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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Hermie
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/05

Loc: Cloudy HKG
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: fivestring]
      #6360566 - 02/06/14 08:01 PM

I'd just add that the tripod design will have more effect on the stiffness than the type of wood used. Make sure you incorporate a spreader/tray, and if you can tension from the mount head toward the ground (weight/center rod) it will be even better.

Hermie


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calypsob
sage
*****

Reged: 04/20/13

Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: fivestring]
      #6360583 - 02/06/14 08:12 PM

Some other wood that would work-

Cedar 4x4's would work ok.
Cypress would work good.
Dogwood is probably the hardest hardwood I have ever worked with even compared to ebony.
If you are up north look for rock maple, also very hard.

If you are in the south look for long 8 foot pallets behind buildings, they are usually supported by oak 4x4's, which are kiln dried and very strong, probably white oak.
Beech is very strong but will be expensive.
Heartwood pine and refurbished barn beams would do great.

If you live near a lumber mill that dries wood on site, ask if you can buy their kull wood, which is scrap cut off of the ends. Usually you can find some good sized pieces.

What you want to stay away from is wood which has not been kiln dried which will cause all kinds of problems.


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: calypsob]
      #6361150 - 02/07/14 01:37 AM

Some woods have better natural damping qualities. Red Oak and Ash look remarkably similar up close but behave very differently. Red Oak is denser and heavier but this does not make it an ideal choice.

Here's a link to a page showing the various characteristics of common hardwoods.

Hope this helps....LINK


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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: herrointment]
      #6361605 - 02/07/14 10:14 AM

For quantitative data on North-American native woods, also check out table 5-3 here:

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr190/chapter_05.pdf

Anything in the hickory or pecan families appears to be the best, based on work at maximum load. It's about twice as strong as oak.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #6361717 - 02/07/14 11:26 AM

i love my oberwerks clearance tripod blem...



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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: Pinbout]
      #6362207 - 02/07/14 03:23 PM

I believe (white) ash to have the best combination of features that are desirable in a wood tripod....light, strong and damps quickly, usually straight-grained and clear. Easy to machine (watch for burning) and available. Inexpensive! This outfit will ship lumber UPS in any size or thickness, mill cut or planed. Tell them what you want and they'll pick it for you and do a good job............ LINK

I graded hardwood lumber for a living for a few years....hence my interest in the subject!


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TexasSky
super member
*****

Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: fivestring]
      #6362568 - 02/07/14 06:05 PM

Definitely ash......more stable than the oaks...Less prone to twisting/warping.....
Bob


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TexasSky
super member
*****

Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: TexasSky]
      #6362591 - 02/07/14 06:16 PM

Here's a bad pic of the tripod I built of ash for my celestron mount.....
Ash is by far the best of all the "domestic" woods...
Stable/weight/beauty....next best would be true mahogany....very expensive....but nice.....I'm also an experienced wooden ship builder and know my woods!...As mentioned earlier.....ash period.....
Bob


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TexasSky
super member
*****

Reged: 05/03/12

Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: TexasSky]
      #6362597 - 02/07/14 06:17 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

forgot bad pic....

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davebuechler
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/21/11

Loc: Red River Gorge Kentucky
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: TexasSky]
      #6362954 - 02/07/14 09:27 PM

Nice piece os ash!

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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: fivestring]
      #6362972 - 02/07/14 09:35 PM

I had a Walnut Televue mount, very nice.
Blueman


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: blueman]
      #6363000 - 02/07/14 09:48 PM

White ash---+1.

Dark skies.

Jack


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HunterofPhotons
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Loc: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: mountain monk]
      #6364089 - 02/08/14 01:36 PM

While the specie of wood is a consideration it's important to remember that no two pieces of wood are the same.
Choosing wood solely on the specie will not guarantee it will function well in its application.
Of greater concern when choosing wood are things like "is the grain straight?', "can I get quartersawn pieces out of the rough lumber?", "how tight is the grain?", etc.
There is a reason that skilled woodworkers spend a lot of time looking at and thinking about rough lumber before they make the first cut. Many think it's because they want some time to drink coffee without being interrupted by work, but decisions made at this stage of construction affect the whole project right to the end.
At least that was my excuse. <g>

dan k.


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herrointment
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/12/11

Loc: North of Hwy. 64
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: HunterofPhotons]
      #6364390 - 02/08/14 04:14 PM

That's the difference between average and exceptional....good point!

Wood is an interesting and complex material. From seedling to dressed lumber there are many variables that will determine the quality and usefulness of the final product.

As an example...the first cut taken on a green log at the lumber mill plays a huge role in determining the value and quality of the lumber that log will produce. A skilled sawyer can turn an average log into a great one with proper placement and a bit of luck.

There's a lot of thought put into that board you just bought. The quality may be awful. It most likely could have been even worse!


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DocFinance
sage
*****

Reged: 01/14/14

Loc: Clear Lake, Texas
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: tag1260]
      #6378634 - 02/15/14 10:07 PM

Quote:

Any reason to NOT use Red Oak other than weight?



The sawdust can be very toxic, or so I've heard. Other woods too, I'm sure, but this one I've had a reaction to.

BTW thanks for all of the replies, folks

Edited by DocFinance (02/15/14 10:10 PM)


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TCW
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/05/13

Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: Hermie]
      #6378893 - 02/16/14 02:19 AM

I would talk to a good cabinet maker. What ever species you use, get one that is very dimensionaly stable and quartersawn with very straight grain. After that look for one that is pleasing to your eye and holds fasteners well. I would also make sure and get heart wood. Teak (real teak) might be a good choice.

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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Best wood for tripod legs? new [Re: TCW]
      #6378951 - 02/16/14 04:20 AM

I got to try one of the tropical hardwoods similar to teak, called balau.

It is extremely hard, extremely dense, machines like metal, dulls tools quickly (due to high silica content) and likes to destroy screws. Not recommended.


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