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6" Tinsley Saturn Cassegrain Restore

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#376 Terra Nova

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 12:35 PM

I like that! An unusual color for an unusual telescope. It should look nice with all the brass too!


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#377 macdonjh

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:33 PM

I like that! An unusual color for an unusual telescope. It should look nice with all the brass too!

+1

#378 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:34 PM

Thanks Terra.  It's not a Victorian-era scope, but the brass & styling remind me of that period, so I feel comfortable using something close to the bold colors I've seen on late 19th Century refractors -- some of the greens & reds are kinda loud for scientific instruments, but beautiful at the same time.

 

(Many Years ago, I had a History Professor berate us idiots for assuming the Victorians were as bland as their black & white photographs.  I'm terrible recalling names, but I still remember his.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 July 2020 - 01:36 PM.

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#379 RichA

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 10:26 PM

I found this old Tinsley ad in a 1967 Fawcett book (645). It's the 12 inch Cassegrain. Both the 6 and 12 inch look like twins except for the size. The mount looks similar too. I thought this could be of interest. 

Nice scopes, but it's amazing how so many companies lost the thread and missed the transition of high-end scopes to portability that first Questar found and Celestron perfected.  I figure Unitron could have become an apo seller, Tinsley could have become something and Cave and Star Liner might have been able to save themselves.  It's like they were still operating in an era in which only the wealthy could afford scopes, they had observatories and didn't care about the time and effort needed to transport and set-up scopes. 


Edited by RichA, 07 July 2020 - 10:29 PM.

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#380 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:47 PM

"....Tinsley could have become something...."
 

Really! You're implying they did not? Actually, Tinsley did become something. They became a company producing high end electro-optical devices used in surveillance science, target acquisition, advanced avionics, simulators, and astronomical research. They worked on the corrective optics for the Hubble Telescope for one thing:

 

https://www.glassdoo...E5180.11,31.htm

 

They're now working on the James Webb Space Telescope:

 

https://www.photonic...ng_Plant/a22095

 

Just like Edmund, instead of devolving, they evolved to be much more than they were starting out.

 

https://www.bloomber...any/0876737D:US


Edited by Terra Nova, 08 July 2020 - 06:50 PM.

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#381 oldmanastro

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 06:57 PM

Tinsley did become something. They became a company producing high end electro-optical devices used in surveillance science, target acquisition, advanced avionics, simulators, and astronomical research. They worked on the corrective optics for the Hubble Telescope for one thing:
 

https://www.glassdoo...E5180.11,31.htm

 

They're now working on the James Webb Space Telescope:

 

https://www.photonic...ng_Plant/a22095

 

Just like Edmund, instead of devolving, they evolved to be much more than they were starting out.

https://www.bloomber...any/0876737D:US

It would have been nice if both Edmund and Tinsley had preserved their amateur telescope divisions but they didn't evolve in that direction. Jaegers would have been great too. I miss the little Edmund catalog and would go over it many times. One of them is in very good storage and protected from humidity inside a well sealed plastic box.  Following on RichA line of thought, imagine how the telescope section of that catalog would have looked like today.

 

Guido


Edited by oldmanastro, 08 July 2020 - 10:08 PM.

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#382 Terra Nova

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 07:04 PM

It would have been nice if both Edmund and Tinsley had preserved their amateur telescope divisions but they didn't evolve in that direction. Jaegers would have been great too. I miss the little Edmund catalog and would go ever it many times. One of them is in very good storage and protected from humidity inside a well sealed plastic box.  Following on RichA line of thought, imagine how the telescope section of that catalog would have looked like today.

 

Guido

Guido, I miss them too but in reality the amateur market for the most part is pretty much penny-anty stuff. Especially when compared to R&D, govt. and defense contracts, etc. Lots more money to be made by the investors in the direction they went. Incidentally, Lomo in Russia, has also gotten out of the amateur market and switched exclusively to making 'big stuff' and presumably much bigger Rubles.


