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A Mogey Restoration

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#26 jkmccarthy

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:06 PM

attachicon.gifmogey finder.jpg

 

finder before I removed the paint

What I noticed first about the finder is that only the rear mounting ring has thumbscrew adjustments ... the front mounting ring is a snug fit (cork, leather, or rubber gasket?) around the front of the finder.  FWIW, this same arrangement of finder-scope mounting rings is apparent on all the finders illustrated in the Mogey catalog.  I don't know if other early telescope manufacturers used the same arrangement or not.



#27 starman876

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 07:39 PM

What I noticed first about the finder is that only the rear mounting ring has thumbscrew adjustments ... the front mounting ring is a snug fit (cork, leather, or rubber gasket?) around the front of the finder.  FWIW, this same arrangement of finder-scope mounting rings is apparent on all the finders illustrated in the Mogey catalog.  I don't know if other early telescope manufacturers used the same arrangement or not.

I will have to check that out.  The front ring I believe has a couple of pins to hold the ring.  The ring is attached to the scope via the stalk it is mounted on.  The stalk moves back and forth, but no tilt in the up and down.  I guess there is enough play to make it work.  It is a strange finder compared to most finders of the period.


Edited by starman876, 12 May 2021 - 07:41 PM.


#28 Dan /schechter  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 08:01 PM

Basically all the old ones did, I think. Fraunhofer, Merz, Steinheil, Zeiss (ULTRA rare!), Clark, etc. 

 

Could we get some pictures, please?

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark

Fitz did as well.



#29 Ken Launie

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Posted 12 May 2021 - 09:36 PM

It was a VERY good price and good purchase and I may wind up kicking myself for thinking a week ago that I was too busy to add another restoration project now that I've seen a couple of your better-than-the-Facebook-ad photos. If you can post a good close-up photo of the objective assembly and a side view of the objective counter-cell (the end of the tube that the objective cell mounts in) I may be able to tell you more.

 

There were many makers of telescopes in the 19th century that made just a few telescopes who are mostly unknown now. Wood was easier to work with than scarce and expensive brass sheet or tubing. Before his wooden tubes, Alvan Clark made his first telescope tubes out of papier-mache that was decorated to look like wood. Quite strong and light.

 

--Ken


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#30 Ken Launie

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 12:13 AM

While attributing the mount to Mogey is reasonable I'll point out that there were a number of other New York-area telescope makers that used very close variants of that mount design such as John Byrne, Wm. T. Gregg, Wm. Gardam & Son, Henry Fitz, Gundlach, James W. Queen, Gall and Lembke and perhaps others I'm forgetting. I believe it's possible they were supplied by the same specialized machine work company initially, as a subcontractor to the various makers, but the large number of Mogey mounts seen later, well into the 20th century, suggest the patterns and designs wound up under their control in New Jersey. Here's some quick photos of similar mounts that came with different makers' telescopes:

 

In order they're from Mogey (note the similar hex to your new mount at the base of the polar axis casting), Gall and Lembke (the telescope tailpiece is signed by them, but the objective is signed by Byrne), Queen and Co, and finally the brass Henry Fitz equatorial. I believe that the Fitz mount may have been made by Jonas Phelps in the 1850's. It's the earliest of all of these, and he might well have been the original designer of this family of mounts, with others modifying the design over the next 70 years or more.

 

All that said, it's at least possible that one of these guys (and gals in the case of Fitz, who employed women) made the entire thing.

 

--Ken

Attached Thumbnails

  • 22 Mogey mount-LR2.jpg
  • 22 Gall & Lembke-LR2.jpg
  • 22 Queen-LR2.jpg
  • 22 Fitz mount - LR2.jpg

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#31 Kasmos

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 12:53 AM

While attributing the mount to Mogey is reasonable I'll point out that there were a number of other New York-area telescope makers that used very close variants of that mount design such as John Byrne, Wm. T. Gregg, Wm. Gardam & Son, Henry Fitz, Gundlach, James W. Queen, Gall and Lembke and perhaps others I'm forgetting. I believe it's possible they were supplied by the same specialized machine work company initially, as a subcontractor to the various makers, but the large number of Mogey mounts seen later, well into the 20th century, suggest the patterns and designs wound up under their control in New Jersey. Here's some quick photos of similar mounts that came with different makers' telescopes:

 

In order they're from Mogey (note the similar hex to your new mount at the base of the polar axis casting), Gall and Lembke (the telescope tailpiece is signed by them, but the objective is signed by Byrne), Queen and Co, and finally the brass Henry Fitz equatorial. I believe that the Fitz mount may have been made by Jonas Phelps in the 1850's. It's the earliest of all of these, and he might well have been the original designer of this family of mounts, with others modifying the design over the next 70 years or more.

