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Making a wooden tripod for my classic telescopes.

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#76 roscoe  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 02:09 PM

I'm happy, too, they look great!  The little mini-hub spacers are a good idea, too!


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#77 terraclarke

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:35 PM

Russ makes the most amazing trays and tripods! Believe me, I have seen them! The one Red Molly is riding on is gorgeous! His trays? Wow! And I’m not a fan of dobs but Russ’s 10” Cave Dob rebuild is wonderful, and you should see the Dob Dolly! :love:


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#78 Garyth64

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 03:48 PM

As a final note on this tripod, I have done two things.

 

To hold the control pad, I made a little holder that fits into the tripod legs.  Velcro hold the pad to the holder.  I don't  have to worry about the wires knocking anything off of the tray.

 

When I first made this tripod, I couldn't locate a CG5 hub, so I made this from a piece of aluminum and some oak.  It turned out to be a very good and solid fix.

 

CG5 on tripod.jpg

 

Today, I received a CG5 original hub for tripods, and within an hour I had it in place.  It doesn't look special, but it looks like it's suppose to.  I like this better than what I made. I just looks neat and simple.  (and I can repurpose the other hub on another mount.)

 

CG5 hub.jpg

 

You can see the little square holder with Velcro to hold the control pad.


Edited by Garyth64, 09 August 2018 - 03:49 PM.

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#79 tim53

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:25 AM

These are beautiful!

 

One thing I have to deal with at some point:  The tripod legs for my Tak NJP have cracks at the top where the bolts go through to hold it to the tripod head.  They're wonderfully solid mahogany legs.

 

I got an idea from an old surveyor's tripod that used to belong to Caltech.  The legs are pretty thin at the top where they attach to the head, so what the makers did to prevent splitting along the grain was to cut a saw kerf right through the middle of the end of each leg, and glue a sliver of wood of the same thickness into the kerf with the grain running 90 degrees to the leg grain.  No splits, and the tripod has to be at least 50 years old.

 

-Tim.


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#80 Exnihilo

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:34 AM

Very nice!
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#81 Tenacious

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 12:15 PM

As a final note on this tripod, I have done two things.

 

To hold the control pad, I made a little holder that fits into the tripod legs.  Velcro hold the pad to the holder.  I don't  have to worry about the wires knocking anything off of the tray.

 

When I first made this tripod, I couldn't locate a CG5 hub, so I made this from a piece of aluminum and some oak.  It turned out to be a very good and solid fix.

 

attachicon.gif CG5 on tripod.jpg

 

Today, I received a CG5 original hub for tripods, and within an hour I had it in place.  It doesn't look special, but it looks like it's suppose to.  I like this better than what I made. I just looks neat and simple.  (and I can repurpose the other hub on another mount.)

 

attachicon.gif CG5 hub.jpg

 

You can see the little square holder with Velcro to hold the control pad.

Another great idea, Gary.  I was actually thinking of something similar for my drive controller and battery pack, but I was going to leave the through-block bolted to the controller, which would make it bulkier and oddly shaped.  Your removable Velcro attachment point is much more flexible and can be left on the tripod.  Nice job!


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#82 Tenacious

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 12:19 PM

These are beautiful!

 

One thing I have to deal with at some point:  The tripod legs for my Tak NJP have cracks at the top where the bolts go through to hold it to the tripod head.  They're wonderfully solid mahogany legs.

 

I got an idea from an old surveyor's tripod that used to belong to Caltech.  The legs are pretty thin at the top where they attach to the head, so what the makers did to prevent splitting along the grain was to cut a saw kerf right through the middle of the end of each leg, and glue a sliver of wood of the same thickness into the kerf with the grain running 90 degrees to the leg grain.  No splits, and the tripod has to be at least 50 years old.

 

-Tim.

Pics?



#83 Couder

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 09:39 AM

I have made several tripods, from small to some for 6" F15 refractors. The following pictures show the tapered brass pieces I made for the missing one on the bottom of the tripod feet, along with the steel piece to dig in the dirt and keep the tripod stable. I also made the brass bolts to hold the legs to the top. Of course I kept the originals, labeled and tagged, along with the rest of the Clark equipment. I did not alter the original in any way to add these. The other pictures show a dovetail system I designed and made to hold both the 4" and the 6" F15 Clark refractors on the Astro-Physics 1200 mount.

