Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Edmund 8", 6", & 4 1/4" Museum Project

ATM classic DIY equipment mount reflector
  • Please log in to reply
185 replies to this topic

#1 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:46 AM

Starting a discussion on a restoration of three classic Edmund Scientific telescopes and their mounts. While I am not even close to having all the parts, my goal is to come as close as I can over time, and substitute or fabricate as necessary. Rather than three topics, I want to keep as one because it is my vision to have all three scopes as a museum display here in the Detroit area of what appeared in the Edmund Catalog of the era. I am aware and have been reading several other discussions on these scopes, but my desire is to keep this museum display as a separate topic and refer to the others as appropriate.

 

Let me stat by listing the Scopes. 

 

  • First is a 1960's era Walter Grabow 8" reflector on the Edmund HD mount. (pictured) Walter ran Polaris Telescopes in Detroit MI and was a Edmund Scientific dealer who made and sold his own telescopes from Edmund parts . (If you know more about Walter please post.) Since my unit is in such poor condition, I will likely morph this into something closer to the Edmund Catalog 8" Reflector.

 

  • The second scope is, (or will be), a 6" Edmund "Space Conqueror". I have the mount, but only the tubing for the OTA. I am working the CN classifieds to fill this unit out.

 

  • Lastly will be the 4 1/4" Palomar. I have the tube, primary mirror and focuser on an old Edmund tracking mount (pictured in primer) that I am told is not right for this OTA. I may use it anyway or trade it for the right one.

I will provide pictures of what I have as time goes on but everything is so torn apart right now it would just be confusing. Today I am just kicking off the topic. I welcome any comments, suggestions, thread links, (many of which I have. Thanks Neil!).

 

Thanks,

Tony Licata

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190211_181119.jpg
  • 20190208_220950.jpg
  • 20190211_180411.jpg

  • Jim T, terraclarke, calypsob and 1 other like this

#2 ScottAstroNut

ScottAstroNut

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 491
  • Joined: 15 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Winterport, Maine

Posted 13 February 2019 - 09:56 AM

Nice start to a thread I am looking forward to following. I, too, very much enjoy Edmund telescopes and have restored a few. Can't wait to see how your projects progress!


  • Steve Allison likes this

#3 petert913

petert913

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2415
  • Joined: 27 May 2013
  • Loc: Portland, OR

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:14 AM

When I was a young kid with my 60mm Tasco,  I used to lust after my friends Palomar 4.25".  It seemed massive to me !

This will be a fun project !  Please keep us posted with lots of eye candy. 


  • licata likes this

#4 TOM KIEHL

TOM KIEHL

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5076
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2012

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:20 AM

Great Topic waytogo.gif .... I too have a new interest in Walter Grabow and his Polaris Telescope Company . Would you know by chance if Walter Grabow dabbled in making " Homemade " telescopes and mounts ? I have a couple pieces that have been thought that might of been made by him . These pieces came from the Detroit MI . area years ago . Found in a old garage , I was told . I know Walter G. made some Reflectors , But did he ever make Refractors or mounts ? Below is pictured astro gear that was found in that Old Garage in the Detroit area years ago .  

Attached Thumbnails

  • ATM-refr.-001.jpg
  • ATM-refr.-013.jpg

  • licata, rolo, terraclarke and 1 other like this

#5 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:56 AM

Great Topic waytogo.gif .... I too have a new interest in Walter Grabow and his Polaris Telescope Company . Would you know by chance if Walter Grabow dabbled in making " Homemade " telescopes and mounts ? I have a couple pieces that have been thought that might of been made by him . These pieces came from the Detroit MI . area years ago . Found in a old garage , I was told . I know Walter G. made some Reflectors , But did he ever make Refractors or mounts ? Below is pictured astro gear that was found in that Old Garage in the Detroit area years ago .  

I can find out. I know many who knew him and Polaris Telescopes quite well. I was just a kid. WGBTY


  • TOM KIEHL likes this

#6 TOM KIEHL

TOM KIEHL

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5076
  • Joined: 17 Nov 2012

Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:14 AM

I can find out. I know many who knew him and Polaris Telescopes quite well. I was just a kid. WGBTY

Thank you  so very much waytogo.gif

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_5959.jpg

  • licata likes this

#7 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 13 February 2019 - 03:15 PM

More Pics...

First is the Grabow tube. I have decided to seal it, sand it smooth and paint it white rather than try to restore the original speckle finish. This way it will look more like the Edmund Catalog 8". What I need to know is how close this is dimensionally to the plastic (?) Edmund Scientific tubes used for their 8". Walter's tube has 9 1/4" OD, 8 3/4" ID x 63 3/4" Long.

Can someone give me the Edmund 8" Tube dimensions?

 

The second pic is a mount I will be picking up locally tomorrow. I am going to put the 6" Edmund OTA on it. Just needs a little cleaning I think, George the previous owner took really good care of it. Incidentally, he knew Walter Grabow pretty well and will be able to speak to what he made and/or sold in his shop.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Grabow-OTA.jpg
  • Edmund-Medium-Duty.jpg

  • terraclarke, TOM KIEHL and Bomber Bob like this

#8 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 13 February 2019 - 10:23 PM

I can find out. I know many who knew him and Polaris Telescopes quite well. I was just a kid. WGBTY

Tom, Ditto on everything said about the mount you refurbished. What a beautiful Job! (For some reason I was unable to post over there). I have been asking around if Walter Grabow made refractors but the best I can find is that he ground tons of mirrors but no leads on refractors. I asked George Korody who frequented his shop and he has no recollection of him making refractors. Still looking on this and whether he machined his own mounts. But the best I can tell is that he carried Edmund and Unitron. But I guess you know that ;-)

Tony


  • TOM KIEHL likes this

#9 Steve Allison

Steve Allison

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 599
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Olympia, Wash. 98502

Posted 14 February 2019 - 02:23 AM

My little 40mm refractor is clearly a Unitron (Nihon Seiko), but is branded "Polaris".

 

According to the included instructions, the telescope was sold by the Polaris Telescope Shop in Dearborn, Michigan, and is a Model 127 of the shop's "Junior Series" line of refractors. It is identical in every way to a Unitron Model 127, so is obviously just a re-brand.

 

There was a business card in the case for Walter R. Gabrow and the Polaris Telescope Shop. The card indicates that the shop was "Michigan's Largest Dealer in Astronomical Telescopes, Parts and accessories".

 

The address was 14319 Michigan Avenue, E. Dearborn, Michigan 48126, and the telephone number was LUzon 2-8466.

 

Fun stuff, eh?

 

Steve


  • licata, terraclarke and Bomber Bob like this

#10 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:42 AM

My little 40mm refractor is clearly a Unitron (Nihon Seiko), but is branded "Polaris".

 

According to the included instructions, the telescope was sold by the Polaris Telescope Shop in Dearborn, Michigan, and is a Model 127 of the shop's "Junior Series" line of refractors. It is identical in every way to a Unitron Model 127, so is obviously just a re-brand.

Yup that makes sense. So it looks like the mount and scopes Tom has pictured above might be a re-branded Unitron. Perhaps Walter G. Made a few mods. Anyway it sure is a pretty mount, and the restore on it is spectacular. I am tempted to polish up my Edmund HD but I think I go for more of a factory look.

 

See Tom's restore here:

https://www.cloudyni...ictorial-debut/



#11 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 14 February 2019 - 04:52 AM

Re: "So it looks like the mount and scopes Tom has pictured above might be re-branded Unitron."

Correction: Clearly not on the mount. It is unique in every way I can tell.



#12 apfever

apfever

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4858
  • Joined: 13 May 2008
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 14 February 2019 - 12:51 PM

PM sent.

 

Tony, check the pm. You're right, the links went funky.  They may work better here, just the links as a reference. I'm also out to get pictures and measurements as per your request. I can post answers here or in the longer pm.  The scopes are everywhere from barn to basement to garage and probably more. It may be a few hours as I get around with chores. I'll try the pm first to see if that cooperates. Please see my request in the pm.  Also, I'll try to keep up my stings as a reference since things like all three of my mounts are done and two out of three OTA. "...and 2 out of 3 aint bad..." (Invaders From Mars - hilarious movie). 

 

Neil 


  • licata likes this

#13 bremms

bremms

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5132
  • Joined: 31 Aug 2012
  • Loc: SC

Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:44 PM

Tony, PM me as well. I have a few Edmund 6" OTA parts and optics.


  • licata likes this

#14 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 15 February 2019 - 01:18 PM

Wrinkle finish test...

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190214_103019-800x600.jpg

  • ScottAstroNut and TOM KIEHL like this

#15 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:21 AM

Ha ha.. just did a little Photoshop on the label I sanded off of my tube, (previous owner painted over it).

Neil sent me a close up of the real one, thanks Neil!

 

Going to print it out on silver foil sticker sheets... just to complete my paint job.

 

https://www.amazon.c... label stickers.

 

Also gonna check if Edmund has these in an old file somewhere.

 

Last pic is a test using silver paint on paper and spray stick. (I guess I'll wait for the foil labels to arrive.)

Gonna do the same for the Eds Corp one which I think actually goes in the area I'm showing.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Label-Sheet_lo-res.jpg
  • 20190216_103439.jpg

Edited by licata, 16 February 2019 - 11:20 AM.

  • clamchip and terraclarke like this

#16 apfever

apfever

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4858
  • Joined: 13 May 2008
  • Loc: Colorado

Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:47 AM

You might consider the other label (picture here) if you are going to make some.  Not only is it nicer, flashier, I think it might be older as well and in better shape than the other pictures. Edmund used the name "EDSCORP"  more in the earlier years and " Edmund Scientific Co."  later on.  Someone feel free to correct me on that if you have better history of it. It would also make sense as the label above was probably cheaper to make as well, typical commercialism.

 

I am second owner of this scope in terms of a three generation single family use. The sellers father bought it to share with him, and he in turn shared it with his son then an older teen. The son did get into it and added to the scope but eventually went another direction (probably girls or college...or both).  At any rate the seller (middle generation) found it time to move it on. This is the one I did full restoration on and it goes with the now finished 6" mount with drive. I should put them all together with OTA.  The 8" OTA is winter barned and the only thing left to do. The primary and cell are done and waiting.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P2150001.JPG

Edited by apfever, 16 February 2019 - 11:04 AM.

  • licata, terraclarke and TOM KIEHL like this

#17 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:18 AM

"You might consider the other label ..."

Right, thank you! That makes sense. I assumed the "uglier" one was older. Wish the guy wouldn't have painted over mine so I'd know which one I had.



#18 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 16 February 2019 - 05:25 PM

Right, thank you! That makes sense. I assumed the "uglier" one was older. Wish the guy wouldn't have painted over mine so I'd know which one I had.

Here's the other.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Label-Sheet_EdsCorp.jpg

  • clamchip, terraclarke and TOM KIEHL like this

#19 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 18 February 2019 - 10:03 AM

I plan put a note in a hidden place that states the paint and stickers are not original. This way, if the market ever picks up for Edmund stuff, mine will not detract the value of pristine non-restored units with original stickers. That of course would never be my intent. I just want three good looking scopes in my display. Sure I'd like them to be as original as possible. But I have what I have.


  • TOM KIEHL likes this

#20 astrowolf67

astrowolf67

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 154
  • Joined: 15 Dec 2007
  • Loc: Western Kentucky

Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:32 PM

First is the Grabow tube. I have decided to seal it, sand it smooth and paint it white rather than try to restore the original speckle finish.

 

What are you using to seal the tube before paint?  I am in the process of restoring a Meade Starfinder tube, and, having a heck of a time getting a smooth, paintable finish. I have sanded and primed a few times now, and, every time, the tube fuzzes up in a different spot.


  • licata likes this

#21 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 18 February 2019 - 06:30 PM

I will probably run in to the same issues once I start. I am going to start with auto body filler then primer then several coats of appliance epoxy paint, sanding between each. Need warm weather to air out my shop when I begin. So there is still time to think about it.
  • astrowolf67 likes this

#22 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 18 February 2019 - 08:16 PM

Time for a bath!
After sanding off the peaks of the old wrinkle finish, I scrubbed all parts today in a bath of degreaser soap using a mild abrasive drill brush. Boy are they clean.
Ready to paint tomorrow.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Bath.jpg

Edited by licata, 19 February 2019 - 09:23 AM.

  • astro140, ScottAstroNut and TOM KIEHL like this

#23 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:34 AM

I have been asked if I have the HD pedestal to the 8 inch. I do! It is sitting "up north" in my observatory. I plan to rescue it from its current "humiliating estate" and replace it with a pier this summer. So that mount with the EQ head shown earlier will have to wait.

 

The second pic below is my original Edmund Space Conqueror "wanna-be" that I have had since boyhood in the 70's. I think I will focus my effort on this unit til near completion then move on the other two. (same mount shown cleaned and primed above). I spray painted everything flat many black years ago. Yuck, what was I thinking!

 

Third pic is the only part of the Palomar that I had. Someone had painted it red right over the Edscorp sticker. The undercoat was white, so it is the older model, also shown rough sanded above. (Note when I took this pic I didn't even know it was a Palomar.)

 

Since this is about three scopes at once I will be jumping around a bit. (plus I'm a little A.D.D.).

 

Since I haven't used CN much till now, I don't know if it is OK to keep a thread going for as long as it is going to take to complete the final display of the three scopes together. Is it? Will I be archived soon?

 

Thanks,

Tony

Attached Thumbnails

  • HD Pedistal.jpg
  • Space-Conqueror-Pre-Restor.jpg
  • Palomar-Original-State.jpg

Edited by licata, 19 February 2019 - 10:40 AM.

  • TOM KIEHL and Garyth64 like this

#24 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 19 February 2019 - 05:51 PM

Uh oh... all clean but now what? My older clock drive was different than this. I hope I can put it back together...

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190219_174411-1305x979.jpg

  • ScottAstroNut, Marc-Andre, TOM KIEHL and 1 other like this

#25 licata

licata

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 153
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2006
  • Loc: Farmington Hills, MI USA

Posted 19 February 2019 - 08:59 PM

Ok got it together. First mount is ready except for setting circles. Not sure what these are. Are they an older version?

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20190219_221429.jpg
  • 20190219_220723.jpg

Edited by licata, 19 February 2019 - 10:34 PM.

  • highfnum, ScottAstroNut, terraclarke and 4 others like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ATM, classic, DIY, equipment, mount, reflector



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics