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Monolux 4366

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#51 ftwskies

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 09:31 PM

Masked and primed!  (Well, the first coat anyway.  Probably needs a second coat in a day or two.)

 

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(I used q-tips to mask the threads in the focuser block holes.)

 

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#52 ftwskies

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:53 AM

Long overdue...  Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Miss Molly Monolux!

 

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I finished the paint a couple weeks ago, but I spent the past week or so polishing chrome and metal bits.  Last night I finally flocked the tube and completed final assembly of the OTA.  I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out.

 

It still needs a little work, though.  I'm not entirely happy with the focuser -- it needs a thicker grease to mitigate some free play in the assembly, and the tension isn't right.  The thing came with three leaf springs stacked inside the gearbox to push the pinion up against the rack.  I was careful to refer to the tear-down photos I took to get the springs oriented correctly (which side up) but I couldn't pack the thing together with all three springs.  With two springs I could complete the assembly but the movement was way too stiff.  Right now I've just got one spring in there, but it's too loose.  So I need to play with it a little and see if maybe I got the springs in upside down after all, or maybe something else isn't lining up right.  :shrug:  I could do with a little thicker grease on the finder focuser, too; right now it's smooth but feels slightly loose.

 

Overall, though, I'm happy with it.  Next step is to refurbish the mount.  I've got two vintage wooden tripods; the original one that came with Molly with light colored legs and the brand-new time capsule one with dark legs that came with my Milben zoomer.  Molly's 'pod didn't have any sort of spreader, so my plan is to transplant the leg brackets and spreader tray from the Milben tri to the Monolux tri after first painting it a matching green.  The head of the Monolux tri is staying since it's a little nicer than the Milben head, but it, too, will be disassembled, cleaned up, painted green and reassembled.

 

gallery_240021_6729_14885.jpg


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#53 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:55 AM

That is really pretty Jim! I love the colors!!


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#54 ftwskies

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:58 AM

The pictures below show the leaf spring arrangement inside the focuser.  I was careful to take these pics during teardown without reorienting anything, so I'm pretty sure I got them oriented correctly (concave side towards the axle), but it just didn't feel right when I tried re-assembling them that way last night.  WIth all three springs stacked I couldn't even get the front gearbox screw to engage the tapped threads in the focuser body.  This needs a closer look and more work.

 

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#55 ftwskies

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:01 AM

That is really pretty Jim! I love the colors!!

Thanks, Terra!  So do I.  I know it's a little bit unorthodox but 60x700s are common enough that I felt safe doing something a little different.  I wanted colors that said "vintage" to me, more than just plain ol' black and white.  I think the cocoa colored Swifts are really pretty; I didn't want to copy them but they were my inspiration.


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#56 madeline

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:16 AM

Did you use a clear topcoat on your paint job?



#57 mattyfatz

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:41 AM

Really great! The color scheme is unique, but somehow it still looks like a classic. 


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#58 ftwskies

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:08 AM

Did you use a clear topcoat on your paint job?


Yes. I used two coats of Testors glosscote spray lacquer over both the green and the white. But I didn't want it glassy glossy, so I skipped most of the sanding on the paint layers and left it a little bit "frosty".
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#59 rcwolpert

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

I love the color scheme.  Excellent choice.


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#60 Mr Magoo

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:00 PM

Nice job! I love scopes with different color schemes. As much as I like it, I don't think I'm going to paint any of mine with the old Avocado color that was on the appliances I grew up with!


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#61 Vesper818

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:48 PM

Beautiful restoration! I love the green!
Btw, Larry got Monolux from me, a garage sale find and project I never got to. He patiently cleaned it, tweaked and improved it, a fine 60mm.
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#62 deSitter

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 05:47 PM

Long overdue...  Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Miss Molly Monolux!

 

gallery_240021_6729_253770.jpg

 

gallery_240021_6729_230249.jpg

 

gallery_240021_6729_164536.jpg

 

gallery_240021_6729_58941.jpg

 

gallery_240021_6729_206023.jpg

 

I finished the paint a couple weeks ago, but I spent the past week or so polishing chrome and metal bits.  Last night I finally flocked the tube and completed final assembly of the OTA.  I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out.

 

It still needs a little work, though.  I'm not entirely happy with the focuser -- it needs a thicker grease to mitigate some free play in the assembly, and the tension isn't right.  The thing came with three leaf springs stacked inside the gearbox to push the pinion up against the rack.  I was careful to refer to the tear-down photos I took to get the springs oriented correctly (which side up) but I couldn't pack the thing together with all three springs.  With two springs I could complete the assembly but the movement was way too stiff.  Right now I've just got one spring in there, but it's too loose.  So I need to play with it a little and see if maybe I got the springs in upside down after all, or maybe something else isn't lining up right.  shrug.gif  I could do with a little thicker grease on the finder focuser, too; right now it's smooth but feels slightly loose.