 

Both Clarks on Astro-Physics 1200 mount
Dovetail system to hold both Clarks on Astro-Physics 1200 mount - back
Dovetail system to hold both Clarks on Astro-Physics 1200 mount - front
Part of dovetail system to mount both Clarks on Astro-Physics 1200 mount
Tapered feet for Clark tripod legs - new and original
Tapered feet for Clark tripod legs
New brass tripod bolts I made for the Clark tripods.

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#84 Garyth64

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 07:47 PM

After using this tripod and it's twin, I have found an obvious flaw.  I have no way of leveling them!

 

From it's design, I can't make the leg itself adjustable because the tray rests on top of the lower part of the leg.

 

So, I made up some little oak extensions that are adjustable.  Just add some bolts and wing nuts.

 

leg levelers.jpg

 

I just need these on two legs.  It give 2½" of adjustment.

 

I'll see how this works before I do this to the other tripod, but so far so good.


Edited by Garyth64, 01 October 2018 - 07:48 PM.

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#85 Garyth64

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 07:59 PM

Also, in another post, I mentioned the use of "glow in the dark tape".  This stuff is great!

 

I put it on all the legs of my tripods. (but it was removed in the above post to attach the levelers.)  It helps people see where the legs are at star parties so they don't trip or bump into them.

 

legs that glow.jpg

 

They will glow all night.  (but not as bright as seen in the photo, because I "charged" them up)   The other night I went out into the garage, and I could see where the 3 tripod legs were.

 

I even put some of this tape at the top of my stairs on the steps where the landing makes to 90s.  No more guessing where the steps are in the dark!


Edited by Garyth64, 01 October 2018 - 08:04 PM.

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#86 jcruse64

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 08:36 AM

The glow tape is awesome. I bought a Vixen SP tripod with an EQ-3 mount from a great member here, and it had glow tape on the bottom of the legs. It's been great for keeping me from destroying the whole package during my observing time.


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#87 bremms

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 10:39 AM

I had some warped legs as well so I went with some black ash that I cut down over twenty five years ago.

Love the bicycle QR skewers!!


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#88 nowhere

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 06:47 PM

The bicycle quick releases are a brilliant idea!

 

This thread has me considering making new tripod legs myself. I have an older HEQ-5 (just a dual axis drive, pre-goto) which has nice looking but willowy wooden legs homemade by a previous owner. I have a 4" f15 refractor on it and the mount is pretty wobbly. As far as I can tell the vast majority of the shakes come from the tripod. My plan was to just work with it and when I have saved up the money to replace the legs with a Berlebach tripod, and in the more distant future to replace the HEQ-5 with a G11 or comparable mount. A set of new wooden legs and a spreader-tray along the lines shown here might be a good solution to the wobbles that I could do right away. I'm OK with non-extendable legs too as I haven't had any trouble transporting the tall single piece legs that I have - they're about the same length as the OTA so I need to have that much space in a vehicle when I transport the scope anyway. Adjustable feet would be good though. Getting the current tripod level is a bit of a chore. I only observe visually so I can get away with very approximate leveling and polar alignment but an inch or so of adjustment on the ends of the legs would make it much easier.


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#89 mr.otswons

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 08:05 AM

Really inspiring work! Poplar, cherry, maple, oak - obvious and wonderful choices of wood. Someone mentioned a Birch tripod? But couldn't see if they meant plywood or solid. So, my question is:  - here in Norway, I have a bunch of goat willow, (also known as **** willow). The heartwood is known to resist moisture very well, and has been used for fences in the past. Would that be a good material for a tripod? I like to use locally sourced materials.

Of course fur and spruce, we have that, birch as well. But the willow has some nice colour and play in it. Plus the water and rot resistant qualities.


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#90 Garyth64

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 06:07 PM

I think that if someone built a Birch tripod, it was out of solid Birch, not plywood.

 

I never heard of "Goat Willow", so I googled it.

 

I guess it is similar to "PussyWillow", but those I think are bushes.  I have also seen huge "Willow" trees near streams, ponds, and other water supplies, as it needs a lot of water.  (here is the U.S.)