 

All that said, it's at least possible that one of these guys (and gals in the case of Fitz, who employed women) made the entire thing.

 

--Ken

Interesting info but in post #23 he states that the mount does have WD Mogey on it. Click on the photo and you can just sort of make it out in the casting below the polar axis.



#32 starman876

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 05:51 AM

While attributing the mount to Mogey is reasonable I'll point out that there were a number of other New York-area telescope makers that used very close variants of that mount design such as John Byrne, Wm. T. Gregg, Wm. Gardam & Son, Henry Fitz, Gundlach, James W. Queen, Gall and Lembke and perhaps others I'm forgetting. I believe it's possible they were supplied by the same specialized machine work company initially, as a subcontractor to the various makers, but the large number of Mogey mounts seen later, well into the 20th century, suggest the patterns and designs wound up under their control in New Jersey. Here's some quick photos of similar mounts that came with different makers' telescopes:

 

In order they're from Mogey (note the similar hex to your new mount at the base of the polar axis casting), Gall and Lembke (the telescope tailpiece is signed by them, but the objective is signed by Byrne), Queen and Co, and finally the brass Henry Fitz equatorial. I believe that the Fitz mount may have been made by Jonas Phelps in the 1850's. It's the earliest of all of these, and he might well have been the original designer of this family of mounts, with others modifying the design over the next 70 years or more.

 

All that said, it's at least possible that one of these guys (and gals in the case of Fitz, who employed women) made the entire thing.

 

--Ken

The mount has on it WD mogey Bayonne NJ.   So it has been established from where the mount came from and it does look like the mount in your first picture.  Now the task is to identify the OTA. 


Edited by starman876, 13 May 2021 - 05:55 AM.


#33 starman876

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 10:38 AM

Have taken the mount apart and started removing the paint.   It looks like this paint was professionally applied.   I doubt it came from the factory like this.  However, it looks like the mount, the scope and everything else was taken apart and then painted.   In some locations I see some over spray.   But because I see paint in locations where paint could not get unless it was taken apart I have deducted how it was done.  

 

mogey paint remove.JPG


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#34 starman876

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 11:56 AM

As I remove the layers of paint it looks like the original color of the mount was gold.  Will the Mogey experts please confirm the original gold color?


Edited by starman876, 13 May 2021 - 02:23 PM.


#35 Ken Launie

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 05:57 PM

To answer your color question take a look at the first photo in my previous post (#30). I haven't done any forensic evaluations of my Mogey to see whether there are earlier paint layers under it or not but it sure has a copper/gold tint. The first layer of paint on yours was probably a red-lead (less commonly white-lead) primer, followed by the topcoat. Always be careful when doing any sanding because the earlier paints are most likely lead-based.

 

The "Bayonne" raised lettering (I overlooked your post #23 mentioning that when I showed some of the alternatively-labelled mounts) does narrow the date range from 1893 to 1911 or so. The firm was located in New York City at least until the very beginning of 1893, since my Mogey catalog of telescopes and photographic lenses dated January 1893 has a printed NYC street address with "BAYONNE, N.J." rubber stamped over it on the inside. About half of the 32 page catalog listed various photographic lenses. I also have a 16 pg. tiny (~3 x 5") format November 1890 Mogey telescope catalog that mentions a separate lens catalog. Clearly they hadn't just started in business. That catalog describes their telescopes as having "highly finished brass tubes". They seemed willing to supply components, and listed and priced their tube assemblies, objectives, eyepieces and mountings separately as well as in complete kits.

 

--Ken


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#36 apfever

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 07:39 PM

Have taken the mount apart and started removing the paint.   It looks like this paint was professionally applied.   I doubt it came from the factory like this.  However, it looks like the mount, the scope and everything else was taken apart and then painted.   In some locations I see some over spray.   But because I see paint in locations where paint could not get unless it was taken apart I have deducted how it was done.  

