Drilling Struts
 3na the Jellyfish

 The Home Dome

 Cutting Struts

 Drilling Struts


 Nosefish Dome Deck

 The Desert Nose

 Roller Disco 2002


 The Fishmobile

 Camp Nose Fish 2011

 Gray Water

 Fish Hats

 Nosefish Shower

 The Fishcycle

Once the struts are built you assemble the dome by using 3/8" carriage bolts. The struts should be painted to both color code the different lengths as well as protect them from rust.

This is a side view of the strut connections. I used 2.5" long carriage bolts, which left about 1" sticking out inside. But you need some of that extra length to simplify assembly. In my dome there is little chance of bumping your head on these, but if your dome is a different size they might end up at head height. In which case you might want to drill a 1/4" hole in a tennis ball and push it onto the inside to protect people's heads.

The finished dome, covered with a parachute. You can see my tent inside, and some chairs. My dome is 20' in diameter and about 8.5" tall.

This is a view inside the dome, looking at a large painted canvas which I have attached quite securely to the outside of the dome. The painting is of a chair, guitar, an easle and two windows. It was painted by Florentino Mendiola, an old friend of mine.

In front of the painting is a shelf supported by one custom-length strut. It attaches to two vertexes using a carriage bolt and a strip of steel with 3/8" holes for each. You can see my campstove and boombox on the shelf.

This is a closeup of the parachute canopy. You can see two black lines. These attach to the top/inside of the dome down the outside of the dome under the parachute. Then they slip through a reinforced hole at the edge of the parachute and back up to the top of the dome on the outside of the parachute. At the top they all go through a single 4" diameter steel ring and down inside the dome through a hole in the top of the parachute.

The end result is that the parachute can be raised up to "daytime mode" (as these photos show) simply by pulling on all the lines. In practice it takes effort to keep the lines from getting tangled. There are 15 lines, and they correspond to the 15 bottom vertexes of my dome.

Looking up at the center of the top of the dome you can see five struts meeting. I actually used a 8" carriage bolt for this very top junction. It sticks out about 7" above the top of the dome and keeps the steel ring from sliding down the side of the dome. Most of the lines and wide strips are just part of the parachute.

These rebar stakes are made by bending a 5' section of 1/2" rebar into a U shape. Rebar comes in 10' lengths, so I just had to cut them in half. I used a hacksaw for this -- it took about 100 strokes per cut. I made 15 U-stakes, one for each bottom vertex of my dome.

If that seems like overkill, consider that at Burning Man there can be gusts of up wind that exceed 60 miles/hour! When you consider that my dome might have the parachute covering it at the time, there is a lot of force from the wind on the dome. My dome is a 3/8 dome so it presents a lower profile to the wind, which also helps.


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