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  1. #1
    MarkM's Avatar
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    Default Rainy Day Project: Making an Eyepiece Case



    Like most folks, I initially put my EPs into a shoebox to take out with me to the scope. As the collection grew, I needed more room and wanted each to have their own snug home. I decided I would keep my eyes open for a sturdy box and fashion my own case instead of buying one online (saves money for more hardware, right?).

    My wish came true sooner than I thought whilst cleaning out the attic. I rediscovered an old, nicely crafted wooden Oneida silverware box that I had saved (the contents of which had finally found a home in a silverware drawer). [I admit, I’ve got a penchant for boxes—if one is unique, I will save it.]

    The inside of the box is covered in red felt and has regularly spaced wooden blocks dividing the main tray (used for holding spoons and forks). The inside lid has a series of loops which were used to hold knives. “Wow, this thing will be perfect with a little tweeking”, I thought.

    Next, I needed something that would provide a snug fit like Styrofoam for the EPs but not disintegrate; I bought and used a new swimming pool kick board for the task. Using an exacto knife, I carefully cut out rectangular sections to place inside the main tray.

    The next order of business was to selectively remove sections of the wooden dividers, and trace and cut out unique forms in the foam to hold all of my items (including EPs, illuminated reticule, collimation cap, and collimation tools). (I was careful to leave room for additional items)

    I then added latches, a handle and corner protectors (all of which were purchased from Lowe’s). Finally, I added two eyehooks for holding my red light and a star chart while I am out in the field.

    Voila! I now have a multifunctional EP case that holds most of my observing stuff (including flashlight and pens) and can be carried securely like a briefcase.

    The attached pictures show the case in its glory. All in all, a good use of a rainy day (or two). Total cost to me was $15 USD.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MarkM; 05-16-2009 at 03:11 AM.
    Location: 30 19' N; 97 54' W; elev 248 meters; yellow/green zone; NELM 5.7
    Instruments: Obsession 15" Dob; Orion XT8i; 2" refractor (Galileoscope); Televue EP arsenal; Bushnell 7X50 binos
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  3. #2
    RussL's Avatar
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    Default

    Bravo, Mark, that is an excellent job, and a very unique application for that box. I like boxes myself, as the Queen will attest to (actually detest). I really like the hanging flashlight idea so you can use both hands and not get your lips stuck to it out in the cold.

    Amazing what can be done with a little ingenuity.

  4. #3
    MarkM's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RussL View Post
    Bravo, Mark, that is an excellent job, and a very unique application for that box. I like boxes myself, as the Queen will attest to (actually detest). I really like the hanging flashlight idea so you can use both hands and not get your lips stuck to it out in the cold.

    Amazing what can be done with a little ingenuity.
    Thanks, Jack. Yeah, that hanging light has proven handy once its time to match caps with EPs and put everyone to bed.

    I rarely have to worry about frozen flesh here deep in the heart of Texas. In fact, when I set out the scope and EPs outside in the evening, it is to "warm up" and not "cool down".

    Incidentally, my observing notebook also fits in the case. This limits my items to carry to 3: scope, EP case, beverage(s).
    Location: 30 19' N; 97 54' W; elev 248 meters; yellow/green zone; NELM 5.7
    Instruments: Obsession 15" Dob; Orion XT8i; 2" refractor (Galileoscope); Televue EP arsenal; Bushnell 7X50 binos
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  5. #4
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    Default

    Nice work Mark!

  6. #5
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    Default

    Great box conversion job, Mark!

  7. #6
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    Default

    Cool idea Mark!

    For the astronomer on a budget, you can sometimes find those cases at thrift and second hand stores or garage sale (aka "boot sale") for very little cost. I might use something softer than styrofoam for the lining, but the concept is superb, and classy too!

    Mike

  8. #7
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    Default

    Thats a nice EP case i have been thinking about making an eye piece case myself
    10" SkyWatcher Dobsonian: 25mm And 10mm EP Soon to Be More
    Save your money and use my South Magnetic Pole Its only $0.50, cheaper then Pierre's and mine has Penguin guards.

  9. #8
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    Default

    wow pretty cool stuff there nice work!!
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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  10. #9
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    Default

    Great job mark ...I love recycling also and like most , i have a thing for cases ...Just FYI though , You can find those aluminum cases for around 20 dollars new .
    16in Night sky
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    F4.5 , 90mm refractor 500mm FL , 7in
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    classic Big-mac , Meade eye pieces with a few odd balls thrown in ...
    If you cant stand behind the american soldier ,
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  11. #10
    MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roverich View Post
    Great job mark ...I love recycling also and like most , i have a thing for cases ...Just FYI though , You can find those aluminum cases for around 20 dollars new .
    Hi Rich,

    Thanks. Do you have a link for which firm makes those?
    I may need one for other gear in the future.
    Location: 30 19' N; 97 54' W; elev 248 meters; yellow/green zone; NELM 5.7
    Instruments: Obsession 15" Dob; Orion XT8i; 2" refractor (Galileoscope); Televue EP arsenal; Bushnell 7X50 binos
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