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Customer Reviews of our Geodesic Dome Kits

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Customer Reviews of our Geodesic Dome Kits

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Leigh Block - 2v Geodesic Dome for Homeless Person

 

 

Hello, I just want to tell you I did not forget to keep a record of what I did and take pictures. It took me a long time to get everything cut because of work and having to do it at somebody's house and borrow tools etc. Then once I did get all the pieces cut it kept raining or I had something I had to do. Finally I began to do it in the midst of everything and tied it with rope but am replacing the rope with zip ties. It is really roomy and I have covered it with layers of tarps. I'll send you the complete story but in the meantime here is a picture of the frame finally put together, completed just last week. It is 16' in diameter, 3V.

Leigh Block.

 

Leigh's Story:

Sometime in July. I have begun making a 16ft diameter 3v geodesic dome. I bought my materials at Home Depot in Ft. Oglethorpe. Initially, I was going to use white pvc pipe but then someone showed me the pvc pipe in the electrical department which is for above ground use so I decided to use that. It is schedule 40. Anything else is too thin walled. I began cutting the pipe last night and spent all night long doing it. I got 41 1/2" x 10' pipes for the struts. That was exactly enough. I got one 2" X 10' pipe for the inside hub connectors and then they didn't have the 4" pipe in the electrical pvc so I had to get it out of the plumbing department and I got 2 of those 10' long also. All those pipes came to exactly $100. I borrowed tools from a friend but have to go get the right drill bits. That was 2 nights ago. Today I went and got the drill bits and am ready to finish the job either tonight or tomorrow night.  Aug 1st. I worked on cutting the pipe last night. I still have another night of it and I also have to drill the holes. This is a little more time consuming than I thought it would be, but always when I go to my friend, Franks, the time passes by very fast and the night is over before I realize it. I am making the dome, or rather, making the parts for it, at his place. I don't have any experience with most of the tools I am using. Frank has been helping me a little bit with that. If I had my ruthers, I would have used a band saw to cut the 4" pipe, instead of the reciprocating saw that I used. I still have to cut the 2" pipe and drill all the holes. I cut the one inch pieces with a ratcheting pipe cutter. There are 50 blue 3' 3 5/8", 40 yellow 3' 2 3/4", and 30 red 2' 9 1/2". So that is 120 struts to make a 16' 3/8v dome, which will be 6' 7 1/2" high at the center. There will be 40 6 way hubs, 6 5 way, and 46 center rings. If I use zip ties I will need 240 of them but I think I'm going to use clothes hanger wire instead. This is really a learning experience. Next time I'll know more of what to do and what I will need. The most difficult thing for me is figuring out exactly where to put the holes as I don't have equipment to do that for me, barely even any rulers to work with. John Hurt, the inventor of the zip tie dome, had sent me a template but I lost it. Aug 2 Last night I marked off the 46 1.3" 2" pipe and will cut it next time. I had to sleep as I have to work today. It's just a matter of cutting those last pieces and drilling the holes and then I can put it together. John re-sent the templates, I'm going to try to get to a print shop tomorrow. Aug. 5. I managed to get the templates for the hole placement on the hubs and got those drilled last night. I still have to do the inside hubs and have to find another drill to borrow, Mark, another friend, needed his back for a job. I have some old pawnshop drills that I haven't used for a long time. I guess I will see if they work. They're not very high powered though. I have to work today and possibly tomorrow, so next available opportunity I'll take up where I left off, hopefully. Aug. 5 To sum up what I've done so far, I've cut the struts, 3 different sizes, 50 blue 40 red, and 30 yellow. 120 in all. I've cut the 4 inch hubs and drilled the holes, I've cut the center rings but haven't yet drilled the holes. I haven't yet drilled holes in the struts. So, I have a lot of hole drilling to do, 390 to be exact. Aug 10. My pawn shop drills no longer work. I don't know what I'm going to do now. Sept.  Yesterday was labor day. I got a cordless drill on sale last week and got back to work on my hole drilling yesterday afternoon, finally. Maybe I'll get it completed this week. As soon as I get it erected I'll take pictures to show to everyone. Oct. 9 I'm still working on the hole drilling of the struts, between working and a million other things I always have to do. I've got half of them done. I've got to get my drill recharged then will be able to finish the job. I won't be able to erect it until next week, because I have to work. Nov. This is the end of November. I finally erected my dome on Nov. 13. It has been raining a lot, and in between work and rain

