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The paradox of collecting classic scopes

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#1 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:27 AM

I have realized it is much easier to obtain new scopes than it is getting rid of old ones.   When you buy a new classic scope it comes delivered to your door.  When you sell a classic scope you have to get the packing materials together,  pack it up and send it out.  Much easier to just buy scopes.  Only problem is storing the scopes.  This is a paradox I have thought about for a while.  It would appear that planning is required to eliminate this paradox.   First one would have to make sure that any new scope just delivered comes in the right size box to right away to take that box and ship out something of similar size.  This would take a lot of planning.  Have any of you done this sort of planning?


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#2 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:40 AM

Nope.  But making boxes is easy for me at work.  Once I retire, I hope all the scopes I'm not planning on keeping are already gone.

 

I used to store empty boxes in the garage rafters but ran out of room, and it became a fire hazard, so they all went to recycling about a year or two ago.

 

Nobody thinks about the end of the trail until they get there, it seems.


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#3 Mike G.

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:43 AM

people get rid of scopes?  when did this start happening?


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#4 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:47 AM

people get rid of scopes?  when did this start happening?

it is a strange concept.  However, if they are not getting rid of scopes where do all these scopes keep coming from?



#5 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:47 AM

people get rid of scopes?  when did this start happening?

When you realize that the single-level retirement home you want to move into doesn't have nearly the amount of storage space that the 4-level, 2-car garage house you raised the kids in has.  ;)


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#6 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:48 AM

Nope.  But making boxes is easy for me at work.  Once I retire, I hope all the scopes I'm not planning on keeping are already gone.

 

I used to store empty boxes in the garage rafters but ran out of room, and it became a fire hazard, so they all went to recycling about a year or two ago.

 

Nobody thinks about the end of the trail until they get there, it seems.

I think we need to reach a certain age before we start thinking about this subject.


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#7 Chuck Hards

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:50 AM

It hurts more when you trip over a mahogany box in your 60's and 70's, than it does in your 20's - 50's.  :(


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#8 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:51 AM

I have realized it is much easier to obtain new scopes than it is getting rid of old ones.   When you buy a new classic scope it comes delivered to your door.  When you sell a classic scope you have to get the packing materials together,  pack it up and send it out.  Much easier to just buy scopes.  Only problem is storing the scopes.  This is a paradox I have thought about for a while.  It would appear that planning is required to eliminate this paradox.   First one would have to make sure that any new scope just delivered comes in the right size box to right away to take that box and ship out something of similar size.  This would take a lot of planning.  Have any of you done this sort of planning?

I did! I saved all packing material for re-use. However, for the past couple of years, I made sure that for each new one that came in, two or three went out. This presented a bit of a conundrum of its own. Packing material would quickly become depleted so I needed a source. In some cases I actually had to buy moving boxes and peanuts at Lowes and Office Depot. Another source was re-use. I learned that I could find all sorts of styrofoam inserts and boxes of various sizes, along with foam sheeting and sheets of bubble wrap by doing a little dumpster diving, mostly at Pier One, Office Depot, and Home Emporium. It helps if you explain the situation to the management first and ask them in a very nice, and polite way. Otherwise, they may call the cops on you! Anyway, that's how I went down from over thirty to the dozen I've kept. I'm not buying anymore. Haven't in nearly a year. It feels good. I'm glad that I got to buy and try a lot of cool stuff, but I'm equally glad that I didn't keep most of it.


Edited by Terra Nova, 05 June 2020 - 10:55 AM.

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#9 D_talley

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:56 AM

My planning is figuring a way to get the new scope into the house without "she who must be obeyed" knowing.  So I think any additional purchases have come to an end. The garage is filling up too fast for me to dispose of the boxes.  


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#10 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:04 AM

It hurts more when you trip over a mahogany box in your 60's and 70's, than it does in your 20's - 50's.  frown.gif

it hurts when you fall on a box also frown.gif


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#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:04 AM

Nope.  But making boxes is easy for me at work.  Once I retire, I hope all the scopes I'm not planning on keeping are already gone.

 

I used to store empty boxes in the garage rafters but ran out of room, and it became a fire hazard, so they all went to recycling about a year or two ago.

 

Nobody thinks about the end of the trail until they get there, it seems.

