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A Dirty Little Manon (finally) Gets Some Love...Did I say it was dirty?

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#26 Kasmos



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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:26 PM

You must be exaggerating a bit. Someone who does not know that the varnish has been retouched will never see any touch-ups.  Great job!


Matching a hammer paint color can be a challenge - I've experienced it myself. Some time ago I restored an old photographic tripod, painted with a blue-green shade of varnish. It was a bit of fun with the use of paint pigments, the effect is not perfect, but only I know about it. And only when I look at the varnish closely. :-)

Excellent work, I love it! It's great to see somebody else who takes the same (crazy), approach to restoration.


The color tinted hammer paints make it that much harder. The Manon being a fairly colorless silver really just needed a little black to match. When I retouched the Mizar I probably should have tinted it with some color since the touch ups came out a little warmer than it's slightly greenish gray, but it still came out good enough.


I get lazy and tend to try and see what I can get away with, and with the least amount of time and effort. That's one reason I like to touch them up instead of completely repainting them. The other is to retain them as original as possible.


Thanks!  waytogo.gif

Chris K.

Edited by Kasmos, 09 August 2021 - 02:30 AM.

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#27 LukaszLu


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Posted 08 August 2021 - 03:46 PM

I understand the first reason and I appreciate and support the second :-)


I have never had a need to bring the equipment back to factory condition. In my opinion, it is only important that it does not look damaged or neglected. Normal traces of use not only do not disturb, but add to the charm and testify to the history of the instrument.


In the case of guitars, there is a whole separate professional specialization of making them look old and used. Such instruments in the "relic" version are valued for their individual, unique character. We are in better situation than guitarists - we don't have to age anything :-)

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#28 Kasmos



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Posted 09 August 2021 - 03:49 AM

Touch Ups Touch Ups and More Touch Ups

I'm begining to hate that word!



They didn't photograph well but there was a series of small dings, dents, nicks and scrapes along the top of the tube just ahead of the focuser.

They are harder to see than they really were, but long ago I had done some quick touch ups on them.

Before painting them again, I attempted to remove the dents, but after several attempts the best I did was minimize the largest one a little bit.

I was puzzled since I'd removed some similar ones fairly easily, so later I looked up an old post I did on the subject.




The first post in that thread shows how I should have done it.

The problem was, I forgot how I did it and had left the PVC sleeve (shown in post# 3 of that thread) on the pipe foreheadslap.gif

Another screw up


It took 2 or 3 times to get the touch ups to blend in this well, but at certain angles and lighting they still bothered me. 

My wife told me to leave it alone, but did I listen?... Nope.



Of course I blew it, so I wiped it all off and after another couple of frustrating tries this was as good as I could get it. 

They're OK but not as good as they were and I was tired of fussing with it.  

Some days stuff like this just goes better than others. Live and learn. sigh2.gif



I also touched up the focuser and finder mount with some Testors semi-gloss black.

There were also a few other small chips on the tube and the objective cell that were addressed.

All and all it looks much better than it did when it arrived (below)



Time to move on but when everything else is done I'll probably go back and rework the dents and color matching.

Edited by Kasmos, 09 August 2021 - 04:24 AM.

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#29 Kasmos



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Posted 13 August 2021 - 04:08 AM

Quick and Dirty Tripod Leg Refresh


I really had no plan other than wanting to get this scope up and running and to do it fast and easy.

This meant doing it without completely disassembling the legs.


I had good luck touching up my Mayflowers brackets, so I decided to try  touching these up where I could.

But also completely painting over them where they were very mared and dulled.


This was done using a fairly small artist brush and a mixture of Testors flat and semi-gloss paints.

First the legs were brushed and cleaned of dirt, then everything was wiped down with mineral spirits.


The inner sliding legs were removed during this process and in some places thin cardboard or

masking tape was used to keep any paint from getting on the wood.



Instead of photographing every bracket I'll let this lower one, the very worse condition of the three,

be an example of the before and after.



Working fast, all four sides of the lower brackets were painted over using a brush.

I tried to keep the paint thin so it would leave the original texture.

The problem was, the original wrinkle paint was on so thin it had very little texture.

So in some spots, like on this one, I tried drybrushing and dabbing them with a blunt stiff brush to create texture.

It worked to some degree but sometimes it would flatten out as it dried.



All of the bracket's screws had rusty heads so I just painted over them.

I was mixing the semi-gloss and the flat paint on a pallate as I went,

so sometimes I had to go back and try to make it more consistent.



All of the brackets recieved at least two thin coats.

The sheen on them varies in spots based on how smooth, rough, or worn the underlying texture was.

