Making a pier for the SLT mount

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by , 11-26-2016 at 01:26 AM (1831 Views)
Materials required:

This pier has been made out of 5” Schedule 20 electrical conduit.
1 sq. foot of 3/8” or ½” plywood
File or sanding block
Compass/ pencil
Wood glue
5/16” drill bit
1 piece of ¼” x 20 TPI redi-rod
1- ¼” wing nut or nylock
1- ¼” x 1” flat washer

I used Schedule 20 which has an inside diameter of 127mm (5”) and an outside diameter of 5-¼”.
5” Schedule 40 is preferable if available as it has a thicker wall with an inside diameter of 125.5mm (4-15/16") and 243mm (5-9/16") outside diameter.

Hardware stores and hobby shops usually sell the redi-rod in 3’ lengths.

The pier base can be made out of 3/8” or ½” plywood/ MDF board and the pieces glued together.
Using the jigsaw you will need to cut out the wood circles needed to make the base. You will need one circle 150m (6”) in diameter as the base and 2 or 3 circles of 125.5mm (4-15/16”) diameter for the inside support.

If you are using a mount that does not have the lower SLT mount hub you may need to cut one extra wood circle the size of the top of your tripod and place it under the 150mm (6”) to use as a spacer so the base clears the legs.

Using the compass make a circle pattern for cutting the wood and to mark the 5/16” center hole.
Mark and using the jigsaw cut out the circles and drill the holes.
Apply glue to the 150mm circle and place a 125.5mm on to and then repeat for the other 125.5mm pieces.
Clamp pieces together for drying and set aside to cure per glue instructions.
I use a resin wood furniture glue similar to “Gorilla Glue” which normally takes 24 hours to set.
Use the redi-rod to keep everything in line when gluing these all together.

Determine how long you want your pier to be and mark a cutting line.
To get an accurate line around the pipe wrap a piece of paper (or pipe wraparound) around it and make sure the overlapped edges are in line with each other.
Once you have this line established draw another at the height you want the pier to be. I made mine 230mm (9”).
The pier can be made as long as desired but at 9” the C102 f/6.5 can point to zenith without hitting a tripod leg or the pier.

Using the hacksaw put a shallow cut on the line all the way around the conduit to give yourself a guide as you cut. This will help keep the cut straight. Check both ends to insure they are straight.
Use the file or sanding block to clean up and flatten out the edge of the conduit.

On the SLT mount is a small bolt that sticks up through the bottom of the mount hub and this needs to be removed.
It is held in place by a small C- clip which can be removed with a pair of pliers and then the screw can be threaded out. This piece will not longer be used.

Using the drill and 5/16” drill bit enlarge this hole for the redi-rod to slide through.

Push the conduit onto the wooden base, it should be a snug fit.
Screw the redi-rod into the bracket on the base of the mount until it touches the bolt in the base of the mount.
Now take the mount and set it into the pier assembly with the rod going through the wooden base.
You can now slide the rod through the hole in the bottom of the mount hub and place the entire pier on the tripod.
Tighten everything with the ¼” x 1” washer and wing nut.
You can now mark the rod at the point you wish to cut it off.

Enjoy your new pier.

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  1. Peter802's Avatar
    Thanks for posting this Gabby. Most helpful. Clear skies.
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