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Star discovery wooden pier** Pics added**


nightfisher
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I am seriously thinking about making a cheap wooden pier for the AZ star discovery mount, there is an existing concrete fence post in just the right position, i am thinking a 4x4 fence post with a ply plate bolted to the top, 3 holes to bolt the AZ head this has to be sturdier than the tripod, if i go with this plan watch this space

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If possible, why not adapt the concrete post, it will be more resilient than a wooden fence post, which are usually made from cheap timber, even if tanalised, which will warp, shrink etc...

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Could be ok, but it may need some support at its lower end in the form of struts to give it more rigidity. You could buy 4" by 4" steel tube cut to the length you require from K Steels. It wouldn't be expensive and theyed deliver it. Possibly even galvanised steel, but as long as plain steel is primed and painted it will last for decades.

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Hi Jules, I considered making a pier (quite) a while back. I had a length of heavy duty plastic pipe/tube, about 5" diameter. The idea was to dig out a hole for a concrete base set some steel rods into into it (reinforced concrete fashion), mount the tube over it and fill the tube with concrete. the top mount would have three pieces of flat steel with 90 degree bends, set 120 degrees apart and drilled to take a top plate. It never got off the drawing board as I bought the AZ4. In my mind I felt it should have worked and a pretty simple job. Just an idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This plan has taken a big step forward, sticking to the original theme, but maybe using 2 ply plates with nut and bolt adjusters to allow for warping and movement, today i got the ply disks cut out on a CNC mill these are from 18mm Birch ply, the base plate will be bolted to a 100x100 fence post then using 4 x M8 bolts with lock nuts to form adjustment pillars, hope to get the fence post by the weekend 

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I now have a 4" x 4" 1 metre fence post mounted in the garden, now its a case of painting the ply disks ready to fit onto the post and hey presto a pier for a light weight mount

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27 minutes ago, nightfisher said:

I now have a 4" x 4" 1 metre fence post mounted in the garden, now its a case of painting the ply disks ready to fit onto the post and hey presto a pier for a light weight mount

Any pics please?

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10 hours ago, mapstar said:

Good to know you are making plans for the coming season Jules. I hope you didn't over pay for the timber and a few pics especially of the birch ply would be really interesting :thumbright: 

Damian, the Birch is now gloss black, i had to weather proof it, and it cost me nothing, even got it cnc cut for free

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Okay, the bit you have all been waiting for, the pier is about done, and by an large it ticks all the box`es i wanted to achieve.

It is now quick to set up, simply drop the mount ready attached to its ply disk onto the 3 M8 bolts and fasten wingnuts, no more leveling a wobbly tripod!

It is at just the right height for visual but i will have to go out of the garden to view in the East but this is less likely as i would be viewing over rooftops.

All in all i am very pleased with how it has come together, if there is one flaw the over engineered pier shows up any movement in the AZ mount head, but first impression is this set up is about 8 times more stable than when used on a tripod

wooden pier az (2).JPG

wooden pier az (3).JPG

wooden pier az (1).JPG

wooden pier az (4).JPG

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6 minutes ago, Alfian said:

That's very neat good looking job Jules. It's "simple" looks I'm sure bely the work that's gone into it. It will be really interesting to see how it works out at the eyepiece.

No real work gone into it mainly ordering stainless fixings and painting the ply black:biggrin:

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Nice job jules and just the ticket to many hours at the eyepiece. 

That ply looks nice especially for a 14" dob project :thumbright:. Wish I had a CNC router set up although they're huge things for 8x4 sheets.

 I was looking through a 127 mak last night during the persieds. It gave nice contrasty views of Saturn and M81/M82.

Edited by mapstar
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On 8/13/2017 at 11:32, Alfian said:

Great stuff Jules, its brilliant when a project works well (and a relief), enjoy it.

Cheers Ian, i will enjoy it, i should have done this years ago, and the way i have set this up i can still put the mount back on the tripod for star parties and such

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Her indoors has decided she did not like a black disk on the post so she has customised it, as a bonus it helps keep the weather of the base, only trouble she used one type of paint and then a lacquer over it and it now has a crinkle finish 

pier pot.JPG

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