I'm not completely thrilled with that, but they are much better than they were and it will have to do.



These are the other two, shown from the same outer side as the one above.



...and this is the inside leg surface of all three.

Edited by Kasmos, 13 August 2021 - 04:49 AM.

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#30 Kasmos



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Posted 13 August 2021 - 04:39 AM

...Leg Refresh Continued



The center brackets were in a little better shape than the lowers,

but their three outer surfaces were also repainted.

Again, painting the rusty screw heads really helped freshen them up.



This was the worst of the three tray brackets.



They were completely painted over and it's a bit too obvious they were. 



I'm far from proud of how they came out, but at least it's better than having large areas of missing paint. 

Once the tray is mounted, hopefully it will lessen and somewhat hide their inconsistent texture.

For now I just wanted it done!...but one day I may strip and respray them with wrinkle paint.



After the brackets were painted, I experimented by rubbing the wood with Boiled Linseed Oil.

It really help blend in the various scrapes and scratches and added a nice sheen in their finish.

They actually look better and have nicer color than how they photograph.

Edited by Kasmos, 13 August 2021 - 04:57 AM.

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#31 LukaszLu


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Posted 13 August 2021 - 08:52 AM

Excellent result, I've tried the same technique using ordinary acrylic paint with quite good results.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20210401_131029(0).jpg

Edited by LukaszLu, 13 August 2021 - 08:53 AM.

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#32 shredder1656


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Posted 13 August 2021 - 02:57 PM

Excellent work, Kasmos!  Looks amazing!

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#33 Kasmos



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Posted 16 August 2021 - 03:14 PM

Some Very Simple and Easy Box Work


On projects like this each component can represent quite a time commitment, so that's one reason this kit sat unfinished for four years.

At this point I've been wanting to just get it done so was willing to try any short cut I could.



A reminder of how it looked when it arrived.

The good, it didn't have any delamination and only sufferd some small nicks, scratches, chips on the edges and corners. 



Fiberglass reinforced tape was removed with a razor and mineral spirts

I also clean some spots using Awesome taking care not to get it too wet. 

Follow by more cleaning using mineral spirits.

It then stayed in this condition for the last four years.



Without doing any more prep work, using a rag I rubbed it with Boiled Linseed Oil thinned with mineral spirits.

I didn't even take off any of the hardware, but instead just worked around them

It probably only took 20 minutes and while not perfect, It's now very presentable

BTW, it looks better in person and it's color a richer brown.



This end was in much worse shape than the other...



and after it's treatment.



Before tackling the inserts, I sanded the inside with 220 grit to remove the many black scuffs.

The ones on the side, bottom, and above the hinge had already been removed when I stopped to take this photo.



This also only took a few minutes and really paid off.



Sure if it was stripped and completely refinished it would look even better, but I wasn't shooting for perfection.

Had I done that, I'd have to be very carefull every time I moved it or stacked it with other telescope boxes.

Now if it gets another scratch or scuff, or dulls in time, I'll just wipe it again with Lindseed Oil.

Edited by Kasmos, 17 August 2021 - 02:43 AM.

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#34 Garyth64


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Posted 17 August 2021 - 08:33 AM

Wow, that looks absolutely beautiful!  Nicely done.

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#35 Kasmos



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Posted 18 August 2021 - 03:42 PM

Accessories, Included and Found



These were the only accessories that came with the kit. 

It should have also included a SR 5mm eyepiece, a 2x barlow, and a porro prism.

The 20mm's glass is good but it has a nasty nick in the lens bezel.

They were all cleaned upon purchase and recently the diagonal and visual back were touched up.

The diagonal prism has what appears to be coating degradation but my intial night viewings and later daytime comparisons showed it worked fine.

That said, a recent look at Jupiter showed a very noticable bar of horizontal glare so it needs re-examining and a solution.

It's thumbscrew is a little bent and it's hole seems to be drilled and tapped at a slight angle.

Either that or it's been forced and use to being crossthreaded this way. In any case it holds an eyepiece just fine.



An excellent conditon correct large thread on porro prism was purchased on ebay and a suitable SR 5mm was found on CN.

The porro prism is like new and perhaps arguably too nice for this kit!



A spare fairly battered 2x barlow came with my Goto 451 that pretty much fit the bill.

It's an exact match to the one that came with my SYW Mayflower 814.

It appears those that came with Manons were the same, but had a stick on label at the eyepiece end. 

I still need to go thru my files of photos and confirm that this was always the case.



A complete repaint would have removed the lettering so I experimented with doing some touch ups.

While it's not the greatest fix, like some other prior issues with this kit, it will do.... for now.

