Hiss Drive Rover #1: Back to the Drawing Board

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Blog entry by RaggedKerf posted 10-18-2013 12:32 AM 1146 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hiss Drive Rover series Part 2: Version 2.0 »

Note: I thought I had published this post back in the summer—-I was wrong. So…only 3 months late, I post it now, in mid-October. To refresh your memory, here’s the first post on this long suffering project.

Somewhere between my idea and my skills, between the New Yankee Workshop and the local dumpster, my hiss drive rover met its fate.

It wasn’t the design’s fault, I’m sure of that. It will work. It has to. What didn’t work was my last minute deviation from the plan. I forgot the old adage, “Plan the work and work the plan”. As happens a lot with my woodworking, I start a project, realize there are a few ways I could overly complicate said project and increase the difficulty beyond my meager grasp, and charge off into the unknown.

In this case, I had designed a simple butt-joint frame style to be mounted under plywood platforms. In my infinite wisdom, I thought, out in the shop, “Wouldn’t it be cool to make these frames half lapped and prettier?”

Well…the shameful result is too hideous to post.

Yeah, I need more practice at half lap joints. A lot more. But I don’t have time for that. So….This project has the distinction of being the very first where I have to throw my hands up, throw the rover into the firepit, dry my eyes, ease my aching arm (damn I did a lot of sawing by hand the past few nights) and take stock of the situation.


My idea to build two independent triangle supports at 43° angles ended in disaster. I brought out the plywood and ripped free three panels measuring 28” x 20”. Two will sandwich the inner tube, the third will be the base the telescope rests on.

This time, instead of two separate frames, I’m going to stick to the damn plan with which I spent so much time drawing and build the frames directly onto the plywood.

There will be no artistic woodworking here. Norm, take a seat. I want simple, utilitarian—a workhorse, not fancy joints and $600 router cabinets (my router table cost about $3, the price of two toilet flange bolts).

The recent spate of crystal clear skies at night has got me itching to wheel out the scope but I want to get this rover done first. It will keep me motivated to finish if I refrain from observing until it’s completed. I hope.

Time to crack open a beer and get serious…

-- Steve

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