Cassiopeia Observatory logo

SkyShed POD Zenith Table (PZT):

Posted: 18 March 2019     Updated: 12 July 2020


18 March 2019

After about two years of being exposed to the Arizona Sun and weather the outdoor varnish I had applied (four coats!) and the marine grade plywood I used had deteriorated to the point that something needed to done:


In early 2019 I contacted a local contractor who did a replacement table for me. He used the existing table as a template and then coated the weather protected 3/4" treated wood with Rustoleum crystal clear enamel and Valspar semi-transparent exterior stain and sealant. Total cost for materials and labor was $360. The end result was a nice looking PZT with some extra sealant to smooth over the transition to the ramps:


Hopefully this table will withstand our extreme summers here.

14 July 2019

Within a month after the new table was installed it began showing not only signs of weathering, but it had developed a sag:


I contacted the contractor who returned in early May and removed the table. He was unable to deliver a fixed table for several weeks due to a long series of unfortunate events (according to the excuses in his emails). While he always committed to returning the fixed table in a timely manner, it never happened. He then, unknown to me, decided to re-use my original weathered wood. In June he came to Oracle and collected the old wood.

This contractor, whose name I won't include here, has been a disappointment. While he tried to make a better table than I personally had made in 2016, he initially failed. He also failed to keep me updated on his progress and changing plans. At times he stopped responding to my inquiries and too many times he even failed to show up in Oracle on the days we had scheduled. And after agreeing to my June deadline for re-installing the table, he missed it without contacting me. I then did some further investigation into the contractor. While my initial research on the company name in February 2019 did not turn up any negative information, after all the delays I researched the owner's name and discovered that he had been a drug dealer and user, and he was convicted of a drug deal murder in 2011, serving 5 years in prison. While I am OK with helping reformed convicts who have paid their debt to society, I was hesitant to go to his shop to try to retrieve my materials.

He finally did contact me on 10 July and said the table was finished. The redone table was re-installed on 14 July:


The best thing I can say about the contractor's performance is that when he did communicate with me he would always state his commitment to deliver something that would work and he made several trips to Oracle. How long this "new" table will last is unknown. When the time comes for a replacement I will be looking at alternatives to wood using a different contractor.

9 August 2019

In less than a month after the returned table was installed, whatever coating the contractor applied this time had begun peeling off:


12 July 2020

Go to the New PZT page.

Go back to Page 1.

Cassiopeia Observatory Home Page

Back to Top

Copyright ©2016, 2019-20 Michael L. Weasner /