My first "real" refractor and, despite its age, tack sharp:
a late-60's-circa Towa 60/900. Classic peak-America backyard Apollo-Program-Era stuff. Halcyon days. Enviable cars rolling off the assembly lines in Dearborn. Two Steves messing around with soldering guns and plywood in a Palo Alto garage. Carl Sagan wearing corduroy blazers in Pasadena. Vinyl not needing a hipster "revival" — because it's the best and only choice. A time that will be remembered as our Periclean age, immediately preceding the inflection point into the Long Decline and Fall.
When I exhumed it in my garage, the ferrous parts were rust-freckled and the tripod fuzzed with mold.
A pampered C90 is my go-to, a doted-on C8 my DSO drill — I am telescope-contented. Yet I felt sympathy for the beleaguered Towa and as I stared, unsolicited memories of Moonraker refractors floated into my head — and an idea was born.
Quick trip to the hardware store plus approximately forty work-hours . . .
Rebuilt, after finer sanding and polish —amazingly still collimated.
Needs: an excellent alt-az mount and tripod. For reasons no one can explain to me, photographic versions of these are about 1000x more user friendly than their telescopic counterparts. Go-to telescopes are ideally paired with Marchioni Tiltall 4602s — but somewhere midway through the polishing I changed my mind and settled on wood. Problem is I have no idea what suitable alternatives are out there. The research begins. Suggestions? My goal is go-to simplicity (and visual handsomeness).
Quirky little side-project — hope you all enjoy.