Monday, August 9, 2010

Moon Base Alpha-Part 2

The continuing saga of the Burning Man 2010 Geodesic Dome Project. Previous entries in the saga can be found here.

Moon Base Alpha - 1

This past weekend, the task of mass producing the panels for the geodesic dome began in earnest. The first thing I found that I needed to tweak after the initial panel, was to get a different saw blade that would not be rip into the drywall like the default blade that came with the circular saw.

The next thing that became apparent was that creating all 36 of the panels individually would be far too time consuming. So I hit upon the idea of cutting two panels at the same time, one sheet of drywall ontop of the other, which halved the time it takes to cut the panels.

So I completed the three panel templates which I made out of cardboard. From these templates I would trace the dimensions of each panel on 4' by 8' sheets of drywall and cut them out with the circular saw. Laid the two uncut panels on top of one another and proceeded to create a cloud of dust as I cut 12 "Plate-1" panels.

After the initial run of the "Plate-1" panels, the same process was applied to the angled wooden slats that had to be placed on the edges of each panel. I created a type of mobile / upside down table saw for cutting long sections of wood at a specific angle.

I was able to finally get several of the 'Plate-1', panels completed and held together with the vice clamps that will hold the entire dome together. After assembling the panels for almost eight hours I had to stop because I had run out of wood for the slats and my drill batteries were running low on power.

Based on the work I was able to accomplish this past weekend, I hope to be able to have all the panels completed within the next two weeks, which will leave just enough time to finish the accessories for the dome, such as windows and doors. At least that is the plan.

Hopefully more next weekend. It appears that this is where all that play time with Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs pays off. It is basically the same thing, but on a much bigger scale.

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