Today I will start the overview of Dome installation. I do this as a resource to some builders who may have questions or prefer to have online access rather than the printed materials we send with each kit.
Each Dome Kit is exactly that. It is a kit with a number of pieces that range from 10 - 244 (Big Valdosta Dome - pictured below). Each component is labeled - Outer Ring, Light ring and Strut.
Before you can install a dome, you need to frame a box in the ceiling. For the purposes of our discussion here I have a 7' box framed for a 7' dome with a 24" rise.
Step One - Lay out your components.
Separate the Outer Ring pieces from the rest and install 1 1/2" blocks about every 12 1/2".
Step Two - Mark the center of each side of the framed box.
Step Three - Install the Outer Ring.
Line up each end of the Outer Ring with the line you just made on the center of the beam. Put one nail in one end and check level. Now finish nailing (3 nails per side should work). Repeat for each piece of the Outer Ring.
Step Four - Cut your top plate material
Before you can hang the struts, you will need to cut a piece of ply or lumber to make a top plate. 1" ply or rim board works very well. Cut it to about 12" x 12" or better 16" x 16".
In the next post I will talk about hanging the struts of your dome.