Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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Observatory Pad Construction


The Master Plan

Ground is broken!  That's a 24 inch [61 cm] auger.  The actual size of the hole, for the pier foundation, is 28 inches [71 cm] in diameter and 6.5 feet [2 m] deep.  The bottom is filled with 6 inches [15 cm] of small gravel.

The J-Bolt assembly, sitting on the bottom of a Software Bisque 24-inch [9.4 cm] pier.  I used a compass, straight edge and simple geometry to layout the hole pattern. 


Forms are placed around the hole, reinforcement is added and here comes the concrete with a bunch of guys standing around watching.


The J-Bolt assembly is in place.  I used NOAA's Geophysical Data Center to determine my Magnetic Declination from true north.. 


Compacting the ABC foundation for the pad.


The top of the pier foundation was finished off square.  It is lined with Styrofoam to isolate it from the surrounding pad.  If necessary, the Styrofoam can be later dissolved with a solvent. 


Day two, here comes the concrete, again.


Making it smooth and pretty.