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Making a wooden tripod for my classic telescopes.

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#26 Chuck Hards

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 06:45 PM

I like polyurethanes, especially the Minwax line.  They can be wiped-on like oil, with a rag.  Just a couple of coats seals up the wood nicely.

 

I like your beefy sections, very robust.  Like the Goto tripods, not the typical Japanese import-scope thin sections that can vibrate excessively under compression.


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#27 starman876

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:12 PM

really nice looking tripod.  Great work


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#28 Garyth64

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:15 PM

From the stuff that I have.  Only two, maybe three mounts will work on this tripod.  The Sears 6339a, which vibrates; the Unitron 128 mount, that is rock solid; and a 114 alt-az mount.

 

Right now, I have the 6339a on an Edmund mount that has 1" shafts.  It is very stable.

I have my 5" Apogee on an old CG5 mount, and it is also very stable.

 

I want to get the 6339a on this new tripod, even the 5" Apogee.   So, after I stain this tripod, my next project will be making a hub to hold the Edmund mount, and/or the CG5 mount, on this tripod.

 

(or maybe find a 3" Unitron mount.)


Edited by Garyth64, 27 August 2017 - 07:16 PM.


#29 Garyth64

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:22 PM

really nice looking tripod.  Great work

Thanks.    I'm already thinking about making another one.


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#30 roscoe

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 07:39 PM


I bought 3 of these in 2015 for a "yet to be started" tripod for a Sears 4344 to replace the metal legs.  They are not as robust as my survey tripods with 2" wide lower leg profiles.  These fit on a lower leg that is 1-1/2" wide by 7/8" thick.  They are cast aluminum.  The lower end of the leg would have to be shaped to accept this profile size.  Price was right.  I'm sure heavier duty replacement feet are sold somewhere.

 

PS:  They came with rubber caps on the points.

 

http://www.tv4rv.com...uct_detail&p=42

 

Those feet are quite nice!!  A year or so ago I spent a bunch of time e-researching with no results.... thanks for that link, they're already bookmarked.

 

I assume that is a standard thread of some sort, so bolt-on feet of other varieties will be available....not everyone wants arrow-tip points on their living room floor....



#31 Garyth64

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 03:27 PM

I made a hub.

 

From "stuff", I have laying around, I found a 7-1/2" circular piece of black anodized aluminum.  (You know you hang on to something, saying, "I can use this someday").  The aluminum is about 1/4" thick and has a 1/2" lip around the edge.

I also had a large piece of Oak, so I cut the Oak to the sizes I needed.  I drilled holes in the disk to hold the Oak pieces.  I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the disk, and drilled 5/16" holes in the Oak for the tripod bolts.

 

hub parts.jpg

 

I assembled everything and place the hub on the tripod for final fitting.  Everything looked good, thanks to planning ahead, and I tightened everything down.

 

hub on tripod.jpg

 

This hub will allow me to mount my CG5 on the tripod.

When I grab the tripod I can't twist it.  Even trying to man-handle it, it just doesn't move. smile.gif

 

The Oak will look different than the Maple if I polyurethane it too, so I'm going to paint the Oak a glossy black.

 

Next - I'll get the CG5 mount on the tripod, and top it off with the 5" Apogee to see how she rides.


Edited by Garyth64, 28 August 2017 - 03:29 PM.

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#32 Mr. Joey

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

You just can't stop yourself, can you? Ha!

 

Looks good. Sturdy.

You have a tool to trim those foot-long lag bolts sticking out the side?

I'm not criticizing, I'm just envious over here!

Can't wait to see the big mount and scope on this thing... It's gonna be amazing!

Keep going!

GM called and they want you back! Ha!

Mr. Joey

 

P.S. Oh, and on what planet do you live where you have anodized aluminum disks that would probably cost several hundred dollars to duplicate and what are those, 4"x4" blocks of solid clear oak - lying around???

What's in your "junk" pile? 10" Zamboto Mirrors?

I'm just teasing ya! Good work, Gary!