Edited by Terra Nova, 08 July 2020 - 07:08 PM.

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#383 Bomber Bob

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 07:35 AM

So... I can't call TL for questions about this scope?  It's only been 75 years or so since they made it... so much for customer support.



#384 Bomber Bob

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Posted 18 July 2020 - 12:52 PM

Just came in from stripping the Tinsley.  Heat Index is 101* F -- a bit cooler in the shed with 2 floor fans going, but still... Hot.  Took about 3 hours, including clean-up.  That gray primer was on good!

 

Overall, the tube is in better shape than I remembered.  I buffed-out the 3 longest deepest scratches with my B&D Mouse hand-sander.

 

After a break, I'll bring the tube indoors for the aluminum filler.  Gonna let that set for about a week before trimming & polishing.  

 

Meanwhile:  I gotta make some Finder decisions.  I really like the look of those brass columns & rings, but they're about 3x heavier than standard vintage cast aluminum / pot metal (?) types.  If I do use them, then I gotta shorten those posts, and embed the bases in something solid, so they don't stress the old tube and/or come apart during a session -- that would be bad.  I've got some 3/4" wide brass bar stock.  I could cut it into 2 bars, tap & thread 2 holes in each bar, push the columns up through new holes in the tube, then use brass nuts to secure each column (pull the bars tight against the tube interior).  I think that'll eliminate flexure, which is a major issue with the large RA finder.  On the outside, the columns & rings would be the only hardware showing, and I think the brass will look nice against the cranberry paint...

 

Both finders are gonna get improvements.  The smaller antique brass one is getting new eyepiece glass:  I scavenged the 2 lens groups from that Celestron / Vixen 7mm Plossl, and I'm gonna adapt these to the original housing.  The current eye lens has scratches galore, and the objective is just too good not to maximize its potential.  It's also getting crosshairs.  For the larger Saturn finder, I'm gonna remove any paint or chrome to expose the yellow brass underneath -- have it coordinate with the rest of the scope.  Its rings will be closer together, too.  When I installed it, I used 2 existing holes for the ring spacing rather than drill more.

 

Tomorrow will be Spider Day:  I have all the parts on hand, just gotta assemble & test it.

 

My goal is to have this final restore done by the Autumnal Equinox.  Barring any catastrophes, I should meet or beat that date...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 18 July 2020 - 12:54 PM.

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#385 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:25 PM

Secondary Mirror Cell -- NOVAK Parts

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S06 - Novak Cell Parts.jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S07L - Novak Cell Parts.jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S08 - Novak Cell Parts.jpg

 

I'm using a combination of my mirror holder & baffle with these Kenneth Novak parts.  His assembled cell is much lighter than the current unit (my 2nd attempt), is better machined, and has 2 pivot points, whereas mine has only one.  My emphasis was on protecting both mirrors, so I didn't worry about weight -- there was no way the secondary mirror could come out, or that any piece of the cell would fall out & hit the primary...

 

The Tinsley has that 4" long cylinder / rod holder (with a thumbscrew lock) at the spider's center.  First problem:  The Novak threaded rod is at least 1" too short.  Mine extended almost 2" past the sky end, and had a nut & washer at the end, so it could not slide through with the thumbscrew unlocked.  So, I gotta run to Lowe's tomorrow for a 7" long threaded rod...  Second problem:  The Novak cell is designed for a 60mm mirror, and mine is 50mm diameter.  No sweat -- my mirror holder has a 60mm OD -- so that thin aluminum band will fit around it.  But... my holder is about 2mm too thick to fit flush with the disk and under the band's lip.  So... I gotta remove the mirror, carefully cut 2mm off the back, such that it's a level surface.  With those 2 issues resolved, this final assembly will be done, and it should function much better than my current version.

