Dome Builders Comments
Hi Joe,
It's Steve B. of fellow Foam Dome fame from ages ago.
(I have the link from your page).
Just letting you know I've had a bit of email traffic recently after dome
questions came up on a QCUIAG forum I'm on.
I'm sure a few bounced your way from my link to you , and some to me
via yours.
A few were very appreciative of a detailed answer from me, but I reckon for
every email query I answer, there is one who doesn't even follow up with a
thank you.
I'm sure you had a fair bit of this too.
One guy even asked If I would cut up triangles for him and he'd do the rest :)
So I made a FAQ page linked to the dome.
Anyway, I must report, that my dome is now in full use for over a year now,
No leaks or cracks in exterior paintwork so far although I keep a close eye
on it. I'm in the process of motorising it with Mel Bartel's dome option.
I get out and use it maybe 2 nights a week if I'm lucky (I have a new son now,
my missus and I have an 8 month old bub and he takes up some time :)
If I didn't ever say before Joe, thanks so much for all your help and tips,
my passion for astronomy now is just like it was when I first started out,
over 20 years ago, mainly due to the dome making it so cosy and enjoyable
Best regards,
Steve B.
From: "math Vos" 
Subject: geodesic dome
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 22:48:12 +0100

Hello Joe,
First I want to give you my compliments on your great site.
It gives a lot of information and makes it possible to make
your own geodesic dome.I've done this and may have some tips 
that other people could use.

During the building of my observatory I've made a lot of pictures, 
also of the building of the dome. For more details, this is my URL
Thanks again, without the help and info found on your site it wouldn't 
be possible for me to build this dome.
Math Vos

Subject: Geodesic Dome
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2000 14:18:12 -0800
From: "Bob May" 

Great article on making a dome!
Thought you might want to make a metion of the circular or jigsaw cutting of
the foam being a bad idea.  Something like:

Cutting the foam with a circular saw or a jigsaw can be done but when you
use that method, you will run into a real problem with the material breaking
off with rough edges that really don't glue well.  You also have the problem
of the "sawdust" being extremely electrostatic and it clings to EVERYTHING!
The time spent making the hot wire cutter will be well worth it in time
alone and the materials for making it are simple ones.  You can reuse the
table materials for the rest of the dome after you get done with them for
the foamboard cutting.

When you adjust the temperature of the cutting wire, you want it to go
through the boards at a moderate rate, the hotter than necessary wire gives
"strings" and the cooler rate just wastes time.
You can also use finer wire and use less current but then the wire won't be
quite as rigid and may not have as accurate a cut.

I might also mention a good way to mark the inside of the panels is to paint
them with some latex paint so that you can easily identify that side.
The article is great with some great pictures.  Thanks for the work.

Bob May

Subject: Re: dome

>Steve Trotta
> My biggest worry was protecting it also, but I didn't want to stucco
> it like you did.  That's why I decided to use the thinner foam that is
> backed with foil.

Joe Garlitz

     	Using a foil clad foam with a good thick coat of "rubber" paint
     is probably a very good (light weight) solution for a weather protection.
     I have been curious to know if anyone had tried any of the many  other foams
     available.  The foil clad foams I am familliar with are urathane.  
	I would like to know (if your foam was not polystyrene) 
     what methods of cutting and gluing you used.

>Steve Trotta
>I'm not sure what type a foam it was, I think it was high density
>polystyrene.  I cut the foam using a Makita cordless circular saw, one of
>those little 4" jobs.  It did an excellent job with nice clean cuts.  I
>glued it together using the same 3M glue you suggested.  The hardest part
>was that the edges were so small, I could only glue a few together at a
>time and then let them dry over night.