I used to break down the boxes, then stack & store them flat...  but, they're still a combustible material.  And, out in the shed, they attract bugs & critters (including Bats!), so they had to go...

 

Nowadays, I go through our recycling bin at work.  But, as y'all know, these LONG skinny refractors, tripods, & pedestals require non-standard boxes to pack & ship safely.  Took me nearly 3 months to find a suitable box for that set of Unitron 142 legs that I gave away!

 

As for buying:  When I can get high-quality well-made vintage scopes for $200 or less, it's really hard not to click that BIN Button.  Then, for the Keepers, I get attached to them.  That makes parting with them tough!

 

For our new CSNs (Classic Scope Nutz):  Don't do like Ol' Bomber Bob, and get so many scopes that you can't turn around without fear of knocking a scope over.


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#12 starman876

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:08 AM

I used to break down the boxes, then stack & store them flat...  but, they're still a combustible material.  And, out in the shed, they attract bugs & critters (including Bats!), so they had to go...

 

Nowadays, I go through our recycling bin at work.  But, as y'all know, these LONG skinny refractors, tripods, & pedestals require non-standard boxes to pack & ship safely.  Took me nearly 3 months to find a suitable box for that set of Unitron 142 legs that I gave away!

 

As for buying:  When I can get high-quality well-made vintage scopes for $200 or less, it's really hard not to click that BIN Button.  Then, for the Keepers, I get attached to them.  That makes parting with them tough!

 

For our new CSNs (Classic Scope Nutz):  Don't do like Ol' Bomber Bob, and get so many scopes that you can't turn around without fear of knocking a scope over.

The paths through the lower part of the house where I keep most of my scopes is getting more narrow each month.  I have realized I really do not like being a shipping department so selling scopes is not a top priority.   These are all issues when one starts collecting classic scopes.    At first it is a lot of fun.  However, for the serious collector the fun never stops and the storage issues never stop either.  


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#13 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 11:40 AM

I think we need to reach a certain age before we start thinking about this subject.

 

I definitely reached that age sometime ago.

 

I like your concept in you first post. Shipping is a PITA.. However it doesn't work quite that for me. I know that it's very unlikely I'll ever sell a scope, I'd rather have the scope than the money. The only way I typically part with a scope is to give to someone who will do right by the scope.

 

So when I'm thinking about buying a scope, in the back of my mind, I add in the effort required to box it up and ship it plus shipping cost. This is a significant deterrent to buying another scope, it ups the threshold buying resistance so these days I'm just window shopping and imagining what might be..

 

This is what passes as the wisdom of an old man and there's some truth in that.  After 70 years you do figure something out about yourself.

 

Jon


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#14 Terra Nova

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 12:27 PM

The paths through the lower part of the house where I keep most of my scopes is getting more narrow each month.  I have realized I really do not like being a shipping department so selling scopes is not a top priority.   These are all issues when one starts collecting classic scopes.    At first it is a lot of fun.  However, for the serious collector the fun never stops and the storage issues never stop either.  

When it hit thirty (telescopes) and they weren't getting used more than once if that, I decided that I was never going to be a serious collector. I dislike clutter and waste more than I like collecting. I think it's a particular mentality or at least a proclivity. I hang on to mementoes, and odds and ends, especially smaller items that have sentimental value, particularly things associated with my childhood, my family, or my kids, or items of professional significance; but I'm not so much into acquiring more and adding on to those things to make collections per se'. I guess the biggest collection that I do have is my book collection. It pretty extensive, and I periodically go through it and get rid of some,- things I've read and don't care to read again, or books on subjects I'm no longer interested in. It seems to me that most people who have collections have several collections and they've had them for years and continue to grow them. My brother is a big collector- stamps, postcards, coins, guns, seashells, telescopes, etc. He has a big house that he lives alone in and it's filled with his collections. He's an inspiration to me to NOT be a collector.


Edited by Terra Nova, 05 June 2020 - 12:29 PM.

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#15 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 03:48 PM

When it hit thirty (telescopes) and they weren't getting used more than once if that, I decided that I was never going to be a serious collector.

