Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Post by RACESV » Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:19 am

Ok so I am building a dome for the first time. It is 20 ft diameter, 3V and I have an issue on strut thickness. I have a playa buddie who built his dome 24 ft diameter 3V with 1 inch EMT conduit and I bought 3/4 inch EMT conduit and started cutting. He is confident that my dome will not be strong enough but everything I have read online says that 3/4 is the way to go. Questions: Did you build a dome out of 3/4 inch and how big was it and did you have any problems? I don't want to be wrong or hear I told you so as it collapses into the playa but I also would like to save money and weight. It will be covered if that makes a difference. THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE!!!!

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Post by Bob » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:05 pm

Your friend is high, and both of you should probably pay more attention to staking your domes to the ground than the diff between 3/4 and 1 inch struts.
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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:43 pm

3/4 should be ok, but you'll have to be careful climbing on it or you'll tweak the struts. We did a 21' v4 with 3/4 emt and it's super strong, but if a big guy stands in the center of a strut, it'll tweak it. We hang hammocks and other stuff anf it's VERY strong as a whole entity.

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Post by robotland » Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:05 am

Yay, ANOTHER whole new thread started about this topic!

MikeVDS is correct about the struts...even 1" EMT will bend if you stand in the middle of a long enough piece. Some signage reminding visitors WILL NOT stop some bozo from climbing and damaging, but might help to a degree equal or greater than the effort spent making the signs...Another strategy (which I have successfully employed) is to give the monkeys an outlet- Every dome should have at least a little crow's nest or platform, and if you make a simple climbing path from EMT leftovers and scraps of 2x4" that bolts onto the outside of a few vertices you can then direct traffic up to a nice view while reducing peril to the rest of the structure. (I can help with the details of such if necessary.)

...or visit TSC for a solar powered electric fence charger....

The Engineering Miracle Of The Strong Vertex never ceases to amaze me. I've built numerous decks onto domes based on only the five points of the topmost pentagon and the "polar" apex point that have held as many people as would physically fit onto the platform. When you tighten the bolts on that last strut and the shape snaps into alignment you should have a Lovely Beverage standing by to enjoy with. It's real nice.
Howdy From Kalamazoo

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