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Edmund Palomar JR,, Deluxe Space Conquerer, 4.25"

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#1 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:02 AM

Here goes. I'll try to get this all in one day. It will be done during breaks so expect periodic segmenting. I'll try to make this a definative total nut and bolt rebuild, so it might be lengthy. Sometimes describing a process takes longer than the actual work.
Questions will be welcome. I don't claim to write user friendly code.

This is the Edmund 4.25" Newtonian reflector on the grey wrinkle paint German Equatorial Mount, on a pier pipe type stand. Edmund called these both the "Palomar Jr." and the "Deluxe Space Conquerer" in their catalogs.

This is the basic scope. It morphed through various versions of labels, shafts, and even OTA color, but kept the basic same construction.

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#2 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:19 AM

I won't be launching into general discussion of items like painting or which grease to use. These are as varied as the number of people on the planet. I will touch lightly on what I used.

I'll also stay out of general history, though that is interesting but not a specific restoration item. This will be it for general history. These did start in the 1950's with Edmund purchasing Anchor Optical Co. in the late 50's. Edmund continued to use the Anchor label on the early scopes till either they ran out of labels or Anchor lost it's novelty name sake. This one is labeled "Anchor" and is from the late 50's I'm told. Besides the different finder bracket and weight shaft extension, all the rest of the OTA and mount are the same as the Edmund greys.

EDit: I have that mount 180 degrees the wrong way. The weight should be over the leg on the laft, not centered between the two legs on the right. Hmm, have to fix that for stability.

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#3 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:03 PM

Let's get started. Go here for more info. This is a string I started on the 6" Super Space Conquerer (SSC).
SSC

If you ever wanted to paint, consider doing it before you put all this together. There is not one painted part that I didn't strip completely to the single casting or welded unit. That includes removing the bushings from the shaft housings. Get your parts CLEAN. I use pure trisodium phosphate(TSP)in the dishwasher, and soap and water scrub in the shower for what won't fit in the washer. TSP is the nasty phosphate that foams and algies our waterways so don't get it into the grid. I'm off grid and it is fetilizer that only makes the leaching field greener. If you scrub in a bucket and pour it on your plants, they'll love it. Get clean, however you do it.

This is the paint I use. It it the most outrageous close match to the multiple different shades Edmund Grey fades to. Rustoleum dropped the word "Primer" on later versions. The 2X coverage is honest. Coat very lightly from at least 12" or more. You don't want to fill the fine texture of the grey which is easy to do with this high solids paint. I often find it difficult to tell what's been painted because the match to original is so good. If that's the case then it's good enough.

The only other thing of note is that I cleaned the inside of the pier pipe by pushing a rag ball through it. Then pushed the ball with Boiled Linseed Oil on it. You don't have to get the inside spotless, just remove scaling rust as you would a regular paint job with rust preventative paint. Get out cobwebs and big gunk, don't fret the small stuff. Boiled Linseed Oil will seal it and is great for pipe interiors. It smells nice too.

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#4 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:27 PM

Ground up. The leg bolts are replaced with SS allen wrench type PAN head bolts. They look original but are a lot friendlier than the original straight slot. These have thin plastic film cut that keeps the legs from grinding into the pier finish. The film is thin and tough. You don't want flex room here that you would get with felt and the film will outlast felt. The nut and washer are now SS but an original configuration to hold the bolts in place. The legs have a recess to accommodate the nuts. These are meant to be some what permanent so I went with the SS on SS. Some people prefer to remove the bolts for trasport so the pier is less like a porcupine. In this case you won't need the nuts and washers at all. The outside wing nuts are ferrous original since they are meant to be removed. This also makes for less items in the original parts bag. If you use SS wing nuts you are likely to find you need pliers to remove them. SS on SS gets sticky (I won't keep repeating this).

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#5 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:41 PM

Pier cap.
Go to the SSC thread to read up on these inserts. They are great for the caps that do NOT have these interior tangs on the bottom. These early caps with the tangs WON'T WORK with the inserts. They go on incredibly tight as evidenced by the compression grinding marks on the plastic. They would not go on at all with the insert. I had to tap these on directly with a wood block and hammer to get them to seat on the pier. Make sure you block up the pier bottom if you beat on it. You don't want to be suspended by the leg ends while you pound it or you might break something. These early caps are not going to rotate to make a friendly AZM movement. You'll have to kick the legs around, old style.

