Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree17Likes
  • 10 Post By Lowjiber
  • 1 Post By KathyNS
  • 1 Post By sxinias
  • 1 Post By stepping beyond
  • 1 Post By warmvet
  • 1 Post By KT4HX
  • 2 Post By craterdavy

Thread: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

  1. #1
    Lowjiber's Avatar
    Lowjiber is offline Urban Astronomer
    Points: 212,300, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Awards:
    Highest Experience Award
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nv, about two miles south of the "strip".
    Posts
    12,251
    Points
    212,300
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    4,205
    Thanked 4,522x 3,540 Posts
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)



    Tabletop Dobs are becoming more and more popular as grab-n-go scopes, and I recently purchased one for those early morning targets that sometimes present themselves when having a pre-sunrise coffee by the pool.

    Now, the word "Tabletop" is certainly correct, but I quickly discovered an issue with the concept. If one has a tabletop scope actually on a table, it needs to be fairly close to the edge you're sitting behind. If another target in the opposite direction presents itself, you have to move the scope to the other side of the table simply because reaching over the table to get to the eyepiece is clumsy to say the least. Additionally, if you've got a polar alignment, the move across the table pretty much wipes it out () and you've gotta re-align the mount.

    A tripod is an obvious answer, and most tabletop mounts have a 3/8" thread underneath to facilitate attachment of a tripod. Unless you have a fairly robust tripod, you're going to induce vibration in some form when you put the teepee under the scope. Besides, a tripod sitting by your chair is hardly why you bought a tabletop anyway.
    .
    To me, the obvious solution is a four-legged stool, or a very small (say 12" square) table like your grandmother used to hold the phone... not many of those laying around anymore.

    I went to Walmart and bought a cheap ($20), flat-topped stool that was just large enough to sit the three legs of the base on with less than 1/2" to spare. As James Thurber once put it, "things go bump in the night". The scope worked perfectly on the stool for its first light, but all-the-while I was sure I'd bump the stool, and like Jack-n-Jill the scope would come tumbling down.

    A solution was necessary. What evolved over the next day not only gave the three legs of the mount a place to reside, but secured it to the stool while allowing the user to quickly remove the scope/mount without any hassle. Additionally, I added an eyepiece tray that doubled to really "tighten up" the legs of the el cheapo stool.

    As I mentioned in the thread title, this is "caveman easy". I'm an electronic engineer and know almost nothing about wood "stuff"... sharpening a pencil is about the limit of my wood-abilities. The pictures below are pretty much self-explanatory, but I thought I'd add pass along some not-so-technical tips that might help others who share my lack of woodworking skills.

    Preparing the stool to accept the scope...
    I wanted the mount's legs to have recessed holes to eliminate any lateral movement, but still allow the legs to adjust for level. My particular stool has a top that is 1 1/8" thick. My mount legs tapered, and a bit of measuring resulted in 13/16" as an ideal size for the three holes that were drilled about half-way through the stool... leaving solid wood underneath inside the hole.

    Since my mount had the 3/8" tripod threads, I decided to drill a slightly larger hole in the center to enable me to insert a bolt/washer (Good old Ace Hardware) through the stool to secure the mount without depending on just gravity. Since the bolt is just an additional safety measure, it doesn't need to be any more that just finger-tight.

    You can see these four holes in the one picture below.

    Making the shelf...
    This sounds simple, and it is. However, in my case there is a bit of macrame involved. The stool legs all taper inward, and I wanted the shelf to sit between two sets of horizontal braces. At first, I just cut a piece of half-inch plywood with four identical square notches at each corner to fit the legs. Simple right? No so. Fitting the shelf in from the bottom meant that two of the notches had to be cut deeper to allow easy insertion into the proper position. I've marked that extra space created with an arrow in the one picture below.

    I drilled 1 1/4" holes through the shelf to accommodate eyepieces, and a couple of 1 3/8" holes half-way through to hold eyepiece caps. Again, those are pretty obvious in the pictures below.

    I secured the shelf and legs with four L-brackets from Home Depot ($3)... rock solid, no wobbles.

    I now have very portable, solid grab-n-go rig that I can move just about anywhere without any problems... just grab the stool and head outside. No more bending over tables.

    Thanks for tuning in.

    Clear Skies
    Attached Images Attached Images
    sxinias, KT4HX, tomwall and 7 others like this.
    John (Urban Astronomer) Apertura AD10 Dob; XLT 150 Dob; XLT 120EQ; Lunt Solar 60 PT/B1200; ES AR102; SW Pro 100ED; 2 SW Pro 80ED's; 90mm Eq; WO Z-61; SW 90mm Virtuso Mak; 2 Orion ST-80's; Quark-C; Cams: ASI120MM-S, ASI174MM & ASI174MM-cooled

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  2. #2
    KathyNS's Avatar
    KathyNS is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 173,014, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 69.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!First 1000 Experience Points400+ Posts AchievementGot three Friends
    Awards:
    Reply Award
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    25,171
    Points
    173,014
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    6,659
    Thanked 14,984x 9,542 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    Nicely modified!
    Lowjiber likes this.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    DSO AP:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    (pier);
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    .

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  3. #3
    sxinias's Avatar
    sxinias is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 323,522, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 31.0%
    Achievements:
    Got three Friends20+ Friends Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points5+ Referrals Achievement!100+ Threads Achievement!
    Awards:
    Attachments Award
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Marathon Greece summer Tampa Florida winter
    Posts
    17,800
    Points
    323,522
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    4,582
    Thanked 10,191x 6,475 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    Excellent solution. Too bad K Mart is not around. At one time they had a very nice unfinished, 3 legged stool that worked nice for a table top scope like the Meade 2045 or the 4 inch B&L.
    Lowjiber likes this.
    SXINIAS

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.



    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    ZEQ25 mount;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    SynScan AZ
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Mount;

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    ST-80A 80mm Refractor (OTA); Meade
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    203mm SCT (OTA);
    Meade DS2090AT 90mm Refractor; Meade 2045LX3 102mm SCT;

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    4 SE 102mm MAK; Celestron Advanced Series C6S (XLT) 150mm SCT
    with an iOptron GOTO Drive

    My Photos:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  4. #4
    stepping beyond's Avatar
    stepping beyond is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 32,065, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 3.0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!Blogger Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NC,USA
    Posts
    3,281
    Points
    32,065
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    221
    Thanked 608x 588 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    John , that's very impressive. By the way here you go, this is what you call a telephone bench 63 yrs. young.DSCN0471.JPGmanufactured in 1951.
    Lowjiber likes this.

  5. #5
    warmvet's Avatar
    warmvet is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 24,356, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Visitor Messenger Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends365 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    1,426
    Points
    24,356
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    591
    Thanked 543x 365 Posts

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    Love it! A friend just gave me one of these tabletop scopes. I am going to do the same mod. Thanks!
    Lowjiber likes this.
    Portaball 12.5" f/4.8,
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    XT8, Lunt 60mm PT 1200BF, SV102ED f/6.95 my newest acquisition. 27mm Panoptic, 31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric, 19mm Panoptic, 14mm 82* ES, 9mm 100* ES, 9mm Nagler, 3-6mm Nagler Zoom, OIII Lumicon, NPB Filter & H-beta Filter, 7X50 Nikon Action Extreme Binocular, 15X70 Oberwerk, no more room in the garage...

  6. #6
    KT4HX's Avatar
    KT4HX is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 102,795, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    365 Days+ Registered Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points750 Days+ Registered Achievement!1000 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    11,786
    Points
    102,795
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,443
    Thanked 8,098x 4,361 Posts
    Blog Entries
    200

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    Very nice John, you done good! If one wants to make the stool more travel friendly, I believe there are also stools that have screw in legs (or modify a regular stool). Then you could put the L-brackets on the bottom of the tray and move them out slightly so they hook over the cross bars and sit in position without shifting. Yet the tray can be easily removed and the stool broken down for travel. Of course you could also add a lip to the tray so it hooks over the cross bars as well. All kinds of possibilities based on a need.
    Lowjiber likes this.
    Alan || My DSO Blog:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Astro Sky 17.5 f/4.5 Dob ||
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    f/5 Dob || Zhumell Z10 f/4.9 Dob
    ES AR127 f/6.5 and ES ED80 f/6 on Twilight-II Mount
    ES 82° 24mm, 18mm; Pentax XW 10mm, 7mm, 5mm
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Astronomers: We look into the past to see our future.

  7. #7
    craterdavy's Avatar
    craterdavy is offline Banned
    Points: 20,885, Level: 99
    Level completed: 77%, Points required for next Level: 115
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points365 Days+ Registered Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!400+ Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    2,515
    Points
    20,885
    Level
    99
    Thanks
    547
    Thanked 632x 524 Posts

    Default Re: DIY: Modifying a Stool to Hold Your Tabletop Scope (Caveman Easy)

    That looks like a great set-up.,.I can see you .,,coffee in one hand.,,scope+stool in the other.,.O+O
    warmvet and Lowjiber like this.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Caveman astrophotography
    By Octavius in forum Astronomy Digital Cameras Forum
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 11-23-2013, 01:51 PM
  2. New scope on hold!
    By Ryan1885 in forum Off Topic Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-25-2013, 08:03 PM
  3. How comfortable is the viewing with a tabletop scope???
    By hollypie in forum Telescope Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-08-2012, 06:56 AM
  4. Finder scope fitted onto Spotting scope! Easy finding now!!!
    By Flexie in forum ATM DIY Telescope Making Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-08-2012, 07:14 AM
  5. Modifying a digital camera to fit a scope?
    By Jovian in forum ATM DIY Telescope Making Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-11-2010, 11:48 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:14 AM.