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Restoring and Repainting Classic Telescopes

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160 replies to this topic

#51 AaronM

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:00 PM

Hello friends,

here is my refurbishing/repair of the declination-drive of my old “Stausslike-GEM”.
As you can see in this thread :
http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

The original setup was a tangent-drive with a spring-bolt.( a little bit swiffeling setup ). The base of this drive was made from acrylic-glass !!! After a few observing-session this material get a crack.

So I decided at first to make this unit completely new from aluminium. I have a lathe but no
milling machine and my friend who has one, was a long time ill.

So I made it the other way : from old ATM-parts I built a new declination drive with a worm wheel. Here it is.

Kind regards Michael

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#52 AaronM

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:01 PM

dec-block from acrylic-glass !

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#53 AaronM

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:03 PM

refurbished/repaired new dec-drive with worm-wheels

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#54 clintwhitman

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:57 AM

:foreheadslap: :foreheadslap: Due to the god of vintage telescopes smiling at me, I have only had to paint two OTAs #1 my 4" Unitron from the Netherlands. I took it to my friend who has a Jaguar paint and body shop along with my 1955 2.4 Unitron and told him to match the color. After he completed the paint all I could say is wow!! It is by far the nicest OTA I have in finish it looks like my mint green lens Unitron but allot better paint!! #2 The John Pons built 1960 Jaegers 6" F15 built around a 60s 6” Unitron tail piece and a super focuser. I picked the 7" extruded Tube out at tube supply in Los Angles and had John’s favorite Powder coater in Riverside powder coat the Tube in satin white! After completing the ray-trace schematics John then installed the 7 custom spun aluminum baffles. Powder coating is a great way to go due to its tough finish that looks as good as the day it was done. It is not as fancy as the automotive paint job, but is a great OTA that should be good for 200 years or more. I have over the years painted several Harleys and custom bikes and one 1955 Chevy Belair. At that time I was set up to paint with PPG enamels and used fisheye reducers and other additives. Also I had built a paint booth in my garage with an air filtration system. Painting to this level takes more specialized equipment and paint than I need or am willing to set up for a telescope tube or two every couple of years. High end automotive paint or powder coating is the way to go for telescope tubes, but is a trade that only comes out to the highest quality if you do it every day. For myself being a Classic telescope fan, White or off white with Black colors seem to be what floats my boat although there may be a powder blue scope somewhere in my future. I will leave the pink and green tubes to Williams Optics and I might even paint that red fluorite 80mm I have Tak white one of these days. Thanks Clint (caveman) Whitman

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#55 Telescopeman54

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:33 AM

Hey Hubert! Whacking the barrel on a tree or rock was a great way to make the M-16 blow up in Charlie's face!! Not that it was good for anything else!

Caveman! Put the scope in the BACK of my truck, PLEASE!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

sbf

#56 jblaschke

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

Folks, this thread has been inspiring. Seriously. So much so that I finally got off my duff and began a restoration of my old "6 Meade Newtonian. It's been banged up a lot over the years, but fortunately most of the damage is cosmetic. I spent the evening pulling the whole thing apart (even as the Hated Lakers did the same to my beloved Spurs) and now it's ready for me to begin sanding off the old paint tomorrow.

A question for you experienced restoration artists here: What do you do to revive the scuffed and dull aluminum (at least I assume they're aluminum. Stainless steel maybe?) C-clamps and trim pieces?

#57 bobbyt

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 09:52 AM

hi bob here, tell me about the paint used and the toy marvin the martian where can i get one .thanks 1 516 754 1763 call me :lol:

#58 rwiederrich

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:43 AM

Everyone knows my story...but I found this image of my scope just after I got it back from Montana after being in storage after nearly 30 years. It was a rust bucket, and needed extreme care. I repainted every part, and remachined new parts for the hydraulic system for the pier.
Added a bunch of upgrades(without altering the classicness).

This image and the one to follow is for all you *newbies* who are getting to restoring your classics.

Rob

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#59 rwiederrich

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:46 AM

And the finished project(well it will never be finished).

It took 4 years to restore.

Rob

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#60 RRavneberg

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 01:30 PM

One of the hardest things to do when restoring a classic telescope is selecting a color to repaint the tube and trim. Essentially two routes can be taken - you can mimic the original colors as much as possible, or you can go in a completely different color(s) making the scope more an expression of your own personal tastes.


Over the years, I have tried to do both. Of late, however, I find myself leaning toward restoration of telescopes in the "spirit" of the original while giving the instrument a new lease on life.

My current 4.5" f/15 refractor was assembled from a pile of abandoned components from different telescopes with the addition of some DIY stuff to make it all fit together, so there was no "original" state to emulate. Therefore, I simply did what I thought would look nice, yet not violate the classic nature of the original instrument(s).

I could certainly have had the tube professionally painted or powder coated, but it never occurred to me at the time. So I settled for careful application of spray Rust-Oleum primer, metallic blue, and clear overcoat to get the effect I wanted. Cost was about $2.89/can for a total cost of around $25.

More images of the scope are at: Vintage Refractor Takes the Field

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#61 jblaschke

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:01 AM

Bob, the toy Marvin the Martian was sold in stores 7-8 years ago. It takes watch batteries and there are three buttons on the back of his head which, when pressed, cause him to say various lines from his Loony Tunes cartoons. He also came with an oversized gold zap gun. They're not sold new anymore, but you'll likely find one (or another Marvin toy) on Ebay.

