Geo Dome Project
Author: Robert C. Newkirk, Jr.
The Start of The Project
We started with (10) 2"x 6"x 92" Pressure treated boards that we purchased from Lowes. Cost per board was $5.35 ea. We had them cut to fit into the car. They were happy to do this for me! I had each board cut at 49". The reason why I chose this dimension is that I will get 4 struts out of each half of the board. I also purchased (1) 3" x 5 feet Pvc Pipe for the hubs. The cost of the pipe was $9.49 I like Lowes better than Home Depot because the store is so much cleaner, the lighting is so much better, and the associates are so much nicer. They are always greeting people with a friendly smile and they always take the time to help you!
How we used the Calculation Tool
As we mentioned before we used the Geodesic Dome calculator at Geo-Dome.co.uk. The first step in using the calculation tool is to enter the radius of the Geodesic Dome. Since we are building a 13 Foot Geodesic Dome the radius, we are going to enter in the calculation tool is 6.5 and then click on the calculate button. Here is a screenshot of the number that I have entered into the calculation tool.
***** Here Are the Results *****
Angles On The Struts Explained
For Strut 'A' If you are using a chop saw 90 degrees is set at 0 degrees. You will want to rotate the angle to the left direction and set it on (90 degrees - 74 degrees =) 16 degrees.
Step 2. Cut each strut to the proper lengths. You need (30) 'A' Struts 1.25" x 42.625" and (35) 'B' Struts 1.25" x 48.25". After you cut each strut to it's proper length then cut the angles at the end of each strut.
Step 3. Cut the 3" x 5'-0" Foot Pvc Pipe into (26) 1.25" wide slices. These slices will be for the Hubs. It is a shame that we are only going to use a little more than 2 feet of pipe. If you can purchase this pipe in smaller lengths then I suggest you do so. This will lower the cost of the project by a few dollars.
Step 4. We will need a way to connect the hubs to the struts. I am going to use 8" Zip Ties. This project will need about 130 of them. These come in packs of 100 so I will need 2 packs with some left to spare.
Step 5. We need to drill a hole at each end of the struts for the Zip Ties. The hole has to be big enough for the Zip Tie to feed through. I measured 5/8" over from the bottom of the strut angle to drill my hole. The photo on the right shows what the hole looks like from the top view of the strut.
Step 6. Now it is time to start putting the Geodesic Dome together. Take one of your struts and one of your 3" PVC hubs. Get a Zip Tie ready and feed the Zip Tie through the strut and attach it to the 3" PVC hub and tight the zip. It should look like this!
Step 7. Make sure that you use the color Dome diagram as a guide to assemble your Geodesic Dome. Follow it carefully because at times it can get a little confusing.
I was to excites to get the dome builit. So I dug out a section in the snow and started assembling the Geodesic Dome. I used a step ladder to help support the struts while I put the dome together. It might be a good idea to have a person to help, but if you don't you can go at it alone like I did!