Edited by Mr. Joey, 28 August 2017 - 04:07 PM.

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#33 Garyth64

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:22 PM

You just can't stop yourself, can you? Ha!

 

Looks good. Sturdy.

You have a tool to trim those foot-long lag bolts sticking out the side?

I'm not criticizing, I'm just envious over here!

Can't wait to see the big mount and scope on this thing... It's gonna be amazing!

Keep going!

GM called and they want you back! Ha!

Mr. Joey

 

P.S. Oh, and on what planet do you live where you have anodized aluminum disks that would probably cost several hundred dollars to duplicate and what are those, 4"x4" blocks of solid clear oak - lying around???

What's in your "junk" pile? 10" Zamboto Mirrors?

I'm just teasing ya! Good work, Gary!

No, I can't.  Just one project to another.

 

For this entire tripod project, I'm going to replace all the nuts and bolts with new ones.  So, until I show it and say it's done, it aint done. lol.gif

 

The wife saw a guy that had little red  lights at the base of  his tripod so people wouldn't run into them.  She want's me to do something like that.  I don't know about that one.

The anodized aluminum was a dumpster find.  The Oak sections are off my dad's sailboat when he cut the doghouse off it.  They are about 2" x 2", and 5' long.

I call my wood shop/metal shop, my "maker space".  I sometimes find it hard to throw something away.  I have a mini hardware store in my shop too.


Edited by Garyth64, 28 August 2017 - 04:23 PM.

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#34 Mr. Joey

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:56 PM

Seriously Gary, I am enjoying watching this project come together and you are obviously a master craftsman.

I have no doubt the finished product will be more than a tripod, it will be a showcase and a testament to your planning, skill, and execution.

I'll still make fun of the foot-long lag bolts! What are they, 5/16" - 1/2" by 12"? - Ha!

Mr. Joey



#35 Marc-Andre

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:48 PM

The Oak will look different than the Maple if I polyurethane it too, so I'm going to paint the Oak a glossy black.

Looking good!

 

Oak has large open pores.  You may want to use a wood filler or auto body grazing putty to achieve a smooth finish and not look like painted wood.


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#36 Marc-Andre

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:53 PM

 


I bought 3 of these in 2015 for a "yet to be started" tripod for a Sears 4344 to replace the metal legs.  They are not as robust as my survey tripods with 2" wide lower leg profiles.  These fit on a lower leg that is 1-1/2" wide by 7/8" thick.  They are cast aluminum.  The lower end of the leg would have to be shaped to accept this profile size.  Price was right.  I'm sure heavier duty replacement feet are sold somewhere.

 

PS:  They came with rubber caps on the points.

 

http://www.tv4rv.com...uct_detail&p=42

 

Those feet are quite nice!!  A year or so ago I spent a bunch of time e-researching with no results.... thanks for that link, they're already bookmarked.

 

I assume that is a standard thread of some sort, so bolt-on feet of other varieties will be available....not everyone wants arrow-tip points on their living room floor....

 

The thread size on the point is metric, M8 x 1.25.  They did come with rubber caps, and could be placed on shake enders or other items to protect flooring.



#37 shooze

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 05:56 PM

Try a black stain instead of paint, then apply 3 coats of satin poly, or similar clear finish over the stain.  Thin the first coat to 50%, and lightly sand off the raised grain with 240 grit sandpaper, apply 2 top coats.  Waterproof, and very durable.  I have done this finish multiple times over the years on various wooded parts - from furniture, and wooden articles, to boats.


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#38 Garyth64

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:30 PM

Seriously Gary, I am enjoying watching this project come together and you are obviously a master craftsman.

I have no doubt the finished product will be more than a tripod, it will be a showcase and a testament to your planning, skill, and execution.

I'll still make fun of the foot-long lag bolts! What are they, 5/16" - 1/2" by 12"? - Ha!

Mr. Joey

Thank you, but I am no master craftsman.    I don't show the mistakes I've made. lol.gif


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#39 Garyth64

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 04:48 PM

I set the CG5 mount on the tripod, and came up with an obvious way to tighten it down.