I didn't ever have a chance to put it together but finally did it anyway. I tied it all together with rope to make sure it all fit together right, for one thing, before I put a more permanent fastener on it. I got a 19' X 29" tarp from Harbor Freight with a 20% discount coupon. So it came to $31. Then I threw my old tarps over that for extra protection and so my cats can play on it and put small tarps in the entrance area. It looks like a huge dome tent at this point. I'm going to do some enhancements later. The end.

Leigh

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Emails between Leigh Block and John Hurt

Hello, I am homeless and need a decent shelter until I can get up enough money to rent a place, which can take some time. I am writing to ask your permission to use your zip tie hub invention to make myself a dome. If yes, could you please send me the instructions. Thank you very much.

Leigh Block

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Leigh,

Yes, you are welcome to use our hub design at no charge.

The outer rings are ------- (note: this is proprietary information that I only give out to people that contact me by email and is not on our website JH).  ------ The struts are 1" PVC pipe.  Use 35 blue struts 5' long, 30 red struts 4' 5" long, and use our manual for building the 16' dome.  You will need a tarp to cover the dome.

I have attached a 5-way diagram for the red hubs, and a 6-way diagram for the blue hubs.  Print the diagrams, and cut a small piece of 4" pipe, or use a 4" coupler.  Lay the coupler or pipe fragment on the diagram, and the diagram will show you where to make the marks for where to put the holes in your hubs.

Instead of zip ties, use wire, it will work just as good.

It is late, I hope these instructions are good for you.  If you have questions, please email me back, I am very tired right now, and will answer your questions tomorrow.

Blessings to you and your family.

John Hurt

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Thank you so much for allowing me to use them. I can't think of any questions right now. I'll just have to see if I am able to do it. I'll let you know. Thank you! :)

Leigh Block

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Hello, I'm wondering, how can you get six or five one inch holes in a four inch pipe?

Leigh Block

---------------------------------------

It is 4" on the inside diameter, 4.5" on the outside diameter.

The outside of the pipe - the length is pi times the diameter.

So, the length around the outside of the pipe is 3.14 times 4.5, which equals 14.13 inches.

When you drill 6 holes, each 1.315" wide, it uses up 7.89" of space on the outside of the 4" Pipe.

So, you have about 1" between each of the 6 holes on the outside of the pipe.

Look at our webpage, www.ziptiedomes.com - in the upper left, there is an animated graphic that shows the outer ring with 6 struts passing through it.

Take care,

John

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Thank you.

Leigh Block

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Hello John, I have thought of a question. I hope you don't mind. I am thinking of using 1/2" pvc pipe instead of 1" as I am on foot and may have suddenly move my camp. It would be less weight.  My question is, if I use the 1/2 do I need to change the size of the hubs? If so, can you please tell me what size to make them? Thank you for your help. Leigh

---------------------------------------

Leigh,

I have built a 1/2" PVC dome before, and it will work for a tent, but you can't hang a lot of weight from it.  It will hold around 50-60 lbs - still good for a tent.

Just use the same 4" and 2" hubs, drill the holes in the outer ring with a 7/8" spade bit.  The outside diameter of the 1/2" PVC pipe is .840", so that is why you need a 7/8" bit.

Your center rings can be thinner - like 7/8" instead of 1.3" long. They need to be as thick as the 1/2" PVC pipe that will be up against them.

The 4" outer rings can be thinner too.  You can make them 2" long instead of 3" long, and they will work just fine.  Just as long as you can keep the holes away from the edge.

You might go to a plumber, or "Habitat for Humanity".  A lot of times they will have scrap PVC laying around that they don't need, and you can get this for free.  There is a guy in the UK that uses the thin walled PVC pipe, not as strong, but it works.

