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Brick Pier


RogerTheDodger
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I wanted a pier so I could set up quickly, and to have something more sturdy than my HEQ5 tripod legs, so here is my brick pier.

Standard brickwork on a concrete paving slab - this will enable me to easily remove it when we eventually move house. I took the top from the tripod legs and secured it to a 10mm thick round ally plate that sits on four short adjustment bolts. to secure the mount on top I took a standard 10mm bolt and re-profiled it with an angle grinder to I can use the original tightening knob from the tripod to secure it for easy adjustment.

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OK, so what's the matter with this? A brick column like this is pretty strong. I know when making a concrete pier it is recommended that all the concrete is poured in one go without letting the first lot go off first. With wetting, mortar sticks well to bricks. Houses and other buildings have been built this way for donkeys years - why shouldn't we build a pier this way? I don't know - is there a reason? Or is it really that nobody has thought of doing this before. Apart from sharp corners, I can't see any problem! (Anyway, I like my round concrete pier - so there! :D)

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That's what I thought Gina, a pier actually only needs to be able to carry the weight and not to flex.

Your right, but i showed the wife the brick pier and all she said was " When you building one" so being a nice looking pier does go a long way toward harmony.....:)

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I read something a while back written by someone who had built a brick pier, then decided it didn't work and took it down to replace it with (I think) a steel tube. I can't recall what the reasons were, but obviously it doesn't mean brick piers don't work, just that his brick pier didn't work for him.

James

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Curious to know his reasons. I like mine, it was easy to build (no digging) and is solid as a rock - if you give it a thump it barely vibrates and seems to dampen off immediately. The only detractor is that it's in the way if you want to image at the zenith with my 8" newt - but I've only done that once.

As I said in the OP, the main reason was for speed of setup, I just drop the top on an spin on 4 nuts, add the cables and away I go... PA is good enough for the guided sub lengths I'm doing now without having to re-do it every time I set up.

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I had a moment of enlightenment and discovered the passage in "Setting up a Small Observatory" by David Arditti. He says:

I previously tried making the telescope pier out of brick. This pier worked, but it was bulky and not so strong as the much narrower concrete and steel pier which replaced it. Laying bricks is time-consuming and needs to be done quite precisely, and brick structures are in fact surprisingly elastic, but with little impact shear strength. Overall, I do not recommend a brick pier, though it looks quite nice.

The picture of his shows it to be two bricks long on each side however and there's no indication of what filled the internal void, so his opinion of his won't necessarily apply to yours.

James

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Ah yes that is way bigger. Mine is about 31" high which is approximately the same height I sat the tripod up to (it's lowest level), I don't think I would have gone much higher in a single column, I probably would have made it wider up to about half way.

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Page 82, the gate is hung the wrong way, the Brace is bracing nothing... :)

So what are we saying? Don't let him build your pier *or* hang the door on your obsy? :)

James

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I've read David Arditti's book and disagree with a number of his ideas. As for hanging the door the wrong way or building it wrongly... well... I rest my case :D

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Thanks for the comments, now getting the thread back on track, there must be curved bricks on sale someplace, or it can't be that hard to make some moulds and make them out of cement with a colourer added...????

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Thanks for the comments, now getting the thread back on track, there must be curved bricks on sale someplace, or it can't be that hard to make some moulds and make them out of cement with a colourer added...????

"radial brick" is what you need to feed google for this :)

James

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