Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Upper cage finished

Now that I've applied the final coat of varnish and paint, all parts have been assembled and the cage is complete. All that is needed now are the secondary mirror holder, focuser and finder scopes. The attachments for the truss poles have not yet been made but the cage is ready for their installation. Presently the upper cage weighs about 7 pounds, and when these components are added the weight will be 11 or 12 pounds.

The rings, focuser board and finder scope base have been coated with four coats of exterior grade polyurethane, while the outside of the light shroud was painted with glossy black spray paint. The inside was flocked with flat black oil-based enamel mixed with sawdust and the plywood shroud was attached to the rings with 3/4-inch long, stainless steel wood screws. The shroud stiffens the rings and allows the placement of another finder scope at a convenient location.

Aside from final touch ups, the cage will be set aside until the pole attachments are finished and the rest of the components are in hand. I will begin the production of the pole seats and altitude bearings next.

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