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I made a Tripod Spreader for my Surveyor's Tripod.

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#1 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

I've wanted a tripod spreader for my surveyor's tripod for some time now. So I figured why not attempt to make my own. I found a similar discussion on CN and a link to CNer orlyandico (Orlando)'s homemade tripod spreader.

Here's a link to his setup: Here


So I built something similar to what he has. I used 1 1/2in door hinges and 1 1/2 in by 1/8 in thick steel for the actual spreader. I cut the pieces of steel at 10in length. After some cutting, drilling, cussing, figuring stuff out, and with help from my dad I have a new tripod spreader.

It works great and looks decent as well. :) Th next thing I'll do is add a wooden eyepiece tray to the spreader and bolts instead of screws where the hinges connect into the tripod.

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#2 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Closer:

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#3 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Even Closer:

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#4 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Even more closer:

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#5 crazyqban

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:15 PM

WOW, looks excellent!!! Good job.

#6 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

Thanks Sergio!

#7 orlyandico

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

wow looks better than mine :D

i have a bit of a problem with mine though, in that it won't fold properly; the bolts interfere. from your photos your bolts are much beefier and i suspect you have the same issue...

one difference i've noticed is that your steel spreader pieces are narrower than mine. hence they will resist side-to-side movement less effectively... which means, when you add the tripod spreader, your rigidity will increase by a huge amount.

make sure there is clearance in the tray for the bolts in the middle :D easiest solution is to have a circular hole in the middle of the spreader tray..

#8 zjc26138

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 11:24 PM

Thanks! For 25.00 its pretty good. :)

Yep my legs won't fold up all they way either. Not to big of an issue until I need to put the tripod in my car.When that happens I'll loosen the bolts all the way, so the tripod can collapse.

Yeah I plan to mount the eyepiece tray with a bolt through the middle as well as bolts at the edges of the tray through the steel bars. I'll probably do this during the next week or so. :)

#9 Astronewb

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

Great job with readily available components. Thanks for sharing the idea and details. Same to Orly.....

Best

Paul

#10 zjc26138

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

Thanks Paul!

#11 Bart

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:24 AM

If the bolts next to the legs were pointing up, it would close tighter....

#12 zjc26138

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

The steel bars fold up. What stops them from folding completely is the bolt heads hitting the tripod.

#13 zjc26138

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

I just cut out the eyepeice holder. It's 10im diameter. Should be able to hold two 2" eyepieces and two-three 1.25" eyepieces. Which is plenty as this is my grab and go mount and I usually bring 2-3 eyepeice with me.

Tomorrow I'll buy some bolts, make the cuts for the eyepieces, and stain the wood. :)

#14 zjc26138

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

Almost done with the eyepiece holder. It's not perfect, but sure helps stiffen the spreader. I need to fill in a couple holes with wood filler, sand the entire thing, and then a couple coats of stain and will be ready to go.

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#15 zjc26138

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

Eyepiece holder after many coats of stain. I still need to stain the bottom side. That will happen later tonight or tomorrow.

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#16 orlyandico

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

How'd you handle the bolts sticking out of the middle of the metal spreader? there is a relieved area under the EP holder?

#17 zjc26138

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:40 PM

There is no relieved area, though that is a good suggestion. :)
They rest on the wood with no problem as far as I can tell. If I notice any strain once the bolts holding the tray are locked down, then I'll adjust the tray. I'll make a relieved area like you suggested.

#18 orlyandico

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

without a relieved area, the tray is "sitting" on top of those bolts and so not flush against the metal strips. so it is less rigid than it could be...

I ended up with a similar solution on mine (plastic EP tray) so the rigidity is not ideal. I should look at making a plywood tray like yours as well, once I start using my tripod more.

#19 zjc26138

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

Yes you right. I might use my dremel and cut out an area for the bolts tomorrow.

#20 zjc26138

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:40 PM

Eyepiece holder after final coat of polyurethane.

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#21 zjc26138

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

Completed spreader/eyepeice holder. Next project will be making a eyepiece holder for my iEQ45.

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#22 Agatha

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

Zach,

That looks great. What a good project.

Thanks to both you and Olando.

Best, Linda B.

#23 zjc26138

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

Linda,
Thanks!

#24 lakeorion

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 08:14 PM

I didn't make a spreader, rather, I made an unspreader. I ran three eyebolts through the legs near the bottom, then ran chain through them.

During setup, you just pull the legs out until the chain tightens. Things might not always be perfectly triangular, but each leg is adjustable, and even on concrete, one leg can't fly out.

When it folds up, there is a couple of feet of chain loops hanging down...

#25 zjc26138

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

That's a good idea. I thought about using chain, but wanted something to hold my eyepieces as well.






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