Building My Very Own Geodesic Dome

January 1985

   Tue, Jan 1
Peter and I went to Front Royal. Larry met us there after we had been there about 15 minutes. The winds were very strong and we didn't dare climb the ladders. We spent some time setting some nails for the sheathing that I hoped to start on soon. We also started tightening some of the bolts that had only been hand tightened before. Dan Thomas came by with his wife and son. He helped out some. He had some tools at home which included a ratchet for tightening bolts which came in very handy. I also spent some time fastening a couple more base plates down.

Dome 05
Dome 06
Dome 07
Tue, Jan 8
Toney came with me today. It was windy and cold. Too windy to get on the ladders so we started to glue and nail some of the sheathing to the framework. It involved a lot of nails. Toney was able to reach some difficult places by climbing up on the framework. After a while the wind died down a little and we were able to climb up on the ladders and place a few pieces.

Wed, Jan 9
Toney came up again. We spent most of the time placing studs. Again Toney was able to work quite effectively by climbing up the structure of the dome. He worked from the outside while I worked from the inside off the ladders. We managed to finish all but the last five triangles. The weather was so bitter cold that it slowed our effort down considerably. Otherwise, I think we would have finished that part of the job. Instead, I chose to spend the last hour or so tightening down some more of the bolts. Again Toney worked from the outside while I worked from the inside. We finished all but five of the hubs.

Thu, Jan 10
I don't think it got as high as 20 degrees all day. I spent an hour or two fixing a problem that had cropped up on Tuesday. The small triangle sections of the red triangles had been miscut. I had cut them so that the height of the triangle was equal to the width of a 4x8 sheet of plywood. In reality they were supposed to be about six inches shorter than that. So I trimmed those pieces to the correct size and then called it a day.

Sat, Jan 12
Toney came with me today. There wasn't much snow but it was cold and icy. We spent the whole time nailing and gluing sheathing to the side. After doing one piece our glue froze too much to flow through the ketchup dispensers that I brought along so we took time out for lunch and went to the Apple House to eat and thaw both ourselves and the glue. When we continued our work we put the glue bottles in our pockets next to our bodies and that kept it warm enough to work with. We managed to complete about three triangles by the time we decided to quit.

Mon, Jan 14
The weather was perfect for working today. We worked until dark, about 5:30. In that time we finally managed to finish all the framing and tighten down all the bolts. Then we were able also to nail down some more of the sheathing.

We went out to dinner that evening and when we got home there was a message from Ralph. He told me that he and Stan had bought a kerosene heater for me as a Christmas gift. It is quite an item and should keep me warm on many a cold night.

Tue, Jan 15
The day was extremely cold and windy. Toney and I managed to finish two more triangles partly because the cold slowed us down but more because we had to trim and fit ill-fitting triangles. Of 18 triangles on the first level and 56 altogether 9 are now completed.

Additional Photos

February-August 1985

Dome 08Dome 09
Dome 10Dome 11

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