Experiment and see what works at the cheapest way possible.  Be sure to take pictures and email them to me, along with a journal of how you did what you did.  I would like to share this information with other people that need shelter.

Thanks, Leigh.  If you have questions, I am here for you.

John Hurt

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Thanks a lot for the very useful information. I'm not such a mathematician. I'll do as you said keep a journal and take pictures. That makes it a more interesting project. :)

Leigh

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Hello, I have begun working on my dome and have nearly got all the pipe cut but have lost those templates you sent for where to put the holes in the hubs. Could you please send me those 5 and 6 way templates again?

Leigh

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Leigh,

See attached.   The 6 way is the blue hub, the 5 way is the red hub.

Be sure to take pictures and send me a few.

John

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Thank you. Yes I will be sure to take pictures. This is a big learning experience for me. I'll do better on my next one, but I've been writing down what I'm doing and will send it along with pictures.

Leigh

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Hello, I just want to tell you I did not forget to keep a record of what I did and take pictures. It took me a long time to get everything cut because of work and having to do it at somebody's house and borrow tools etc. Then once I did get all the pieces cut it kept raining or I had something I had to do. Finally I began to do it in the midst of everything and tied it with rope but am replacing the rope with zip ties. It is really roomy and I have covered it with layers of tarps. I'll send you the complete story but in the meantime here is a picture of the frame finally put together, completed just last week. It is 16' in diameter, 3V.

Leigh

---------------------------------------

Leigh,

Thank you for the picture of your dome.

I would really like to help anyone that needs shelter, free of charge, just by following directions.

If you could write up as much of a story as you can, it would inspire other people to do the same.

Of course, I would provide email support to anyone that needs it.

The standard zip ties you get at Wal-mart are rated at only 50 lbs, and are really not strong enough for holding the dome together in a high wind.  We use 120 lb nylon ties for the small domes, and 250 stainless steel ties for the large domes.

What you can do, to save money, is to use electrical fence wire instead of ties.  I use the aluminum wire, as it is easier to work with, and more limber than the steel wire.  You loop it through the hole in the strut and around the center ring twice, then pull hard and twist it together.  It is more work than a zip tie, but it was how I built my very first dome of this type.  It works great and is very strong.

I am also working with 6" hubs, 3" center rings, and 1.5" PVC pipe to make very strong domes.  These domes would be strong enough to hang a hammock inside the dome, but the PVC costs are higher.

But I think your dome looks great, it looks like you used 1/2" or 3/4" gray conduit or something like that.  If you were able to scrounge that for free, then that is a real blessing.  There are electrical contracting and plumbing companies that have scrap pipe that they throw away, which can be used to create a dome.

Thanks for keeping contact.  I hope we can continue to work together to show others what you have done.

Blessings to you and your family.

John Hurt

---------------------------------------

Yes, I will send you what I wrote. I bought my materials which came to right at $100. I also used 1/2" pipe as you thought. It was really too difficult for me to work with the thicker pipe right now and I wanted something less difficult to transport. Thanks for the tip on fastening it better. It's very nice of you to allow me to use your idea. What I was in was not as weather resistant and much more crowded.

