I’m starting this thread even though I still have a few days work remaining on one of the telescopes. I’ll add to it day-to-day until the entire project is complete. Without an easy way to see the photographs I add the IMG links to as I write (I’m sure there’s a way but I’m not the most computer-savvy person in the world), I can put together a better thread in installments. This also gives you, my friends, a chance to ask questions and make suggestions along the way, and I can add supplemental photos in a more sequential manner.
Without further delay, here is the mini-adventure that I experienced while refurbishing a pair of beat-up, half-century-old Shrine Manon telescopes, that I affectionately refer to as the “SM twins”.
I had read good things about the Shrine Manon 60x700mm alt-az refractor here on CN, so when one came up on eBay early last year, I grabbed it with BIN due to the large number of people watching the auction.
Supposedly in good condition, when it arrived I was disappointed in it’s actual state. Low-resolution auction photos often mask flaws and shift colors. The mahogany box was in deplorable condition when closely examined. Every exposed metal piece was pitted with rust. There were a few small parts missing. What was encouraging was the air-spaced objective in very good condition, which I had read was exceptionally sharp and corrected for color better than average for an f/11.6 achromat.
I set the whole thing aside as a lesson learned; figured I may use the OTA as a guide scope or mount it on one of my EQ-2s.
A few months later, another one came up on eBay; this time it was clearly noted as being in poor condition and missing parts. I bought it, hoping to perhaps use bits from both to put one complete setup together.
Then just a couple of months ago, as I mentioned the scopes here in the forum, I was corresponding with CN member CharlieB, who, it turned out, had the parts I needed to complete both telescopes and was glad to send them to me! I can’t thank Charlie enough. Thanks to his generosity, two of these classic old telescopes will have a second chance at showing the sky to a new generation of astronomers, with luck for at least another half-century.