I’m baaaaaack! (Sort of) It’s been over a year now since my last post—it’s amazing how much time 3 kids can eat up. My youngest son was born in January of 2014 and pretty much all of last year was devoted to helping care for the infant while making sure the older two (now 6 and 4) didn’t (a) kill each other or (b) burn the house down while attempting (a). The workshop was closed up for the winter last year around this time and I have shamefully relegated the workbench to a storage re...
Now the fun part begins. This project is all well and good as a telescope base (albeit one that opens up and has the potential to dump my yard cannon on the ground in a shattered mess)....but I designed it as a hiss drive primarily, and a telescope mobility platform secondly. It’s time to get drivin’. Going off what I found on the internet I gathered the following supplies: One inner-tube (a 14” non-highway trailer inner-tube from Menard’s I think). On...
At last it was time to fabricate a handle lever to attach to the rover—-oh, and complete the installation of the upper half of the platform. As planned, the lever contraption will allow me to easily lift (critical now that my back has been injured and is on the mend) and move the rover/telescope combination.The idea was simple: cut two blocks of tubafore, round the top on both. Drill a 5/8” hole that lines up on both. Attach said blocks with glues and screws to the tongue of th...
I had planned on attaching the top of the rover to the base today…I really did. But alas….only halfway there. In order to attach the hinge in the right spot and allow the base to be uniform and not off center, I needed to shift the hinge to the side of the 1/2” plywood. That being the case, there’s not much plywood there on the edge for attaching hinges that will hold the top half of the base and a $350 telescope. So I improvised—-I attached a strip o...
Building off the early success of this project in it’s second incarnation, I started to dismantle the old telescope base and reuse the wood which, conveniently enough, was just the right size. First up, I ripped apart the top of the old base and installed those planks cross-wise on the bottom of the rover to give it lateral support. With the extra strength and weight of these planks, this thing already feels more stable than the old base! Once the slats were glued and nailed ...
With the approach of Comet ISON and the Mars 2014 apparition getting under way and me out of commission for the past 2 months with a back injury, I have been chomping at the bit to (1) get observing and (2) get cracking on the hiss drive rover. It’s been a few months since the last entry (which I thought I had published already but…oops…it was still a draft until tonight) but all the real progress has taken place in the last three days or so. To start, I constructed so...
To see more pictures of the project, click here. Continuing work on the Telrad base was easy—-cloudy nights=busy days. I added a wedge to the front of the Telrad base to make it more secure when attached, shaped the whole thing and made some nice edges. I think this is just going to be an experiment in getting it done—-if I like how it handles in the field, I may make it out of oak or something more stable and solid than pine (this was all pieces of 2×4 cutoff). I h...
Please click here for this image heavy post. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an amateur astronomer (besides dabbling in woodworking, writing, art, etc…). I started an astronomy at Wordpress lately to post pictures I’ve been taking through my telescope and other tidbits. I thought of a way yesterday to merge my two biggest hobbies, astronomy and woodworking. I decided to make a base for my Telrad reflex sight, to fit atop the Texas Yard Cannon. And, to make...
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