Leigh

---------------------------------------

Sometime in July. I have begun making a 16ft diameter 3v geodesic dome. I bought my materials at Home Depot in Ft. Oglethorpe. Initially, I was going to use white pvc pipe but then someone showed me the pvc pipe in the electrical department which is for above ground use so I decided to use that. It is schedule 40. Anything else is too thin walled. I began cutting the pipe last night and spent all night long doing it. I got 41 1/2" x 10' pipes for the struts. That was exactly enough. I got one 2" X 10' pipe for the inside hub connectors and then they didn't have the 4" pipe in the electrical pvc so I had to get it out of the plumbing department and I got 2 of those 10' long also. All those pipes came to exactly $100. I borrowed tools from a friend but have to go get the right drill bits. That was 2 nights ago. Today I went and got the drill bits and am ready to finish the job either tonight or tomorrow night.  Aug 1st. I worked on cutting the pipe last night. I still have another night of it and I also have to drill the holes. This is a little more time consuming than I thought it would be, but always when I go to my friend, Franks, the time passes by very fast and the night is over before I realize it. I am making the dome, or rather, making the parts for it, at his place. I don't have any experience with most of the tools I am using. Frank has been helping me a little bit with that. If I had my ruthers, I would have used a band saw to cut the 4" pipe, instead of the reciprocating saw that I used. I still have to cut the 2" pipe and drill all the holes. I cut the one inch pieces with a ratcheting pipe cutter. There are 50 blue 3' 3 5/8", 40 yellow 3' 2 3/4", and 30 red 2' 9 1/2". So that is 120 struts to make a 16' 3/8v dome, which will be 6' 7 1/2" high at the center. There will be 40 6 way hubs, 6 5 way, and 46 center rings. If I use zip ties I will need 240 of them but I think I'm going to use clothes hanger wire instead. This is really a learning experience. Next time I'll know more of what to do and what I will need. The most difficult thing for me is figuring out exactly where to put the holes as I don't have equipment to do that for me, barely even any rulers to work with. John Hurt, the inventor of the zip tie dome, had sent me a template but I lost it. Aug 2 Last night I marked off the 46 1.3" 2" pipe and will cut it next time. I had to sleep as I have to work today. It's just a matter of cutting those last pieces and drilling the holes and then I can put it together. John re-sent the templates, I'm going to try to get to a print shop tomorrow. Aug. 5. I managed to get the templates for the hole placement on the hubs and got those drilled last night. I still have to do the inside hubs and have to find another drill to borrow, Mark, another friend, needed his back for a job. I have some old pawnshop drills that I haven't used for a long time. I guess I will see if they work. They're not very high powered though. I have to work today and possibly tomorrow, so next available opportunity I'll take up where I left off, hopefully. Aug. 5 To sum up what I've done so far, I've cut the struts, 3 different sizes, 50 blue 40 red, and 30 yellow. 120 in all. I've cut the 4 inch hubs and drilled the holes, I've cut the center rings but haven't yet drilled the holes. I haven't yet drilled holes in the struts. So, I have a lot of hole drilling to do, 390 to be exact. Aug 10. My pawn shop drills no longer work. I don't know what I'm going to do now. Sept.  Yesterday was labor day. I got a cordless drill on sale last week and got back to work on my hole drilling yesterday afternoon, finally. Maybe I'll get it completed this week. As soon as I get it erected I'll take pictures to show to everyone. Oct. 9 I'm still working on the hole drilling of the struts, between working and a million other things I always have to do. I've got half of them done. I've got to get my drill recharged then will be able to finish the job. I won't be able to erect it until next week, because I have to work. Nov. This is the end of November. I finally erected my dome on Nov. 13. It has been raining a lot, and in between work and rain

I didn't ever have a chance to put it together but finally did it anyway. I tied it all together with rope to make sure it all fit together right, for one thing, before I put a more permanent fastener on it. I got a 19' X 29" tarp from Harbor Freight with a 20% discount coupon. So it came to $31. Then I threw my old tarps over that for extra protection and so my cats can play on it and put small tarps in the entrance area. It looks like a huge dome tent at this point. I'm going to do some enhancements later. The end.

Leigh

---------------------------------------

Hey did you get my explanation of what I did? Sorry it wasn't more interesting. Let me know.

Leigh

---------------------------------------

Leigh,

That was great.  Sorry I did not respond sooner, we have been busy the last few days.

This will work, I will create a web page for your dome in the next few weeks.

If you have any other pictures, etc. be sure to send them to us.

Thanks again,

John Hurt

---------------------------------------

Okay that's fine. If I get mine interesting enough to tell something else about I'll do it? What is that shrink stuff that gentleman put on that 2v dome and what is a dual hub?

Leigh

---------------------------------------

Leigh,

Yes, any other comments you have, or pictures, are appreciated.

The Marine Shrink wrap is used to cover boats for the winter.  You can find this online, or at a boating store. 

The Dual Hub is explained here:

http://ziptiedomes.com/geodesic-dome-hub-kits/about-geodesic-dome-hubs.htm

Thanks,

John

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