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Cave-Clave

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#1 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

OK, here it is as far as I have it. The main scope is on it's way, but the Cave OTA and mount will have to wait a couple of weeks for delivery, inspection, and report.

I had small items on the outside of the OTA taken off and sent with the Clave eyepiece set. Here is the big picture of what came in the USPS Large Flat Rate Box.
Focuser
finder
counterweight "handle"
eyepieces
finder brackets
clamping knob

Everything is in good shape. Mechanics on the focuser and finder are excellent. The finder needs a wipe down but has excellent cosmetics. No dings or dents, with nice finish on everything. Minor marks on the finder brackets are about the worst of it. The clamping knob has worn paint. Since the main mount has been identified as non original paint, I'll be rectifying all that which will include the knob.

Older eyepieces often have that dust or dirt infiltration resulting in that speckled view when checked against a blank white wall. Not so here. These Claves are quite nice inside and out, down to the insertion barrels. There are just a few signs of insertion with no set screw dimples. The optics and print are very nice, and general cosmetics very pleasing.

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#2 tim53

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

Awesome!

#3 greju

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:02 PM

Claves in a cookie tin. That has to be a first! Good find! :grin:

#4 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

The eyepieces. Seems there was more interest in these than the rest of the purchase combined.

Yes greju, in a cookie tin, but a nice honest European one! The tin looks new, may be new, I couldn't find any date.
The eyepieces are mounted into a black stained piece of 3/4" wood, cut round to fit the tin, and drilled for the eyepiece insertion barrels. The eyepieces rest in the holes just short of the upper barrels. The wood is light and appears to be quarter sawn pine, stained after all cutting.

This picture includes my negatif (center) that I already had. I was holding onto the barlow strictly as a token Clave item. All my vintage eyepiece sets have scopes that they go with. I have no scope that would be associated with the Claves as original equipment as far as I know. I'm now having to debate the keeping of this set or selling it. Either way, the negatif barlow stays with the set as I feel it just completes it too well to remove it. For now, it all stays here, no ad here. I wouldn't mind the return from selling, but ummmm....what a freak chance for such a vintage set....

Does anybody know what scopes had Clave eyepieces as original epuipment?

EDIT: I should have listed these. All in mm of focal length. 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 25, and the barlow. Ten items total with the barlow. I noticed that the 5mm and 6mm do not have an arrow (V) under the Clave symbol.

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#5 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

The finder.

There is print in 4 places on the finder. The objective cell has "ASTROLA" on one side and "JAPAN" in small print on the other side. The eyepiece has "8X50" on one side and the oval AVA symbol on the other side. The symbol is VERY small but distinct. Takahashi? The super close up is focused with my camera lens about 1" or so from the symbol and sun lit. This shows every micro dust speck. The optics are really quite clear.
Can a time line be stated for the finder?

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#6 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

full finder.

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#7 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:53 PM

The focuser.

Has a JAPAN label. LABEL as opposed to the finder that has all engraved print. All metal with the rack riveted to the draw tube. No sepperate tension adjusting screw, only the pinion cover. This thing is surprisingly smooth with trivial wiggle while oscillating the focus knobs. There are two small spots in the smooth black finish (about 1mm each), and the rest is superb. I will not be opening this as it needs no attention inside. I'll wipe it down and spruce up the knobs.

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#8 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

That's it for now. Any comments about the parts, particulary their vintage, are certainly welcome. The OTA optics are shipping in the tube. No worries, the OTA and disassembled mount are in sepperate crates on a single pallet. They won't be getting tossed into a cargo bay or traveling down a conveyer drop. More on that before Christmas.

#9 starman876

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:36 PM

Great buy. I did not understand the hesitation on most here why they did not purchase if they had the cash. I was so tempted, but 3000 miles of shipping for that scope would have been astronomical.

#10 xavier

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:38 PM

Realy great find. If you should need any help with French texts just ask. French is my second language (English my third). It will be pleasure.

I think Clavé made refractors and the Clavius Cassegrain. http://www.astrosurf...ent/clavius.htm

Xavier

#11 albert1

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

First $3500+ cookie tin I ever did see. I'm glad it worked out well. :jump:

#12 tim53

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

Neil:

I can't tell whether I should be envious of the huge finder and focuser you got with that purchase, or worried that you might need to defend yourself with that sword? :grin:

-Tim.

#13 apfever

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:58 PM

Sword: 1950's or 60's letter opener from Spain, 5" blade.
I used it to keep the finder from rolling off the desk.

