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I need my offical Cave Tee shirt

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#1 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:19 PM

I good friend Al Webber passed away a few months ago. Al was 104 and an amazing guy.He did thousands of occultation timings for the IOTA over his life time. He was still driving at 99 ! I meet Al when I was 11 and just got in amateur astronomy. Al was then President of Delaware Astronomical Society which meets at Mt Cuba Observatory in Greenville Delaware. Each June Al would have a picnic and star party at his farm house which was built in mid 1700's. Al had a small observatory out back that housed a 10" f/6 Cave. The family contacted me about the scope and now I have it. My plans are to fully restore it and donate to Mt Cuba Observatory in Al's name.
The observatory and scope hadn't been used in number of years and the properity was sold so I had to get the scope out as quickly as possible. I had to leave the pier behind since the bolts holding it the footing were under the floor. So if anyone has set of legs they want to sell please PM me.
The scope is in OK shape. Just the typical rust on the shafts and peeling paint. The tube was sealed with PVC caps which kept the mice out so the mirror is in good shape. I'll test it soon a post the results.
Here are a couple of pictures of the scope.

- Dave

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#2 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:20 PM

Here is a picture of the OTA.

- Dave

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#3 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:21 PM

Here is a box of parts including a Cave DC/AC drive corrector.

- Dave

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#4 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

The scope had a 3" Edmund refractor as the guide scope. The lens had a PVC cap over it but nothing over the focuser tube. Mice decided to build a nest in the tube and it was packed solid from one end to other ! I've been soaking the cell in oil so I can hopefully get the lens out of the cell to clean it. More pictures to come as I restore the scope.
So were do I get my offical Caveman Telescope Tee shirt ?

All the Best and Happy Holidays !
- Dave

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#5 tim53

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

Awesome, Dave!

Wow, your friend must have had all kinds of interesting stories to tell after all those decades!

I'm going to be really interested to hear how this mirror tests out. So far, I haven't had a bad experience with any Cave mirrors (12.5" f/7, 10" f/16 DK, but with Tinsley subcontracted optics, 8" f/7 - possibly my best 8" - and 6" f/8).

-Tim.

#6 Datapanic

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:31 PM

That's great and you have the history as well. Too bad about the pier. I would get a torch and cut the bolts out! Possibly, it might not be too hard to eventually find a set of legs for it and the column could be made. Actually, the column might have to be made depending on its height requirement.

#7 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:50 PM

That's great and you have the history as well. Too bad about the pier. I would get a torch and cut the bolts out! Possibly, it might not be too hard to eventually find a set of legs for it and the column could be made. Actually, the column might have to be made depending on its height requirement.


Hi Dan,
Unfortunately the bolt can't be accessed since the floor covered them and I don't know the new owners of the house. I only had a few hours to get the scope before the properity was turned over to the new owners. I looked on Ebay and I can get a piece of 6" OD, 5.75" ID x 24" aluminum tubing for under $20 which fits the mounts latitude coupling. So it is the legs I really need.

- Dave

#8 tim53

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

Can you contact the new owners of the house through the realtor? They might be delighted to get it out of there, if nothing else.

What does the observatory look like? Anything special?

-Tim.

#9 Datapanic

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:41 PM

That's great and you have the history as well. Too bad about the pier. I would get a torch and cut the bolts out! Possibly, it might not be too hard to eventually find a set of legs for it and the column could be made. Actually, the column might have to be made depending on its height requirement.


Hi Dan,
Unfortunately the bolt can't be accessed since the floor covered them and I don't know the new owners of the house. I only had a few hours to get the scope before the properity was turned over the new owners. I looked on Ebay and I can get a piece of 6" OD, 5.75" ID x 24" aluminum tubing for under $20 which fits the mounts latitude coupling. So it is the legs I really need.

- Dave


I'll keep a look out for Cave Legs. With all the Dob conversions of Caves, there should be a lot of them out there, but I've only seen sets for sale a couple times in the last 2 or 3 years.

I've often wondered how easy it would be to make copies of the legs - just need an original to make the mold...

#10 DAVIDG

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:27 PM

Can you contact the new owners of the house through the realtor? They might be delighted to get it out of there, if nothing else.

What does the observatory look like? Anything special?

-Tim.


Tim,
The observatory is a typical wooden roll of roof type. It is in bad shape and the wall are starting to fall in. With the a short section of 6" heavy walled tubing on Ebay for less then $20 it's not worth the trouble of trying to get original piece. What I really need is the legs.

- Dave

#11 Bill Griffith

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

Dave,

Did you ever have a chance as a teenager to view through this Cave at one of the star parties at the farm?

Quite a compliment to be asked to take custodianship of a friend /mentor's possessions.

Congratulations!

Bill

#12 DAVIDG

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

Dave,

Did you ever have a chance as a teenager to view through this Cave at one of the star parties at the farm?

Quite a compliment to be asked to take custodianship of a friend /mentor's possessions.

Congratulations!