 

CG5 on tripod.jpg

 

Yesterday, I set the 3" Sears refractor on it to see how it looks, and to see if there was any wobbles.  Nothing, it is very solid! smile.gif

 

Today, I disassembled the tripod and polyurethaned  it.

 

polyurethaned legs.jpg

 . . . you can see the slight darkening of the wood.  I only did half of a leg at a time.

 

Chuck, I love that suggestion of applying the polyurethane and then wiping it off.  To me it works and looks great.  I like the finish.

 

It did take too long for everything to dry good enough to re-assemble the tripod.  I replaced all the nuts, bolts, and washers with stainless steel.

So, I set it up for a shot with the 3" refractor on top of the CG5.

 

Sears and CG5 on new tripod.jpg

 

The tripod is done!  (I think)


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#40 Bomber Bob

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 05:03 PM

Looks great -- and rock solid.  All ready for some high power viewing!  Awesome job Gary!


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#41 Garyth64

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 06:07 PM

Thanks BB.

 

I think the longer an image, like Jupiter, stays in the FOV, on a steady mount, with a clock drive, the more the little details reveal themselves.  So, I'm all for overkill when it comes to telescope mounts.  The CG5 doesn't even break a sweat with the 3", and it carried the 5" with ease.  I'll see how the tripod acts with a little more weight.

 

One of my piers is 4-1/2' high.  It and this new tripod gives that "observatory telescope" feel, when the telescope up so high.  I also like not have to use a star diagonal if I don't have too.


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#42 Mr. Joey

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 06:29 AM

Job well done Gary!

Finished product looks awesome!

 

So, ummm, what's next? Wait, don't you have some kitchen cabinets that need attending to? Ha!

 

Cheers, my friend!

Mr. Joey


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#43 Mountaineer370

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:31 PM

I'm late to the party, but as someone with a great appreciation for nice wooden tripods (well, really, all quality wood-working),  I just want to say yours is a beauty.  Nice job!


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#44 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 04:53 PM

I think the longer an image, like Jupiter, stays in the FOV, on a steady mount, with a clock drive, the more the little details reveal themselves.

 

That's what I've found.  The fewer distractions, the better -- gives your eye & brain a chance to build-up a detailed mental image.

 

I got the 60mm Goto up to 240X last night on Saturn.  But manual tracking, even with the oversized & smooth EQ, made that power impractical for more than a few minutes.  And, when I'm concentrating on tracking, there's no way I can sketch, too.


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#45 Garyth64

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Posted 03 September 2017 - 06:06 PM

I'm late to the party, but as someone with a great appreciation for nice wooden tripods (well, really, all quality wood-working),  I just want to say yours is a beauty.  Nice job!

Thanks.



#46 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:38 PM

Hi just found this tripod making thread      some folks are so competent in stuff. Gary you know exactly what you are doing      love the sears on your wooden tripod   a  work of art

b


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#47 Garyth64

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 07:53 AM

Thanks.  "I know what I'm doing."?  Sometimes, a plan doesn't work out quite as I thought.  Some projects seem to evolve. 

I'm also making a dob mount for my 8" f/4.5, it is evolving too.  I have a post on it somewhere.  It's taking more time than I planned, but I'm in no rush.

I was stuck at a point, and that was holding me back.  The solution came to me in the middle of the night.  I do some of my best thinking when I'm sleeping. lol.gif


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#48 bremms

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:53 AM

I need to make one with non adjustable legs for a Vixen Polaris. Just procrastinating, or have too many other projects.


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#49 shredder1656

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:55 AM

Wow!!! That IS impressive. Nice work!
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#50 roscoe

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 10:40 AM

a really simple and very sturdy fixed-leg tripod can be made from 2x4's, here is my very first tripod, made after exactly one night back when I got my 120mm scope, and tried to use it on those flimsy aluminium legs.  Black paint was a dumb idea.....

 

first 'pod.JPG


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