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Gaunt meets Istar ...... mount restoration log:

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#1 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

While waiting for my new Vixen GPD2 to arrive from Japan I decided I needed an astronomy restoration project to keep me busy. Here she is:

This is my 'Gaunt Equatorial Telescope Stand' made by Thomas Gaunt, Optician and Jeweller, Melbourne circa 1885. She is certainly no lightweight:
The triangular pier stands 41" tall and weighs in at 137lbs
The iron and brass equatorial mount is a relative lightweight at 82lbs
The single counterweight is a featherlight 35lb

I will be restoring the mount to its former glory over the next few months and once complete she will scan the heavens from Jindabyne, Australia.

Being a bit of a brute of a mount, she needed something equally hefty to carry, luckily I was able to buy a mint condition Istar Perseus AT150 F10 and although they had an age difference of 125 years, it was a match made in heaven.

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#2 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

So after the quick test fitting of the Perseus AT150F10 it was time to begin the restoration. Previous ownership of the mount has not been kind to her, several holes have been tragically drilled in key parts of the mount as well as some machining of the setting circles. In view of this the restoration will not attempt to retain all the accumulated patina hiding under multiple layers of black and brown paint.

Here are some of parts after dismantling earlier today:

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#3 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

Some more parts showing previous unsympathetic alterations:

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#4 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:31 AM

After a couple of hours and very sore fingertips:

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#5 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

and the last update for today:

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#6 Sean Cunneen

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

That looks great, stick some diving weights in the back of that OTA to get the nose up some and you'll have a real winner! I have never heard of Gaunt, do you have any history?

Sean

#7 John Jarosz

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

very cool. And that is one heck of observing spot. Wish I had a view like that. Where is it?

#8 Kunama

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Thanks Sean and John,
Thomas Gaunt established Melbourne's leading watchmaking, optical and jewellery business during the second half of the 19th century. Gaunt arrived in Melbourne in 1852, and by 1858 had established his own business in Little Bourke Street. Around 1869 he moved to new premises in Bourke Street on the corner of Royal Arcade, and Gaunt's shop quickly became a Melbourne institution.
He also developed a department that focussed on scientific instrumentation, making thermometers and barometers (from imported glass tubes), telescopes, surveying instruments and microscopes.
He died in 1890.
As for the view behind the scope John, it is Lake Jindabyne, with the Snowy Mountains of Australia in the background. We bought the property for this :

Cheers, Matt

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#9 tim53

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

Wow! Scope and observing site both!

#10 Kunama

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:27 AM

Bit more progress today with the RA Index plate and setting circle getting stripped of multiple layers of paint:

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#11 Kunama

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:17 PM

Lots of brass polishing lately

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#12 Kunama

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:18 PM

as well as lots of paint removal, priming & painting

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#13 Kunama

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:21 PM

and this (RA axis carrier)

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#14 Kunama

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

.....mount base plate ....

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#15 Kunama

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:27 PM

Declination axle...........

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#16 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:55 AM

Lot has happened since the previous post:

All the bits and pieces were painted with Black Gloss Epoxy enamel,
All the brassy bits were clear coated, managed to source some extra brass and some brass washers and then spent a couple of hours this morning putting it all back together again.
Due to the removal of lots of old paint it was necessary to shim a couple of parts to get good alignment and smooth movement of the axes.
Here is a pic of the finished mount:

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#17 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:58 AM

And another view:

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#18 bremms

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:26 AM

That mount is a thing of beauty. Looks like you have a nice site there down under.

#19 Don Allen  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

A thing of beauty. Mr Gaunt would be happy.

#20 snommisbor

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

:choochoo: :choochoo: :choochoo: :choochoo:awesome job






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