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Unitron #152 that I recently acquired.

Refractor Classic
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#26 deSitter

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 12:07 PM

I had some time Saturday and I used it to straighten the counter weight rod, declination clamp rod and the declination slow motion rod.

They were all bent bent when I purchased the telescope and they straightened out nicely, sorry no pics.

I also made a repair to the tripod leg tip that had suffered some rust damage.

I had made a small plug from an old 1/4-20 bolt to fill the missing end and give me a nice base to weld on without melting the thin metal the tip is made of.

I think it turned out good, (see before and after pics attached), and should work just fine.

I put together a short video of the repair as well.

https://youtu.be/ozmQ5ozXFOc

That is an ingenious fix!

 

-drl


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#27 deSitter

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 01:43 PM

I had some time Saturday and I used it to straighten the counter weight rod, declination clamp rod and the declination slow motion rod.

They were all bent bent when I purchased the telescope and they straightened out nicely, sorry no pics.

I also made a repair to the tripod leg tip that had suffered some rust damage.

I had made a small plug from an old 1/4-20 bolt to fill the missing end and give me a nice base to weld on without melting the thin metal the tip is made of.

I think it turned out good, (see before and after pics attached), and should work just fine.

I put together a short video of the repair as well.

https://youtu.be/ozmQ5ozXFOc

So you decide to sell it, and some dude shows up with a ruler, starts measuring the tips - and says "Welp, this tip is 1/8th of an inch shorter than the others.." and you say "I know man. Quality control ain't what it used to be!" IIRC the tips on Tascos are copper, so that they won't rust after being shoved in the dirt. A CN member documented his restoration, and when he removed the tips, swatches of Japanese newspaper fell out - used to take up slack between tip and tripod leg.

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 20 March 2022 - 01:44 PM.

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#28 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 20 March 2022 - 02:31 PM

So you decide to sell it, and some dude shows up with a ruler, starts measuring the tips - and says "Welp, this tip is 1/8th of an inch shorter than the others.." and you say "I know man. Quality control ain't what it used to be!" IIRC the tips on Tascos are copper, so that they won't rust after being shoved in the dirt. A CN member documented his restoration, and when he removed the tips, swatches of Japanese newspaper fell out - used to take up slack between tip and tripod leg.

 

-drl

Funny you should mention paper in the tips.

All my tips were loose but I had one tip that had a piece of paper in it when I removed it and I took a pic.

Later I soaked it in water and was able to flatten it out and clean it somewhat.

Then I got bored and scanned it.

I need a hobby....oh...wait...never mind. smile.gif

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#29 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 06:12 PM

I finally received my set of plug cutters and got to work on the Tripod Legs.

I first determined what size plugs I would need, then, going off that I drilled the existing holes to be plugged to the correct diameter.

I needed 2 smaller size holes on one half of the 2 leg pieces and 2 larger size holes for the other half.

The larger hole was needed as that is where the washer and nut were from the leveler and the nuts and washers had been tightened into the wood leaving a depression.

 

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#30 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 06:14 PM

The needed plugs were cut from the center leg support pieces.

2 small and 2 large from opposite sides of the block.

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Edited by Phteven Chaos, 23 March 2022 - 06:16 PM.

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#31 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 06:32 PM

I applied wood glue to the plugs and tapped them into the holes.

I did keep the grain of the plugs lined up with the grain of the leg pieces.

I'm not expecting the plugs to be invisible due to the rust and water staining to the wood of the lower legs but at least it will strengthen the legs in the area of the holes.

There was one hole nearer to the leg end that was missing a piece of wood from when I removed the levelers.

I mixed some of the saw dust with some wood glue and filled the void with the mixture, we'll see how it works out.

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#32 semlin

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 07:54 PM

looks great.

 

not sure if you want to hear this, but lee valley sells tapered plug cutters that are amazing for furniture and trim repair work.  the taper fits tight and gives you a nearly invisible circle if you match the wood.  they are not as deep though so they are cosmetic and do not add structural strength.


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#33 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 08:00 PM

looks great.

 

not sure if you want to hear this, but lee valley sells tapered plug cutters that are amazing for furniture and trim repair work.  the taper fits tight and gives you a nearly invisible circle if you match the wood.  they are not as deep though so they are cosmetic and do not add structural strength.

Thanks for the heads up on a set likely way better than what I used. I'll check it out.
Nothing wrong with an upgrade for next time.


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#34 deSitter

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 10:37 PM

I applied wood glue to the plugs and tapped them into the holes.

I did keep the grain of the plugs lined up with the grain of the leg pieces.

I'm not expecting the plugs to be invisible due to the rust and water staining to the wood of the lower legs but at least it will strengthen the legs in the area of the holes.

There was one hole nearer to the leg end that was missing a piece of wood from when I removed the levelers.

I mixed some of the saw dust with some wood glue and filled the void with the mixture, we'll see how it works out.

Nice work!

 

-drl


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#35 RichA

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Posted 23 March 2022 - 11:11 PM

I was contacted by my friend who had lunch with an old school friend.

