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

Tools needed to construct dob

  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 Starman47

Starman47

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 681
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2018
  • Loc: Middle Tennessee

Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:46 AM

I am making plans to convert my classic style 16” f/4.5 dob to a lighter weight and more portable telescope. Age is a big factor in this decision. Because I ain’t a kid anymore, I figure I should work smart rather than hurried etc. I will be spending at least 6 months planning and preparing. Then in early summer, I hope to start the work.

 

 

I do not have much woodworking experience, so I hope the CN community can give some input on one aspect of the project.  In a nutshell, what tools should I purchase? (And what tools do you use for your projects? Other “fancy” tools that just make life easy are okay). Just FYI, I sold what power tools I had when I left my job overseas to retire in Middle Tennessee


Edited by Starman47, 18 January 2020 - 10:41 AM.


#2 lphilpot

lphilpot

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,398
  • Joined: 15 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Central Lousiana, USA

Posted 18 January 2020 - 10:50 AM

A few others, depending on whether you're looking to (over time) build a shop, as is were, or just collect tools. I'm assuming you're not building a shop, but will be working in a carport, etc., that will need to return to its former life when you're done.
 

Virtually essential:

Handheld power (orbital) sander

Long clamping straightedge (not just a straight edge *held* by clamps, but one *with* its own clamp)

Mitre box (at a minimum) / Mitre-chop saw (preferred)*

 

May come in handy sooner or later:

Bench-top drill press (it's difficult to get orthogonal holes with a handheld drill, but beware of inherent drill press depth / clearance restrictions)*

Wood chisel(s)

Dremel

Corner clamps

Bench grinder with rock and brush

A table saw would be very handy, but it's kind of a major "shop-only" tool*

A small bench-top table for your router could possibly also be handy, but it depends on what you're doing.

Two working surfaces / tables (of equal height) - You'll often have something large on one but still need to "hand work" elsewhere

 

* These I recommend from the experience of not having them, but repeatedly wishing I did. I had a small drill press (until it croaked) and my only regret was that it wasn't larger. :)



#3 Couder

Couder

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 115
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Missouri Ozarks

Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:46 AM

Maybe the tool you need is a friend. Other than that, most schools have a shop class or room. Colleges also have them. These options allow you to use their tools for your project while gaining experience. But I suggest a friend. I helped my buddy build a 20" dob, rebuild the 20" dob, and then build a 6" solar dob. I enjoyed helping him.


  • jtsenghas and Bob4BVM like this

#4 Starman47

Starman47

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 681
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2018
  • Loc: Middle Tennessee

Posted 18 January 2020 - 12:40 PM

The friend may be a great tool. They may just come with instructions and everything.


  • skround likes this

#5 mconnelley

mconnelley

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 705
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Hilo, HI

Posted 18 January 2020 - 04:30 PM

Hello:
 

   I built my 20" with:

 

- Hand drill

- Drill press

- Hack saw

- Jig saw

- Files

- basic hand tools (screw driver, wrenches, hammer)

- a few short bar clamps

 

   The tools you'll need strongly depends on the design for your telescope.  If your going for a Kreige/Obsession style truss dob, then you'll probably want a table saw and sander and more more precise wood working tools.  I made a ball-scope so I didn't need those things.  

Cheers

Mike


  • gregj888 and GTom like this

#6 Oberon

Oberon

    Gemini

  • -----
  • Posts: 3,172
  • Joined: 24 Feb 2013
  • Loc: Hunter Valley NSW Australia

Posted 18 January 2020 - 05:10 PM

Workshop

Essentials: router, compound mitre drop saw, drill press, good lighting

Nice to have: Combo disc/belt sander, bench grinder, compressor, vacuum cleaner/dust extractor, table saw, router table

 

Battery hand tools (Strongly suggest buy matching kit)

Essential: 18v drill

Nice to have: 18v screwdriver, 5” angle grinder with variety of cutting/grinding attachments, small multi-tool with sander

 

Power hand tools

Essential: 7-9” saw, orbital sander, 

Nice to have: 1/4” router

 

Misc

Essential: quick clamps, safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, saw-horses, right angles, rules, files, screwdrivers, ratchet socket set, shifters etc etc

Nice to have: this list is endless



#7 Cameron_C

Cameron_C

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 251
  • Joined: 05 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Richmond Hill Ontario Canada

Posted 18 January 2020 - 05:11 PM

Personally, (in no particular order) I used:

A router to make all of the circles.