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#6 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:47 PM

Line the cap up with a leg if you have to pound on an older style cap. You want to be able to get the counterweight over a leg. I used the SS thumb screws instead of set screws even though this cap won't rotate.
These are great for the newer caps with offset mount hole and no bottom tangs. The thumb screws and plastic inserts allow for easy polar alignment in the field.

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#7 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

These are the SS thumb screws for the cap, showing a modification that will become common. The ends have been very lightly rounded (VeRy lightly) and polished. Many scope applications simply do not need the Moon sized crescent craters and galling caused by set screws. This includes a lot of counterweights on shafts and safety stop collars and shaft locks. Don't get me wrong, some places are good to grind like the stop collars to housing settings.

I do these by hand on the side of the grinder with a very slight rotaion motion. Then quick buff with 600 grit on a soft back such as cardboard or thin (T shirt) rag.

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#8 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:34 PM

OOPS, glad I saw this picture. If you want to do this, do it before assembling what ever part it is. It is a lot easier and safer if you can hold the part with the casting in a downward direction. I give this credit to Shawn who came up with it on his RV-6 he restored here. He highlighted "CRITERION" on everything from the finder bracket to the weight and it turned out great. Dab a piece of cork (you can try other things) in paint and 'rubber stamp' it onto the casting highlights. Go slow with several very light taps, getting harder as you work. The learning curve is very easy. Have water or cleaner ready in case you need a fast clean up. I used a scrap clutch ring piece here. I also tried the leg castings but the relief was not as distinct. The legs turned out OK but I stopped at two of three. This little trick is something can really make your work POP.

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#9 khendrix2

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 01:46 PM

Very nice work as usual, Neil.

#10 RacerX69

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:13 PM

OOPS, glad I saw this picture. If you want to do this, do it before assembling what ever part it is. It is a lot easier and safer if you can hold the part with the casting in a downward direction. I give this credit to Shawn who came up with it on his RV-6 he restored here. He highlighted "CRITERION" on everything from the finder bracket to the weight and it turned out great. Dab a piece of cork (you can try other things) in paint and 'rubber stamp' it onto the casting highlights. Go slow with several very light taps, getting harder as you work. The learning curve is very easy. Have water or cleaner ready in case you need a fast clean up. I used a scrap clutch ring piece here. I also tried the leg castings but the relief was not as distinct. The legs turned out OK but I stopped at two of three. This little trick is something can really make your work POP.


Nice "trick", adds that little touch that will set your work apart form the rest of the pack.

#11 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:21 PM

Time to get your shaft together.
Chuck, I'm going to stop reading your signature.

I guess you'll have to take it apart first. Honestly, this is a rather dedicated move. If you tape off the bushings, and buff them carefully, then I doubt no one would know the difference in a paint job. I had decided to do a total strip before I started. This might help if you have a damaged bushing or one that is slopped out.

Mark the bushing to their holes and rotations. This will help limit, or eliminate, the re-alignment work to match the sets when re-installed. All these were snug press fits, both coming out and going back in. Dry fits. I wanted to find a driver with a broad extended head so I could hold the head on the edge of the bushing with a large seating, and hold the driver straight instead of an angle with a regular straight rod. This funky nail was just right. I held the housings in a soft jaw 3 way vise, very tightly. The housing tubes are quite thick and sturdy. Six of the eight bushings were humane, two were no go. My solution was to get a grip, square a good sharp head of the nail on the bushing, and beat the Hades out of it. It worked. If you have to get ugly with it, don't think about hitting your hand. Don't think about your hand. If you think about your hand, you will hit your hand, and your hand will really hurt. I did not hit my hand. I have a lot of shop experience. I'm just being a rectal orifice. (hand)

IF YOU HAVE TO REPLACE A BUSHING, I FOUND TWO (2) DIFFERENT SIZES. The older bushings were 0.010" bigger on the O.D. The older bushings would not fit in the newer housings and the newer bushings fell into the older housings with slop. You will have to mic your bushing O.D. and housing I.D. to match them for a replacement.

Re-assembly had all but two go back in using a block of wood on each side and a hammer. A large vice would have worked for the two, but that's out in the barn so I used my press (20T) and two blocks of wood with no issues.

