Alright, I've finally got my photos loaded from the big geodesic domeraising we had last week at my mom's house. Remember, DT reader AJ rather amazingly spit out a couple of these domes last summer using extra Coroplast corrugated plastic from the design studio. He built one for his kid, and then very graciously offered one to me. Building the dome had to wait a year, though, because my sister and her family moved into my mom's house while they rebuilt their own. And there's no way we were gonna fit this thing in our east coast living rooms, uh-uh. [Thanks again, AJ.]
I don't know if only crazy people build domes, or if building a dome makes you crazy, but by the end of the day, I have to admit, crazy and domebuilding go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like Buckminster Fuller and hippies. If you weren't crazy before you started, you will be when you're done. Like bacon, it turns out, a dome is always better if you get someone to make it for you.
The dome raising took pretty much all day, partly because I had to punch out several hundred little holes and pre-fold the triangles myself. [I was wrong to think a 4-yo would be able or interested to do it, though the kid did step up when it came to zip-tying.]
Zip ties. I made a decision around lunch time not to use the giant bag of polyester rivets I ordered, but to use zip ties instead. The rivets were slightly too small [I may have ordered the wrong size last year], and they didn't come apart easily, so we'd have to trash the dome to bring it down. Didn't want to do that. The kid dubbed it the Porcupine Dome, though, and the day-glo colors worked nicely against the white plastic board.
With my mom providing invaluable help for final assembly, we barely got the dome ready in time for the kid to sleep in it. She was pleasantly thrilled, and even whipped up a little song about it at bedtime, which is after the jump, along with some more photos and commentary.
105 triangular panels, each with nine perforated holes to punch out? There went my morning. About 400 holes into it, I realized a fat knitting needle would work better than my fingers or keys:
Stack of pentagon modules. We made as many pentagon and hexagon modules in advance as we could, to expedite 3-D assembly. I guess it worked, but it was still crazy to put the whole thing together. [When I broke it down, I left all the modules intact for next time. (sic)]:
The kid putting her hexagon module together:
Domeraising with great grandmother's quilting iron and an increasing number of Ikea folding chairs from the storage room:
The completed Porcupine Dome in a moment of rare convexity:
Even after ratcheting them down as hard as I could, the zip ties still gave the dome a lot of play. So the whole thing was pretty floppy, though it wasn't in danger of falling down. When I did take it down, I left the hexagon and pentagon panels intact to speed reassembly for next time [as if.]
So the song, which the kid breaks out with during her bedtime story, after pulling her comforter and pillow into the dome. I guess exposure to my ringtone is having an effect:
We all live in a porcupine dome
In the middle of the basement
of Grammy's home.
And all day long,
we worked on the dome.
So I could sleep in it
before we go back home.
Zipping it here
And tying it there.
Balancing the dome so high in the air.
Not domed out yet? There are still more photos and construction info in the Daddy Types geodesic playdome photoset on flickr [flickr]