Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Restoring twin Shrine Manon 60mm telescopes

  • Please log in to reply
281 replies to this topic

#1 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 07:46 PM

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.


  • napapete3, Marc-Andre, Masvingo and 3 others like this

#2 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 07:48 PM

   

I began by taking both apart, with the exception of the mount head itself on one of them.  I wanted to do the mounts one at a time, so I always had an assembled one to use as a reference for putting the other one back together.   I found some differences when taking apart the second one, which I will expand on later.  There were also apparent differences in the OTAs.  I realized that one of them was earlier production than the other.  But the one I initially pegged as being the older version turned out to be the later version, and I’ll get into that in detail later, as well.

 

The two mounts, as received except for all parts installed (thanks again, Charlie!)

 

SM 001.jpg


  • mattyfatz, Perseus_m45 and Bomber Bob like this

#3 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 07:50 PM

First to be restored would be the legs.  One set was in much better shape, cosmetically, than the other, but closeup inspection revealed lots of nicks and stains, as well as much rust and discolored, chipped paint and rust on the metal pieces.  Both sets of leg assemblies would be completely refinished.

 

SM 002.jpg

 

This wouldn’t do, at all.

 

SM 003.jpg

 

All of the leg tips, on both sets, were missing.  Only the steel pins remained.

 

SM 004.jpg


  • terraclarke likes this

#4 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 07:52 PM

All of the metal hardware and brackets were removed from the legs, and the old finish sanded-off with a DA sander and 180 grit paper on the flat surfaces.  Rounded sections were done by hand, both convex and concave.  Water stains and other surface discolorations were removed.  Deep grained stains were left, and some nicks were not filled.  A few such imperfections are better left, as testament to the telescope’s past use.  My goal was never to restore them to factory-new condition.  A few minor, cosmetic flaws lend character to the instrument and tell the tale of past use under the stars by prior owners.

 

SM 005.jpg

 

SM 006.jpg

 

SM 007.jpg

 

Some of the mahogany leg pieces were twisted and bent.  I got most of the warps out of these pieces by counter-bending them well past straight, in the opposite direction, leaving them clamped that way for days, and periodically applying heat from a heat gun, raising the wood temperature to over 300 degrees F.  I monitored the temperature with a digital thermometer from Harbor Freight.


  • Perseus_m45 likes this

#5 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:00 PM

Sanding off the old varnish and stains began to show the true color of the wood.

 

SM 008.jpg

 

A surprise.  One of the tripods had metal inserts for the leg lock thumbscrews to seat against.  The other had nothing.  Holes had been bored into the wood over time, by the thumbscrews.

 

SM 009.jpg


  • Perseus_m45 likes this

#6 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:12 PM

I made a set of metal inserts for the other tripod using three ¼-20 hex-head bolts.  I ground the heads down in thickness, and rounded-off the points of the hex.  Lastly, I cut the threaded part to just a short stud that could be set into the wood, with the bearing surface flush.

 

SM 011.jpg

 

Locating them was easy, thanks to the existing holes.

 

SM 012.jpg

 

A receiver pocket was made with a router and Dremel tool.

 

SM 009.jpg

 

The bearing studs were set in place with a high-strength epoxy filler, and sanded flush.

 

SM 013.jpg

 

100.jpg


  • Perseus_m45, Marc-Andre, Masvingo and 1 other like this

#7 Perseus_m45

Perseus_m45

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 822
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Pennsylvania Appalachian Plateau region

Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:20 PM

Very nice work Chuck..Its all in the little details buddy. But still alot of work.

mike h



#8 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:22 PM

With the legs all sanded-down, refinishing could begin.  I used three coats of Minwax clear satin urethane.

 

SM 014.jpg

 

The color of the wood turned a dark, rich mahogany by the time the last coat went on.

 

SM 015.jpg

 

SM 016.jpg

 

SM 017.jpg


  • Marc-Andre and Bomber Bob like this

#9 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:25 PM

Very nice work Chuck..Its all in the little details buddy. But still alot of work.

mike h

 

Thanks Mike!

 

That's about it for now.  Next installment will show the leg brackets and eyepiece tray restoration.  The grey wrinkle paint will make it's first appearance.



#10 TOM KIEHL

TOM KIEHL

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5221
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2012

Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:46 PM

Nice work Chuck :waytogo: There sure is a lot of wood there.....Just when you think you got one set done (9 pieces ) .....SURPRISE ... There is another 9 pieces to do. Did you do these two scopes as a combined project ?  :ohmy:



#11 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 09:51 PM

Thanks Tom!

