Now I have a good signal and data at a reasonable price plus a seriously upgraded computer with more than double the memory it used to have. Cool, so here's what's been happening off line since my last post.
Most of you have already met James, my son, through my previous posts, well he came around the other day with some drawings of a geodesic dome he wanted to build.
You've probably heard of an event that takes place in the US called Burning Man, some kind of free thinking arts festival. Now James is into the arts, he sings and does stage productions and is generally very creative with whatever he takes on, and since there is a festival like "Burning Man" here called "Africa Burns," to which he has, as of yet, not gone. He decided that this year he and a friend of his were going to get something together.
This is how we started and the progress we have made so far. Of course it's always great to have a father and son working on a project, not everyone gets that kind of opportunity and so I consider myself blessed. Thank you Lord. James, after getting all the drawings and dimensions from the Internet, went ahead very cautiously, at least from a financial point of view, and build a scale model from drinking straws and toothpicks, cool hey?
I really like the spikes on top, they give it such a cactusey type feel. Anyway, this gave him something to study and to get his head around since he was going to be buying all the bits and pieces. We came up with various ideas like aluminium tubing and cistern ball ( the float balls in a toilet cistern) joiners but since both these two items were going to be quite pricey, quite a few thousand Rand actualy, the head scratching went on unabated. He went to various hardware stores looking for ideas and of course prices and eventually settled on PVC conduit as the straight pieces.
As the whole thing is getting covered in fabric, flattening the ends wasn't going to work too well, kinda bumpy and not very attractive so the search for the most cost effective and practical method of joining the tubes went on.
He was visiting on of his clients when the solution presented itself. Fence post caps. Almost the right angle and easily fastened to the conduit. There was going to have to be some engineering done before they could be used but as we all know, that's what dads who are set builders are for, right? And so he arrived at my place with 36 metal domes and a drawing of what was going to be required.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of what they looked like before they had been worked on so you will just have to imagine what they looked like without holes. Before I could start drilling them I first had to work out how on earth I was going to do this. We made a drawing, or should I rather say we drew around the perimeter of one, and then divided the circle into 60 degree segments. Then I had to mark a few so that I could make a jig in order to get them all the same. Easier said than done.
As I said, I marked a few in order to see how to do this but found that the best way was in fact to mark the jig itself as opposed to the plates. I put only one mark on each plate and then turned it after drilling to the next mark on the jig. That meant they all turned out more or less identical.
Fortunately James was on the ball and before long she was up. There were a few lengths missing because James was still trying to work out how to put a doorway into one side but he decided to get a few more lenghts of conduit on Saturday to complete the structure and to cross the doorway bridge at a later stage. I must say it didn't take long for the wild birds to discover this amazing new perch in the garden. We left it up overnight to see what would happen in the wind, of course nothing did. And then It was Saturday, time for James and his friend to bring some fabric around to see how they were going to cover this thing.
The theme of this year's festival is "Mirage", Not nessarily the easiest impression to create over a dome but James had a plan and brought out this amazing blue fabric. See for yourself.
I'm sure there will be more posts about this particular little fun tent coming up but since the actual festival isn't untill the end of April you will have to wait for the pictures James will be taking at the festival itself.
Thanks for your patience with my lack of posts and supposed dissapearance, I'm still around and hopefully I'll have fewer hassles with my computer from now on.
Bless you all, Geoff.