The scope was looked at by a local astronomer and the seller was told that everything looked real nice, particularly the mirror. I'll take out the primary and add it to the registry when I get it. It has the Pancro sticker so it is probably original.

#14 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:09 AM

Back from vacation and this was waiting in the garage. One box OTA, and one box pier and mount. I'll be cracking it open later today after unpacking. The primary inscriptions will be first. At least I HOPE there is something there for the registry.

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#15 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

The OTA box was tight enough that I had to remove one 2X2 from the side in order for the rotating rings to clear. The two support points are custom cut radius saddled plywood. The cradles were lined with cardboard, then the scope with bubble wrap laid inside. Both the OTA box and mount box were banded to a large pallet so there were no worries about rolling or placing on end.
I did (still do) have some issues about shipping communication and process, but I'll never have an issue with packing from the seller. All the packing, including the small flat rate box, has been extreme. Much better than being on the light side.

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#16 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

Two pictures of crazing on the surface.

This seemed pronounced to me, but only skin deep. I examined the inside very carefully after removing the primary and cell. There are no scratches or signs of impact anywhere. The inside shows nothing at all, just the outside. The inside still has all the fine peaks and filements of the fiberglass with no show of impact. This scope is a 1979. I know fiberglass can produce crazing and this finish is original. I'm reluctant to redo it. It seems to be a thick coating, not just paint. I'm open to information and opinions on this.

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#17 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

A wider picture of the crazing to the OTA end. The main spread between the rotating rings reduces to a set of parrallel lines going through the brackets to the end. The other end also has much slighter crazing, all in long straight parallel lines, grouped in 3 small sets, emminating from the OTA end.

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#18 tim53

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

yep, that's gel coat. It's sprayed into the mold before the fiberglass is laid in. I try to leave these alone, though I had to refinish the tube for my Kludgescope since I changed the focuser position. A shame, too, as it was the beautiful pale gray that many Optical Craftsmen tubes came in.

-Tim.

#19 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

I was told this had the PANCRO sticker. I'm still looking for it. This gave me a bit of a thug when I saw it...maybe Cave, maybe not.

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#20 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

The coating looked good under a layer of dust and fine laid particle deposits. I had to give it a rinse in the cell before I would invert it onto the VIVA. It cleaned up well enough to show a very nice coating. This has not had any impropper cleaning. No sleaks. It will need a final cleaning with a rolling cotton wipe (I do it under flowing water), to remove a light deposit film. This was a pleasure to see.

Tim, thanks for the info on the OTA finish. There is one tiny loose spot on one point in the center of the 'bulls eye' crazing (first photo). I can get adhesive under it with a micro hypodermic needle. The rest of it, everywhere, seems solid. I think the finish will look great after a little wipe down and very light cleaning. There are no issues or ugly marks other than the crazing. Any suggestions on a finish wipe? Wax, Pledge, spray lube, etc.? I'm not looking to apply any paint type coating such as a clear coat, unless highly recommended.

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#21 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

It's a Cave.

THOMAS CAVE
M794073
Nov 16 1979

I noticed this had the full name of Thomas Cave opposed to just a company reference. My 6" Student has "Cave Optical" on it. Did T. Cave personally figure mirrors? Is the full signature anything notable (better or worse)?

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#22 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:38 PM

F/6
fl= 60 3/8"

I'll post this in the registry.
That's all for now. I'll get into the mount and pier next. The OTA will take an accessory stripping and cleaning before I put it all back together.

Thanks Starman, I'll look into it.

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#23 starman876

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

Buff it with a buffer. I have used a compound you can buy at marine stores that works wonders.

#24 tim53

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:07 PM

I would t be surprised if Tom figured it himself at that late date. Many of his employees had already left to work at Meade by summer 1978, and cave was essentially gone by fall 1979. With the exception of a few months after that when new owners tried to make a go of it. I heard someone say who bought Cave, but I'd rather not post it in case I'm wrong. It obviously didn't go well for them.

#25 apfever

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

Sooooo, mirror date of Nov 16 1979 would have been one of the very last Caves. Oh well, I like older stuff but no biggie. Was Tom any good with mirrors?
One of these days I'm getting a focault (sp?) tester.

The sellers packing continues to impress me. All the 2X4 ends you see were screwed to the cover board I removed. I'll have to unscrew the bracing from the other side as well then cut the bubbles. Maybe later today.

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