 

Overall, though, I'm happy with it.  Next step is to refurbish the mount.  I've got two vintage wooden tripods; the original one that came with Molly with light colored legs and the brand-new time capsule one with dark legs that came with my Milben zoomer.  Molly's 'pod didn't have any sort of spreader, so my plan is to transplant the leg brackets and spreader tray from the Milben tri to the Monolux tri after first painting it a matching green.  The head of the Monolux tri is staying since it's a little nicer than the Milben head, but it, too, will be disassembled, cleaned up, painted green and reassembled.

 

gallery_240021_6729_14885.jpg

The colors really came out looking "period" like the gray and turquoise ones. Nice work!

 

-drl


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#63 ftwskies

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 05:36 PM

I did some more work on the focuser this weekend.  I experimented with different combinations of spring qty, screw torque, etc. to try and get the best feel and performance I could.  Like I said above, for some reason I can't get all three leaf springs in there anymore without binding the whole thing so tight that adjustment becomes really difficult.  (I have no idea why -- the only thing I can figure is that the paint thickness has something to do with it?  That's all that I changed, AFAICT... :shrug:)  With just one spring in there I was able to get the block screwed on tight and still adjust focus easily, but the drawtube exhibited "rattle" in both longitude and rotation.  The rotation issue isn't more than a tactile aggravation but the longitudinal play was a bigger deal:  not only was there a little backlash in the gears but the whole mechanism was loose to the point of failing to hold focus with light pressure applied the drawtube; with a heavy eyepiece the whole thing could probably creep outward on its own when aimed skyward.  I ended up adding a strip of adhesive paper (actually the white backing from some self-adhesive flocking) around the inside lip of the focuser body and that improved the feel some; the paper keeps the tube from rattling in the focuser body and adds a touch of friction.  Eventually I was able to get two springs installed with the screws torqued moderately tight, but there's still a little daylight between the block and the focuser body which I don't like aesthetically.  (If I cinch it down really tight then the action is still way too stiff.)  I'm also a little concerned that with the small gap between the focuser body and the block I'll get ingress of grit and dust that will foul the grease.  There's still a slight bit of backlash but I'm hoping a thicker grease will fix that.  But if I can't figure out what's going on with the springs then I may end up having to replace or supplement them with another material...

 

This is a typical Towa early-60s all-metal focuser, it must be pretty common across all sorts of scopes.  Has anyone else had any experience with fixing a problem like this?


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#64 Edward Swaim

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 10:55 PM

I've had some luck wrapping the pinion gear with teflon tape to smooth the focuser. 


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#65 ftwskies

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:00 AM

Brilliant idea, Edward!  I'll give that a try...

 

Still wish I could figure out why it doesn't all fit back together and work the way it was before my refurb, though... 



#66 ftwskies

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 01:48 PM

Okay, ladies and gents...  Life, priorities and other hobbies got in the way for a while, but this summer I've finally finished refurbing Molly's mount. She's a complete kit now, and ready for her closeup! lol.gif

 

Lemme hear you say, "Oooh... Aahhhh..."  cool.gif

 

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I call this one my "Bomber Bob shot"...  lol.gif waytogo.gif

 

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#67 ftwskies

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 01:58 PM

So here's the story (briefly) on the mount:

 

If you go back to the beginning of the thread, the original Monolux mount didn't have any sort of tray, chain or anything to stabilize the legs.  It wasn't just missing, you could tell from the design of the leg brackets that it had never had anything by design.  :hmm:

 

But it did have a nice, heavy cast head and saddle with wrinkle finish, and an older style of mount screws which I prefer.  (Solid trunnions and a single pointy set screw.)

 

The Milben zoomer that I chopped down here had later, cheaper mount screws and tripod head, and crappy bendy dark-stained wood for the legs, but it had a tray and leg hardware to attach it.

 

So what I did was disassemble both tripods and cross-cannibalize the leg hardware from the Milben with the wood, head and saddle from the Monolux.  I had to cut my own 1" holes in the tray, because it only had those shallow dimples to begin with (which seem useless to me, I'm not sure why anyone ever bothered with those.)  I primed and painted everything Testors medium green with a satin clearcoat right over the wrinkle, so it still has that vinty finish to it.  The wood got sanded before rubbing down with boiled linseed oil and a coat of Minwax paste wax buffed to a hard mate finish.


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#68 jcruse64

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 08:41 PM

Oooooohhh!!!! Ahhhhh!!!! Love it! That is nearly the same green as the interior trim and dash on my '73 Dodge truck.


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#69 Mackinj

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Posted 12 January 2022 - 05:32 PM

scope1
scope2

 

This is the scope I found.


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#70 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 January 2022 - 01:20 PM

 

 
 

 

This is the scope I found.

 

The finder bracket is on backwards.


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