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Royal Astro R-63 restoration thread

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#51 LukaszLu

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 04:51 AM

Meanwhile, cleaning of components and screws is in progress. Some of them, including the accessory tray, needed repainting. In the photo you can also see a new lens cap made of Nivea cream tin (requires gluing felt inserts from the inside). The black plastic cap that came with the telescope was certainly not original - it was too small and broke being pressed by force. I found another - milky white plastic, but I thought it looks too modern. The tin version should be more stylish with such an old instrument.

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Edited by LukaszLu, 14 September 2021 - 04:59 AM.

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#52 LukaszLu

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 10:18 AM

Mount parts cleaned of grease. Polishing paste applied.

 

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And polishing - this is one of my favorite stages of work. Minimum effort and a spectacular, immediate effect. It is a pity that the whole work does not look like this :-) To even out the gloss, I also polished the newly painted elements with the same paste, which initially had a slightly lower gloss. Now they look almost exactly the same!

 

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Now it is possible to assess whether any of the elements require a complete repainting. The mounting base is in the worst condition.


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#53 Piggyback

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 03:22 PM

Meanwhile, cleaning of components and screws is in progress. Some of them, including the accessory tray, needed repainting. In the photo you can also see a new lens cap made of Nivea cream tin (requires gluing felt inserts from the inside). The black plastic cap that came with the telescope was certainly not original - it was too small and broke being pressed by force. I found another - milky white plastic, but I thought it looks too modern. The tin version should be more stylish with such an old instrument.

I love your Nivea cream replacement lens cap. Once again a superior restoration job. Well done and congratulations! waytogo.gif


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#54 LukaszLu

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:09 AM

Thanks! Nivea cream tins are great for dew-shields for 60 mm lenses. I have already used them in the Polarex 114 and in Towa Marine spotting scope. They require gluing a few felt strips from the inside to match the diameter of the dew shield. The advantage is that there is a minimal ventilation gap, which in my opinion is healthy for the optics - especially the old ones, which may have spores of fungus despite cleaning.

 

I am looking for a way to apply a logo. Maybe a stencil cut in the self-adhesive foil and spraying? It would have to be some kind of weakly sticking foil - for example the so-called transfer foil, which is used to transfer graphics to target surfaces ...

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Edited by LukaszLu, 15 September 2021 - 06:10 AM.

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#55 LukaszLu

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 08:40 AM

The mount is greased and assembled. I've changed the arrangement of the screws locking the rotation in the axes, assuming that the two smaller ones block the declination and right ascension axis, and the largest one should be screwed into in the mounting base and block the rotation in the vertical axis. I've also turned the cradle clamping screw upside down - I hope this arrangement is closer to the original.

 

I've made some touch-ups with black paint and it seems to me that in most cases it gave a satisfactory result. It's not perfect. But it wasn't supposed to look brand new - it is not brand new... On the other hand, the paint losses on the base are too deep for this method to be sufficient. So I will try to fill these holes, sand them and paint them locally with spray paint. Then sanding and polishing. I do not know if I can achieve the original gloss, because my paint is semi-matte - if not, I will buy glossy paint and repaint the whole base. Also, a badly battered counterweight will likely be painted completely.

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Edited by LukaszLu, 15 September 2021 - 09:03 AM.

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#56 LukaszLu

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 10:29 AM

Work on the tripod has started. I decided to remove the first layer of yellow-brown varnish using the express method - that is, using sandblasting. The varnish was removed immediately, only the remains of the white primer remained in the hollows of the wood structure. They could be easily removed using this method, but they are supposed to stay. After applying the putties and final sanding with sandpaper, I will supplement the white undercoat to regain clear white traces of the wood structure pattern and a translucent white surface. A final varnish will be applied to give a yellow-brown shade.

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Edited by LukaszLu, 17 September 2021 - 10:30 AM.

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#57 LukaszLu

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:49 AM

Metal fittings, screws and mounting elements for the tripod as well as counterweight ready for recoating...

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#58 LukaszLu

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 11:57 AM

On one of the legs of the tripod there was an old sticker with a handwritten number. I don't know what it is or what it meant, but I decided to take it off and keep it before sanding. It was possible using a known method of detaching postage stamps from the envelope - that is, using a kettle and steam.

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Edited by LukaszLu, 18 September 2021 - 12:25 PM.


#59 LukaszLu

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Posted 18 September 2021 - 07:50 PM

After applying the putty, the pre-sandblasted wooden elements were finished with sandpaper. The metal parts have been painted.

 

Awaiting repainting are:
- dew shield that needs repairing a bent edge,
- mount base that has such large paint losses that they require initial puttying.

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#60 LukaszLu

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 12:51 PM

Time for white acrylic paint and an experiment to recreate the original varnish effect used in old Japanese tripods, consisting in a combination of a white, translucent base and a colored transparent varnish.

 

20210919_195619.jpg

 

I started the work by rubbing white paint into the wood with a cloth. I used two layers, which I corrected by wiping them after the paint dries with a wet cloth and sandpaper. I corrected the color of the small putties by using touch-ups with ordinary children's watercolor paints.

