Archive for March, 2010

Rabbitt camp: East Jesus, Pop 2

Rabbitt and friend Jinni in "SoCal Gothic"

Sculptor / Cacophonist Michael Rabbitt strikes while the iron is hot and grabs a prime piece of surreal estate in the East Jesus hinterlands. Clean it up, it’s yours! The trash-ridden site pictured here was once a nice little camp with a garden, shade trees and two small trailers that got picked apart and left to rot when its former inhabitants went “on vacation” for a little too long. Hopefully soon it will once again be a pleasant, shaded camp…

dome, finished

The dome crew were unable to complete the bottom-up assembly of the dome due to its high apex and our collective lack of tall enough ladders. It was also ascertained that one of the vertices was the wrong length. For these reasons, and because I had trouble sleeping at night with an unfinished dome in the yard, I performed an experiment to see if one Charlie, solo, could dis- and re-assemble the whole thing from the top down without the use of ladders or scaffolding.

purdy, ain't it?

Dis-assembly was relatively easy. The errant vertex was found to be an A strut cut two inches too long, so correcting this was no problem: re-cut, pound flat, bend, drill. Re-assembly was possible and not terribly difficult, even upon the soft, uneven ground at this location. Using only a Hi-Lift farm jack, a 4′ length of 4×4, a small hammer, c-clamp, vise grips, open-end wrench and ratchet, I nailed this puppy together in about a day. A 3V dome is easy to understand in terms of vertex mapping – the A struts are always and only the radials of pentagons; the C struts are likewise the radials of (regular) hexagons, and the B struts “frame” both. Simply arranging the A, B and C vertices into (very carefully) sorted piles is enough; no need for color coding or banding for identification. I did, however, double-check the length of each piece before using.

Next: a 4V half-dome with a radius of perhaps 8′ for a sweat lodge. Back to the nifty calculator at…


Last weekend, Cheesy Bob and krewe descended upon East Jesus in vast numbers, bearing Girl Scout cookies, many gallons of homebrew, good cheer, firearms and dome-building tools and supplies. Everything needed to build three geodesic domes from scratch arrived on a single pickup truck pulling a small trailer: 10′ sticks of 1″ EMT, hardware, tools, generator, everything.

A portable geodesic dome factory

In between sips of American wheat beer and sangria, everyone took turns cutting, flanging, bending, drilling and fine-grinding the vertices. As soon as enough of them were available, assembly began.

Work began at 7am. Before 6pm, two domes stood complete and a third, by far the largest, was *almost* finished. But not for lack of effort; it turns out the apex is higher than any available ladders could reach. Just about that time, rain came down and continued all night and all day Sunday, which brought a cold, soggy end to things.

The East Jesus 5/8-3V Dome.

This is it. Mine. MINE! Hee hee. It’ll be here a while. I’m going to experiment with grapes and morning glories for natural shade, maybe a misting system to keep said vegetation happy…

On the other side of the sculpture garden, there were other Tower-related activities… note the new chair encrusted with doorstop springs hanging in the 2nd level and the new 3rd level deck and “railings.” Most of the tower crew arrived shortly before the rain, though, so less was accomplished there that we were hoping for, but still a good effort with plenty to show for it.

The Tower, as of this morning.

Thanks to everyone who came out and helped. This place is beginning to take on a mind of its own, and it’s because of so many people who truly get it.

words are easier…

…than photographs. at least when it comes to blogging via dialup speed…. harumph!

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