Building Diary



Date Event
1 May Initial contact from IoA Cambridge.
1 Jun IoA offer accepted.
19 Aug First visit to Cambridge.
20 Apr Second visit to Cambridge.
21 May Meeting with William Watkins.
1 Jun Third visit to Cambridge.
17 Jun Telescope prepared for lift and move.
19 Jun Telescope removed from dome and transported to Knighton.
17 Jul Move of telescope from water factory to Laminating Technologies.
Jan – Nov Planning, dome design and fund raising.
10 Nov Beginning to clear the old flowerbeds, and filling the “pond” outside the shop.
May First delivery of building materials.
18 Jun New ramp levelled. Path outside shop filled and levelled.
21 Jun New ramp edged and shuttered.
23 Jul First concrete on new ramp (top and bottom).
18 Aug Ramp concreting completed. Trial trench dug in grass area.
20 Aug Path from shop to front door concreted.
27 Aug Paving slabs lifted from patio. Dome marked out.
11-13 Oct Footing trenches dug.
15 Oct Footing trenches filled with concrete and levelled.
26 Mar Site levelled to footings level. Start on plinth hole.
27 Mar Plinth hole finished. Shuttering box constructed and positioned in hole. Steel reinforcing box constructed.
14 Apr Shuttering box braced and backfilled.
20 Apr Shuttering box lined – sand in the bottom and expanded polystyrene on sides. DPM lining for box fitted. Cable conduit fitted. Steel reinforcing into box.
21 Apr Concrete for lower plinth poured.
30 Apr Sole plate template made. Shuttering box for plinth top constructed. Box aligned and braced/secured. Holding down bolt holes located.
2 May Holding down bolts delivered.
3 May Final adjustments to shuttering and bolt locators.
9 May Concrete poured.
12 May Shuttering removed to reveal the plinth.
28 May Trench for power and data cables dug. Pipe laid and covered.
24 Jul First course of external wall bricks laid.
25 Jul First courses of external and internal wall concrete commons and blocks started.
20 Aug 3 more courses of brick laid.
12 Sep 4th course of brick laid. Internal block finished.
15 Sep Masco rented. Dome floor filled with spoil and levelled. Covered with scalpings and levelled.
28 Sep Scalpings covered with sand and levelled.
26 Oct Dome base covered with DPM and taped.
8 Nov Dome base filled with concrete and floor levelled.
24 Apr All bricks delivered.
3 Jun Door formers built.
22 Jun Bricks moved to concrete base.
25 26 27 Jun Brickie starts work on external wall.
3 Jul Continues.
10 Jul Continues.
11 Jul First 15 courses of brick finished.
28 Jul Telescope baseplate on site.
12 Aug Baseplate painted.
18 Aug DPC and first course of internal block above floor laid.
20 Aug Scaffolding erected.
28 – 30 Aug Next 15 courses of brick laid.
1 Sep Internal blockwork laid.
8 Sep More blockwork.
29 Sep More blockwork.
6 Oct More blockwork.
8 Oct Blockwork complete for the year.
11 Apr Telescope baseplate lifted onto plinth.
13 Apr Lorry back (Fibreglass workshop) delivered.
21 Apr Baseplate alignment checked. Levelled with nails.
27 Apr Self levelling grout to secure baseplate.
3 May More internal block work.
10-11 May Fibreglass mould complete.
17-18 May More internal blockwork.
23-24 May First attempts at fibreglassing. First section complete. Work on 6” guide scope.
31 May – 1 Jun Second fiberglass section complete.
6-7 Jun More indoor work on guide scope.
14-15 Jun Internal block work nearly done. Skip filled with building rubble.
17-18 Jun Another 7 courses of brick started, including lintel over back door.
21 Jun Internal block complete to one course below joists.   Two internal lintels fitted, door formers removed. A start made on final course of block.
28-29 Jun More blockwork. Another fiberglass section completed.
12-13 Jul Blockwork finished up to joist level, and lintels finished.
19-20 Jul Another fiberglass section.
03 Aug Another fibreglass section.
05 Aug Telescope base assembly and optical tube brought up to observatory.
09 Aug Another fiberglass section.
11 Aug Telescope base assembly lifted into dome.
11-13 Aug Joists completed.
16-17 Aug Block between joists.
6-7 Aug Block completed to brick level around external wall.
13 Sep Base assembly re-shrink wrapped.
14 Sep Another fibreglass section.
17 Sep Brickwork to the top started.
21 Sep Last fiberglass section completed.
22 Sep External brickwork completed.
23 Sep Scaffolding removed.
27 Sep Block work up to dome retaining plates.
4 Oct Block work up to final level, except over stairwell.
25 Oct Block work completed.  2014 aim achieved!
15 Apr Fibreglass dome ring sections trimmed.
6 Jun Mold for the dome fiberglass sections fabricated.
8 Jun Mold assembly starts in lorry back.
13 Jun Mold assembly.
20-21 Jun Mold assembly completed.
28 Jun Matting for first panel laid.
01 Jul First panel completed.
04 Jul First panel removed from mold.
8 Jul – 10 Oct 24 more panels fabricated (Most Wednesday evenings and Saturdays)
14 Oct 26th and final panel completed.
3 Dec Prototype dome wheel assembly produced.
2 Jan Steel ring sections cut.
13 Jan Ring sections delivered to site after galvanizing.
16 Jan Ring sections laid on top of brick and blockwork.
19 Mar Ring sections secured.
30 Apr Dome sections trimmed and drilled.
7 May More trimming.
14 May Trimming completed.
21 May 8 sections paired and bolted together.  2 support vanes in camera tube removed.
23 May Plate holder removed from camera tube.
28 May 8 section trial build.
4 Jun Sanding of dome sections started.
11 Jun 2 trial build sections removed.  Building rubbish organized.
18 Jun Building rubbish and concrete screed removed and skip filled.
25 Jun 8 trial sections dismantled, ready for sanding and priming
2 Jul Sections sanded.
9 Jul Dome rotation wheels assemblies constructed.
16 Jul Wheel assembly connecting rods rustproofed.

More sections sanded.

23 Jul Sanding completed.  Priming underway.  2 test sections topcoated.
27 Jul Section priming.
30 Jul More sections primed.
06 Aug More sections primed.
11 Aug Last sections primed.
13 Aug Topcoating starts.
17 Aug More topcoating – there are 26 sections!
20 Aug Dome running gear installed.
24 Aug Fibreglass dome ring sections installed and wheel access holes cut.
30 Aug Final dome sections painted.
31 Aug Dome ring fitting nearly completed.
4 Sep Dome ring fitting completed.
7 Sep Dome ring sections joined with fiberglass strips.
10 Sep Sections all joined securely.
14 Sep Dome ring trimmed and painting started.
17 Sep Dome ring painting completed.
15 Oct 20 of 26 dome sections assembled.
19 Oct Structure damaged by storm.
22 Oct Damage assessment and cleanup started.
23 Oct Dome rebuilt and completed.
29 Oct Repairs started and brick bag used to weigh the dome down.
5 Nov Fibreglass repairs.
12 Nov Fibreglass repairs and lifting beams installed.

DRAX Sponsors


Registered Charity

Project DRAX is supported by:

Spaceguard UK,
Llanshay Lane,
Knighton, Powys,
LD7 1LW. United Kingdom.

Tel: 01547 520247

Registered Charity 1143257