 

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#61 LukaszLu

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Posted 20 September 2021 - 12:52 PM

I used the same white acrylic to recreate the '5X' mark on the eyecup of the finder eyepiece.

 

 

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#62 LukaszLu

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Posted 22 September 2021 - 07:49 PM

Oh my! I never expected that recreating the original painting of the tripod would be such a risky task. Most of the elements are made of dark wood resembling mahogany in color. Meanwhile, the painting is supposed to pretend to be light deciduous wood. Proper selection of the transparency of the white undercoat, so as to keep the contrast reflecting the features of the wood structure, is like tilting at windmills. After applying the next, coloring layer, the white turns out to be too little or too transparent. The color of the wood visible under the white undercoat changes under the influence of successive layers of varnish - the effect is extremely difficult to predict. I've already put on 8 coats of paint and I'm still not sure if I got the desired look ...

 

In addition, I'm not sure what the original color was exactly as the condition of the paintwork was rather bad and it's hard to say how it has changed over the years. I assume the effect was supposed to suggest fresh, very light wood. It should look quite good in combination with glossy black lacquered fittings and mount. The varnish I found on the tripod was very yellow - but maybe it had yellowed for over 50 years? So far I have obtained a fairly acceptable light wood effect in a rather natural color. I try on the wood for black mount and I wonder whether to risk repainting another layer of clear varnish mixed with yellow and ocher pigments, which increase the yellow color with a slightly lemon shade.

 

Unfortunately, you cannot press "Undo" here - you have to repeat the painting ...

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#63 LukaszLu

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 06:26 PM

Tripod painting combat effects. The dark mahogany wood was finally painted so that it looks like a light birch. I've put a total of 9 coats of paint, experimenting almost to the very end. Finally, I came up with the idea to polish a semi-matt paint with a car body paste. Obviously, the paste contained wax. The dark mahogany wood absorbed the grease despite the many layers of polyurethane floor lacquer - and immediately darkened heavily, spoiling the effect a bit. I can't do anything about it - I can only wait for the grease to disappear from the wood, just like it disappears from a terrace board. But will the varnish allow it?

 

Painting this tripod in such a way as to repeat the original factory painting as faithfully as possible was a real torment. It is a compromise between the color I found and my idea of ​​what it looked like when it left the factory.

 

Here are the first few photos. The work is not finished yet, but it is now possible to judge to what extent the color of the tripod matches the whole thing. RAO R-63 poses for photos next to its bigger brother R-74 ...

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#64 LukaszLu

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 06:29 PM

Color in a slightly different light. I'll take pictures outside tomorrow.

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#65 CharlieB

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Posted 23 September 2021 - 09:40 PM

Excellent work on a rare scope.

 

Charlie


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#66 Kasmos

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 01:33 AM

Looks great!... and from the one's I've seen, authentic.

 

I think Charlie has one and he's not knocking it.

 

Photos are hard to really go by so who knows what the legs should or did look like when new? Were there lighter portions of the original color hidden under the brackets? Also, sometimes the sides of the slider legs are less yellowed or aged.

 

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

 

Sound familar?



#67 pancho61

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Posted 24 September 2021 - 03:01 PM

Excellent job!!!



#68 Star.Monger

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 05:28 AM

Fantastic job! bow.gif



#69 LukaszLu

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 07:51 AM

Looks great!... and from the one's I've seen, authentic.

 

I think Charlie has one and he's not knocking it.

 

Photos are hard to really go by so who knows what the legs should or did look like when new? Were there lighter portions of the original color hidden under the brackets? Also, sometimes the sides of the slider legs are less yellowed or aged.

 

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

 

Sound familar?

Thanks a lot!  Now the difficult part remains - that is, a bent dewshield. After assembling the whole, I lost the conviction that the base of the mount requires painting. The paint losses are visible, but they are not noticeable and they do not spoil the overall effect - I think I'll leave it as it is.

 

@Kasmos: I don't't have a Barlow lens in the set, so I have no chance to meet the standards you imposed :-) A good remark about the color of the varnish under the metal elements - it seems to me that the paint was not so yellow there, it looked more like a bright hardwood.

 

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#70 LukaszLu

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 05:35 PM

A few more photos in the daylight.

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#71 LukaszLu

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Posted 25 September 2021 - 05:35 PM

For a while I thought about adding even more yellow to the color of the tripod, but I guess it's good I didn't ...

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#72 LukaszLu

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:18 PM

Today I can finally see a piece of clear sky after many days of cloudiness. Although there is a strong wind and some of the sky is still covered with clouds, Jupiter is visible very well. I couldn't deny myself the pleasure of trying out how a small RAO would handle a digital camera. It came out flawlessly - the image is precise, sharp, Jupiter's moons are perfectly point-like. What else could I expect? It's RAO - a brand known as "Unitron killer" ;-)

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#73 Star.Monger

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 07:47 PM

waytogo.gif bow.gif


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