The pier construction project for my 5 inch refractor is nearing completion. Today, I bolted the oak capping, the mild steel levelling plate and my NEQ6 Pro equatorial mount to the top of the reinforced concrete column. All in all I think the project will have cost me about £120 for materials but I did have some of the stuff I needed already in my shed. The weather, true to form, has suddenly turned grim - grey clouds horizon to horizon. I guess this is my fault.
Everything seems to have turned out alright so unless the earth crust folds under the imposed weight I should be imaging Jupiter very soon subject to jet stream and cloud cover.
The fabrication-construction stages were as follows:
- Obtaining via the Internet the laser cut 6mm mild steel disc for making the levelling plate.
- Drilling it to take the 3 stainless steel threaded studs used to fix the levelling plate to the top of the concrete pier.
- Drilling it to enable my existing extension pillar/puck to be bolted to it.
- Cutting and welding reinforcing bar to create a reinforcement cage for the concrete pier.
- Choosing the best location and marking out for the pier.
- Drilling my existing concrete paving through into the concrete sub base ( i didn't want to dig the paving up for the pier foundation).
- Chem fixing shear studs and the bottom of the reinforcement cage into the concrete sub- base.
- Constructing the timber formwork for the pier.
- Casting the concrete in two pours.
- Removing the formwork after 14 days.
- Painting the levelling plate using three coats of Hammerite.
- Making the timber pillar capping and eyepiece tray from some surplius oak kitchen worktop.
- Boltting and levelling the capping, levelling plate and NEQ6Pro to the top of the concrete pier.
Now I can turn my shed endeavours towards Spectrometer Mk3.