A circular saw for cutting the box pieces close to size.

A belt sander to make these piece the proper size.

An orbital sander to make everything smooth.

Some corner clamps. Some bar clamps.

A drill. Drilling holes and driving screws.

A tube cutter for the poles. I also used the tube cutter to cut a bronze bearing the proper size for the centre of the ground board.

A measuring tape. A square. A carpet knife for the bearing material.

A hole cutter for the focuser.

A hack saw for the metal bars in the mirror cell.

Some taps for the mirror cell.

An awl to make the various metal bits for the cell.

I used a Vernier caliper a great deal to measure miscellaneous items (lengths and depths)

I do not have a proper workbench so I used a Workmate a lot.

Wrenches and screw drivers.

A soldering iron while I was making my testers.

A luggage scale when I was balancing the scope.

Jeweler's loupe when checking for pits.

A laser pointer to check for pits.

A hotplate for melting pitch.

Razor blade for the tester.

Razor knife for trimming the pitch lap.

A big bucket to fit the mirror and pitch lap when soaking.

A heat gun when preparing/repairing the pitch lap.

A mask to keep things out of my airway when cutting/sanding/painting/melting pitch.

 

There are probably others, but that's all I can think of right now.

 

.......Cameron



#8 linuxizer

linuxizer

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 46
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2019

Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:37 PM

A decent square is essential.
  • jtsenghas likes this

#9 Chuck Hards

Chuck Hards

    You don't know Swift from Astrola

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 27,026
  • Joined: 03 May 2010

Posted 18 January 2020 - 06:44 PM

Duct tape.


  • Bob4BVM likes this

#10 Beeham

Beeham

    Explorer 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 86
  • Joined: 08 Nov 2019
  • Loc: Oakland County, Michigan

Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:24 PM

Assuming that normal hand tools are already accounted for,

 

Necessary:

- Router

- Big straightedge

- Reliable square

- Circular saw

- Reliable measuring tool (not a tape measure)

 

Nice to have:

- Miter saw

- Table saw

- Drill press

 

Probably weird but I use all the time:

- Vernier scriber

- Optical center punch

- Incra rule

- Dial calipers

 

Good luck with your build!



#11 Bob4BVM

Bob4BVM

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,151
  • Joined: 23 Mar 2015
  • Loc: W. Oregon

Posted 18 January 2020 - 10:40 PM

With all respect, if woodworking is so foreign to you that you need to ask this question, you really do need to find someone with a wood shop and a bit of experience. 

Unless you are planning to get into woodworking as a hobby , just buying a bunch of tools is not a substitute for the above.

You probably know someone who fits the bill, we are not all that rare.

Good luck & enjoy your build

CS

Bob


  • Oberon and jtsenghas like this

#12 a__l

a__l

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,597
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2007

Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:22 PM

If you want to get a perpendicular round cut, then photo 1 (a compass to help). It can also be used for a perpendicular hole in a rocker. Also for the surface for the ServoCat roller and for smooth sliding along the Alt.

 

If a direct perpendicular cut, photo 2 (a long direct board and clamps to help). For example, for thick rocker walls.

 

For gluing perpendicularly photo 3.

 

Everything else as needed.

Attached Thumbnails

  • router.jpg
  • Циркулярка.JPG
  • роклер.JPG

Edited by a__l, 18 January 2020 - 11:32 PM.


