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Avoiding marks on a dovetail plate?

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#1 Ken Ross

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 03:57 PM

Since I've never owned a scope that mounts via a dovetail, is there a way to avoid what seems like inevitable marks (black paint rubbed off) on the plate every time you mount the OTA and tighten the mounting screw?

It seems odd to me that the OTA is held on to the dovetail mount by one very small point of contact (the point of the screw on the mount). You'd think (at least I would :)) that the force would be distributed over a wider area.

#2 Peter in Reno

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:03 PM

You didn't say what brand mount you have. You can upgrade the saddle from ADM accessories and will not scratch dovetails.

www.admaccessories.com

Peter

#3 Ken Ross

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:25 PM

Thanks Peter, it's the standard dovetail mount on the Ioptron Mini Tower.

#4 Lane

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

Ken, its a dovetail, its going to get scratched up, get over it. This is like buying a car and asking how to keep the tires from getting scratch up :)

#5 mclewis1

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:35 PM

I'll second Lane's comment but if it's really going to bug you consider replacing the Vixen style dovetail with one that has steel plates on the side. I have a dovetail bar that came from APM (the company that used to sell TMB branded scopes) like that. You might want to see if Morris can find one for you ... http://www.apmamerica.com/

#6 Ken Ross

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:43 PM

Thanks guys. But hey, how DO you keep the tires from getting scratched up? :)

#7 EdTheEdge

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:52 PM

I consider marks on my dovetail bars badges of honor. It shows that I am using my scopes!

#8 BlueGrass

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:33 AM

Only dovetail marks that I regret are the ones on my EON80's Vixen 'foot', otherwise the EON is still a Black Beauty... :jump:
One thing I do to minimize the dovetail damage for mounting scopes to my CG5, I buy Orion's guidescope mounting rails which is their Vixen rail pre-drilled for various ring placements. I then cut and repaint it as necessary to either mount scopes to the CG5 or to mount other scopes piggyback, just inverting the dovetail. I can drill and countersink these rails as necessary but typically find that I only have to shorten them.
Their only $16 or so and in my book, expendable. Especially considering the cost of other rails from ADM, Losmandy, AT, etc....
With D series rails, they tend to stay clean with no marks since there are no screws digging into the rail sides.

#9 John J

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 12:54 AM

Dove tail mounts have been like this for many many years and have proved to be reliable. You ain't gonna see it in the dark any way.

#10 7331Peg

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:18 AM

Thanks guys. But hey, how DO you keep the tires from getting scratched up? :)


Turtlewax on the treads.


John :grin:

#11 Charlie Hein

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 06:42 AM

With D series rails, they tend to stay clean with no marks since there are no screws digging into the rail sides.


Even so, eventually you'll get wear just from the metal to metal contact as the two parts slide against each other. This happens even with "tilt-in" saddles - you must slide the dovetail back and forth in the saddle in order to balance your load and eventually this is going to cause wear on those parts. I can see it on the saddle as well as the dovetails on my G-11 - more so on the saddle actually. If they don't have it then they're either permanently mounted in an observatory or they aren't getting a lot of useage.

#12 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:52 AM

It happens. It's going to happen if used. You can avoid any dovetail marks or other signs of use by always keeping your equipment in its box and never using it. If you worry about such things as dovetail marks, you will worry even more about things like dust on the lens/mirror. Maybe this hobby is not really for you.

#13 JayKSC

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:41 AM

I traditionally was a bit OCD about my new equipment, so put some black electrical tape alongside my dovetails to avoid them from getting scratched up. This worked for about the first six months. Replacing the tape every month or so would probably do the trick, but then, it's a dovetail. Heck, my 150mm achromat's optical tube has scuffs and scratches (such a long tube, hard to avoid those!).

- Jay
South Florida

#14 Takman

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:44 AM

Marks and scratches are inevitable, especially if you handling heavier loads. However, I sprayed black primer on some of the badly scratched dovetails and they looked as good as new.

#15 dscarpa

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:21 PM

This bugged me when I got my first scope. I think the marks on the rail makes it less slippery and gives the screw a better grip. David

#16 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 10:22 PM

This bugged me when I got my first scope. I think the marks on the rail makes it less slippery and gives the screw a better grip. David

I use the heavy screw marks on my solid alum dovetail plates to advantage, allowing consistent placement.

#17 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:17 AM

Orion now lists two female dovetails, for use with the larger Losmandy male bars, to adapt them to an Orion mount. See # 7950 and # 7951. The price is $30. I wonder if they are suitable for, or might be adapted to, more general applications. The price is relatively attractive. www.OrionTelescopes.com






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