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Restoring Vintage Celestron 14 Chrome tripod

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#1 rfic1

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Recently picked up a early 80's late 70's fork mounted Orange Tube C14. Overall in decent shape. Like so many of these scopes the chrome tripod was stored in a garage and has acquired it's share of rust. For those of you in the know what is the preferred method restoring these rusty tripods. Thanks in advance for the advice.

#2 hottr6

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Simple answer: You can't restore rusted/pitted chrome.

Easy Answer: Use fine steel wool to remove the rust and polish the chrome with Simichrome or similar. Should look good from a distance of 10', depending on how much rust.

Complex answer: You could polish the metal as much as possible, and take it to a chroming shop (any place that does car bumpers). The shop will tell you it is not worth it because of the rust. Any pitting WILL show in the fresh chrome. If you do proceed, it will cost silly money and any pitting will look like *BLEEP*, but may look OK from 5'.

Best answer: Prep, and paint/powder-coat in the color of your choice.

[Post #1000. :thewave: ]

#3 DAVIDG

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

Rechroming will cost you more then a new tripod. I choose to paint mine with "chrome" paint. The $4.00 stuff isn't going to look like real chrome but more like brushed metal. There are paints that do look very very much like real chrome but they ain't cheap. Alsa Paint makes a MirraChrome http://www.alsacorp....mirrachrome.htm
that gets very close to chrome plating. They sell a "Killer Can Kit" with the three different paints required for about $130.
Here is a picture of the tripod on one of my old C-8' before I repainted it with the $4.00 "chrome" paint.

- Dave

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#4 DAVIDG

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

Here is what it looked like after restoring it with the $4.00 "chrome" paint.

- Dave

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#5 bob midiri

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

Welcome to the classic C14 club!! Hope you enjoy this scope as much as I have!! Please post some pictures, Bob

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#6 rfic1

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

Thanks Bob.
I always wanted a C14 and this one came up for sale locally. I did not steal it. Probably paid what it is worth. The good news is the owner sent the OTA to Celestron for service back in November. They cleaned the optics and re greased the focuser and baffle. The optics look new. The OTA was still sealed in the return package from Celestron. Hopefully it's not a dog. The fork mount and wedge are in good shape. Just need a little clean up. The RA drive, dec motor and electronic slow motion controls all work. I'm leaning towards power coating the tripod black. I once had a C11 with a heavy duty tripod which seemed to have a rubber type finish on the legs. I do need to find a finder. The one with the scope is beat. Funny about 4 years ago I sold a pristine 10x40mm finder. Wish I kept it but who new. Bob

#7 bob midiri

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

Keep your eye open on CN clasifieds, I saw some classic Orange finders on sale the last few weeks. Interested in hearing your first light. Good luck with the powder coat. Did you get a Celestron heavy duty drive corrector (not the little hand controller). I have been looking for one of those bad boys. Bob

#8 apfever

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Bob,

Before you paint, you might as well prep. I ended up liking the prep results so much I didn't need to go further.
Take the legs apart, remove the tube end fittings so you are down to bare poles. First I scrubbed mine with CLR which removed the brown spotting at the rust spots. Then I royaly reamed each pole with the Green Scotch Bright pad. This removed all rust and left the poles looking the same at the rust spots as well as the good chromed areas. It produced a uniform finish that was the looks of brushed aluminum. It was not a shiny chrome finish. This also removed all the feel of the rust spot blister locations and left a perfectly smooth feeling finish. I then buffed up some sections of the brushed finish, but I liked the brushed finish so much I went back to it by going over with the Scotch Bright again. The brush finish showed hand prints much less, marks in general much less, and was just prettier than that modern bumber look IMO!!....YMMV. Yes, the micro marks of the blister spots are still there, but not anything you'd notice unless you were in some show cometition.
I was going to give mine a light coat of satin lacquer or other clear coat, but I live in high dry Colorado and just went with a protective wipe of 'silicone spray lube' (WD40 NOT recommended).

Forum entry #5529204 shows how I took them apart.
It's a good string on these in general.

I replaced the tensioning set screws with longer stainless steel. I also laid out a pattern on the floor to set the screws so the tripod made a true 120 degree spread between the legs at the same distance from center.

Here's the whole thing. Camera flash doesn't show well.

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#9 apfever

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

Here's a better showing. You can still see spots on the right leg edge. The feel is perfectly smooth and the look is uniform till you get pretty close.

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