Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

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didjeridude
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Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by didjeridude » Wed May 02, 2018 12:28 am

Hi All,

There is an old thread on this from about 10yrs ago, so I'm looking for updated information specifically on a top down build for a large dome. Our camp has a 6v / 50 ft geodesic dome which I believe is 1" EMT struts (direct connection at verticies, no hubs). Online calculators tell me this should weigh in around 750 kgs or so. We want to do a top down build for the key advantage that many people can work simultaneously at ground level. I've built a dome before and I know about all the general tips such as having the struts organized etc etc. I'm specifically interested in how to LIFT the dome in a cost effective manner without resorting to having lots of people act as manual lifting jacks. The load needs to be supported by a machine for safety and so we can make best use of manpower.

My questions are as follows:
1. Scissor lift option: has anyone done this and if so, what mechanism/strategy did you use to spread the load across multiple vertices? I am considering to attach 11 straps at each vertex/hub on the 2nd layer down (ie: next layer down from center top pentagon) directly to the metal railing of the lift platform. Does this sound like a good idea or do I need something higher up (eg: some sort of post on top of the lift platform) to attach the straps at a higher central point? Any other tips? I already know that we need to rope it up from outside and keep tension to prevent it folding inwards as it grows larger downwards. Do we really need a lift capacity rated above approx dome weight or are the specs quoted generally less than true lift capacity? What is rough cost of renting one for 8-9 days out of Reno these days? Can these be rented without a special licence? Does anyone want to share the cost of renting one of these??

2. Floor crane option: this would use 2-4 floor cranes (aka 2 ton engine hoist). I would probably add a spreader bar to each crane and attached 2-3 straps (to load at 2-3 hubs) and then only lift one side of the dome at a time while the other rests on the ground. This option is certainly cheaper because those hoists are only about $250 each. Problem: max boom height is not high enough to lift from 2nd layer up and attach a new layer underneath. So is there likely to be an issue lifting from ground level layer, since the bottom layer bolts are yet to be fully tightened, and they need to be loosened anyway to attach the new layer?

Any other options that are tried and tested for top down builds? We hopefully will have enough manpower on standby to even lift manually if we have to.

Thanks :-)
We are made of star stuff

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some seeing eye
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by some seeing eye » Wed May 02, 2018 5:38 am

I would suggest you thoroughly research your actual specs: weight, 1/2-5/8-3/4 etc,, material. Doubt 1' EMT. You will get a better answer.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Token
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by Token » Wed May 02, 2018 2:30 pm

Ping someone at Deathguild and see how they arrange for a DPW crane to come in for build and tear-down.

I know that they have a DPW night for thunder dome fights so maybe it’s informal.

When building big art in years past, we were able to schedule heavy equipment via our art support team.

Ask the BORG.

didjeridude
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Camp Name: Tribal Spirit
Location: Qatar

Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by didjeridude » Thu May 03, 2018 6:23 am

Token wrote:Ping someone at Deathguild and see how they arrange for a DPW crane to come in for build and tear-down.

I know that they have a DPW night for thunder dome fights so maybe it’s informal.

When building big art in years past, we were able to schedule heavy equipment via our art support team.

Ask the BORG.
Actually I already did this!! I found an older photo of them using a scissor lift for their build. Just waiting for a response from one of the admins on their fb page. Does anyone know the specs of Thunderdome for example? If I know this, then it gives me a good estimate of what capacity scissor lift is required. Some models only have a rated platform capacity of like 500-700 lbs, which probably ain't gonna cut it, whereas others are rated up to 2500lbs.

As mentioned the dome is 6v, which means by default it is 1/2. Only a 5v or 3v can be either 3/8 or 5/8. I have only seen a photo of the struts and there is zero info in the schematics I've been given so I don't know exactly what material they are, but in the photo is "looks" like 1" or possibly 1 1/4" EMT. Could be galvanised steel though.
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Dr Helix
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by Dr Helix » Thu May 03, 2018 7:31 am

How about three of these? You can rent them.

https://www.grainger.com/product/4YZ85? ... 03143012:s
"Love, Rockets and write when you get work"

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some seeing eye
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by some seeing eye » Thu May 03, 2018 8:27 am

We had help from dpw for our 65. Including the cover, but I do not believe dpw does heavy equipment for camps today. The Burningman Spark is the revived forum for camps to share resources including heavy equipment.

You need to know your tubing weight with certainty to proceed.

If you search for Mandala Domes, some friends, they have a video of dome erection.

In my experience, the cover is the bugaboo - fabricating, installing, deinstalling and cost.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

didjeridude
Posts: 19
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Camp Name: Tribal Spirit
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by didjeridude » Fri May 04, 2018 2:09 am

some seeing eye wrote:We had help from dpw for our 65. Including the cover, but I do not believe dpw does heavy equipment for camps today. The Burningman Spark is the revived forum for camps to share resources including heavy equipment.

You need to know your tubing weight with certainty to proceed.

If you search for Mandala Domes, some friends, they have a video of dome erection.

In my experience, the cover is the bugaboo - fabricating, installing, deinstalling and cost.
I found out the weight which is 2200 lbs. So we really need a 2500lbs scissor lift.

If anyone knows a good place to rent one of these let me know thanks :-)
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Token
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Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by Token » Fri May 04, 2018 9:35 am

Look here for past vendors that delivered heavy equipment rentals to the Playa:

https://burningman.org/event/camps/deli ... providers/

Note: This is the list for 2017 and may change for 2018.

Then post here once you get quotes to see if you can share cost with other camps that may need heavy lifting:

https://spark.burningman.org/

didjeridude
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:12 am
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: Tribal Spirit
Location: Qatar

Re: Tips on lifting a 50ft dome for top down build

Post by didjeridude » Sun May 06, 2018 4:15 am

Token wrote:Look here for past vendors that delivered heavy equipment rentals to the Playa:

https://burningman.org/event/camps/deli ... providers/

Note: This is the list for 2017 and may change for 2018.

Then post here once you get quotes to see if you can share cost with other camps that may need heavy lifting:

https://spark.burningman.org/
Nice one!!

Thanks Token :)
We are made of star stuff

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