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blinky

Building my own pier

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Well my missus has agreed (at least in principle) that I can build my own pier :rolleyes:

This will hopefully be getting done in the next few months so I have just started my research. I am wondering if anybody has any experience of a wooden pier? I found a thread by Gepetto (Who is no longer active :lol:) but he did not image and I am wondering if a wooden pier is suitable for imaging? I would be using the thickest fencing post available and also doing the top of the pier in wood as well. Most folks seem to be using a concrete pillar but would wood not be more vibration absorbing?

If wood is a no go, then where can I get a suitable pipe to fill with concrete? The B&Q website has 65mm square downpipe, would this be suitable?

I would also like this to be as usefull as possible so am wondering if I could somehow have a red light build in to the pier, any ideas? I have been wondering if one of those red CCL lights for the inside of PC cases would be suitable?

I think I would prefer to work with wood as it is cheaper and easier to work with! I am thinking of more or less copying Gepetto's design found here http://tinyurl.com/2wwrkc as it looks like something I could make, Idont fancy getting some steelwork fabricated in case it is wrong! It would also mean I could fix it all up without putting in the bolt for the RA adjustment until after I had tested and found the position of it.

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Very nice! I am thinking of square drainpipe and for the head I would have a similer setup to yours only made of wood by myself. This would allow me to concrete it all in nice and square, but I would leave off the RA bolt. I would do good polar align and then mark where the RA bolt was to go. In the morning I could then unbolt it and drill the hole for the RA bolt.

I assume from looking at your images that you did not concrete the head in place till you did a polar align,so you just rotated the whole head assembly till it was bang on? I actually never thought of doing it that way.....

Do you think a concrete pipe is the best way to go or would wood not be better at absorbing vibrations? or does the wood vibrate and it's not as solid as concrete?

BTW what is the diameter of the gas pipe? I dont know where I could get hold of some so am hoping it is about the same as a drainpipe!

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So far this is the plan, it's not at all to scale since I have yet to measure the garden!

Does anybody have an idea of the diamater of circle I would need for the pier? I want to put some curved stones round it to make it a bit of a 'feature' but am wondering how big (roughly) they would need to be? this is to hold my 200mm F6 newt.

2972_normal.jpeg

(click to enlarge)

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One problem you may have with wood is it absorbs and looses moisture which it turn would effect your alignment.

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Ah never thought of that. I have just got a mail from a fellow member here Gary1968 to say he has got me a length of 10" Air conditioning tubing, so I will be using that!

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I have just got a mail from a fellow member here Gary1968 to say he has got me a length of 10" Air conditioning tubing, so I will be using that!

Nice one Craig / Gary , it looks like the first hurdle has been overcome :D

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10" Though, hope I get that past the missus, thats the next hurdle :D

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Steel pipes are relatively easy to come by. When I had a permanent pier, many moons ago, I made it out of a length of 4" heavy walled (about 1/4") steel steam pipe that I got from a local scrapyard for the princely sum of £0.50p! Check in your local yellow pages for pipe suppliers. It's usually possible to get offcuts for a modest sum. H&V contractors are useful source too of scrap lengths of pipe.

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Craig, If You have still not made up your mind on a pier pipe, I have one. It is a plastic high pressure water pipe with a 1" thick wall. It is 12" in diameter and almost 5 foot in length. It is exactly half of the piece I used for mounting my LX90. I filled it with concrete below ground, and inside the tube to the brim. It is capable of supporting a 24" telescope and accessories.

Rock solid. I know you live too far probably, but it's yours if you want it. The full length before I cut it below.

Ron. :D

2984_normal.jpeg

(click to enlarge)

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I think the 10" Air Con ducting should be fine, when filled with concrete this should be pretty solid :D

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Heating and Ventilating

All trades represented on SGL. :D

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I remembered earlier that I had an old aluminium tripod that was included when I bought my EQ5 (I recieved the aluminium and steel tripods). Anyway I checked and the HEQ5 fits the EQ5 tripod! So my idea now is to get the 12" Tube concreted up, remove the top from the old tripod and somehow insert this (raised, so I can get to the bolt) into the concrete.

The only thing that concerns me is that I will need to get the thing very close to North when setting it. How can I do this during the day? I have a compass but as this points to magnetic and not true north will this still leave enough for me to adjust it to true north by way of drift alignment? BTW I cannot see Polaris from the pier location.

Or....Would I be better to stick to the original plan of getting two plates made up as most others seem to have done? This way I can always adjust the level later if it goes off during the setting of the concrete? :D

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That's a cracking piece of pipe you've got there Ron. If I thought I was going to be building one soon I'd be asking for it myself.

Karlo

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Blinky, you can set up for north during the day if you know the magnetic declination for your area and offset your north on the compass by whatever the declination is for your area.This link is a mag dec calculator for the UK,just move the cross to your location and it tells you how far your magnetic north is from true north

http://www.threelittlemaids.co.uk/magdec/index1.html

Hope this helps

Or wait till you get a sunny day,when sun is due south hold something vertical that will cast a shadow over your pier,the shadow will be true north i think.Draw a line over shadow and you should be spot on North.

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Craig, If I was you, I would opt for the two plate method. You need three threaded rods 120 degrees apart set into the concrete at the top of the pier. Some guys have used four studs, It is a matter of choice according to the weight involved I suppose.

The top plate will accomodate your mount, which will need to be adjustable in Azimuth, for correct polar alignment. This will necessitate, have the holes in the top plate arced to allow for the plate to be rotated slightly during polar aligning, Then solidly locked in place with nuts and washers when adjustment and levelling are complete. Kai Herb, among others has a picture ot three of his pier which perfectly illustrates this sort of build.

Anyway Craig I feel I am telling you things you already know.

Good luck with the job.

Ron. :D

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Well my missus has agreed (at least in principle) that I can build my own pier

Its always good to get planning approval first! :rolleyes::D:rolleyes:

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So my idea now is to get the 12" Tube concreted up, remove the top from the old tripod and somehow insert this (raised, so I can get to the bolt) into the concrete.

Why not plonk the old tripod legs in the wet concrete?

Kaptain Klevtsov

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So my idea now is to get the 12" Tube concreted up, remove the top from the old tripod and somehow insert this (raised, so I can get to the bolt) into the concrete.

Why not plonk the old tripod legs in the wet concrete?

Kaptain Klevtsov

I did actually think of that, I then thought it was a silly idea :D Gary has taken the old tripod away and is going to make a plate to attach it to, this will allow me to get it level and aligned etc etc.

Piccies will be posted :rolleyes:

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At first I tought, "What a silly suggestion". Then I realized you meant stick the whole tripod down into the tube, and fill it with concrete.

As long as there is available adjustment at the top end, It became a very good suggestion.

I will remember to never again have the temerity to doubt you KK. :D

Ron. :rolleyes:

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Blimey Craig dont tell me you are 9ft tall and have a 10 inch frac :D:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :clouds2:

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