 

I think the original Tinsley cell used a domed nut similar to the brass one on the Novak, because the rod holder has a cupped end that fits the dome perfectly.  Novak tapped & threaded 3 faces for tiny grub screws.  Once I get the mirror distances set, I'll lock this nut in place with the grubs.  Novak used 3 x 10-24 Allen Head screws for the main tilt action -- and no springs.  Trying to make adjustments at night & at the scope with an Allen wrench is just begging Murphy to apply his Law.  I re-threaded the holes for 3 x 10-32 brass thumbscrews.  For initial testing, I won't use springs, either.  If this makes corrections harder, I'll add the springs.

 

My current baffle fits snugly over the mirror holder, and I used 2 x 8-32 grubs to hold it.  With this new combo, I'm going to use a 53 x 70 mm scrap piece of thin-wall brass that will replace the current retaining ring. and secure it with 3 x #6 grubs.  So, the baffle will extend about 2.5" from the mirror surface.  My holder has a 2" brass washer at the back, and I had it bolted to the tilt disk with 3 screws.  A thin cork layer separated the mirror back from the metal.  I'm gonna leave all that in place.  I may attach the brass washer to the Novak disk, although that's overkill.  The Novak band attaches to the tilt disk with 4 screws, so it's highly unlikely that the mirror holder & baffle would fall out...


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#386 macdonjh

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Posted 19 July 2020 - 08:44 PM

 

 I'm going to use a 53 x 70 mm scrap piece of thin-wall brass that will replace the current retaining ring. and secure it with 3 x #6 grubs.  So, the baffle will extend about 2.5" from the mirror surface.  My holder has a 2" brass washer at the back, and I had it bolted to the tilt disk with 3 screws.  

All that brass will look smashing when it's polished up and glowing softly in the star light. lol.gif

 

FWIW, I've used Allen wrenches when collimating open tube scopes for years without incident.  I understand your concern, but I think it's less of an issue than you think.  Just keep thinking, "don't drop it, don't drop it".



#387 Bomber Bob

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Posted 26 July 2020 - 12:00 PM

Aluminum Tube - Ready to Paint

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S11 - Tube (Exterior Eye End).jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S12 - Tube (Interior Eye End).jpg

Saturn Restore 2020 S13 - Tube (Spider).jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S14 - Tube (Interior Eye End).jpg

 

No painting today:  Storms popping up all over and with very little notice.

 

Note those shiny buttons that I've posted about before -- you'll see them in several pix.  No rhyme or reason to their placement.  Note also that though the tube is seamless aluminum, it does have a rumple on one side.  My Steel Stik filler are the dark gray dots.  May not look like it, but a lot of work went into the prep:  I use 3M sanding sponges, because they bend to conform to the tube, and they don't dig into the metal like sandpaper.  At the sky end, each hole for the brass end ring has a brass rectangular tab.

 

I tapped the tube for the new finder holes.  They'll be much closer together, and share reinforcer plates on the inside.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 26 July 2020 - 12:02 PM.

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#388 Bomber Bob

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 02:14 PM

Do We See RED...

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S15 - Tube (Primer).jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S16 - Tube (Repaint Cranberry).jpg Rustoleum - Cranberry Sample.jpg

 

This Cranberry is, of course, lighter than the cap / sample card / web site...  Second thin coat is still "wet" in the pix...

 

Just moved it to the shed, and turned both floor fans on it.  The color is already several shades darker, and very close to the sample.  Texture & coverage look good -- especially for a BB paint job!

 

UPDATE:  Oh... Yeah!  Cranberry Satin it is this morning.  Just for kicks, I held up that 5# solid brass end ring to it, and the contrast is... beautiful.  I know, it won't the scope work any better, but purdee counts with our Classics, too.  Speaking of that End Ring:  My first restore, I left the original black enamel on it, even though it was worn down & patchy.  Yesterday I polished all that off -- talk about some stubborn paint!  Gonna leave the sky end bare & golden, and hand-paint the interior edges with chalkboard black...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 28 July 2020 - 10:52 AM.

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#389 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 04:49 PM

Bit of Eye Candy...

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S17 - Tube (Repaint Cranberry).jpg

 

Even in person & under the bright lights, it's tough to see my patching work.  She'd gonna be Xtra-purdee once all the other brass bits are attached.