His friend mentioned he was selling a telescope.

Long story short on February 9th I picked up what turned out to be a 1956 Unitron #152 refractor and a bunch of accessories.

I was told that it had been in a storage shed for about 30 years and only been pulled out and used a handful of times.

I would rate the overall condition of everything I purchased about 6 out 10.

It does needs some TLC but I feel it will be a great scope again when I'm done.

Here is a link to a file with pictures of everything that I bought; https://drive.google...xHp?usp=sharing

Nice acquisition, the objective lens needs cleaning.  Should end up being a great scope.


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#36 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 02:09 PM

Back at it.

I took my wood chisel and shaved down the exposed tops of the plugs.

The first pic I had the light at a low angle, it gives a better idea of the remaining damage to the leg ends.

I will wait and see what it looks like after sanding as I may need to use some wood filler in the voids.

The second pic shows the filler I used to fill the voids left on the center pieces where I took out the plugs I needed.

The last pic shows the back side of the leg pieces and the voids behind the plugs I used there which will also be filled in.

Luckily none of the voids I'm filling will be visible.

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#37 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 02:16 PM

Here are the voids all filled.

If you ever use the filler I used and need to fill small voids as I did here, think pastry bag.

I mixed up a batch of the filler which has the consistency of pancake batter.

I poured it into a Ziploc sandwich bag, sealed it and cut the tip off one corner of the bag.

I squeezed the filler out through the small hole in the corner of the bag into each void tapping the piece to bring any bubbles to the surface.

 

Next up will be sanding.

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#38 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:12 PM

Welcome to CN "Ptheven" smile.gif Beautiful old scope - is this is the one with the huge weight near the focuser that puts the balance point far back toward the focuser - allowing a seated comfortable position while observing? I don't see any major problems, just dirt and dust and some damage to the cases. Stainless steel looks fine. The metal parts are mostly nickel plated brass, so don't know what the details are about refurbishing that.

 

-drl

You'll have to forgive me in the delayed response, still learning the Forum ways.

Thanks for the complement on the scope, I've never had a refractor so I guess this is going to be a good one!

This does not have the additional weight inside the OTA.

Thanks ~Steve~



#39 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:16 PM

And the famous as well as rare tray light.
What a score!

Thanks, after some research I guess I am lucky on the tray light.

It is in very good condition and has never had a battery leak inside it.

Thanks ~Steve~



#40 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:17 PM

nice first post.  wow.

Thanks, hope you'll like the rest.

~Steve~



#41 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:18 PM

THat’s a very nice package.  A little cleanup and you’ll have a wonderful scope.

Thanks, it will be great with some TLC.

~Steve~



#42 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:19 PM

Beautiful instrument !!

 

Congrats.

Thank you.

~Steve~



#43 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:23 PM

Congratulations! You have a real piece of amateur astronomy history there. I’m sure you will enjoy it.  I had one. It’s quite a telescope. The cleaning and refurbishment doesn’t look to daunting either. Good luck with your project.

Thank you.

I knew nothing about it when I bought it other than a couple Google links to CN Classifieds.

So far the TLC with the tripod is moving along well.

I almost can't wait to get to the mount and start on that!

~Steve~


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#44 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:25 PM

Wow! I need to find friends with those kind of benefits!  Congratulations on securing a real treasure.

Thanks, I have lucked into a few things over the years referred to me by friends but this take 1st place for sure.

~Steve~



#45 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:29 PM

Nice find    welcome aboard    you have come to the right place

These are very impressive         and even more so   when folks see them up close

very impressive longfellow refractor for outreach and show the neighbors    the planets

I used to spend as much time looking at mine as I did looking through it

keep the post going so we can follow the progress please

Thank you.

I do set up mostly at home but now that we have a camper trailer I've been able to take a scope with and it's been fun when people walk by and I invite them over for a look.

This, even for its size, will be easier to transport and set up than my other two main scopes.

~Steve~



#46 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:31 PM

For real.  Great scope, great first post.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks Eric, I'll be around this thread for awhile.

~Steve~



#47 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:35 PM

Nice acquisition, the objective lens needs cleaning.  Should end up being a great scope.

Thanks Rich, the lens is the only thing I worry about when the time comes to clean it.

Luckily there are numerous threads and advise here at CN I should be OK>

~Steve~



#48 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 05:40 PM

On a side note, I have the Unitron RA drive motor, (untested).

The little knob on the left side in the picture, is that possibly a ground connection?

If not, what's it for?

Thanks, ~Steve~

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#49 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 03:59 PM

Just an update on the tripod refurbishment.

I have refinished the legs and will be working on the metal leg tips and accessory shelf brackets next.

The legs turned out better than I thought they would considering the holes and staining.

~Steve~

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#50 Phteven Chaos

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 04:24 PM

The worst leg was what I labeled leg "A".

Here is a before picture, after sanding picture and a varnished picture.

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  • Leg a varnished (Small).jpg

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