#13 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 23,511
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:28 AM

one essential everyone missed... beer... lots of beer, only if your of age. lol.gif lol.gif  lol.gif


  • Starman47 likes this

#14 Starman47

Starman47

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 681
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2018
  • Loc: Middle Tennessee

Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:01 AM

But it has to be good beer. Or why bother? (But this could be another topic - sorry to the Moderators)



#15 gregj888

gregj888

    Vanguard

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,411
  • Joined: 26 Mar 2006
  • Loc: Oregon

Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:26 AM

Well, it depends.  

 

If on the cheap, Mike's list above and maybe add a few things to please your personal outlook (router) , esthetics  (Orbital sander).

 

If an excuse to outfit your shop, ALL the above plus:

1) a CNC router to cut panels,

2) CNC Mill to make the Alt bearings and pole ends

3) CNC Lathe to make the focuser and other round metal parts

4) Press break for bending the metal for things like your eyepiece holder

5) 3D printer, for prototyping

 

NO BEER until the power tools are put away, especially the saws!

 

With the above list, you may need a Lawyer...  or need to buy the SO a really nice new car ;-)

 

One last note:  Tools may make it easier but the quality  usually relies on the skill of the artist...  

 

Greg


Edited by gregj888, 19 January 2020 - 11:30 AM.


#16 HunterofPhotons

HunterofPhotons

    Apollo

  • *----
  • Posts: 1,451
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Rhode Island, USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:55 AM

What Bob4BVM said.

If you have to ask the question you're not prepared to do the work.

Sorry to be so blunt, but to quote the title of a Young Adults song, "A Power Tool is Not a Toy".

Buying power tools will not buy you experience and experience is what you need.  You may also have need of some of your fingers down the road.

 

dan k. 



#17 lphilpot

lphilpot

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,398
  • Joined: 15 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Central Lousiana, USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:36 PM

If you have to ask the question you're not prepared to do the work.

Sorry to be so blunt, but to quote the title of a Young Adults song, "A Power Tool is Not a Toy".

Buying power tools will not buy you experience and experience is what you need.  You may also have need of some of your fingers down the road.

In all fairness, the original poster said he doesn't have much woodworking experience. He previously had some power tools and sold them - Now he's looking to repopulate his collection specifically in the context of ATM. That doesn't sound like someone who's clueless enough to blindly misuse power tools. And no reflection on the OP or anyone else, but it doesn't take a genius to think twice before mindlessly leaning on a drill, saw or router (at 35,000 RPM in the last example)... until something gives. Safe use of power tools isn't an attainment reserved for the Select Few - It's mostly common sense, thinking twice and being careful.



#18 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11,617
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:40 PM

Richard Berry's book "Build Your Own Telescope" shows how a dob can be built with minimal hand tools. The designs are vintage 1980's, but functional.

 

Another approach if you have limited tools or shop space is to look for local woodworking classes through a school or community college. I did this twenty years ago (during a career change and between homes) and when I told the instructor what my project was, he was thrilled and intrigued. The shop was well-equipped, I only paid the class fee and my own supplies.

 

The downside of this approach is class time is usually limited - a couple of hours once a week for maybe eight weeks. The classes are meant for simple projects like jewelry boxes and the like. You'll have to hustle to bust out a telescope in the allotted time. 


Edited by Jeff Morgan, 19 January 2020 - 12:40 PM.

  • Bob4BVM likes this

#19 csrlice12

csrlice12

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 25,555
  • Joined: 22 May 2012
  • Loc: Denver, CO

Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:27 PM

If you are prior military or in the Reserves/Guard, check if a local base has a wood hobby shop...they'll have the tools.  There may be a small fee, but it will be minimal.

Or, rent a shop...https://www.mikeswoo...op-rental-fast/


Edited by csrlice12, 19 January 2020 - 01:31 PM.