Bill


Hi Bill,
Yes I did get to view thur this scope many times. Since Al had such a long and interesting life, I visited him many times over the years and observed together. About 10 years ago I helped Al and his son who at that time was in his early 70's replace the RA motor. So the scope has many fond memories for me. I said earlier Al made thousands of Lunar Occulations timings for IOTA with it so it was used for scientific purposes as well.

- Dave

#13 bierbelly

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

Al was then President of Delaware Astronomical Society which meets at Mt Cuba Observatory in Greenville Delaware.


I presume the trees were a lot shorter then, and the neighbors not so close.

#14 DAVIDG

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:28 PM

Al was then President of Delaware Astronomical Society which meets at Mt Cuba Observatory in Greenville Delaware.


I presume the trees were a lot shorter then, and the neighbors not so close.


The trees have been trimmed a couple of times. The fire wood they provided was great in my fireplace ;). Thanks to the lawyers a number of Deed restrictions were put into place to keep the stray light to a mininum. Too bad while your were living in Hockessin we never meet.

All the Best,
- Dave

#15 clintwhitman

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:41 AM

Nice Work Dave, Good to see a great scope restored to greatness! Al will be reeling in the hereafter! :grin:
I might have a line on a set of original legs, They belong to DABear and he still has the mount at his house. I will have to talk to him about our plans for the wayward scope he has,,,,

#16 DAVIDG

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

Nice Work Dave, Good to see a great scope restored to greatness! Al will be reeling in the hereafter! :grin:
I might have a line on a set of original legs, They belong to DABear and he still has the mount at his house. I will have to talk to him about our plans for the wayward scope he has,,,,


Clint,
Many thanks for looking for a set a legs for Al's scope. I hope to pull the mirror tomorrow and I'll post some pictures of it and the inscription on so it can be added to the list.
I ordered a tube to replace the pier off of Ebay for $17.50.

Happy Holidays,
- Dave

#17 PiSigma

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

Dave,

Quick, here are some for sale if they are still available:

Cave Legs

#18 joerbiker

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:03 AM

Hi Dave, I have been looking for a single leg fro my Cave restoration. These look perfect, but differ from mine in that they do not appear to have the additional threaded hole for the leveling screws.

I've attached a photo of mine.

The AM add is for a complete set and that works for you, however if you decide to pass, let me know. I may grab them and figure out what to do with the extras.

Thanks,

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#19 DAVIDG

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

Thanks for the alert about the legs, I'm waiting hear if I got them or not.
I started to restore the smaller parts on the scope. Here is a picture of Sky Micro focuser, after I removed it from the scope. The paint was peeling badly and the motion was rough.

- Dave

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#20 DAVIDG

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

I dissassembled to focuser and stripped the rest of the peeling wrinkled finished off the casting. A new coat of wrinkeld black was then applied. The knobs were polished by spinning them in a drill will holding steel wool against the. The pinion shaft and eccentric bushing were also polished the same way. The focuser tube has coarse threading on the outside that the pinion gear interfaces with. I discovered as I was cleaning the tube that there was a single turn of fine springy wire in the very top threads. I realized that this was meant to be placed on the last set of the threads at the bottom of the focusing tube. What it does is prevent the tube from being racket out past the pinion gear.
All the bearing surfaces were cleaned and polished and a light coat of grease applied. After I adjusted the eccentric bushing and the pressure screw in boby of the focuser which is opposition the pinion gear the motion is very smooth and gone is that jecky motion and I have experienced with other Sky Micro focusers.

Happy Holidays,
- Dave

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#21 tim53

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

Hi Dave:

I've got 3 of these focusers now. One on the 12.5" is a giant 2", though. Wonderful focusers, though I get frustrated sometimes with the friction eyepiece holding.

-Tim.

#22 DAVIDG

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

The restoration continues. Next on the list was the finder. The objective showed that the cement between the elements had failed. I've seen this happen on a number of 50mm Cave finders. The lens showed a slight yellow tint when placed on a white piece of paper which indicated that the cement between the elements was most likely Canada Balsam.
Here is a picture of the objective showing the problem.

- Dave

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#23 DAVIDG

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

The next step was to seperate the elements. Since the cement was most likely Canada Balsam, heating the lens up in water will soften the cement and allow the elements to be seperated. So into the pot they went !

- Dave

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#24 DAVIDG

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:08 PM

After a few minutes in the near boiling water, the cement become much more grazer and with a little help from a razor blade at the glue joint they popped apart.

- Dave

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#25 DAVIDG

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

I cleaned the rest of the cement off with some carburetor cleaner.
Instead of cementing the element back together with Canada Balsam or modern day UV curable cement, I decided to oil them. I used very high molecular weight silicon oil. It is very viscose so it won't squeeze out over time and also has a refractive index that is almost exactly the same as crown optical glass. Here is a picture of the oil in a bottle. Note how the sides of the bottle become invisible because of the refractive index match between the materials.

- Dave

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