Icosahedral Pumpkin and Model

We recently got a letter from architect James Horecka, parts of which are excerpted below:

I figured I’d recreate a geodesic pumpkin that I had carved-up back around 1990, shortly after I visited the Buckminster Fuller Institute (back when it was still in Los Angeles).

…on Monday morning, I came up with the idea of making a Geodesic Jack out of EMT, as I had some laying around. Over three evenings of a few hours each, I knocked it out.

The basics:

  • 1v Icosahedron (obviously).
  • Struts: 8″ long pieces of ½″ EMT. Two 10′ sticks yielded the 30 struts required.
  • End tabs flattened in my 20-ton hydraulic press. They are long because I was originally going to just stack the joints, ‘Burner’ style.
  • At the last minute, I decided to use hubs instead of stacking (cleaner look, less hassle). The steel discs are 2¾″ diameter cover plates for repairing holes where operating hardware has been removed.
  • I drafted the Hub templates CADD; glued to the metal, center-punched, drilled, and deburred.
  • Fasteners are ¼-20 × ½″ stove bolts & nuts.
  • Two-tone paint: Honey inside (flesh), Amber outside (skin), plus Black.

Anyway: Creating this from scratch over just a few evenings was good fun.

I’ll probably go back and make another dozen hub plates, for the inside face of each node. With those and the bolts & nuts painted black, the assembly will look a little sharper still. Though now that Halloween is over, I’ve no idea what to do with this thing until next year! Cat House?

P.S.: I continue to enjoy reading your books. Cover-to-cover, one after another.

Sincerely,

James Horecka, AIA
Staff Architect, A&FE
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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