How to make the connectors for a geodesic dome

Written by stephanie ellen
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A geodesic dome is a structure that resembles a sphere. It's made from a series of small triangles: the smaller the triangle, the more the geodesic dome begins to resemble a perfect sphere. Geodesic domes can be used as climbing frames in playgrounds, or as workshops, portables shelters, or even chicken coops. The connector size you choose for your dome struts will depend upon the size of wood you choose for your dome. For a twelve-foot dome with 1"x2"x8' struts you'll need twenty-five connectors made from 6' flat perforated metal strips.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 10 6' flat perforated metal straps
  • 25 x coarse thread bolts 1/4" diameter x 3/4" length
  • 25 x 1/4" hex nuts with washers
  • Metal shears or reciprocating saw
  • Vice

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut the 6' flat perforated metal straps into eighty-seven pieces with the metal shears or reciprocating saw. Cut ten pieces of metal with ten holes each, fifty pieces with seven holes each, and twenty-seven strips with thirteen holes each. Do not cut on the holes themselves--cut in between the holes so that you have a complete number of holes on each strip.

  2. 2

    Bend the metal for the four-way connectors. Bend all of the ten hole pieces at the fourth hole from each end with a vice to a 25-degree angle. Bend twenty seven-hole pieces once with a 25-degree angle, at the second hole from each end.

  3. 3

    Assemble the four-way connectors. Take two seven-hole pieces and one ten-hole piece. Place the seven-hole pieces on top of each other, aligning the holes. Connect the first holes of the seven-hole pieces to the fifth hole of the ten-hole piece with a nut and bolt. Repeat nine more times to make ten connectors.

  4. 4

    Bend the metal for the five-way connectors. Bend thirty of the seven hole pieces at the first hole from one end with a vice to a 25 degree angle.

  5. 5

    Assemble the five-way connectors. Place five of the seven-hole pieces on top of each other, aligning the holes. Connect the first holes with a nut and bolt. Repeat five more times to make a total of six five-way connectors.

  6. 6

    Bend the metal for the six-way connectors. Bend the thirteen-hole pieces at the fourth hole from each end.

  7. 7

    Assemble the six-way connectors. Place three of the thirteen-hole pieces on top of each other, aligning the holes. Connect the centre holes with a nut and bolt. Repeat eight times for a total of nine six-way connectors.

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