 

Yes, I did both of them more-or-less simultaneously, with the exception of the mounts.  I did them one at a time so that I had a fully assembled one handy as a reference, to aid it re-assembling the other.  As it turned out, there are minor differences between them, and they are pretty simple.  I probably could have worked just from photos, but that's OK.  I finished one the other day so am free to tear-down and paint the last two parts of the second mount, the yoke and the tube clamp assembly.  More on that later in the thread.

 

The steel leg brackets on one of the tripods were particularly rusted and discolored, though both sets were in need of restoration.  I removed all paint, right down to clean metal, with a Scotchbrite pad on a pneumatic angle sander.  Fortunately the rust pits were shallow so hardly any metal needed to be removed.  The inside of the brackets were worse than the outside, attesting to the fact that moisture gets trapped between the metal and the wood legs.  I used a Dremel tool and small steel grinder bit to get into the internal crevices.

 

 

 

Both sets, shiny bright and ready for the etching primer.

 

SM 018.jpg



#12 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:16 PM

The etching primer was applied in two sessions.  The first side, which was then given about a half hour to dry, then they were flipped over and the other side was primed.  Care was taken to make sure all the internal surfaces and all edges got a good primer coat.

 

SM 019.jpg

 

Time for the grey wrinkle.  I used the VHT grey, not a perfect match for the factory Shrine Manon grey, but as near as I can tell, the light grey wrinkle is no longer available in a rattle can.  One of these days I’m going to see if my local auto body custom paint maker can mix a custom wrinkle color.  But I like the shade of grey and it turned out pretty close when dry.

The stuff can be tricky to apply properly. A fairly thick coat is needed in order for it to wrinkle.  The recommended procedure is one coat, allowed to dry for five minutes or so, followed by a second coat, also allowed to tack up for a few minutes, then a final coat.  I used the heat gun judiciously between coats and after the final coat was applied.  It seemed to speed-up the formation of the wrinkles a bit.

 

SM 020.jpg

 

The wrinkle had to be applied in two or three sessions, a day apart, since this paint is very slow to dry to the point where it can be handled.

 

SM 021.jpg

 

A pneumatic paint mixer saved me from having to wear myself out shaking the can.  This paint must be kept well-mixed.  And always clear the spray tip by inverting the can after applying a coat, and spraying it clear of paint.  If not done, the tip will clog.  Ask me how I know.

 

SM 022.jpg

 

SM 023.jpg

 



#13 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 19 February 2015 - 10:55 PM

The eyepiece trays got the same treatment.  Sanded down to bare metal, any bends straightened, and sharp corners removed.

 

SM 024.jpg

 

The tray on the left has been stripped and is ready for primer.

 

SM 025.jpg

 

Both trays in primer, awaiting the wrinkle.

 

SM 026.jpg

 

I made a special rack to hold the trays for applying the wrinkle.  Each is held by the tips of three screws.  That way I could paint both sides within 24 hours.  The screw tips left no discernable marks on the tray undersides, which were painted first.

 

SM 027.jpg

 

Waiting for the wrinkles to appear.

 

SM 028.jpg

 

The wrinkles don’t appear uniformly all over at the same time.  They start in one or two areas, and spread to cover the entire surface.  Application of gentle heat can speed the process.

 

SM 029.jpg

 

Close-up of the painted underside.

 

SM 030.jpg

 


  • Marc-Andre and choran like this

#14 starmason

starmason

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 72
  • Joined: 08 Jan 2006
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 19 February 2015 - 11:10 PM

Chuck:  I found one of these Shrine Manon 60mm telescopes the other day, online and now waiting to receive it next week.  Am enjoying your restoration info and pics!  Beautiful workmanship.  Can't wait to see the condition of mine when it arrives.  Hopefully it is complete and the doublet in good shape so it's refinishing is minimal.  Looking forward to the rest of your labor of love on your twins.  

I was very fortunate to receive a wonderful old, but solid, Asahi Pentax 60mm refractor, last year, and after many hours of restoration, it now looks nice and functions beautifully.  Amazing how well made some of these older Japanese legacy scopes are.  I enjoyed the wood refinishing which really completes the beauty of these wonderful scopes.  Constructed 50 years ago and still provide so much enjoyment for us.  Clear skies.  image.jpg


  • Chuck Hards and terraclarke like this

#15 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:23 AM

When you get your Shrine Manon, please post photos!  Thanks for the kind words.  



#16 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:28 AM

The mount head and tripod hub castings were next.  Same procedure, take them down to clean metal with the Scotchbrite pad on the angle sander.  Crevices and details too confinded for the sander required soaking in acetone and a steel brush, as well as the Dremel grinder.  Some of the castings were pretty rough.  Lots of pits and bumps, which required filling and sanding during the priming process.

