Sunday, March 21, 2010

dome home, et

The Dome assembly went amazingly well. We assembled the frame in two hours. With practice two people could do it in an hour. Here are some photos from the day:

struts A & B color coded ready to go..

We laid out the struts, 5 shorties in a star pattern, 5 longs around them to form a pentagon, bolted them together with the blue on top. I color coded the struts to make it easier, but then printed out the assembly diagram in black and white. Good thing I knew how to assemble it without the diagram!

The dome can be assembled with these two crescent wrenches. We used a ratchet wrench and a drill with a socket on it to tighten the struts down at the end, but the whole thing could be done with just two wrenches.

Olivia and Mo were a good team.

We built the six pentagons and then put 5 of them together to form the sides and then put the sixth one on top. More photos coming soon.

David drilling

Racoon Lady loves it

Mo decided it was a fabulous home for a New Orleans hobo dog turned Manhattan socialite.
She knows a thing or two about disaster relief.

The frame is very strong. We climbed all over it to test it
Much better test than a wind tunnel or a rain simulator.

I had to do a few laps around the circumference. Totally big enough to fit 5 people for sleeping comfortably. 10 kids easily. 30 kids in a pinch.
Alysse came and took photos... hopefully they are more in focus than mine! She did time lapse so we can make an animation.

Thems alot of bricks. The yard out back

Will from Buckminster Fuller Institute came out to help assemble the dome!

garbage heart

Ryan showed up after we finished assembling the dome and were out back enjoying the sunshine. He was a little surprised that it was built already.

Elizabeth, whose truck, Clyde, helped us move the struts, came and joined us to watch the sunset over the East River.

In other news, David fixed one of the heat welders we had gotten donated to us a few weeks ago, but then we realized that they are designed for sealing packaging and not heavy duty vinyl. We are looking for someone who might have access to this machine or one like it:

Note halfway down the page it says
"The Ladies also can be trained to operate this machine."
That is such a relief. The Ladies will be happy to hear about it.

So far we are no where near our goal as far as fundraising and donations are concerned. I know there are a bunch of people reading this blog. We need your financial support to make this project go. We have everything lined up, we just need conduit pipe and a vinyl welder.

We met a new friend named Brett who works in the garment district as a factory manager. He is going to let us use his cutting table and machine to cut the patterns out of the vinyl.
Brett over in Greenpoint by the river

But first I have to make one prototype to make sure the pattern is good. For that I need a vinyl welder!

I was thinking of ways to attach the dome to the frame and I think I will extend the bottom panels down to loop back over the bottom struts and attach to the inside of the frame with velcro. I want to design a simple clamp that can go on top of that to hold it steady on the bottom strut without puncturing the vinyl. Grommets, I think, will just rip out. I'm scrapping the grommet idea.

In other news...............................

An amazingly small amount of people have donated considering how much traffic this blog is getting...... THANKS To Those of You Who Have Donated on PayPal, all 7 of you! If this project is going to succeed, we need at least 2 grand ASAP to buy the conduit pipe. Either that or we need to find someone willing to donate the conduit pipe. When donating, consider that paypal takes about a dollar of whatever you contribute. If you want to give me cash instead, feel free to email me at to make an arrangement. We can go to the Electrical Supply store together and buy 350 ten foot sticks of 1" conduit pipe.

It's a bit maddening to read all of these articles about how the millions of dollars that have been donated to the big USA NGO's has a very small trickle down effect to the actual people who need help on the ground. We send the military to sit around with guns instead of shovels.
If I could tap into just a tiny portion of that money, I could finish this project and initiate more like it. Too much bureaucracy is like a money filter, it gets stuck on all the paper work

  • PayPal balance: $206.95 USD
We can do better than this.

Look for us on Kickstarter early this week.
Thanks for reading!!!!
Spread the word!

Happy Spring Equinox Y'all!

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