Can't answer your paint questions. Sorry. ;)

#62 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 02:26 PM

Barry,
Do you have a paint code for matching Brandon Sky Blue color?

#63 BarrySimon615

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:53 PM

Sorry for the late response. I have not been able to match the Brandon Blue. The closest I can come is by using Rust-Oleum "Harbor Blue" #7722. This paint is still available and I first used it about 15 years ago.

Barry Simon

#64 Doug76

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 08:43 PM

Gonna start this one up again. I am currently in possession of the parts for a Towa 60/700 and a Carton 60/1000. I have already painted the Towa tube (Krylon Gloss White). I had it turning for 24 hours. I build fishing rods, and you have to spin the rod slowly while the epoxy on the guide threads cures. The motor I use is from Cabela's, and spins at about 4rpm. It has a lot of torque, so it had no trouble turning that little tube. With a slight alteration, the mandrel (homemade) was able to hold the tube from the inside firmly, and on the other end I built a spinning disc with inset screws with felt on their heads that could be backed out to contact the tube inside and grip it firmly enough to prevent slipping. So the tube was held on both ends, spinning at 4rpm for 24 straight hours, and the finish was perfect. Since I have been on the road since then, I expect the tube's paint will be cured completely when I return home. Can't wait to get it together, and do the same with the Carton.
Doug

#65 drexelpbp

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 12:24 AM

Interesting. Did you paint it while it was spinning?

#66 rwiederrich

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 11:43 AM

Gonna start this one up again. I am currently in possession of the parts for a Towa 60/700 and a Carton 60/1000. I have already painted the Towa tube (Krylon Gloss White). I had it turning for 24 hours. I build fishing rods, and you have to spin the rod slowly while the epoxy on the guide threads cures. The motor I use is from Cabela's, and spins at about 4rpm. It has a lot of torque, so it had no trouble turning that little tube. With a slight alteration, the mandrel (homemade) was able to hold the tube from the inside firmly, and on the other end I built a spinning disc with inset screws with felt on their heads that could be backed out to contact the tube inside and grip it firmly enough to prevent slipping. So the tube was held on both ends, spinning at 4rpm for 24 straight hours, and the finish was perfect. Since I have been on the road since then, I expect the tube's paint will be cured completely when I return home. Can't wait to get it together, and do the same with the Carton.
Doug


That's the way to do it..... I rigged an old BBQ grill motor to rotate my 8' tube for my 6"f/15 when I repainted it.

I painted it while rotating, and let it dry rotating for a day as well.......

No runs, drips or errors. Images are posted on my website.

Rob

#67 desertrefugee

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:12 PM

Anyone care to comment on how the technique(s) described here might vary when we're talking about a reflector sonotube that could use a re-spray?

Body filler vs. spackle vs. ???. Primer and/or Krylon OK? etc, etc.

Thanks.

#68 jblaschke

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 01:29 AM

When I refurbished my 645 I used regular carpenter's wood putty to patch the gouges/blemishes in the tube. Now, those old Meades had a fiberlite tube which isn't exactly the same as sonotube, but it's not that far off. The putty dries quickly, doesn't shrink, is easy to sand and takes paint well. It shouldn't be any more complicated for you than that.

As for paint, lots of folks here use Krylon. Just make sure your primer is laid on thick enough. If I had to re-do my scope again, I'd pay a lot more attention to getting a more substantial layer of primer as even the slightest little tube blemish shows up when you apply the glossy stuff.

#69 desertrefugee

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 06:35 PM

And Jayme, I just went through your postings of the 645 restoration. Very nice restoration - and a nice job of making the process both imminently presentable and enjoyable to follow.

(Nice color too!)

#70 chris_nelson

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:54 PM

Post deleted by chris_nelson

#71 clintwhitman

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:59 AM

Whats Johns scope got to do with painting refractor Tubes???
John never paints any thing it powder coating or the hyw!! And after the powdercoat its the best ever made! :roflmao: (aveman!!
Gota love Ponds Check out the Amazing full moon star party post!!

#72 Lew Chilton

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

Here is a fine example of a telescope built around a vintage Zeiss objective lens. Mr. John Pons of North Hollywood, California stands next to his 10"F/16 refracting telescope. The GEM mounting system was built by the Edward R. Byers CO. in Barsto, CA. some years ago. Mr. Pons previously had a 8" telescope upon the same mount. :)


Chris, I'm not sure whether I should be upset that you hijacked my picture off the other thread, "Amazing Full Moon Star Party," to use here without mentioning where you got it from. To use a picture as your own is not ethical and against Cloudynight.com policy.

#73 tim53

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:04 PM

Perhaps replacing the photo with a link?

(John does amazing work, by the way).

-Tim.

#74 Glassthrower

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 04:43 PM

I'm sure Chris didn't mean any harm or disrespect, he was just admiring the mammoth Goto Kogaku. Of course, Lew is right about using images without permission. If Lew will grant his retroactive permission and Chris doesn't do it again, I think there is little or no harm done.

I had that same photo on my desktop for a while. But that is personal use and off the internet. ;)

Regards and clear skies,

MikeG

#75 Lew Chilton

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 05:28 PM

Thanks, Mike. You said it better than I did. :bow:


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