Today I finished restoring the finder for the R-61D. Well, almost, I still have to replace the cross-hairs but that's not difficult. I have some super-fine stainless steel wire around here for that although I've used my own hair when I wanted thick, heavy cross-hairs. The wire is much finer.
About the only really rashed component on the scope was the finder paint. Here's the before pic:
I apologize for no in-process shots but this was a "stolen moments" project at work over the last week, on breaks and lunch, a few minutes a day. I rarely have my phone on my person so when I find myself with a few minutes at the bench, it's either get the work done or go find the phone, lol.
Here is the after pic:
My standard procedure is to sand off all the old paint, down to clean metal, both tube and dewcap. Small tubing pieces are easy in the mini-lathe. Then a thin coat of etching primer allowed to dry for a couple of days, then a coat of white sanding primer, also allowed to fully cure for a few days. Finally I spray on what I call my "Unitron" white match, it's a modern white toned-down with quite a bit of black. It's a catalyzed automotive paint and I use a bit of accellerator so that it's dry to the touch in twenty minutes. I baked it for an hour and after it was cool it was ready for wet-sanding with 2000 grit to take off the orange peel, then polished to a water-wet surface with a #2 polish and a can of elbow grease. Old denim makes the best final buffing pad, rubbed until the part is warm from friction. Always by hand so there are no machine-generated swirl marks. Finder tubes are a breeze, but big OTAs four and five feet long can really build some muscles during sanding and buffing, lol.
Installed back on the main OTA. You can't see it but there is some white plastic tape wraped around the finder tube at the setscrew locations, as well as where it exits the bracket in the front. No new scratches wanted!
While I was at it, I lined up some of my Vixen focuser extensions, the ones no longer available. I'm using a short one on the Astro but you can see that they were made in several lengths, my longest is 3". The grey one is borrowed from an HOC Manon, the two shortest ones were Tasco accessories originally, I believe. The HOC has twice the wall thickness of the more modern ones but the thread is the same. I think I'm going to look into having a batch of these made up after the holidays.
Astro R-61D 60mm f/20 set up for 1.25". Dielectric diagonal, UO eyepiece.