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Gaunt Equatorial Telescope Stand- circa 1877

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#1 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:08 AM

Back when Adam was still a boy and Eve hadn't eaten any apples telescope mounts were built to last.
This is my newly acquired and just completed recommissioning of an equatorial mount. It was designed by Mr Robert Ellery, Astronomer to the Governor of the State of Victoria and was built by Mr Thomas Gaunt, Optician and Jeweller of Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia. It was first built in 1877 and in production in this form until 1885.

The mount comes with a purpose built cast iron pier and together they weigh about 250 lbs. :shocked: :shocked:

I today completed the restoration of the mount and hope to have the pier complete this weekend.

Initially it will support my Istar At150 F10 Achromat refractor, eventually I will be building a 127mm (5") F15 refractor for this mount.

I was thrilled to find 40 lbs of brass and bronze under the many layers of black paint.

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#2 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:11 AM

Another view

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#3 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:11 AM

This is what I started with 16 days ago, the restoration was speeded up to accommodate the newly acquired 6" Istar Perseus F10.

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#4 Taylor

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:21 AM

:bigshock: :bigshock: :bigshock:

Stunning!

#5 thomas68

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:40 AM

Wow! :bigshock:

Tom

#6 Erik30

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

Very nice restore job.

#7 EdTheEdge

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

In a word: AWESOME!

#8 GooglyEyes

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:22 PM


Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettt!



Mar

#9 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

It's fortunate that it arrived into some capable hands. <g>
What does it have for bearings?

dan k.

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

That is a lovely mount.

Melbourne is my favorite city on Earth. London is a distant second. Bourke Street sounds as if it catered to the well-heeled in the past just as it does in the preset.

Regards,

Jim

#11 Kunama

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:49 PM

It's fortunate that it arrived into some capable hands. <g>
What does it have for bearings?

dan k.

Very 1800s as far as bearings go Dan, the axles are cast iron, machined quite fine, the bearing is a bronze bushing pressed into a brass sleeve threaded on the outside which then screws into the brass carrier. Even after 135 years there is almost no freeplay.

#12 pogobbler

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:38 AM

Beautiful mount and a beautiful restoration job.

#13 EFT

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:53 AM

What a beautiful mount. How did you get your hands on it? I would love to find something like that in need of restoration.

#14 Kunama

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:58 PM

Hello and thanks for all the responses, the mount restoration is now complete and sits on her newly restored pier with my 'Grab and Go' refractor.

The mount had been for sale for a long time in Australia, I was just lucky to have been able to secure it (only 3 weeks ago today) all the restoration has been done in 3 weeks, the benefits of spare time !!!
At the risk of repeating myself (pic already posted in 'refractors') here is the finished product, although some further work will follow to get the counterweights right etc.

"when I say Grab and Go, I mean get 4 of your best mates to help you, this combination weighs in excess of 300 lbs :foreheadslap:

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#15 Astrojensen

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:10 AM

Now that is just beautiful!


Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

#16 Darenwh

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

That is a truly beautiful mount. You did a fantastic job with the restoration.

#17 Kunama

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

Thanks Thomas and Daren, I am thrilled with the way it has turned out.

I have just finished setting up the counterweights, a tricky thing as the 135 year old bearings are so smooth even a slight focus adjustment has the OTA moving. I found the original cast iron one was far too heavy for the Istar so decided instead to use cast iron weight plates ( 2x5kg+1x2.5kg) and the end result was perfect balance.
Posted Image
Posted Image

#18 opticsguy

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:21 AM

What about the pier? home made? Made of steel plate? Or?

#19 StarStuff1

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:45 PM

Beautiful piece of restoration.

Hopefully the pier and mount will be used in a permanent location such as an observatory.

#20 Hikari

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

I was thinking buying used was a way to save money...

#21 Kunama

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

What about the pier? home made? Made of steel plate? Or?


The pier is the original 1877 cast iron monster. Cast in a single piece the pier consists of the triangular base (1" thick), the 3 'vanes' (1/2" at the outside and 1.5" where they join each other) and the top plate (3/4")

Weight of the pier alone is 140 lbs, the total weight with head, counterweights and scope is 300 lbs.

Beautiful piece of restoration.

Hopefully the pier and mount will be used in a permanent location such as an observatory.


Thanks, I plan to build an observatory next year.

I was thinking buying used was a way to save money...


I would hate to think how much it would cost to make this mount today ...
its all hand made with 35 lbs of brass and bronze components, even the bolts are handmade.

#22 Quintessence

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

I like the "essential character" of old mounts like this one. They are streamlined to basic function -- reminding us what is really most important for observing. Despite the brevity, a lot of effort was made to accommodate the functionality that provided the greatest increment of utility.






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