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#12 starman876

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 02:52 PM

Awesome restoration. :bow: :bow:

#13 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 03:09 PM

This is where I have a gap in documenting and pictures, but it is important. I did not damage the bushings during removal or installation, but they did take some clean up and 'line boring' techinique to get re-trued per housing set of two. The first thing I did was take down any light mushroom from removal. I put any problem bushing on a dowel with a 220 sand paper wrap and very lightly took down any mushroom till the bushing would slip fit the shaft. This was very light work.
Here's mock up pictures. I don't have any bushings out so think of this focuser extension as a bushing.

I do have round stock but wood is friendlier for this. First I rolled my dowels to find a straight section. Then wrap the 220. It is easy to hold the bottom end of the bushing while holding the end of the wrapped 220. Very light strokes while rotating the bushing, and frequent checks on the scope shaft, till a slip fit. Compressed air and Q-Tip cleaning. The bushings were already stripped dry through the dishwasher with TSP. This is when I also ran the Dremmel buffer around the edge that would be exposed, along with some setting circle pointers and stop collars, etc. There are a ton of ways you can limit your work exposure to the very end of the bushing but this did no harm to the surface function and was a 'hit and git' move that I intended to use to align bore anyway.

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#14 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:04 PM

Once you have them together. t

oh creep, you should polish up the shafts before this assembly. I just found those pictures. Dang, I can't insert entries. Before putting in the bushings, note the following entries on the shafts. Hee Hee, you're going to get some insight of my peculiar mental works.

I don't care what your valve guides think, a reamer is just barbaric for this level. Once assembled, slide the whole housing on the sanding dowel and make very light rotating strokes, keeping the housing straight on the dowel. Frequently check fit the scope shaft from each end of the housing. This will take a little more than cleaning than the end of the individual bushings. You can do this with an expandable reamer if your good and carefull, but I wasn't spending the time and money on one. The finish was smooth, pretty, and straight. And fast. Compressed air and Q-Tips cleaning again. These are sintered bushings. If any one has thoughts of abrasive imbedment, let me know. I'm willing to bet that 10 years of good use from now, mine won't just be fine but in better condition than most.

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#15 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:28 PM

Before putting in the bushings, you might as well clean up the shafts and then clean up the whole housing. This is how I soft jaw vice my parts. Then shoe shine directly with 600. These shafts appear to be nickel coated and you don't want to go through that. You want to clean it and remove burrs (they've already been soap and water or dishwasher cleaned). You will be able to hear and feel any Big Bamboo Moon size craters that need filing. At 600 grit on up, the sand paper takes a whole different turn from 400 grit on down. It becomes quiet from the sanding sound. The swirling on metal begins to fade to a polish. At this point it is subjective. To those that do concourse work with 1000 and 1500 grit, I only stand back with respect and admiration. I have no argument.

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#16 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:29 PM

Here's a comparison shot I took with 600 work. The stop collars were placed at the end of the bearing area to control the polishing strokes, so I could just buff hog wild.

EDIT: I'll use this same picture since I flopped on documenting again. Now you should be getting close to oiling greasing and assembling. You need to lay out all the parts in order, shafts, saddles, setting circles, pointers, stop collars, drives, washers, all of it in close exploded view fashion. What you need to do is make sure of clearance. If you don't, you may have setting circles that hit each other or shaft ends that aren't long enough. I used the actual pictured layout to get an idea of how much RA shaft end I would need to mount a motor drive. It was so close that I had to do a closer defined layout.

You will see two different versions of the same parts if you look at various photos. The off set DEC housing welded to the RA shaft is flipped, depending on whether there are setting circles or not. Even the longer offset housings have to flip. I think Edmund found this to be a saving grace since the earliest scopes didn't seem to have setting circles. I also think this is why they eventually went to the longest center mounted DEC housings that would clear the setting circles and help support that spindle weight shaft (it is small for the weight). Do a dry run assembly, be sure.
Now, make sure the nail pointers are the right way (sideways to the saddle or DEC housing), and set cram that top stop collar with that barbaric volcano set screw. Everything piles against it. I strategically placed my set screws in the most hidden option. If you have the older style pointer, don't forget to slip it onto the stop collar after the collar is hard ground in set.

Now it's break time since I took no pictures of the 'clean hands' work of final cleaning, oiling, greasing, sorting, leather, fiber, teflon, bakelite setting circles and so on.
I do still have my extra grey mount to assemble so off to the shop.

later.

