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Looking for info on Lafayette 60mmx800mm refractor

Classic Refractor
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#1 Voyager3When

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 08:51 AM

Hi all. I am new to the forum so please let me know if I have posted in the wrong section.

 

I've just bought an old Lafayette refractor from a rummage sale, and it's in excellent shape and nearly perfectly complete barring a few minor things I'd like to ask about. I have found threads about and pictures of this same line of scopes on this forum, but could not find some of the more specific info. I would be very grateful for any insight any of you may have! Doubly so if that insight includes where to obtain a manual or other documentation for this scope.

 

First off: missing parts. This telescope is only missing the locking screw to change between free floating and worm gear adjustment for the declination axis, and the fastener(s) that holds the equatorial mount to the fork on the tripod. The first attached photo clearly shows the missing declination locking fastener and the large threaded hole into which the fastener that holds the mount to the tripod should thread.

 

Does anyone have insight on sizes or thread pitches for these two missing fasteners? Should I be expecting SAE or Metric fasteners on this telescope? The internal diameter (measured from the peaks of the threads) of that large threaded hole on the equatorial mount head is 13.13mm, or .516 inches. I don't know exactly what that would correspond to in terms of fasteners. Anyone have pointers?

 

Secondly: cleaning. The gears are all in excellent shape, but all the adjustments feel as though the original lubricant may have dried up. All gear adjustments for focuser, declination and right ascension are very smooth, but not as easily turned as I would expect. Should I dismantle the equatorial head and clean off any old lubricant? If so, what new lubricant should I apply, if anything, on re-assembly?

 

As for optics, it appears that the objective lenses of both the telescope and finderscope can be removed by unthreading the cowl. Both are quite dusty, and will need cleaning. What type of solution should I use to clean them, and any eyepieces that need a retouch? Will isopropyl suffice?

 

Thirdly: damage. The cowl that holds the objective lens has a sizeable ding in it. See second attached image. Obviously I will want to remove the lens and set it aside before trying to fix this, but if any of you have dealt with a similar repair, how would you recommend going about it?

 

Lastly: curiosity. What are these eyepieces, optically speaking? See third image. Does that H stand for Huygens? What is the AH? Are they crummy 2 element EPs? How are the eyepieces/star diagonal/image corrector intended to be retained in the scopes? It looks like these are collared friction mounts with how those holes/slots and that lip along the eyepiece receptacle are placed, but there are no collars to tighten them and secure things. See regrettably poorly angled fourth photo. Are these two more parts I am missing?

 

Is the solar projection screen that came with the scope as horrendously dangerous as it looks? Should I forget I even have it?

 

First and foremost, I want to do no harm to this cool antique scope, so I'd rather ask too much than rush ahead rashly and damage something. If desired I can supply more pictures of anything to provide more information.

 

Once again, any info is greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!

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#2 D_talley

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 10:01 AM

You need to tell us what scope you have. A photo of the OTA would also help.



#3 mdowns

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 10:13 AM

Welcome to cloudy nights Voyager and yes,you chose the correct forum.As Dwight said above pictures of the complete OTA(optical tube assembly) goes a long way.On the focuser will be basic info like model number,diameter and FL(focal lenght).A picture of the info should nail it down.              Michael



#4 Piggyback

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 10:43 AM

Welcome, Voyager! The shiny rod on your mount and knurly fastener on the back of your 6x30 finder seem to suggest late 1950's early 1960 vintage. 



#5 DreamWeaver

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 02:33 PM

From what you've shown, it looks like the Lafayette F-342 that I used to have.  It was my first classic telescope, and me hooked on hoarding, I mean collecting more classics.

 

The H35mm eyepiece is for the finder scope.  The eyepieces are friction fit.  If they slip out easily you can squeeze the slots together for a better fit.

 

More photos of what you have will help us determine what you are missing.  



#6 Bonco2

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 03:46 PM

I have a Lafayette 60mm/800mm and it is a real Gem. The optics are superb but I don't have any original Lafayette eyepieces but use some generics and Unitron eyepieces. The mount is perfectly matched for the OTA. It's steady as a rock and very fine slo-motion controls. It's a perfect grab and go package. Your picture doesn't show the declination lock rod nor does it show the equitorial base and tripod.  You'll also need a star diagonal (a right angle prism) to mount the eyepieces. Looks like your lens shield is bent. That's pretty easy to fix. If you can make it complete, it's a worthy telescope.

Bill



#7 Voyager3When

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 05:46 PM

For everyone asking about telescope model number: if the scope said its own model number anywhere I would've posted it! The only info on the OTA's tag is manufacturer (Lafayette), D and F lengths, and "made in Japan". See attached. The only reason I did not provide more pictures in the OP was the file size attachment limit, which I am bumping my head on in each post unfortunately. I don't want to double post in my own thread, but I have 4 more pictures I'd like to share...

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#8 Voyager3When

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 05:51 PM

Once again, sorry to double post, but for those wondering about star diagonals, tripods, etc. those are here too, alongside a solar projection screen of dubious utility. Hope this info helps. The biggest, most pressing questions for me are still mostly those related to thread pitches, fasteners and cleaning the optics/old lubricants as asked in the OP, but I'd love to know more about these old eyepieces too

Attached Thumbnails

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#9 D_talley

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 06:08 PM

A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for posting the OTA shots. This is the bolt that connects my Lafayette to its tripod. No telling but it may be larger than the one you need but I can get the size anyway.

Attached Thumbnails

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#10 Voyager3When

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 06:23 PM

Thanks for posting that, D_talley. I'd greatly appreciate any insight you provide into that fastener's size.

I'd have posted more images from the outset if not for the attachment limit and a reluctance to double post!

I'm surprised to see such an interesting handle arrangement for such a typically set and forget joint. In other threads on these Lafayette 60mms, I saw just a large flat blade fastener, though that may have been only on the other side of the equatorial base. I'll see if I can find a link to one of those photos.

#11 Bomber Bob

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 06:51 PM

I'm pretty sure a 5/16" bolt will attach the EQ Mount Head to the Latitude Hub (the "fork" currently on the tripod) -- get one that's about 3/4" longer than the outside width of the Fork (for washers & nut).  Won't be pretty or original, but it'll let you test the kit until you find a period-correct chrome bolt set...


Edited by Bomber Bob, 11 October 2021 - 06:52 PM.


#12 Bonco2

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 06:56 PM

Seems you have most of the components. still From what I've seen you are missing the declination lock rod. If so just find screw hat will thread in properly then get a long screw and place a knob on it. Problem solved. BTW there is nothing wrong or dangerous using the sun projection screen.

Bill



#13 aoirotukiko

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 06:26 AM

Hello everyone

 

I am very happy to see the real thing.

This is very useful information.

 

This telescope was featured in an advertisement for Towa Kouki (東和光器) in July 1958.

Towa Kouki was founded on October 22, 1949.

Unfortunately, that's all the information about this telescope.

Towa Kouki manufactured telescopes, microscopes and magnifying glasses for export.

Towa Kouki did not manufacture astronomical telescopes from the beginning.

 

I need more information about the Japanese astronomical telescope in the 1950s.

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  • TOWA 1958.jpg

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