Edited by Kasmos, 18 August 2021 - 03:51 PM.

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#36 Terra Nova

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Posted 19 August 2021 - 03:17 PM

Wow! With that kind of attention to detail, I would love to see your HO train layout! waytogo.gif

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#37 Kasmos



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Posted 19 August 2021 - 03:34 PM

funnypost.gif  lol.gif

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#38 Kasmos



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Posted 26 August 2021 - 03:45 PM

A small detour about the accessories before moving on


20mm Ramsden Eyepieces


The Manon's (APL) supplied 20mm on left, and my Mayflower (SYW) on right.

Until examining them next to each other you might think they are the same.

Note: APL made Mayflowers use the same ones as the APL Manons

The same is true of the Sky Chief Jrs.



The Manon is longer and has a matt gray bezel.

It might just correspond to the date of the two scopes and when Mayflower switch makers.

I've only seen the matt gray ones with APL scopes and not with any SYW kits.



I should have removed the tops to show them better but the field stop is threaded into the barrel on the left

and it's part of the lens cell assembly on the right. The left one need to be adjusted to sharpen it.

The little dimple is for that purpose and the scratch was there as found.

This may indicate that it was tight at one time, but now it is very loose.



The larger Porro Prism on the left is what's usually supplied with APL kits and are usually marked EP-7 on the EP side.

This one is blank but the seller advertised it as from a Manon. The one on the right is from my SYW Mayflower 814.

When searching my photo files it appears that some older APL scopes with the wood inserts also used the smaller one.

but most APLs with foam inserts used the larger ones. Meaning at one time there was some mixing of the types.

I've even seen some of the small ones with the faux leather grain wrapping.



This illustrates the difference in the field stops.

Again, the larger ones are usually marked EP-7 on this side.

Edited by Kasmos, 26 August 2021 - 03:48 PM.

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#39 Kasmos



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Posted 26 August 2021 - 04:25 PM

The SR5mm eyepiece



The one on the left is from my Mayflower 814 and the one on the far right was purchased for the Manon

It was purchased before knowing about the center two. The blue-ish one towards the right came as an extra with my Goto 451

The other I have no idea where I got it and have no record or memory of getting it. shrug.gif

if I had remembered it I wouldn't have purchased another.



All four of them are constructed the same, but the purchased one has a brass top making it technically too old for this Manon.

I'll probably switch it with one of the others which have a aluminum top and my Mayflower's twin can use the other.



I also forgot I had this one on the right. It was temporarilly stored in my Sky Chief's box to kind of complete the kit.

This type has a two piece top. It has a plastic outer ring covering part of a brass center cell that threads inside of the barrel.

The raised ringed volcano top in it's center is part of that brass cell.

I've had it forever and have no memeory of where I got it but it came with 3 similar constructed EPs.

I think they were from an old Tasco/Towa kit as I have an old focuser that I believe came with them.

Probably from the swap meet table at one of the RTMCs I went to in the 80s.



Bottom view showing their different construction 

Edited by Kasmos, 26 August 2021 - 08:15 PM.

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#40 LukaszLu


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Posted 30 August 2021 - 05:19 AM

You've turned back time a bit. Isn't that what this strange hobby of ours is all about? :-)

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#41 Kasmos



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Posted 30 August 2021 - 04:07 PM

....It is for us Classic folks.


on to Foam Inserts


This kit only came with one of the four foam inserts, and it kind of temporarily worked by just keeping it centered in the box.

I did use one small piece of scrap foam to space it  from the box in one spot.

Anyway, I was thinking of making some wood inserts and a accessory box like the older models, but a few things halted that. 

1. Wood inserts might look out of place with this later kit.

2. To do it right I would need to know their measurements.

3. I don't have the best tools for the job.

4. The rest of the kit was basically done so it needed a way to store it now!



At one time I was selling stuff online so I was always hoarding any good packing materials I happen to find with boxes.

I had purposely saved this foam knowing it might come in handy for packing and storing a telescope.

These are actually some of the left over scraps ,but it helps illustrate what I was working with.

Some of it was already separate pieces that were glued together and that sort of served as inspirstion.


I began without any real plan.

At first I was just going to make two U-shaped pieces joined by a block (to hold the OTA) and not use the one original insert at all.

Then I thought why not use it and only make one simple support.



It actually started with an experiment on how to cut it, and then it escalated.

I used a coping saw to cut a U-shape out of a block of foam.

Once I saw that it was sucessful I cut it to the proper length using an X-Acto saw.

The shape of the block is outlined to show it's initial shape.