 

attachicon.gifmogey paint remove.JPG

Aircraft stripper?  I can see that being done outside. I've been using CitriStrip orange paint stripper. It claims to be safe indoors and states it even smells nice. Parting paint and potpourri all in one happy move.  The big thing is that stripper is a good way to go on old lead potential paint, keeping the media blasting to a minimum.  I slather on the juice then bag the parts for an overnight soak. Two trips with the CitriStrip and I'm down to bare metal through very old thick hand applied multiple layers. My issue is that the stripper and the rust dissolvers I'm using require higher  temperatures than the last two weeks of wet Spring weather.  Never any complaints about getting water here though, the scopes can wait. 

 

I love the above photo and that in post #18.


Edited by apfever, 13 May 2021 - 07:42 PM.


#37 starman876

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 07:44 PM

To answer your color question take a look at the first photo in my previous post (#30). I haven't done any forensic evaluations of my Mogey to see whether there are earlier paint layers under it or not but it sure has a copper/gold tint. The first layer of paint on yours was probably a red-lead (less commonly white-lead) primer, followed by the topcoat. Always be careful when doing any sanding because the earlier paints are most likely lead-based.

 

The "Bayonne" raised lettering (I overlooked your post #23 mentioning that when I showed some of the alternatively-labelled mounts) does narrow the date range from 1893 to 1911 or so. The firm was located in New York City at least until the very beginning of 1893, since my Mogey catalog of telescopes and photographic lenses dated January 1893 has a printed NYC street address with "BAYONNE, N.J." rubber stamped over it on the inside. About half of the 32 page catalog listed various photographic lenses. I also have a 16 pg. tiny (~3 x 5") format November 1890 Mogey telescope catalog that mentions a separate lens catalog. Clearly they hadn't just started in business. That catalog describes their telescopes as having "highly finished brass tubes". They seemed willing to supply components, and listed and priced their tube assemblies, objectives, eyepieces and mountings separately as well as in complete kits.

 

--Ken

So where would one get the parts to build a complete scope in those days?  I would think that making a tube out of wood would require a lathe, a rather long one. Something not everyone had in their living room in those days.   Then to accurately fit the focuser and lens cell would take some skill.  I can see by the way the parts of the OTA fit together this was not an ATM.  Have not done any sanding so far.  Everything has been removed with Aircraft Remover. 


Edited by starman876, 13 May 2021 - 07:46 PM.

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#38 starman876

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 07:47 PM

The mount castings have some defects like any cast would. Most likely a sand cast.



#39 jkmccarthy

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 01:23 AM

[...] The firm was located in New York City at least until the very beginning of 1893, since my Mogey catalog of telescopes and photographic lenses dated January 1893 has a printed NYC street address with "BAYONNE, N.J." rubber stamped over it on the inside. About half of the 32 page catalog listed various photographic lenses. I also have a 16 pg. tiny (~3 x 5") format November 1890 Mogey telescope catalog that mentions a separate lens catalog. Clearly they hadn't just started in business. That catalog describes their telescopes as having "highly finished brass tubes". They seemed willing to supply components, and listed and priced their tube assemblies, objectives, eyepieces and mountings separately as well as in complete kits.

 

--Ken

So Ken finds no mention in his Mogey 1890 nor 1893 catalogs of the firm offering to supply customers a refractor telescope with a wooden tube as an alternative to the "highly finished brass tubes" they routinely offered even in those years (i.e., only the same "highly finished brass tubes" description as appears in the much later 1927 and 1932 catalogs) ?    Well that's a disappointment, for all us arm-chair amateur 'history detectives' following starman876's restoration here ... as catalog proof that in the 1890s Mogey was equipped to optionally provide customer(s) a wooden tube on request would strengthen the possibility that starman876's OTA and mount were built together by the same manufacturer.

 

Also, +1 from me on the change of the title for this forum thread.   Following with interest.

 

          -- Jim



#40 Ben Bajorek

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 05:09 AM

We have yet to see the lens cell taken apart.  Mogey did sign their lens sometimes.  Mogey was a small family business, making a one off wooden tube telescope or remounting another builder's telescope for a customer is not be out of the question.  A job is a job.  My wooden tube William T. Gregg branded Bardou telescope came with a tripod mount that I would associate with Mogey.  


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#41 starman876

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 07:43 AM

We have yet to see the lens cell taken apart.  Mogey did sign their lens sometimes.  Mogey was a small family business, making a one off wooden tube telescope or remounting another builder's telescope for a customer is not be out of the question.  A job is a job.  My wooden tube William T. Gregg branded Bardou telescope came with a tripod mount that I would associate with Mogey.  

