Astronomy stuff made of wood?

Hi all.
Quick status for you... all of the tips you have given me are working out great and I'm really starting to dig this woodworking thing. My most important lessons so far are the 3 P's- Patience. Practice. Persistence.
Anyways.. to the topic of my post. The thing that got me turned on to woodworking was astronomy. I had seen telescopes and tools (bases, tripods, observing chairs, etc) built out of wood by some folks at a 'star party' that I went to about 6 years ago. The scopes used a Dobsonian mount which is relativley easy to build. So I started watching those 'wood working shows that PBS always has on' just to try and get some basic tips down. Thats how I started out with Normitis. 'If I had one of those I could build anything..' - you all know what I'm saying.
So the question I have is, do and of you woodworkers dabble in astronomy? If so, have you built anything to speak of? I have a grand design in my head for an awesome 10" Dobsonian scope (Cherry or Apple ply... brass hardware... droool), and I will someday actually build it. But for now I'm just gathering the skills and tools that will be required to build it.
I'd love to hear about or see some of the things you've built to support your addiction... I mean hobby.
Thanks, Mike
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 00:08:50 +0000, Mike W. wrote:

Yes, I dabble with a cheap store bought POS scope. Went to Kitt Peak several years ago and picked up several books. One in particular should be of interest to wooddorkers:
"Build Your Own Telescope" by Richard Berry's, ISBN 0-943396-42-5
Building a scope based on plans in the book is somewhere in the top 3rd of my long list of round tuits. I sure hope I get the top third done before I croak.
-Doug
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 00:07:30 GMT, Doug Winterburn
|On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 00:08:50 +0000, Mike W. wrote: | | |> So the question I have is, do and of you woodworkers dabble in astronomy? |> If so, have you built anything to speak of? I have a grand design in my |> head for an awesome 10" Dobsonian scope (Cherry or Apple ply... brass |> hardware... droool), and I will someday actually build it. But for now I'm |> just gathering the skills and tools that will be required to build it. |> |> I'd love to hear about or see some of the things you've built to support |> your addiction... I mean hobby.| |Yes, I dabble with a cheap store bought POS scope. Went to Kitt Peak |several years ago and picked up several books. One in particular should |be of interest to wooddorkers: | |"Build Your Own Telescope" by Richard Berry's, ISBN 0-943396-42-5 | |Building a scope based on plans in the book is somewhere in the top 3rd of |my long list of round tuits. I sure hope I get the top third done before |I croak.
Another one of "his" books is "The CCD Camera Cookbook", which was really written by two close friends and former co-workers of mine, John Munger and Veikko Kanto. I got both of them into ham radio, but they didn't get me into astronomy, although they did bring one of their 10" 'scopes and camera out to my place in the dark Sonoran desert for some lookin' once. Really neat.
Neither of them are woodworkers but they do some nice machine work.
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 19:48:36 -0700, Wes Stewart wrote:

I _was_ into ham radio in the early sixties (K7OQF), and still listen in. In fact, I sent a bunch of vacuum tube gear off to a fellow in the cold climes of WI/MI (I hate CRS) since I'd been packing it around for 35 years without using it.
-Doug
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Mike: I've built a half dozen Dobsonians and now own two, along with a couple of other scopes. They have ranged in size from 6" to 17". Ping me and we can talk.
Bob Schmall

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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 00:08:50 GMT, "Mike W."

I'd like to, but you have to sand to one hell of a fine grit and silvering it is even harder.
Mind you, I think you _could_ do this, if you tried hard enough....
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Hah! Great... You can buy mirrors you know. :-)
I was thinking more along the lines of building the scope mounts, accessories, chairs, etc.
I did run across a guy or two that had ground his own glass for a mirror, but I dont think I've met anyone who has silvered or otherwise made reflective the glass they had ground. With all the talk about 'scary sharp' and such around here, I'd bet theres a few folks who could do it, though... lots of creative minds here.
Mike W.
wrote:

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Mike W. wrote:

Where are you located?
<mental meandering> I grew up in western South Dakota. I spent a lot of time where the nearest neighbor was > 1 mile away = no light pollution. For about 10 years I've been in the Washington D.C. area, and even on the clearest, coldest, brightest night, there aren't that many stars in the sky.
Last week I was in TX and OK and at about 1:00 am I stopped on the two lane road in TX for 10 minutes and looked at the stars. It was somewhat cloudy but I could still see more stars than anytime in Maryland. </mental meandering>
Where are you located?
-- Mark
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I am in Southwestern Ohio. I live in the distant suburbs of Cincinnati. I just built a house out in the country where I can actually see the milky way cloud. I was in Hawaii a few years back out in the boonies at night and could make it out easily, and when in Denver near the base of Pikes Peak, but never dreamed in my own back yard. Unfortunately I live in a development where I am the first house in (2 acre lots), but people are starting to build. So I'd bet my Milky Way viewing days are done.
Thanks, Mike W.

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Mike W. wrote:

I knew him well in South Dakota but haven't seen him in Maryland. <g>

One of many reasons to live in Hawaii!

I made it to the top in 1963 as a little kid. At that time there was Denver, then a large dark place to the north, then Boulder. Now it's basically lights from Denver north to Wyoming, but IRC when it wasn't so.

Maybe you need a bigger apature. <g> Vacations are also great. I grew up in western South Dakota but have been Maryland for about 10 years. With the light pollution and close horizons, there is virtually no stargazing in MD. Last week I was in TX and OK. It was a semi-cloudy night, but about 1:00 am in north Texas I turned off the rental car and got out and looked at the stars for about 10 minutes. It wasn't outstanding -- I couldn't really make out the MW cloud -- but it was still a lot of fun.
Maryland has robbed me of a lot of stars, but has put a lot of $ in my pocket. <g>
-- Mark
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The lights must extend quite a ways south if you lived in Denver at the base of Pikes Peak. The last known location for Pikes Peak is about 60 miles south of Denver. There is a burg named Colorado Springs which usually claims to be at the foot of Pikes Peak.
Now when the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was greasing the rocks, Mother Nature was threatening to move the Rockies into Kansas, but I wasn't aware of any north/south movement.
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 03:00:31 GMT, "Mike W."

Loads of times ! I did a degree in laser optics.
I'm starting to think that a wooden mirror would actually be a rather nice thing. 8-)
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Just finished a new tripod for my ETX scope..Wood was used for the top of it and the supports to hold the tripod legs were wood. I could have done the legs from wooden crutches but I found some aluminum ones were far easier to adjust in height..Works great too. Total cost about $20.
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: Hi all.
: So the question I have is, do and of you woodworkers dabble in astronomy? : If so, have you built anything to speak of? I have a grand design in my : head for an awesome 10" Dobsonian scope (Cherry or Apple ply... brass : hardware... droool), and I will someday actually build it. But for now I'm : just gathering the skills and tools that will be required to build it.
: I'd love to hear about or see some of the things you've built to support : your addiction... I mean hobby.
: Thanks, : Mike
Hi Mike,
You might consider a simple but interesting astrography project - a Scotch Mount for a 35 mm camera:
http://www.astunit.com/tonkinsastro/atm/projects/scotch.htm
--- Gregg "Improvise, adapt, overcome." snipped-for-privacy@head-cfa.harvard.edu Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Phone: (617) 496-1558 ------------ And now a word from our sponsor ------------------ Want to have instant messaging, and chat rooms, and discussion groups for your local users or business, you need dbabble! -- See http://netwinsite.com/sponsor/sponsor_dbabble.htm ----
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