Geo Dome Assistance 2.0

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Geo Dome Assistance 2.0

Post by shakashuri » Wed May 02, 2012 11:14 pm


My camp is trying to build a dome for the first time. We are using electrical conduit but we don't have access to all the tools we need (drill press, hydraulic press, etc.)

Is there anyone in the Los Angeles area who would be willing to help us out?

We would be happy to help you with whatever we can.

Many thanks

-Camp Shakashuri

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Re: Geo Dome Assistance 2.0

Post by XtremevieW » Tue May 08, 2012 3:45 pm

I may be doing the same soon. I do not have the same tools but i was planning on renting from a tool shop. home depot, lowes, some ace hardwares, and many other local tool rentals if you google your area should be a good source. :)

im going ahead and build shade structures first as i will need a large one check it out


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some seeing eye
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Re: Geo Dome Assistance 2.0

Post by some seeing eye » Wed May 09, 2012 6:32 am

Your regional is a good place to start And some of these places will have metal tools
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Re: Geo Dome Assistance 2.0 - Los Angeles

Post by Pop_Tart » Mon May 21, 2012 6:38 pm


We here at BaalMart are toiling tirelessly through the days and nights leading up to the 2012 Burn to make a fun camp. One of the things on our list of stuff to do is to fabricate two, 12' Radius, 3V, 5/8 domes. I have already built my own 16 foot diameter 2V dome before and am very comfortable with the fabrication process. However, I no longer have access to a hydraulic press to squish the ends of the dome struts.

Do any of you lovely LA Burners have access to a hydraulic press that you would be willing to share with two or three BaalMart partners for a few days or nights?
We will work around your schedule and bring the beer!

Shakashuri - We have access to many of the tools at a warehouse in Gardena if you want to share. Just need a press (although if it comes down to it, we may just invest in an Arbor Press).


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Re: Geo Dome Assistance 2.0

Post by DoctorIknow » Mon May 21, 2012 8:55 pm

Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. Many suggestions on how to do mechanical things here are posted by tool freaks, of which I am one, so I know about this affliction...

Unless you want to invest big time in finding a press to use, which very well might break if it isn't at least 10 tons (an extensive search here will come up with many sad cases of presses breaking) just have a small sledge hammer (3 or 5 pounds) party. If you can't round up an anvil, find a nice piece of steel, or even a concrete surface you don't mind messing up a little. Use goggles if doing it on concrete. There is talk of how hand pounded ends are weaker, but why have none of mine ever failed in 5 installations on the playa?

I've done two 4 freq. domes (that's 250 struts times 2 ends = 500 poundings) by myself and it is not impossible, and even fun as one has to make sure to put the seam (yes, there is a seam in conduit... it is buffed down and hard to find) at 45 degrees to the blow delivered, as you don't want the seam opening at the top, where it will split and make drilling a nightmare, or at 90 degrees to the blow, where it will open up a nice razor sharp edge.

And a drill press is very, VERY nice, but what your really need is a center punch to make sure your handheld drill (don't use a small one) doesn't skip on the surface of your newly pounded end. PLUS, using a center punch will assure you that the distances between the holes is perfect. (fashion up a jig, putting the drilled out end on lets say, an inverted plumb bob, and then measure from the center of that). The handheld drill route is the most challenging part of the process if you decide to go cheap. However, a drill press isn't too costly: ... 38119.html

Using either a hand held drill or a drill press, use cutting oil in one of those oil squirter cans, and if you can't find cutting oil, use 2 cycle oil... used in 2 stroke lawnmowers, chainsaws etc. Using cutting oil will allow your drill to last longer, but best to get three bits just in case. If using a hand drill, be sure you can get your body weight above the drill, don't depend on arm strength, plus, you need to keep the bit straight, easier to do when standing over the drill.

If you need to buy anything, I would suggest a vise. A must have for drilling if you don't have a drill press, which needs its own specialized vise as vise grips don't work so well.
A drill press vise: ... 30999.html
Also a vise is nice for keeping the gentle bends on the ends consistent. NEVER use a vise to try to flatten the ends, even the biggest will fail. Here's an adequate one from Harbor Freight for $40 ... 67035.html

BTW, if you get to the playa and find your "bends" are off a little, don't worry, they will be just as they are supposed to when you tighten down the bolts.

For cutting the pieces, forget a pipe cutter, those tools you spin around the tubing. Takes a long time. Have a hacksaw party, or get a fiber blade for a circular saw or cut off saw. Measurements don't need to be 1mm tolerance, as it is the distance between HOLES that is critical.
Center Punch.jpg
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