The more I look at the OTA I can see that it is glued together.  There are two halves.  Interesting way to make a tube.  It appears that the three baffles in the tube are wood also.   Does this help at all.    Also, near the end of the tube I now see where there were three holes where square flat nuts used to reside.  The flat nuts I am sure where original to the tube as that is how the lens cell attaches to the front of the tube with flat nuts and small bolts.   Talking about lens cell.   I take it the knurled ring on the front of the cell is what comes loose to take the lenses out.   Looking at the back of the lens cell I see another knurled ring that can only be reached when you take the lens cell appart.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?


Edited by starman876, 14 May 2021 - 07:44 AM.


#42 mpsteidle

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 07:55 AM

This will probably be a hard one to identify, that sounds very standard for some of those old brass lens cells.

One thing is for certain though, a nice wood stain will look phenomenal with that polished brass!



#43 clamchip

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 09:45 AM

Is it okay to use aircraft stripper on a glued together tubequestion.gif

I don't want to see youbawling.gif

 

Robert


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#44 starman876

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 09:53 AM

Is it okay to use aircraft stripper on a glued together tubequestion.gif

I don't want to see youbawling.gif

 

Robert

you think the Aircraft Stripper will soften the glue and allow the tube halves to seperate?



#45 clamchip

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 10:15 AM

I don't know but yes that thought occurred to me.

I might be tempted to use the proper mask for lead paint and sand the tube.

 

Robert


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#46 starman876

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 10:33 AM

I don't know but yes that thought occurred to me.

I might be tempted to use the proper mask for lead paint and sand the tube.

 

Robert

I think you are right.  research shows that paint is actually a glue and that is why it sticks to things.  So this will mean sanding.  Time for a good mask and brings out the sander.   Whoever painted this setup took it apart to paint every nook and cranny.   I wonder if it was a special order as a gift for someone special.  


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#47 ccwemyss

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 10:56 AM

Any chance that in its long lifetime, you're not the first person to do a restoration of it?

 

I would also wonder if aircraft stripper might damage the wood itself. Citristrip is supposed to be OK for wood. You could also try a heat gun and scraping. 

 

Chip W.



#48 starman876

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 11:08 AM

Any chance that in its long lifetime, you're not the first person to do a restoration of it?

 

I would also wonder if aircraft stripper might damage the wood itself. Citristrip is supposed to be OK for wood. You could also try a heat gun and scraping. 

 

Chip W.

That could be very well the case.  Someone actually took everything apart to paint it even the mount.   I will try my heat gun first.   I will see how many different things were done to the tube over time.  Could the OTA be much older than the mount?



#49 Ken Launie

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 02:31 PM

I wouldn't use a sander on the tube as that's too aggressive, and any original material that is lost will be gone forever. In my opinion you could wind up with it looking like something you made rather than exposing what the earlier craftsman made. If you're careful with the stripper, using multiple applications of it over small areas followed by scraping, you can maintain good control and it won't all fall apart. If a wood segment loosens it can be separated and re-glued, or the liquid can be wicked into the seam using a syringe. I recommend using Titebond Genuine Hide Glue.

 

http://www.titebond....54-c47daa20f8ed

The reason for using such an adhesive is the fact that it's a reversible repair that can be undone using heat and liquid.

 

Here's photos of the two ends of my 4-inch Fitz's tube before restoration/conservation. It had become partially unglued. The tube had been constructed using four pieces of wood that had been carved out to fabricate the inside. You can see the hand work evidence in the end tapers. The planks were glued together and then the assembly OD was turned on a lathe (no doubt after making it roughly circular on the outside first). Your tube may well have been made the same way.

 

--Ken

Attached Thumbnails

  • Objective end of tube as found --LR.jpg
  • Tailpiece end of tube as found --LR.jpg

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#50 Kasmos

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Posted 14 May 2021 - 02:33 PM

That could be very well the case.  Someone actually took everything apart to paint it even the mount.   I will try my heat gun first.   I will see how many different things were done to the tube over time.  Could the OTA be much older than the mount?

It's really easy to burn wood with a heat gun, so either be very carefull or come up with a different method. Maybe you can use a chemical stripper like Citristrip and just stay away from the glue seam?




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