The Tardis Observatory

The Tardis Observatory

The Tardis Observatory is now up to 3 years old, and over that time the wooden 2×6 rails the 5″ wheels run on have degraded, warped, moved, and become rougher. It was time to lay down some donated L angle iron (steel actually).

The donated rails were 3″x3″x20′ and approx 3/8″ thick.

Step #1 was to: open up the front doors, roll the building off the telescope partway, and then jack up one side of the rolled-off building.

Step #2 was to push in the 20′ rail under the wheels and on the rails. Each rail had an end plate welded onto one end to act as a stop. They also had predrilled counter sunk holes to allow for screwing to the underlying wood.


This shows the new longer rail sticking out the end of the supports. At some point in time we will have to support that end as well. For now, the building rolls off to the north just another 12″ or so moreso than before, but not to the end of the excess 3′ of rails.

Step#4 was to secure the iron so it would not move around. This was done with blocks of 2″x4″ screwed up against the side of the rail.

All in all, it was under 30 minutes of actual work, maybe an hour of planning. The building now rolls off much easier and even stops since we added in some wooden stops on the track. Just a two person job that went extremely well.

*after the fact*
It turns out that instead of putting in the rails in this orientation: |_ _| we had to put them in this orientation:
_| |_
because of the underlying structure. Well, that has not worked out so well… now there is too much pathway for the wheels and the building does not roll off in a straight line like it should.
One possible solution is to put wood shims on the inside of the wheel and the rail, to keep it in line.