 

:waytogo:

 

I "collect" a few things, telescopes, bicycles, stuffed donkeys.  But the telescopes and the bicycles are all about observing and riding.  If a scope isn't getting used, I pass it on.  These days, I don't ride much but I am still holding on to that dream but one of these days, I will be parting with all but my most treasured bicycles.

 

I was at a bicycle swap meet on time and met a guy who had the collecting thing bad.  He collected classic steel bicycles.. Once he was satisfied with the a bicycle, he would box it up, he had steel containers filled with bicycles.  

 

40hc-shipping-container-used-min.jpg

 

Jon



#16 rogue river art

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 07:08 PM

I would NOT want to even try shipping my scope anywhere. It is in 3 boxes. the scope and tripod in a 1 1/2' x 6' 3/8" plywood box. the mount is in a 2'x 2' x 1' box and the clock drive is in a 1x1x1' box and the weight about 300# loaded. Not going to happen.



#17 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 08:20 PM

interesting topic..... Yes  I think about boxes      I always had one telescope for years   but when I got back into the hobby in a big way four years ago  I starting acquiring classic scopes and I am glad I did. I have collected and dealt in old vintage guitars and a few other items that made large increases in value  but  I play them   I use them.   

  telescopes are not vintage guitars/violins and we do not intend to profit.

 

Meanwhile over the last few years  I had found it strange that some folks would buy a good scope  use it for a very short while and then list it for sale. That made no sense to me but I now know that some folks just bought to try them out and compare them and test them and got some satisfaction out of that.       But I get that now   it can be an experience    These folks test driving optics  no doubt save the packaging etc.

 I am just not buying to test but buying to keep and use....and only sell one to get one …..  I have learned  much here.

 

 Finally I am still 62 until Tuesday  and I am not in a rush to downsize yet.  But that day will come so I now try to do the          if one scope comes in   another goes out thing so I do not end up with 30...…

 

Boxes  carboard  ...  Yes I save them in storage at the court house  but not too many   Also I have derived satisfaction from giving a few telescopes away. This is something else I have learned here.   I am donating DMala's Tasco 7te5 to the student loaner batch you are familiar with. I'm looking forward to driving it up to Mass to do a safe hand off..so no shipping or cardboard  required

 

    I could see adding a Newtonian or Dob someday as I have never had one


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 06 June 2020 - 08:12 AM.

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#18 oldmanastro

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:37 PM

I never thought that I would end up collecting telescopes. It just happened. I decided on refractors and specifically those sold by Sears in the 60s. Two of them were already at hand so only a few have been added and at least one more is needed. Yes... a 1970s Jason was saved from the trash, an ETX60 saved from oblivion, a B&L 4000 came along and I couldn't say no and a Questar arrived by surprise (literally). I cannot leave the old RV6 out and a small group of spotters. A big collection is out of the question one year after retirement. I'll keep it under control or maybe I should say that my dean of administration will keep it under control wink.gif . Selling scopes? I have sold newer ones, never a vintage. One thing is for sure, I get more thrills opening a box of a newly arrived vintage scope than that of a new telescope.

 

Guido


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#19 ccwemyss

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 09:43 PM

I don't keep any of the packing materials for my classics. In some cases, the packaging was so skimpy that it was a miracle the contents survived, so it wasn't worth keeping. In others, the packaging was so much bigger, with 2" of foam all around, (I'm looking at you, Gary and Tim), that it would take too much space to store. The engineer in me is fanatical about packing anything I would ship, so I'd want it to be my own design anyway (I actually kind of enjoy the construction challenge).

 

I'm also inclined to give scopes to students who have a real interest, which avoids the whole issue, and gives me an excuse to go looking again. 

 

Chip W.  


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#20 luxo II

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Posted 05 June 2020 - 10:02 PM

I have a rule at home - when something comes in, something else of comparable size must go out. The trick is, to trade for something better each time !

Even my 5yo son understands this. Space is finite, contrary to what some may think.

Even though wife is a bit soft she doesn’t argue on this one.

Edited by luxo II, 05 June 2020 - 10:03 PM.


