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Swift 831 restoration

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#1 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:35 AM

I have slowly been restoring my 1960 Swift 831. The tube has been painted with Rustoleum Biscuit Epoxy Enamel. Fortunately, the focuser and dew shield needed no attention. The OTA turned out very nicely. What was keeping me from finishing the project was finding a suitable paint for the brown parts of the scope and mount. There have been a number of different shades of green and other related colors, but most Swift mounts I've seen are fairly similar. The finish isn't a wrinkle type like the older Royal Astros, but there is a texture. I finally came across a very close match, some Rustoleum Multicolor Textured spray in a can. The texture is a bit grainier, almost a fine sand feel, but that also matches my old mount.

Here is a photo of two of the "space knobs". On the left is the original and the newly painted one is on the right. The match is excellent.

I also need some help from any Swift owners. The tripod legs were missing from my scope, but the ones from my 76mm Optica b/c work fine as do some from a similar 60mm mount. The problem is that neither pair fits into their place in the case. Could any one give me precise measurements for the 831 tripod legs? I'm sure the width and taper are different from any I already have. Thanks.

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#2 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:40 AM

Tube - objective end. I also rebuilt the case.

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#3 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

Focuser - hard to get a good shot with a flash.

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#4 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:45 AM


Here is a photo of two of the "space knobs". On the left is the original and the newly painted one is on the right. The match is excellent.

Wow excellent is an understatement, more like superb! That is no easy task. :bow:

#5 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:48 AM

Not only is the color great, but the knob feels new because of the texture. Of course Rustoleum will probably discontinue this paint now.

#6 tim53

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:07 AM

Wow, that color and texture match is impressive! I'll have to look for some!

-Tim.

#7 Stargoat

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:39 AM

Not only is the color great, but the knob feels new because of the texture. Of course Rustoleum will probably discontinue this paint now.


Beautiful work Charlie!! Is that the Autumn Brown or Rustic Umber Shade of Rustoleum?

Stephen

#8 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:43 AM

Oops. I didn't notice the color on the back of the can. It's Autumn Brown.

#9 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:35 PM

Oops. I didn't notice the color on the back of the can. It's Autumn Brown.

Charlie that looks fantastic. :bow: :bow:I experimented with my 831 painting and thought i had it till i took it out in the sun. BIG difference. Finally had a part scanned at a paint store and mixed. Turned out good. I like your solution much better. Excellent job.

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#10 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:44 PM

That's a gorgeous scope you have there! Now, those legs look a bit thinner than the ones I'm using on my scope. Do yours fit into the box? They didn't leave a lot of room in those wooden Swift boxes.

I know there have to be more of these out there somewhere. I've only seen reference to one other 1960 831. And there are some differences in model years. Mostly small differences.

#11 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

I'll be glad to get you some measurements this evening when i get home Charlie. It does all fit in the box.

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#12 terraclarke

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:07 PM

Wow. Beautiful scopes, both of you. Nice job!

#13 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:40 PM

I'll be glad to get you some measurements this evening when i get home Charlie. It does all fit in the box.


Thanks! Boy, those tripod legs are beuatiful! What did you refinish them with?

#14 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:51 PM

They were in good condition when i found it. Thats just a rub down with Old English. The metal tips and other parts on the tripod was another story. Lots of rust.

#15 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:09 PM

Charlie
Looks like the tripod measures 2 1/4" across, made from 1/2" material and is 1 1/2" deep. Hope this helps.

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#16 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Another view

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#17 gelkin

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:14 PM

Your painting of the knobs has inspired me to paint mine. I was missing one and found this on classified last year. Close to the right shape but wrong color. Seeing yours makes me think i should paint it too. Check out the manufactures mark on it. Wouldn't you know, Tak. Imagine that. :jump:

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#18 Retentive

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:00 PM

what types of things did you do to rebuild the box. I have a similar plastic handle on the box of my Sears 6333 but it is broken on one side. I wish I could find a replacement. but I also want to refinish the box too.

Phil

#19 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:14 PM

Charlie
Looks like the tripod measures 2 1/4" across, made from 1/2" material and is 1 1/2" deep. Hope this helps.


Those measurements will help a lot! I may have to haul out the planes & gouges and perform some surgery. Thanks loads.

#20 CharlieB

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:27 PM

what types of things did you do to rebuild the box. I have a similar plastic handle on the box of my Sears 6333 but it is broken on one side. I wish I could find a replacement. but I also want to refinish the box too.

Phil


Well, on this case, I had to replace the top with some 1/4" mahogany plywood and replace some broken 3/4" mahogany supports inside the case. I have a good supply of various woods from carving and violin making. There were some supports that just needed regluing. And then there is always felt to replace and sometimes, hinges.

Those handles are hard to find, but one source might be old saxophone or trumpet cases. Some of them are very similar.

I usually sand the box well, stain it, and use shellac as a top coat.

#21 amicus sidera

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:45 PM

CharlieB wrote:

(snip)
Those handles are hard to find, but one source might be old saxophone or trumpet cases. Some of them are very similar.

(snip)


I agree, Charlie. I've seen those exact handles on used wind and stringed instrument cases at several Guitar Center stores... often they can be obtained for relatively little money. Asking around at the smaller music stores might turn up something, too.

Fred

p.s. Your spray-paint matching of the knobs is excellent!

#22 Nuphy

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:34 PM

I checked the knob on my TS-50 mount, it looks very similar.

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#23 CharlieB

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:04 PM

From what I've read, Takahashi made castings for Japanese optical industry before they made complete telescopes. There certainly are similarities between Swift scopes and early Takahashis. All I can really say about the Swifts are that they are optically superb scopes and well designed.






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