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Thread: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

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    Default Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")



    I have a lot of photos, but I will start with what this is and let you decide if you want to continue down this thread....

    I love to sketch when viewing. I've worked out this little "Sketching Station" that allows me to spend more time sketching and less time hunting for pencils, blending stubs, erasers, sharpeners, etc

    It is a design that has evolved over time using a kneeboard that I used for flying back when I still flew in the '80s and early '90s. We used a kneeboard which was something like a clipboard that attached to your leg. It allows you to put your charts, notepad, pencil, etc on your leg, within reach at all times on the flight.

    IMG_1304.JPG

    This is the latest and hopefully final edition of this station in use (well in my garage with the lights out, but you can get the idea).
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    Ingenious looks like good lighting too!
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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    This is my favorite kneeboard from my pilot's bag (I have two others, one I made at the sheet metal shop at Myrtle Beach AFB). I most likely bought this from Sporty's pilot shop about 30 years ago. It is made of aluminum and is very sturdy. It has (had) a plastic clip at the top to serve as a clipboard. It used to have a printout of all the airports, frequencies, etc laminated to the top and Velcro on the clip for a dry erase marker with Velcro as well (made life way easy for departure info, approach, etc).

    IMG_1305.JPG

    Here you can see that it is raised up a bit with this rounded portion on the bottom to conform to the leg.

    IMG_1306.JPG

    I drilled out the rivets holding the plastic clip on. I wanted the base to build on.
    IMG_1307.JPG

    I basically used this in this way with some Velcro on the top that mated to a cheap mini clipboard from Staples. I have a few of the clipboards, one with a piece of PVC JB Welded for use with a metal snake thing that holds it in place (in theory it was a brilliant idea, in practice, not so much).
    kingclinton and bladekeeper like this.
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 11x70, Canon 10x30IS, Nikon 16x60

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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    Nothing too shocking, but here is the underside of the clipboard with the Velcro.

    I put the fuzzy size on the back of the clipboard.

    IMG_1311.JPG

    And then I pulled off the wicked old elastic from the kneeboard (that still worked) and put a piece of 4x6 fuzzy piece of Velcro on it.

    IMG_1308.JPG

    Then I made this band thing that had two 2" pieces of elastic band with more Velcro to keep thing thing in place on my leg. It has some strips of the Velcro hooks (the not fuzzy stuff).
    IMG_1309.JPG

    This thing stays put as it has no weight. I can put this on and walk around while setting up the scope and it doesn't shift. This is important because as the night progresses, I need to stand up and shift position every so often, it was a chore standing with the crappy elastic band on kneeboard with just a clipboard. I would have to put my pencils and blending stump away for this.
    IMG_1310.JPG
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 11x70, Canon 10x30IS, Nikon 16x60

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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    So I sit down with this band thing on.

    IMG_1313.JPG

    Then stick the kneeboard to the Velcro.
    IMG_1314.JPG

    And put the organizer on the kneeboard and the clipboard on the organizer.
    IMG_1315.JPG
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    I need to stand up and shift position
    I call it going to the bathroom
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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    I call it going to the bathroom
    That too.
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 11x70, Canon 10x30IS, Nikon 16x60

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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    Each side of the organizer thing has pockets with 8" zippers which was wide enough to get my tin of pencils in without a struggle.

    IMG_1316.JPG

    On the "front side" of each pockets are some sewn in pencil/blending stub holders inside the pockets.
    IMG_1317.JPG

    Pencils on right, other things on left like sharpener and eraser.
    IMG_1318.JPG
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 11x70, Canon 10x30IS, Nikon 16x60

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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    Everything packs up nicely and doesn't take up too much space.

    IMG_1320.JPG

    For a light, I am using this dual led session light thing I found on Amazon. It was apparently designed for bassists for on stage use. They much not need their night vision as the lights were too bright and had a wierd light pattern. I scuffed up both lenses and applied layers of red vinyl tape to dim the light to a nice glow. One is very dim that I use for sketching, the other is a bit brighter that I don't use with the Dob, but I do use with my refractor to illuminate me case that I leave under the tripod.

    IMG_1319.JPG

    It runs off 2 or 3 AA or AAA batteries that I have yet to change.

    So that is basically my sketching thing. I made the organizer and the leg band out of left over denim from my ▄ber Hoodie and some olive duck cloth that I bought to make bicycle tool rolls. I know just enough about sewing to be dangerous and/or ingenious ;-)
    Glen | N1XF
    Scopes: Zhumell Z10, Explore Scientific AR102, Explore Scientific 16" Truss Tube Dob Gen2
    Eyepieces: 40mm, 30mm, ES (82░) 24mm (on the way), 14mm, 8.8mm, 6.7mm, 4.7mm, Zhumell 8-24 Zoom
    Binoculars: Oberwerk 11x70, Canon 10x30IS, Nikon 16x60

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    Default Re: Sketching station (aka "The pilot kneeboard sketching tools holder thing")

    That's an intriguing idea. I keep stumbling around in the dark reaching for tables, but this season any table gets covered in wet dew.
    Dave

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