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#390 oldmanastro

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 06:49 PM

That combination of brass with red looks really neat JW. Congrats.

 

Guido


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#391 Bomber Bob

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 08:10 PM

Thanks!  Couple of weekends ago, I combined a Honey-Do! with a Tinsley must-have:  Built a ramp from the shed to the laundry room.  So, I can wheel that 200# mount in & out of the house without injury to man or scope.  It was a win-win job.  The Tinsley will be on display in my man cave, but will be wheeled-out for the planets & such.


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#392 rcwolpert

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Posted 28 July 2020 - 08:55 PM

Bit of Eye Candy...

 

attachicon.gifSaturn Restore 2020 S17 - Tube (Repaint Cranberry).jpg

 

Even in person & under the bright lights, it's tough to see my patching work.  She'd gonna be Xtra-purdee once all the other brass bits are attached.

Can't wait to see the finished product!


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#393 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 05:03 PM

Secondary Mirror Assembly - Done!

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S21 (Spider COMPLETE).jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S22 (Spider COMPLETE).jpg Saturn Restore 2020 S23 (Spider COMPLETE).jpg

 

Combination of Novak & BB parts that actually works... a Festivus Miracle!  I didn't plan it, but my cell is a perfect diameter fit for the Novak tilt disk.  I did have to cut, trim, level, & polish my cell to fit the length of that brass collar... It's tight!  But I did manage to get a very thin cork disk between the mirror back and the aluminum disk.  I'm not gonna use the Novak spider, but I wanted to show how the 1st Pivot works:  the dome of that brass nut fits a cup on the spider brace.  Tinsley must've used something similar, as its center brace has a cup, but only on the eye side -- the sky side is flat.

 

Lots of moving parts in just the Tinsley secondary.  8 thumbscrews on the outside are used to center & square the assembly with the primary.  2 pivot points for the secondary mirror.  And, the mirror distance is adjustable, then locked with a thumbscrew for the threaded rod.  Basic alignment of the 2 mirrors takes a while after re-assembly.  But with solid components, it holds well between sessions.

 

BIF:  Remember how I glued & painted powder-sand for the flocking?  Took a break this morning from building iPads to scrub all that mess off the walls, then used my blower on it -- black cloud in the back yard...  gonna replace it with a couple of coats of chalkboard black this weekend.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 30 July 2020 - 05:42 PM.

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#394 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 July 2020 - 08:34 PM

Finder Brackets - Pre-Paint

 

Saturn Restore 2020 S31 - Finder Rings (Pre Paint).jpg

 

These antique brass columns are about 3" long.  I cut 2 in half, then threaded the new ends at 3/8-16 about a half inch up.  They'll carry the 40mm R/A Finder.  I clipped the small rings from an Edmund jewel finder for the all brass straight-through.  I thought I'd lost its original glass reticle, but found it wrapped & packed -- complete with its frame and tiny centering screws.


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#395 Bomber Bob

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:28 PM

24mm Finder Refresh

 

TL24 Finder Scope S04 - Restore (Optics).jpg

 

This all-brass beauty came from an antique surveying instrument, and originally I intended it for my Mogey 3.  For the first restore, I polished-off all the grunge, and cleaned the outer glass surfaces.  For this refresh, I wanted to make some upgrades...

 

First, swap the optics from a Celestron / Vixen .965" 7mm Plossl.  But... I forgot the original eyepiece is a Ramsden with a 10mm wide field lens, while the Plossl has identical-width 5mm lenses.  Not gonna build adapter collars & such, so scrap that idea.

 

Second, re-install the glass reticle inside that slotted band.  Unfortunately, the reticle is from another surveyor tool, and is 2mm too wide to fit.  So, scrap that idea.  (Yeah, I was on a roll today!)

