Dome Update – Finally working on something

I finally got my hands dirty for real today. Made a start on fitting the inner dome to the ring.

The R&J Domes are great and for the outer dome not much work is needed as all the hard work of marking/cutting has already been done by laser. However, as some of you may know the inner dome and ring need some work. I think everyone I’ve spoken to has had to tweak, cajole and/or modify the inner dome to fit the outer dome snuggly, and for some, myself included, trying to get the inner dome to fit over the dome ring can be an issue too. All this is due to the the variable nature of the manufacturing process of spinning the domes – or so I’m told. Plus the thickness of the wall on the ring varied.

Dome Ring Variation in Wall Thickness

I got my Dremel out and tackled fitting the ring to the dome. I’d read a lot on the builders forum as well as various builders blogs, but nobody seems to agree on the best way forward. Some suggested in no particular order –

  • Cut the ring lip down in height and sand to a point until the dome fits.
  • Simply sand the inside of the dome AND the ring lip.
  • Take it to a machine show to get them to do it.
  • Cut slots in the ring and tweak/bend it to make it smaller so the dome fits over.
  • Heat dome up in hot water, cool down ring in ice – resulting in a change in size and easier fitting.

Someone also recommend that I do not cut the ring lip down in size as it may cause problems further down the road.

Well I chose option 2 for now, as it seemed the easiest and least destructive – and I was able to at least get the dome to fit over the ring proper. It doesn’t go down all the way yet, but it’s a good start and I’m relieved that it looks like this method may work.

Dome fits over ring after some initial sanding

I just took my Dremel and slowly went around both the ring and the inside of the inner dome. I focused more on the ring as it’s thicker and had some spots where it was obvious where I could remove more material.

Sanding the Dome Ring down

More photos in the gallery.

That’s it for now. I’ll probably finish this up tomorrow with a bit of luck and can start fitting the outer dome.

Posted by Chris on December 31st, 2006 in Dome | 2 Comments

2 Responses

  1. Calvin Thomas remarks on

    How tall is that area on the ring where the dome slides on?

  2. Chris remarks on

    It’s probably just under an inch. I’ve managed to take enough off, so it fits now.

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