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#17 rcwolpert

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 04:48 PM

:gotpopcorn:

Very interesting!

#18 DocFinance

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:04 PM

I think I'm most impressed with the use of industrial food service or hospitality hair nets in the first picture alone. What a great idea.

#19 terraclarke

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:27 PM

Great thread highlighting your beautiful work preserving those cool old Edmunds Neil. Simply outstanding!
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#20 apfever

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 05:58 PM

I think I'm most impressed with the use of industrial food service or hospitality hair nets in the first picture alone. What a great idea.


That's hilarious Doc. I use BOTH. These kitchen bowl covers are getting harder for me to find. Albertsons doesn't carry them any more. I found these in a box on the shelf at Kink Soopers and bought the whole box of packs. These are the variety pack and the best thing going if you have a gazillion scope collection.
The conditioning caps are much cheaper than the true shower caps. These were from Albertsons. However, I have found some yellowish shower caps that are half hiney similar to the now yellow original covers of the RV-6, and I've found blue ones with print that do a 'good-bad' job of faking an Edmund cap. The actual shower caps are heavier and better looking than the light thin conditioning caps, and about 3 or 4 times the cost.

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#21 Joe Cepleur

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:50 AM

I think I'm most impressed with the use of industrial food service or hospitality hair nets in the first picture alone. What a great idea.


An improvement over my re-purposed zip-lock bags!

Superb thread, thanks. A fine example of what Cloudy Nights Classics is all about. I'm pondering some work on a 4" Criterion Dynascope, so this is an inspiration.

#22 Chuck Hards

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:12 AM

I recently got back the Palomar Jr. I sold in high-school. The tube is beat, many extra holes drilled. The finderscope was missing and one knob was broken off the focuser. The mount is in reasonably good shape with just a bit of rust. The optics are serviceable, it has the prism secondary and the primary needs a recoat.
I have a replacement focuser but need a replacement 6x30 finder & rings. A tough part to find. The main tube is easy to replace with irrigation tubing.

#23 apfever

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

Chuck,

You can have these. It's not worth the cost of shipping to send me the cost of shipping, so just let me pop them in an envelope and send them. All you have to do is tell me you're ging to do the deed. What you get is two finder rings with good original paint, one excellent and one cracked through the upper screw hole (arrow). These are left over from the 7 Palomar Jr. Church rebuild. I'm serious about getting left overs out. I was going to epoxy the crack shut around a nylon screw, but then decided I would drill some quick micro angled holes and epoxy the whole thing shut, then drill and tap fresh meat just clear to one side of the original hole. Sounds ugly but super easy and I'd be half done for the length of this correspondence. I'd be using the original Rare tap size of 4mm X 0.75 thread, NOT 4mm X 0.70 which is common. They're close but not interchangable.

Seriously, since I found these crazy awesome focuser knobs, on the shelf at ACE, I won't put originals back on future vintage Ed projects. Same manufacturer, identical enlargements of the originals, smooth bore 1/4" brass inserts, and the beefier set screw to go with it. These are so large (how large are they) that I had to do a face plant in visual position to check ergonomics for clearance, and they're grreat Tony.

Now here's another paragraph that takes as long as the work. It also explains the issue I have with documenting anal detail on this string. At least this will get the focuser knobs out of the way, and it shows how I think with a blessing of God given horse sense. Wait till you get a load of the RV-6 restoration! THESE focuser knobs are a hair bit large on the base and just touched the roll in the focuser housing. I put them on the shank end of a 1/4" drill and put the fluted end on the drill bit in the drill press. The 3/4" chuck on the press had plenty of drill to grab in secure square fashion. If I used the drill bit in the normal way, the short shank of the knob would not have seated well on the fluted end of the drill bit. I turned the knob on slow speed (16 speed drill) and held a Dremmel by hand to turn the champhered edges marked in the photo. It came out looking factory clean. I was going to buff the champher but I liked the way the finished showed a reveal between knob and focuser body.

Whewwww...

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#24 Chuck Hards

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 04:08 PM

Many thanks, Neil!

Still have my address?

I am definitely going to restore the scope. Lotsa memories, just glad to have (most of it) back. I can actually weld the crack shut and clean the piece back up, re-tap the hole. I've welded cast aluminum before.

#25 apfever

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 07:08 PM

PM sent.


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