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Pier construction suggestions please


mckinnell
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When I had mine built there was many discussions about having the pier level and that no flexure could occur with needing levelling nuts and bolts, I think it was referred to as a rats nest, so I had the concrete poured level 75cm x 75cm and I built a level frame work and ask the builder to make sure that he levelled the concrete to the wooden frame, a week later its solid and the pier bolted down. any levelling is corrected by your polar alignment.

Edited by Jkulin
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Yes, it is worth repeating that mount tops do not need to be level and this can simplify their construction. Polar alignment is not affected though it might need a couple more iterations of drift. Takahshi mounts and tripods have no facility for levelling, just in case you're doubtful about this!

Olly

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1 hour ago, Shelster1973 said:

Can I jump on this band wagon and get a copy of the plans please?  Looking at getting a quote from a local fabricator to know one up

No Probs Just PM'd you the drawings

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42 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

Skipper Billy started it with his submarines!

It was a big help having a pal that works at Faslane nuclear submarine base!!! 

He is a submarine tubing welder and the standard of welding has to be seen to be believed !! It is beautiful!!!

I declined the offer of the x-ray certificate ?

 

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9 minutes ago, Skipper Billy said:

It was a big help having a pal that works at Faslane nuclear submarine base!!! 

He is a submarine tubing welder and the standard of welding has to be seen to be believed !! It is beautiful!!!

I declined the offer of the x-ray certificate ?

 

Nuclear welding is a very skilled job.  Also very well paid too.

As you say Billy, it is an art form to see.  The guys down here who do it are top drawer.

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  • 6 months later...
On 17/03/2019 at 12:21, JamesF said:

I am in the process of constructing "Todmorden" piers in my observatory.  Concrete blocks bolted and glued end-to-end and (in my case) bolted and glued to a concrete cube in the ground about 50cm on a side.  My intention is to clad them in ply as they'll be inside.  Peter Drew has a number that are just fixed to concrete slabs on the ground outdoors.  If you search the forums for "Todmorden pier" you'll find a few examples.

Really cheap (I paid about £3.50 each for the blocks and you may only need a couple), very stable and not too hard to remove should you need to.

James

Hi James, how did you glued the block together ? with cement or ? How high is you pier, 2 blocks or 3? Regards Rigo

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2 hours ago, RMercken said:

Hi James, how did you glued the block together ? with cement or ? How high is you pier, 2 blocks or 3? Regards Rigo

I drilled the ends of the blocks using a jig so the holes would match up, then used the foaming type of Gorilla Glue quite generously between the blocks before bolting them together.  They're also glued and bolted to the concrete foundation block using threaded rods set into the concrete when it was poured.

My piers are two and a half blocks high, though probably only about two high above the floor of the observatory (it's a raised floor).

For imaging the height is fine and actually makes the final "saddle height" quite convenient for me to work on in terms of lifting scopes on and off.  For observing it's a little more difficult to call as it depends on whether you're using a newt, cat, or frac.  I can measure the height to the centre of the saddle in a moment though -- I'm just about to nip out to the observatory.

James

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Nice, my thanks also James; I STILL haven't worked out where I can locate my Obs ?????, still, that's another problem, are me!!!!!!!!!!!.

 

                                                                    Regards to all,             Tom 

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I built a DIY pipe pier for my NEQ6. The whole observatory build process is documented in detail here (parts 2 and 3 cover the pier):

https://www.blackwaterskies.co.uk/series/a-small-imaging-observatory/

Bear in mind this was for imaging, so I only built the pier using a 1 metre length of 6 inch steel pipe delivered from eBay (as was the rebar), filled with bags of ready-mix concrete. You'd probably want a longer pier (and thus more diameter) for visual. A plastic pipe would certainly work if you can find an appropriate length and diameter.  Sourcing long, large diameter metal pipes from eBay is a challenge since they're hard to deliver and so tend not to go much over 1 meter in length.

One option I've found is mild steel flue pipe. It is in no way strong enough to act as a pier on its own, but would be ideal if painted and filled with concrete and rebar. You can buy it in 1 metre lengths which are formed to slot together to make whatever length you need, and being thin mild steel wouldn't be too hard to cut one pipe down to make the exact length you want:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STEEL-FLUE-PIPES-ELBOWS-COWLS-FROM-4-INCH-UP-TO-8-INCH/172496012877?var=471340394224&hash=item282990464d:m:mOsMuGoz-8fF5kPxl3LXjrw

You'd probably want 2 x 180mm or 200mm, 1 metre lengths.

For the pier head adaptor, I went with an off-the-shelf NEQ6 extension tube:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-mount-accessories/skywatcher-eq6-extension-tube.html

This is designed to fit the NEQ6 mount head perfectly, and my blog posts describe how to drill out the bottom plate of the extension tube and fix it in to the concrete pier using stainless steel studding (again bought from eBay).

Hope this gives you some ideas.

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