I'm slowly buying the stuff needed for a pier. I've been thinking about the plates and was wondering if there is any reason to keep me from making the bottom plate slightly longer so I can use it as a small accessory tray. The idea is to have the extra length towards the back side- that is, on the opposite side of the the CW bar. I was thinking just enough to have a few holes cut out for holding eyepieces (about 3-4 inches in length). Has anyone tried this and succeeded? Any mechanical reason why it would not be doable? The field is still open as to whether they'll be aluminum or stainless steel.
Pier plate idea
Posted 10 August 2020 - 05:13 PM
my pier plates are 1/2" aluminum. I bought the plates and made them myself so adding several inches which will then need to be drilled with rather large bits doesn't seem like an optimal way to do things. make your plates, then get some 0.090 aluminum sheet and drill your EP holes in that and screw it to the pier plate. you could even put a bend on the end of the EP tray so that you could screw it to the side of the plate and the screws wouldn't show.
- DSOGabe likes this
Posted 10 August 2020 - 05:14 PM
Ask yourself if the scope will hit it when you are pointing up.
- Mike G. likes this
Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:00 PM
Like Keith said, Just be aware of your scopes swing room.
Another option might be to use a French Cleat on your pier to hang an accessory shelf. That way, if it appears it might get in the way, you can dismount it easily.
Me, myself, and I, have a semi-pier configuration with my mount, and use a table for my stuff. (Outdoor Observatory)
But I normally (in the warm months) like to sit out with my mount and enjoy the night.
But I also can operate remotely. So when unattended, I have to be careful about my limits settings.
Lots of ways to skin a cat. Sometimes sitting and staring at your set up can bring better ideas.
Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:08 PM
I hang accessory shelves on my round steel pier by bending 1/4-20 threaded rod around a scrap piece the same size as the pier, then bolting it on with one regular nut and one wing nut. If I need to move the shelf (rarely), I loosen the wing nut, reposition, then tighten the wing nut. It helps prevent scratching by running the bent threaded rod through some clear plastic tubing, or to use heat shrink tubing on it. My shelves are wood with a frame underneath that the rod goes through to hold it against the pier. I even have a round shelf on there near the bottom, that is split, and the rod goes through the framing of both halves.