 

But I'm glad that I took a close look at the scope.  FUNGUS had formed between the objectives elements, and within the eyepiece.  Removing the glass was nerve-wracking!  The brass retaining rings are unthreaded; instead, the edges bow out (rather like tiny thin wedding bands), and fit into micro-grooves in the cell walls.  To pop them out, there are 4 horizontal slots in an X pattern.  I had to use the screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit -- even my smallest jeweler's screwdriver tip was too thick.  Small & light as these lenses are, I guess a press-fit made more sense back then.

 

The objective is 1" in diameter, and some kind of contact doublet -- Littrow, maybe?  Elements are very thin, and no spacers or ring, and no evidence of oil.  Removing that band was tricky, as corrosion was present between it and the cell wall.  I had to use a razor blade to clean the groove before the band would pop out.

 

All 4 lenses are soaking in a tub of peroxide.  Gonna leave them in there for a day or two, rinse that off, air dry, then a sun bath.  The cells & casings are soaking in another tub.  Finally, I used Q-Tips and a small rag to scrub out the tube interior.

 

The finder rings are painted -- have those curing in the shed.

 

Now, I can turn my attention to the 12# primary mirror cell...


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#396 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 09:33 AM

Parts Is Parts...

 

Soaking the lenses from the 24mm Finder in peroxide for 3 days + an all-day sunbath removed all the alien growths & grime without scrubbing.  Glass is in the best shape possible, and the views through the finder are very good.  The Tinsley sits up so high on the mount that this straight-through isn't a neck-strainer.  There are 6 spots on the tube where those steel thumbscrews reacted with the brass.  Gonna work on removing those today -- without re-polishing the whole tube (I hope!)... 

 

The Novak cell is a mix of brass, aluminum, & steel parts.  To adapt it to the Tinsley, I wanted mostly brass hardware.  Couldn't find it locally, so I got orders from several vendors.  For the current threaded steel rod, I found an aluminum bar, that I'll cut to the exact length needed, then thread both ends.  The sky side will be bright gold brass, so when you look in, the end ring will be a bright circle, with a gold "star" at its center...

 

For some reason, Tinsley used 8 aluminum knurled nuts for the ends of the spider rods.  I got gold brass replacements.  In fact ALL of the exterior hardware will be brass.  It's not a Brashear or a Clark, but I want to give it that style, since it's replacing my Goto as the center of my scope display.  I like the idea of setting it up on the tall Meade SF pedestal at a star party, too.

 

** Wound up having to polish the whole tube.  Removing those corrosion spots left shiny blotches.  Now the tube is evenly shiny.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 August 2020 - 08:09 AM.

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#397 Garyth64

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:12 AM

BB,  would you like to have a solid brass CW?

 

Brass CW.jpg

 

It's solid brass, has a 3/4" hole and the knob has plastic on the end.  It is approx. 8.8 lbs on my bathroom scale.

 

I made this a few years ago, but I just don't use it.

 

 . . . just pay shipping.

 

 


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#398 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 12:34 PM

Wow Gary -- that looks sweet!!   But... the Tinsley's counterweight rod is 1.5" & threaded.  If the center bore was a hair larger, it could slide up/down, and use that bolt to secure it -- I did that with the Polaris EQs from time to time when I needed more weight on the mount.  As y'all have seen in pix, the mount "tail" is so heavy that it can balance a 30# scope with a 10# counterweight (the smaller of the 2 it came with).  A yellow brass c/w would be eye-catching for sure!

 

BIF:  Back in June, I approached The Boys about making either hinged brass rings, or an 18" slotted brass plate with brass 1/4 cradle ends (my preference).  They didn't have time for it, but I haven't given up on that idea down the road.  I have a pair of modern hinged rings that fit, so I'll repaint those gray to coordinate with the other painted hardware.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 August 2020 - 08:11 AM.


#399 macdonjh

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 01:57 PM

 I have a pair of modern hinged rings that fit, so I'll repaint those gray to coordinate with the other painted hardware.

Brass plating?



#400 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 02:04 PM

Brass plating?

Can that be done on aluminum?




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