#20 GShaffer

GShaffer

    Knight of Ni

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 6,683
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Bogart, Ga USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:54 PM

To answer the question usefully perhaps it would be best to establish the level of sweat equity you desire to invest 1st :)


  • jtsenghas likes this

#21 HunterofPhotons

HunterofPhotons

    Apollo

  • *----
  • Posts: 1,451
  • Joined: 26 Apr 2008
  • Loc: Rhode Island, USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:54 PM

In all fairness, the original poster said he doesn't have much woodworking experience. He previously had some power tools and sold them - Now he's looking to repopulate his collection specifically in the context of ATM. That doesn't sound like someone who's clueless enough to blindly misuse power tools. And no reflection on the OP or anyone else, but it doesn't take a genius to think twice before mindlessly leaning on a drill, saw or router (at 35,000 RPM in the last example)... until something gives. Safe use of power tools isn't an attainment reserved for the Select Few - It's mostly common sense, thinking twice and being careful.

 

Len,

In post #2 you stated that you have never used a bench-top drill press, a chop saw, or a table saw.  Is that correct?

In all fairness, wouldn't it seem appropriate to have some experience using these tools before recommending their use or commenting on how safe they are?

Buying a car does not instantly make one a safe driver.  Buying a gun does not obviate one from committing a fatal mistake.   

I have been a woodworker all my life and have witnessed the spilling of blood, loss of body parts, maiming, and near-death experiences from the use of drill presses, chop saws, table saws, jointers, and so on.  Some of the affected people were actually quite smart.  They were certainly smarter afterwards. <g>

I have taught woodworking and been taught woodworking by world-famous woodworkers.  Safety starts with learning safe procedures.  Turning on a power tool does not imbue one with 'common sense safety smarts'.

 

dan k.


  • airbleeder likes this

#22 lphilpot

lphilpot

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,398
  • Joined: 15 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Central Lousiana, USA

Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:33 PM

No, that's not correct. I said I owned and used a bench-top drill press. I wished many times it was a full-height floor model. I have not owned the others, but have used them. I wish I owned them, since using a circular saw with a rip fence, etc., is less accurate and somewhat less safe than using a table saw. But without a shop, it's not practical.

 

I know the original poster and it's statistically probable (although not certain) that he's made as many trips around the solar system as you. Last time we spoke, he still had all his fingers (although I didn't check his toes lol.gif).

 

My point was not to minimize the importance of safety -- I have a friend who lost part of some fingers to a table saw -- but rather in light of apparently declaring someone incapable ("if you have to ask the question you're not prepared") simply because they asked for input. If anything I would suspect the opposite to be true: A truly haphazard accident-in-waiting might tend to plow ahead without asking first. I didn't survive getting my pilot's license all those years ago by being careless (something about "there are very few old, bold pilots").  smile.gif

 

Just my $0.02.



#23 Jbhillman

Jbhillman

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 16 Nov 2019

Posted 19 January 2020 - 06:40 PM

My first truss tube telescope. I had in my shop a floor stand drill press. Router mounted in router table. Floor stand lathe.

belt sander/disc sander. Spindle sander. 14” band saw. 6” jointer planer. Bench top lath. Compound mitre saw. Cross cut metal saw. Bench grinder. Bench vise. And a 24x30 cnc  router. Plus circular saw, jig saw, hand orbital sanders. A variety of pipe and strap clamps.  Closed the business.  Sold almost everything.

now I have to rebuild the telescope.  I will be using a circular saw, jig saw, hand drill,  and orbital hand sander.

But I ran a woodworking business for 10 years.  It is not the tools, it is the craftsman.


  • jtsenghas and Bob4BVM like this

#24 a__l

a__l

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,597
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2007

Posted 19 January 2020 - 06:41 PM

The question of building is to make angles of 90 degrees, wherever it is needed.
If this differs, the design will be crooked (anyway).



#25 coopman

coopman

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,125
  • Joined: 23 Apr 2006
  • Loc: South Louisiana

Posted 19 January 2020 - 08:30 PM

A copy of this book:

https://www.willbell.com/tm/dobtel.htm

You have a Dobstuff scope so you are familiar with Dennis's designs.

Check out Ross Sackett's Dobs:  http://stardazed.com/index.html

Then decide what style of Dob you want to build and go for it.




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






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics