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What was your most challenging restoration

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#1 starman876

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:12 PM

So far for me it has been Unitron mounts.   You would think that after you sand the mount down all you would need to do would be to primer it and repaint it.  Well not so mad.gif   These mounts were cast and they are not very smooth under all that paint.  Lot of filling of little imperfections before you can prime and paint .  I know several others have found this to be true.  Also, the OTA tubes can be challenge when you need to fix dents. They are always between baffles so it is not so easy to get to them.   also, one wonders how skinny the hands were to put these OTA's together.   The nuts and washers that need to be installed are in places no normal human hand can reach. 


Edited by starman876, 15 April 2018 - 05:17 PM.

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#2 PiSigma

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:12 PM

I would agree with this. The first 166 pier I restored contained the first cast Unitron mount parts I ever had to strip, as it was in really bad condition. So I just start bead blasting parts as that is how I've done all of the Cave mounts that I've restored. Big mistake. The cast parts are so porous and have so much filler to make them satiny smooth that if you strip them completely you are in for a lot of extra work.

 

On the second 166 pier I restored I just sanded the original paint down, carefully filled in the chips and damaged spots and only after the filler and primer work was done and smooth did the final finish go on. Even the center section of the pier, which is fabricated from two pieces of sheet steel, had a lot of filler to smooth out the weld seams and wavier sheet metal bends. And the cast iron base had a ton of filler, more than any other part.

 

The folks at NS wanted these parts to look really nice but their castings were really rough. They spent a lot of time filling and smoothing these parts for painting. A lot of hand labor.

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Edited by PiSigma, 15 April 2018 - 05:29 PM.

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#3 starman876

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:19 PM

they look brand new. Awesome workwaytogo.gif



#4 clamchip

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:34 PM

My Tinsley 4 inch was quite a project, but it was pretty straight forward, and a lot of Fun!

What really almost gave me a coronary and was extremely challenging was this Tinsley Saturn draw

scope pictured at the bottom. I just wasn't prepared for what was about to happen.

I thought I would take it apart to clean it, and you just push the parts out of the tube like one

of those Pez candy's, remember Pez?

Well anyway the lenses and spacers and washers JUST WOULD NOT STOP COMING OUT! and

I was loosing control of the situation! I couldn't keep track of the order!  I had to quickly grab a piece

of paper and try and make a drawing of all this stuff before I lost consciousness!

That was some heavy duty pressure put on my head! I still get all sweaty thinking about it.

Robert

 

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#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:50 PM

My 8" Cave to get it right with a low profile focuser. Had to change every hole in the OTA, fill in the focuser hole, move the spider 4" forward, move the inner rings forward and the mirror back a little.  I was not getting all the light cone with the stock focuser and small 2ndary.  But it sure gave the best views of any 8" i owned and i have owned many.


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#6 starman876

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:30 PM

My 8" Cave to get it right with a low profile focuser. Had to change every hole in the OTA, fill in the focuser hole, move the spider 4" forward, move the inner rings forward and the mirror back a little.  I was not getting all the light cone with the stock focuser and small 2ndary.  But it sure gave the best views of any 8" i owned and i have owned many.

Glad it all worked out for you after all that hard work.   I know how frustrating it can be with classic scopes. 


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#7 Dave Trott

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:14 PM

A few years ago a long-held dream came true and I was able to purchase and Alvan Clark 3 inch telescope. It was not perfect, though. The entire declination housing was missing so I had to make a replica. Lucky for me Dan Schechter was kind enough to loan me the original parts from an identical scope to copy. 

 

Here's what I got:

 

IMG 7193 (599x800)

 

 

Here it is after the restoration:
 
IMG 7351 small

 

 
It was a genuine labor of love. You can read all the details about the restoration on my website if you are interested:
 
 
- Dave
 
 

 


Edited by Dave Trott, 15 April 2018 - 11:17 PM.

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#8 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:06 PM

What was your most challenging restoration ...... Which One ? scratchhead2.gif ..... All my restorations are challenging . But to pick one , would have to be the no.612 Sans & Streiffe or as I called it " The Sands of Strife " lol.gif . One wasted wooden case and two wasted scopes and mounts to make one fine example , and a big thank you to Snork for the use of his manual for my color reproduction ....Thanks Snork aka Dan J.bow.gif waytogo.gif 

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#9 shredder1656

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 04:45 AM

For me, still a rookie and not anywhere as experienced as Tom's little finger, it still IS my 10te mount. It's still in pieces on my work bench. I took beaucoup pictures for each step of disassembly. Then I promptly dropped and destroyed my phone/camera.

Waiting to put the phone back together to access my pics and finish disassembly, clean/repair, re-greasing, and reassemble.

Even with all of the pictures, and the disassembly fresh in my mind, I was nervous about it. Now... Well, I'm just hoping for the best.
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#10 shredder1656

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 04:45 AM

What was your most challenging restoration ...... Which One ? scratchhead2.gif ..... All my restorations are challenging . But to pick one , would have to be the no.612 Sans & Streiffe or as I called it " The Sands of Strife " lol.gif . One wasted wooden case and two wasted scopes and mounts to make one fine example , and a big thank you to Snork for the use of his manual for my color reproduction ....Thanks Snork aka Dan J.bow.gif waytogo.gif


Flat out impressive!
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#11 roscoe

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:00 AM

Welll..... I build and fix and restore things for a living, so scopes are just more of the same..... but my Swift 831 - photo over in the 'say nice things' thread - took a bunch of time, two hardest parts were that the focuser shaft had bent and broken, I straightened the parts and had a machinist end-drill both shaft halves to take a thin spring-pin splice......and the objective never did put up good images, and it was not till I turned the collective wisdom of this forum onto the problem that we figured out that there was an internal edge-fracture in the crown, and I was then able to find (here) a replacement.

Fortunately, there's Robert Clamchip, I gave the defective objective to him for his collection.....so it wasn't wasted......

 

However, I gave up on the concept of taking my Polaris apart to clean and re-lube it......  a little penetrating oil worked in seemed to help, and it's not really a problem except in winter when it gets stiff, so I just don't use it if it's stupid cold....

 

I have an incomplete RV-6 in the shop, pretty battered, still not sure if it'd be smarter to part it or rebuild it.....but leaning toward parting it.

 

Russ

 

Also, I don't restore cases. They'd be the easiest, as I'm a cabinetmaker in real life, but I store my tripods all set up, and I store my scopes and mounts all set up also, so I build them new cases that are built to hold the mount with counterweights in place, and the scope with the finder and diagonal and all on and aligned and ready to go.


Edited by roscoe, 16 April 2018 - 06:10 AM.

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#12 rolo

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:37 AM

What was your most challenging restoration ...... Which One ? scratchhead2.gif ..... All my restorations are challenging . But to pick one , would have to be the no.612 Sans & Streiffe or as I called it " The Sands of Strife " lol.gif . One wasted wooden case and two wasted scopes and mounts to make one fine example , and a big thank you to Snork for the use of his manual for my color reproduction ....Thanks Snork aka Dan J.bow.gif waytogo.gif 

 

What was your most challenging restoration ...... Which One ? scratchhead2.gif ..... All my restorations are challenging . But to pick one , would have to be the no.612 Sans & Streiffe or as I called it " The Sands of Strife " lol.gif . One wasted wooden case and two wasted scopes and mounts to make one fine example , and a big thank you to Snork for the use of his manual for my color reproduction ....Thanks Snork aka Dan J.bow.gif waytogo.gif 

where did find those catalog picturesshocked.gif


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#13 roscoe

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:14 AM

interesting that Clark tripods are wider in the middle....I'd not seen that design before....

Beautiful job, Dave, that's a scope worthy of the time you put into it!

 

Truth told here, I have all-too-often put endless hours into rehabbing/restoring scopes that really were lower-middle-class scopes, that perhaps I should have quietly slid back into the dumpster, or not offered the seller the $40 in the first place....because in the end I gave them away anyhow.....usually after spending yet another $50 or $100 to send them off with half-decent eyepieces and diagonal.


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#14 Geo31

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:39 AM

interesting that Clark tripods are wider in the middle....I'd not seen that design before....

Beautiful job, Dave, that's a scope worthy of the time you put into it!

 

Truth told here, I have all-too-often put endless hours into rehabbing/restoring scopes that really were lower-middle-class scopes, that perhaps I should have quietly slid back into the dumpster, or not offered the seller the $40 in the first place....because in the end I gave them away anyhow.....usually after spending yet another $50 or $100 to send them off with half-decent eyepieces and diagonal.

 

Yep.  My RVC-6N is in the same category (and honest, I will get back to it this year - other things have HAD to take precedence for a while).  Forget my time.  I'll have more invested in it than I could ever get out of it, but it will be worth it to me (and fun).


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#15 Chuck Hards

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:55 AM

None of them are technically difficult, but some are very time-consuming.  I'd say one of my biggest challenges was the 16" Ealing Cassegrain that I stripped and repainted, a complete cosmetic restoration, for our club.  Just so much surface area to strip, and the whole thing is cast and formed aluminum.  One of these days I'll get some pics of it, this was a while ago.


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#16 CHASLX200

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:55 PM

None of them are technically difficult, but some are very time-consuming.  I'd say one of my biggest challenges was the 16" Ealing Cassegrain that I stripped and repainted, a complete cosmetic restoration, for our club.  Just so much surface area to strip, and the whole thing is cast and formed aluminum.  One of these days I'll get some pics of it, this was a while ago.

And you were the biggest help on my Cave restore. If you ever need a nice 8x50 finder it is yours for free my man. I will even pay for shipping.


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#17 starman876

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:26 PM

sounds like Chuck is about to get a free finderwaytogo.gif



#18 roscoe

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:12 PM

None of them are technically difficult, but some are very time-consuming.

My Polaris might be the first thing ever that I got part-way in....and gave up and put it back together.  I'm sure I could have persevered, but....why??  Penetrating oil helped it out enough.....  not great, but enough.....



#19 Chuck Hards

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:21 PM

Russ, I'm at a similar point on Sky-Micro standard focuser.  There is just no way that those setscrews are ever coming out of those holes.  Sadly, I can't bring this one back.  



#20 G-Tower

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:53 PM

And you were the biggest help on my Cave restore. If you ever need a nice 8x50 finder it is yours for free my man. I will even pay for shipping.

Very cool to see folks helping each other out here.


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#21 G-Tower

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:55 PM

My 8" Cave to get it right with a low profile focuser. Had to change every hole in the OTA, fill in the focuser hole, move the spider 4" forward, move the inner rings forward and the mirror back a little.  I was not getting all the light cone with the stock focuser and small 2ndary.  But it sure gave the best views of any 8" i owned and i have owned many.

I had the same issue with an old 12.5" f/6 Meade. I was able to install a smaller secondary too for added performance. It was fantastic for planets.



#22 Geo31

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:25 PM

Russ, I'm at a similar point on Sky-Micro standard focuser.  There is just no way that those setscrews are ever coming out of those holes.  Sadly, I can't bring this one back.  

Have you stripped it as far as you can and put it in the oven?

 

I'd heat it up pretty good, spray or drip some Kroil over the set-screws and repeat.

 

I'm assuming you're talking about the ones on the top?  I have one I'm going to restore (and pretty sure it will end up on the RVC-6N) and may run into the same thing.



#23 Chuck Hards

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:20 PM

Yep, those tiny allen set screws.  I've tried heat on the casting with a frozen allen wrench in the hole, soaked in several different solvents for weeks.  I give it a try every other month or so, in passing.  I'll try some kind of easy-out as a last resort, if I can find one that small.  I suppose I could drill them out and re-tap larger, but I'd have to think a while on that.



#24 CHASLX200

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:16 AM

Very cool to see folks helping each other out here.

Chcuk showed me how to fill in the focuser hole and sent me some fiberglass..  


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#25 CHASLX200

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:18 AM

Yep, those tiny allen set screws.  I've tried heat on the casting with a frozen allen wrench in the hole, soaked in several different solvents for weeks.  I give it a try every other month or so, in passing.  I'll try some kind of easy-out as a last resort, if I can find one that small.  I suppose I could drill them out and re-tap larger, but I'd have to think a while on that.

No way to drill out and make the holes a tiny bit bigger? Then retap?


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