"Goat Willow is a soft wood", so it may have some flex and twisting motion for a tripod, and that would also depend on it's thickness. . . "the tree is not considered a good source for timber".

 

But who knows, maybe it will have some dampening properties, and be fine for a tripod.

 

Make one. smile.gif


Edited by Garyth64, 03 August 2019 - 06:11 PM.

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#91 mr.otswons

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 08:16 AM

You are right, it is similar to **** willow but this one was a huge tree, 15 meters tall, 40 cm diameter, which split in several slimer stems.

I'll se how my birch log turnes out, so if not good, your are so right: just make one.


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#92 walter a

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:09 AM

I agree with Gary, just make one. I love seeing these projects come to fruition. Here is another black ash example.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSCN1385.JPG

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#93 Don Taylor

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 10:17 PM

To the OP and others posting their tripod projects in this thread:   Thank you!  I started a build some years ago then job changes and several moves have distracted me from finishing it.  This thread - and all the cool classic style tripods here have motivated me to get it finished.  I've actually been using it occasionally but need to finish. Sanded the legs today. Need to sand the spreader and apply some wipe-on poly. The "lazy-susan" eyepiece tray is finished.  Here are a few photos taken when first constructed years ago. I'll take more when it's finally finished.  It's for an RAO 76 x 1200 on a Polaris mount. Not original but appropriate. The scope/mount/tripod work really well together. 

 

Thanks again to all for the inspiration and motivation!!!!!

 

IMG 0666 4048
IMG 0662A 4049
IMG 0661 4050

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#94 Marc-Andre

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 06:54 AM

To the OP and others posting their tripod projects in this thread:   Thank you!  I started a build some years ago then job changes and several moves have distracted me from finishing it.  This thread - and all the cool classic style tripods here have motivated me to get it finished.  I've actually been using it occasionally but need to finish. Sanded the legs today. Need to sand the spreader and apply some wipe-on poly. The "lazy-susan" eyepiece tray is finished.  Here are a few photos taken when first constructed years ago. I'll take more when it's finally finished.  It's for an RAO 76 x 1200 on a Polaris mount. Not original but appropriate. The scope/mount/tripod work really well together. 

 

Thanks again to all for the inspiration and motivation!!!!!

 

Nice!

 

Whose brand is on the focuser.  It looks like a Sears 6339 based on the focuser and finder rings, but it's color and similar clones was silver. The haint blue was used on the Sears 6344 and like clones. 


Edited by Marc-Andre, 05 August 2019 - 06:55 AM.


#95 Don Taylor

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 10:19 PM

Marc-Andre:

 

The scope is a "Scope Model 2515". As far as I know the focuser is original. I have added a 1.25" plumbing drawtube (flocked) per a thread a few years ago and the Baader T2 prism now attaches via a Quick Changer so I can use the diagonal on various other small scopes.  Click on the photo below for a slightly closer look.

DSC 3380 4051

Edited by Don Taylor, 05 August 2019 - 10:21 PM.

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#96 pakman2

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 08:29 AM

Great job.

When you built these legs, did you use the original leg dimensions or did you make them larger to strengthen the tripod? Thanks



#97 Don Taylor

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 07:22 PM

Great job.

When you built these legs, did you use the original leg dimensions or did you make them larger to strengthen the tripod? Thanks

 

If you are asking about mine - I actually don't know as I do not have the original Polaris legs nor the original mount and tripod that came with the model 2515.

 

The tripod legs I made are essentially 2 each red oak rails of 1.70" x .75" (43.2 mm x 19.0 mm) with a 1.330" x 0.75" (33.8 mm x 19.0 mm) poplar web - forming an "H" beam. The overall width at the hub is 2.83" (71.9 mm). The "H" is constant in section to below the midpoint then, the rails are pulled together and joined at the tips.  The "H" beam elements are glued and screwed together using brass screws.

 

The tripod places the hub (where the Polaris head mounts) about 57" (or 1.45 M) high, and that works well with the long refractor.

 

I must say the tripod is very, very stable with the Polaris and 76 x 1200mm telescope.


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#98 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 01:12 PM

I have loved this thread in the past   and I think it is so  cool when it gets re booted and continues


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