#21 Stew44

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 08:03 AM

I kept all packing and any box that was sound and 'telescope applicable' for years.  I kept most every box that Chuck Hards sent me a scope in (they are almost works of art).  I collect old ham radios too and kept many boxes that are more cube shaped than telescope case shaped.  I have cleaned out a lot at this point and keep only the special ones that would fit large cases and really heavy duty.  Cut way back on packing materials.  Since I have a hard sell list I keep that in mind when deciding on keeping or recycling a box or materials.

 

A serious problem is when you collect one maker and realize you ain't gonna sell those for awhile.  That's when storage becomes a critical issue.  And with Gotos in my case, the scope and accys are many times cased, while the tripod and mount are not.  So you need an area or floor space to set up tripods.  Was that way with Unitrons and really any of the larger aperture classic scopes too back when focus was different.

 

Now if I'm going to ship a scope, I'd have the buyer bite the bullet and pay for box if one not handy (or some other way compensate).  Try not to buy any more scopes however interesting Gotos are still out there that I haven't seen yet I'm sure.


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#22 Bomber Bob

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 08:37 AM

And with Gotos in my case, the scope and accys are many times cased, while the tripod and mount are not.  So you need an area or floor space to set up tripods.

 

Yes, and like Unitron, the Goto mounts & tripods are over-sized for the scopes they carry, so the tripods take up a lot of floor space.  I have my GHS 452 on display, and this one tripod takes up about half the space on the long Scope Wall -- crowds the others.  Kinda selfish of it, IMO...



#23 apfever

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 02:58 PM

I need to do other pictures and things but just going out for it, to the barn, thinking this idea just fits the string - shoe string? if the shoe fits wear it.  oh,  well, have this on the screen, I'll go get it now. Be right back.

 

edit, I keep some boxes too., just got the pic.  Far left black and far right dark brown with handle don't count those are original shippers with with scopes here. 

The two Meade boxes against the side of the dark wood one are both for an 826 OTA and I don't have any of those OTA. Good to know with what I have to bag.

The wide box on top of all that on the right marked UPC is pretty large on that end and I had no idea till I went up the ladder to see if it was even a scope.  The plain wood crate in the middle is another of the keepers. That was used to ship the Clave'  Cave 10" OTA, mount was a separate box. That Cave is long gone so another convenient crate built right for something else. 

 

Do I actually ever PLAN on a box transfer specifically for a scope box that just came in?  Every single time even if the scope in doesn't have a box. The boxes don't come in like they used to either. 

So the waitress innocently asked Tyson "You wanna box for your leftovers?".  

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1010006.JPG

Edited by apfever, 06 June 2020 - 03:18 PM.


#24 apfever

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 03:45 PM

This proved interesting.  I had zip zero absolutely no recollection of this box on top of the Meade 826 and other Cave dark brown box.  Up the ladder, still had camera, 

 

P1010007.JPG

 

What grabs is that I have two of these scopes that I perpetually don't need with loading to the hilt over the years. Seeing the box is like finding a pretty good fit to ship an SP-C6. I did keep that box for a scope. It might be the scope that came in the box,  I have no idea. It can help on cost of a box when it's knocked down to size with a factory fit and forms. Pretty wild...I'm going to have to add this box to a picture of a 'All Out Factory' shot.  Probably a similar picture or close in some archived entry of mine, the box is on top seems I should have recollection

Almost makes me wonder what kind of packing stuff is in the box or any stuff. G. Carland 'Stuff', search yourself.


Edited by apfever, 06 June 2020 - 06:05 PM.


#25 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 June 2020 - 04:44 PM

Nope.  But making boxes is easy for me at work.  Once I retire, I hope all the scopes I'm not planning on keeping are already gone.

 

I used to store empty boxes in the garage rafters but ran out of room, and it became a fire hazard, so they all went to recycling about a year or two ago.

 

Nobody thinks about the end of the trail until they get there, it seems.

My end came last year and i am so happy i am done for good. I still found some stuff i forgot about and would rather just throw it all away than deal with shipping and tire kickers. 43 years was enough for me. I had boxes all over for years and stuffing and all that junk.  When i had enough last summer i made a local flipper a heck of a deal at 10 cents on the the dollar and sold 1000's worth of stuff in one shot for a deal he could not pass up. It was a local deal so no shipping to deal with. I would rather lose $1000's than deal shipping all that stuff.


Edited by CHASLX200, 06 June 2020 - 04:49 PM.



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