The notch and raised portion were already in the foam and was just something I had to live with.

The good news, it was the proper height.


This was all very unplanned so the next thought was, if I'm to procede how will I glue it? 

I just happened to have a hot glue gun (a gift? and almost never used), and it worked very well!

It kind of melts the foam at the same time (which is good), but I had to be very careful doing it.

(there's one spot where it melted a bit too much along the top seam of the L-shape piece)

That lower L-shape was the next thing made and was from 2 pieces.



As I went along I kept testing to see how it fit and looked in the box.

At this stage it's made up from about 7or 8 pieces of foam.

I won't go into detail with each step, but it was all an experiment in cutting and gluing as it grew in size.

The last piece (at this point), being another scrap of very thin packing foam that was fitted where the mount's side bearing lays.



Another test fit with the scope and accessories.

At this point I thought it was done but then thought, why not try for a closer match to the original insert?

Plus the extra length should help keep it better in place.



This shot shows the additions and their seams



It looks better in the box



I am very happy with the results, but there's a bit more to come....

Edited by Kasmos, 31 August 2021 - 02:37 AM.

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#42 Terra Nova

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Posted 30 August 2021 - 06:05 PM

My original APL Mayflower 814 that I’ve had since new (October 1965) has the larger porro-prism marked EP-7 (what does the 7 mean?). The case has wood inserts, no styrofoam. The visual back is glossy battleship gray. The 20mm Ramsden eyepiece has the satin finish black cap and the bronze fieldstop. The 5mm S.R. looks like yours on the far left of your picture of four.

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#43 Kasmos



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Posted 31 August 2021 - 03:59 AM

Finishing Up The Box Interior



My Mayflower 814 has 6 little foam spacers between the legs to keep them from rubbing each other and to lie flat.

Therefore I made six of these out of 3 layers of packing foam to serve the same purpose.



This shows how they stack up, though the one under the bottom leg is a bit hard to see.

They are especially good for keeping the tray hinges from rubbing the next leg on top of it

I also added a small piece behind them (near the hinge) so they won't rub the back of the box



This is the Mayflower's insert and it's to show what an original insert looks like.

It has an additional spot for the barlow, but based on what I started with and how it evolved

I didn't have room for it.



I also added a couple of more loose pieces of foam to protect the tripod hub.

Considering it was made on the fly, I think it came out pretty good.



The right side foam was cleaned and a section where it broke off (just forward of the focus knob),

was cut clean with a razor blade.

The legs fit better in the opposite direction to how they store in the Mayflower box.

This is due to their focusers being a little different in size and where the knobs are located.



Goodwill had attached this label to the outside of the box. 

As a reminder of its purchase date and a bit of provenace, I attached it inside using 3M sticky backed adhesive.

It will peel off without any problem should I later decide to remove it.



Now it's offically done.

BTW, The box between the foam inserts is the barlow and it turned out to fit perfectly.

I made it and I'll cover that small detail soon.



This is the Mayflower with it's two top foam pieces. 

I don't plan on making them so if I transport the box I'll just cover it with some thick bubble wrap.


One day I might make some wood inserts and repaint the tray and it's brackets,

but I have so many projects to work on (not onlytelescopes), that day may never come.

That said, there's some varitions on a saying that applies well.

Something like: Beware!, nothing is more permanent than a temporary solution.

Maybe that should have been the subtitle of this thread?

Edited by Kasmos, 31 August 2021 - 12:21 PM.

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#44 Kasmos



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Posted 10 September 2021 - 03:35 AM

A small last detail, The Barlow Box


I'm kind of a sucker for eye piece and accessory boxes and the Manon's newly made insert didn't have a space for the barlow.

I had previously noticed that some of the boxes are of very simple construction, so I decided to make one.



I started by cutting and scoring a scrap of white cardboard.



I don't have a stapler that would fit this kind of construction so I pre-poked the holes for them.

The staples I had were also a bit heavy duty.



The bend was started using needle nose pliers, then they were hammered flat.



I used a scrap of hardwood as an anvil and to make them very flat,

they were hammered from both inside and out using a tack hammer.



The inner box was made from the backing of an old calendar.

It's a little too thick and has a tendency to want to crack along the folds.

The top was made a little larger using the same method but from a Macy's gift box.

It's a bit thin, but the combination of the two worked well.



The new box (on right) and it's inspiration.



And it happen to fit perfectly between the inserts.

Edited by Kasmos, 10 September 2021 - 03:37 AM.

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#45 LukaszLu


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Posted 11 September 2021 - 06:25 AM

Why does the admin allow this colleague to abuse us mentally and morally? ;-)

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