solution?
I don't wanna pass out in a hammock, in the dome, and wake up crispy.


Plywood. Masonry. Sheetmetal. Layered vinyl.

Neutrogena SPF 100 Sunblock also works great.

Oh, and forget about the dust abatement. The more you achieve that goal, the hotter the oven that is your dome.

You worry way too much. Keep it simple, let go, live a little.
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Postby CapSmashy » Fri May 06, 2011 9:37 am

The Booby Bar domes are covered in 70% tan shade fabric.

If Piney sees this she can go into more detail in terms of the work involved in sewing them up, which was a lot.

It takes several people to get the cover over the domes since you have to work it over after the domes are assembled.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri May 06, 2011 9:52 am

Token wrote:You worry way too much. Keep it simple, let go, live a little.

I know, comes with the job. Especially when I get on eplaya at my desk. But I prefer to call it 'Over thinking' or 'pre-plan planning'.

CapSmashy wrote:The Booby Bar domes are covered in 70% tan shade fabric.

Thanks Cap Smashy! This is something I can relate to! I've spent plenty of time in the booby bar and I would say that it is a good temp, with minimal stuffiness.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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