 

SM 036.jpg

 

SM 031.jpg

 

SM 032.jpg


  • mattyfatz likes this

#17 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:32 AM

Applying the grey wrinkle to the tripod hub.  

 

SM 034.jpg

 

I made a mandrel from a stick, to hold it while making sure every surface had a sufficiently thick coat of paint.

 

SM 035.jpg

 

Tube cradle/clamp.

 

SM 054.jpg

 

SM 055.jpg

 

 


  • mattyfatz likes this

#18 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:43 AM

With the tripod hubs painted, it was finally time to re-assemble the tripods.

 

SM 046.jpg

 

My intention was to re-use as much of the original hardware as possible.  Nuts & bolts, etc., but at least half of the #4 flathead screws that attach the leg brackets to the wood leg pieces were either bent or broken, so I opted for all new screws for both tripods.  I used stainless steel screws to avoid future rust.  The factory had painted the screw heads grey to match the paint on the brackets, but I elected to leave them unpainted.

 

SM 044.jpg

 

The thumbscrews for the leg extension clamps did clean-up pretty well, so I re-used them.  One set required considerably more elbow grease than the other, but all of them shined up nicely.

 

SM 045.jpg

 

SM 047.jpg

 

Brand-new stainless-steel carriage bolts, washers, and nuts were used to attach the tripod hub to the legs.

 

SM 043.jpg



#19 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:50 AM

Brand-new 10-24 stainless steel bolts, wingnuts, and washers were used to attach the eyepiece tray/leg brace to the leg brackets.  New cotter pins were also used to attach the hinged joiner plates to the brackets.

 

SM 040.jpg

 

SM 050.jpg

 

Time to stand it up!

 

SM 041.jpg

 

I made new rubber leg tips, using Neil's technique of modifying rubber stoppers.  Instead of round, these are shaped like a narrow, four-sided pyramid with a rounded tip.  Photo coming.



#20 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 07:53 AM

Time to re-assemble the first mount head.

 

Here's a BEFORE pic of one of the mounts:

 

SM 052.jpg

 

AFTER restoration:

 

SM 053.jpg

 


  • Deven Matlick, mattyfatz, astro140 and 2 others like this

#21 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:03 AM

The OTAs were next.  Both had dents and scratches, the finderscope tubes were particularly bad thanks to the front set of bracket setscrews.  They are short, pointed, recessed adjustment screws with slotted heads, and very tiny.  But they were tightened right into the finder tube.

 

Again, sanded down to clean metal, this time using the DA sander and 180-grit abrasive paper.  Details were hand-sanded.  Tube threads were masked with masking tape to protect them.

 

SM 056.jpg

 

That tiny finder tube was a pain in the keyster.

 

SM 058.jpg

 

Pits and dents were filled with automotive body filler and sanded smooth prior to application of both types of primer.  I used Evercoat, similar to Bondo but much more fine-grained and less porous.

 

SM 057.jpg


  • mattyfatz likes this

#22 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:07 AM

The main tube was lined with flocking, as well as the dewcap interior.  I removed the stock tube baffle and opened it up on the lathe, to increase the field of 100% illumination, since I was going to use a 1.25" eyepiece holder on the focuser.  These telescopes don't use a sliding drawtube, and the Vixen 1.25" eyepiece holder threads-on easily.  The stock .965" eyepiece holder can be used as well, if desired.

 

707.jpg

 

This is an older 1.25" eyepiece holder that I'm using on one of them, since it's shorter front-to-back than the current model.

 

708.jpg


  • Deven Matlick and mattyfatz like this

#23 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:10 AM

The objective cell, focuser body, and finder brackets were actually in pretty good shape.  Just a few minor nicks that are easily touched-up with a small brush and matching grey enamel.

 

002.jpg

 

Here is one of the OTAs on an EQ-2 mount, where I had it perched while working on the mounts.

 

001.jpg


  • mattyfatz and Tenacious like this

#24 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:39 AM

In coming days I will post photos of both scopes side-by-side, as well as note some details and differences between the two, as well as pics of the mahogany storage boxes that were also restored.

 

But for now, here is the first completed telescope.

 

200a.jpg

 

203a.jpg

 

205a.jpg

 

207a.jpg


  • Vesper818, AndreyYa, astro140 and 3 others like this

#25 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 24594
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:40 AM

204.jpg

 

206.jpg

 

 


  • mattyfatz and terraclarke like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics