I've only got a small and light setup (CEM25P and short focal length refractor(s) for imaging), but like everyone the routine of hauling the scope out to the yard, polar aligning, and getting everything setup everytime I want to image/observe gets old. I wanted something simple to make, inexpensive, able to be easily removed later...but that would let me keep the mount (and maybe scopes) setup so I could just pop out, turn things on, and go.
I considered a full concrete poured pier (which I've done before), a wood pier, a metal pier...but while searching the 'net I found this:
That seemed perfect for my needs. So I gathered the parts, and put it in this weekend.
First the plan: I wanted a minimal footer for ease of removal (but it had to be solid & stable), so I planned on a 12x12x12 base hole. Into that went 1/2" threaded rod, which would protrude above the ground and pass through the 16x16x2" concrete block base, and into the first 8x8x16" block so I could tighten everything down. I cut holes in some plate steel to fit over the threaded rods, held in place with nuts, instead of a J-bend in the threaded rods to hold them in place in the concrete. The ground plan is below:
I bought 2 8x8x16" blocks (tried to pick the straightest and smoothest two from a huge lot at Home Depot!), a 16x16x2" base, some maple hardwood (for the top), and an iOptron 5.5" pier extension to put the actual mount on. The pier extension has a 3/4" round "nipple" that protrudes down from the bottom, meant to go into the field tripod, so the maple had to have a 3/4" hold drilled in the center. Next image is a dry-fit of all the parts -- a sanity check!