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1899 4" f/16 Cooke Photovisual Apo refractor

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#1 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:19 PM

Hi Gang,

 

I hope you are all well in these interesting times.

 

Some of you know Richard Day in the UK and know of his wonderful 4" Cooke refactor that was looking for a new home. It found one, it's mine now!

With the Zeiss Coude mostly wrapped up I needed another small project to keep me happily confined to home.

 

Cooke garden.jpg

 

Shipping the telescope was painless, once the wobblies with the crating company was sorted out. The message needed to be sent was, just because an instrument looks like crap, doesn't mean it is crap... It's called patina dude... :-)

 

crate2.jpg


Edited by Peter Ceravolo, 02 April 2020 - 08:23 PM.

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#2 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:22 PM

Cooke telescope s.JPG

 

Cooke and Zeiss Coude.jpg


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#3 siriusandthepup

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:22 PM

Beauty!


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#4 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:43 PM

What I really love about the scope is the gravity drive, it brings history to life.

 

IMG_1777.JPG

 

The slow motion adjustment in dec is via tangent arm controlled by the observer at the eyepiece. But the RA slow motion is via rope wound around a pulley.

 

I did have a chance to look through the telescope briefly before starting restoration, the image of a random star low in the sky (looking out the garage door) was quite nice. So it was no surprise that when bench tested the objective looked well corrected, with some very mild zoning.

 

4_inch_Cooke_PV_objetive_Ronchi.jpg


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#5 Det274

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:46 PM

Congratulations, what a beautiful piece of history!


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#6 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:51 PM

But I was really impressed with the 120 year old glass. Under crossed Polaroids to check for internal defects, it was clean! All I could see was faint stress areas that corresponded with the lens spacers.

 

IMG_1760.JPG


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#7 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 08:57 PM

One of the first things I did was to disassemble the objective and measure all the radii and thicknesses, mainly for historical purposes.

 

IMG_1784.JPG

 

4PV Cooke objective data.JPG


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#8 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 02 April 2020 - 09:17 PM

It wasn't long before I had the mount disassembled. The pier especially and the mount need to be repainted. There are those that would prefer to keep the original 120 year old paint, and I respect that, but the telescope will be enjoyed in the living room mostly, so it has to look good. It will be hoisted outside for special events.

 

IMG_1842.JPG

 

One unfortunate discovery was the state of the drive worm, it's so corroded that it resembles a rat tail file! 

 

It will have to be replaced, or damage the sector drive gear which will be harder to fix.

 

IMG_1853.JPG


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#9 siriusandthepup

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 01:13 AM

It really looks like the ones that did the crating did a superb job.

 

Is it really as nice as it appears in the photo?


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#10 R Botero

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 02:54 AM

Peter 

I’m so glad Richard found his refractor a new home and it is yours! If your thread on the Zeiss is anything to go by, I’m already looking to my daily dose of this one!

Best wishes

Roberto



#11 jcruse64

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 07:53 AM

Once again, WOW!



#12 photiost

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 08:52 AM

Beautiful instrument !!

 

Congrats.


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#13 Terra Nova

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 09:22 AM

Wow! Congratulations Sir! What a wonderful project. It’s a fabulous instrument with tremendous potential. I’m glad Richard’s historic instrument found such a good home and greatly look forward to you sharing more pictures as the project goes forward.


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#14 tim53

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 10:39 AM

In the living room, though?

 

What you need is a dome to house it in.  Then, we want to see a pic like the one of the guy in ATM I with a 4" refractor behind him, with famous historic astronomers' names on the wall around the dome, wearing a tux and holding a pipe.

 

-Tim.


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#15 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 12:20 PM

The Cooke telescope is waaaay simpler than the ultra complex Zeiss Coude, it should not take long to refurb so this thread will not be very long.

 

The main thing is carefully stripping the paint. Although the original OTA finish is black paint, we plan to leave the tube brass. My graphic designer wife Debra says the complimentary color to the brass look is green, so a dark green it is for the pier and mount.

 

I'm going to leave the as much of the other components as original as possible. The drive will need cleaning up, it's quite complex with all them gears. I love the spinning brass balls.

 

I have to admit, I'd love to house the Cooke in an appropriate observatory, but we can only have some many domes around here. The pier is very heavy, so I'm going to have a custom dolly made for it so I can roll the mount out the door.

 

I'm looking forward to showing the telescope off to guests. I plan to acquire a period correct smoking jacket, glass of sherry, monocle on a chain, a learned astronomy book from the era and an English accent so I can properly wax on about the wonderfulness of the 120 year old Cooke telescope!

 

Can you imagine? A guy born in Italy, raised in Canada pretending to be English... Edwin Hubble would be proud... :-)


Edited by Peter Ceravolo, 03 April 2020 - 04:33 PM.

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#16 mikerepp

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 12:31 PM

Peter that is awesome!  Your work on the Zeiss was superb and I look forward to what this one will look like when finished.   I think your on to something with the brass and the green paint.  Cant wait to see the smoking jacket picture! wink.gif



#17 tim53

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 12:40 PM

Found it.  It's in Book 2:

 

Refractor_Dude.jpg


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#18 Exnihilo

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 12:49 PM

Wow, that's amazing.  The drive system is priceless!



#19 highfnum

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 12:52 PM

very cool 

enjoy



#20 Erik Bakker

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 01:38 PM

WOW Peter bow.gif

 

Look forward to seeing it fully refurbed to your liking wink.gif



#21 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 03:18 PM

Found it.  It's in Book 2:

 

attachicon.gifRefractor_Dude.jpg

Ogilvy?  Whatever you do, stay away (far away!) from The Deputation!

 

Peter, Congratulations!  And, if I may say, your timing is perfect -- we all need a tonic, and this thread is IT.


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#22 starman876

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 03:43 PM

you got to love these old refactors.  I find it amazing the skill machinists had in those days.    


Edited by starman876, 03 April 2020 - 03:46 PM.


#23 Kasmos

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 04:27 PM

IMO once something gets to a certain age, it deserves to look old.

I think the patina is beautiful, so I would just clean it up to function and preserve it's originallity.

I understand when things are too far gone, they need to be restored, and ideally to original specs.

 

All said, it's yours to do what you will.



#24 Chuck Hards

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 05:13 PM

 

 Although the original OTA finish is black paint, we plan to leave the tube brass. My graphic designer wife Debra says the complimentary color to the brass look is green, so a dark green it is for the pier and mount.

 

 

Gloss black and shiny brass is stunning and the scope must have been magnificent right off the line.  Green evokes an aged patina, to me it only works with darkened, aged brass.   Will never have the "wow" factor of black and newly-polished brass.  

 

A gloss black and shiny brass restoration would look stunning next to a fully restored Model T.  ;)


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#25 Peter Ceravolo

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 05:22 PM

The first thing I did after purchasing Richard Day's Cooke telescope was to join the Antique Telescope Society. Then I could tap into their vast reservoir of knowledge guilt free... :-)

 

It did not take long to learn one of the key things of restoration with these brass beauties; Bart Fried, one of the grand poobahs of antique telescopes, warned that polishing the patina off brass tubes could affect their precision fit, especially in the focuser draw tubes. So while I marvel at the precision machining, I'm thinking "I don't wan tot screw this up just to make it shiny"...

 

So we will be customizing and restoring the original finish, but we're also preparing the telescope for its next 120 years of service.


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