My endless, illustrated astronomy blog where i discuss all aspects of my activities, at great lengths: Fullerscopes Telescope Mountings
I have built complete telescopes for nearly 60 years including making mountings, OTAs, mirrors, optical flats, prisms and objective lenses. Most recently built projects include a 180mm [7"] f/12 iStar R35 straight tube and folded refractors. I preferred the straight tube form. Plus a home made, 6" f/8, internal D-ERF, Maier IF, PST modded, H-alpha solar refractor. I have built a large and very heavy, Goto GEM with 50mm SS shafts to carry both telescopes on a 14' tall pyramidal, timber pier. The pier is isolated from the structure and seems to work well.
I have built a raised, 3m/10' plywood domed observatory on top of an octagonal, timber building. All DIY, working entirely alone. I enjoy dark, rural skies but am surrounded in trees on all sides. Hence the raised observatory to see more of the sky.
My main interest now is solar imaging and observation, particularly in H-alpha. The observatory is never quite finished and I keep modifying it to make it easier or more pleasant to use. The dome is rotated manually by a crank and a 4" rubber, friction wheel driving the underside of the base ring. I am now in my early seventies but remain fit and active thanks to walking, cycling and my endless projects.