Just To See The Stars

Material List:

– (5) 4’’ angle grinder metal-cutting wheels

– (2) 4’’ angle grinder sanding wheels (60-120 grit)

– (1) Lexan piece 48’’ x 27’’

– (3) tubes of exterior high-grade silicone

– (24) 1 1/4’’ hex screws

– (24) rivet washers

– (2) drill bits

– (1) hex set bits

– (1) 2’’ x 3’’x 8’ stud

Tool List:

– Tape Measure, Framing square, permanent marker, safety glasses

– Angle Grinder

– Cordless Drill

– Utility knife, chalk line, level

To begin this part of the project I had to first remove the styrofoam insulation in this section of the ceiling. It was glued to the aluminum roof. I cut the first set of side by side panels out, prepped and cleaned the steel work. The skylight measures 48”x27”. When the styrofoam was removed I put a 1/4” drill bit into the cordless drill and drilled the four corners out through the ceiling.  This was done so when I climb on the roof I already have my reference lines. From here I only need to take the level and cross each hole with a permanent marker.

I threw my power cords up on the roof, along with all the necessary materials. After marking my lines evenly, I put a cutting hard wheel on the angle grinder. Safety glasses on, gloves and long sleeve are very much recommended for this part. After about 3 or 4 wheel changes, the rectangle for the skylight was cut out.

I placed a 60 grit sanding pad on the angle grinder and cleaned off the surface tot the steel framework. I did this so that the silicone would have a better gripping bond to the Lexan. After the sharp edges were filed down and the skylight was prepped, I cut the tubes of silicone open, and put a solid coating on the entire perimeter of the skylight framework.

The Lexan was then carefully laid down onto the cut hole, and worked into place. I pushed the edges down to make the silicone spread properly. With a 3/16” bit on the cordless drill, I carefully predrilled the Lexan and through the steel framework, roughly 4” – 6” apart from each other. The rubberized, locking washers were threaded onto the 1  1/4”  hex screws and then screwed into the predrilled holes. Once the skylight has been installed with all the screws, I opened up the remaining silicone tubes. I siliconed the entire perimeter of the Lexan to the aluminum, and over each hex screw head. To be frank, this part of the project scared me senseless. It seemed mighty precarious cutting out a section of the roof, and attempting it myself. But with will, the proper tools and a prospective mindset, it is complete!

(Update August 9th 2014)

– I have had leaks coming through my skylight in heavy rains, and major storms along my journey so far. I have yet to fix it, but believe that the Lexan I chose for the skylight was too thin for the abrupt weather changes and conditions that I have put it through. I have temporarily sealed up the roof with a waterproof gap filler.

Hickory And Pine